“When You Were Young” by The Killers

In “When You Were Young”, the narrator introduces the protagonist as a lady who has just been out of a heartbreak and is looking for a person to fill that void.

According to the writer, this lady is only consumed with finding someone who will make her feel happy again instead of changing her own perspective and seeking her own happiness. Her ideal partner is likened to Jesus, possibly because this lady may be a religious person. However, the new man she finds actually behaves like a gentleman; a trait she has always been attracted to from her youth. The narrator however stresses on the fact that he’s nothing like Jesus, probably as a warning that he might not be ideal for her.

In the subsequent verses of the song, the writer seems to advise the protagonist to be cautious in starting a relationship with this guy and to take things slowly. It appears however that she may have been blinded by his gentleman-like character and is allowing the new relationship to progress rapidly. In the end, the sharp return to the first verse indicates that this affair, like the earlier ones, did not work and she is back to her old state. The outro suggests that the solution for this lady’s cycle is to either look for a person who fits all her expectations or simply be realistic and go the long haul with an imperfect partner.

“When You Were Young” Information


  • R. Vannucci
  • M. Stoermer
  • D. Keuning
  • B. Flowers

Production: The Killers in conjunction with producers Flood and A. Moulder
Album: The Killers’ indie/alternative rock album “Sam’s World” of 2006
Release: September of 2006

Successful Song

The Killers enjoyed noteworthy success with this single. It was indeed a global hit. For example, it gave the band their most successful single (chart-wise) in Britain. It reached number 2 in both Scotland and UK. In Ireland, Australia and Canada, it enjoyed the status of a top 10 single.

It also enjoyed outstanding success in America, appearing in as many as 10 different Billboard charts. For instance, on the Hot 100, it rose to number 14. And on the “Alternative Airplay” charts, it performed even better by actually making it to number 1. This feat gave The Killers their first ever number 1 single on said record chart.

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