Country Music Reclamation Project: The Life You’ve Lived

Eddie Noack wrote and recorded some great songs: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Shake Hands With The Blues, and A Thinkin’ Man’s Woman among them. I think The Life You’ve Lived is his best, and it should be standard issue with every jukebox.

The Life You’ve Lived is a song of profound regret, and something about this song tells me it was written from first-hand experience — Noack died at age 47 and was reputed to be a hard drinker to the end. The lyrics don’t waste a word in describing a man who realizes too late what he’s about to lose. And although he’s sincere and determined, and believes he’s made a start down the right path, he has a lifetime of unfaithfulness and neglect to prove that he’s no good and never will be.

The Life You’ve Lived (recorded by Eddie Noack)
written by Eddie Noack

You think now that you’ve seen the light
The world’s forgot the life you’ve lived
And you can’t understand why she’s afraid of you
And though your change is plain to see
It’s not so easy to forgive
She can’t forget the many times you were untrue

You find each sin that you did two by two
You pay for one by one
You’re asking for a love so good and true
Now that you’ve had your fun
For years you’ve taken it all and now
She can’t believe that you can give
You find it’s hard to live down the life you’ve lived

The life you’ve lived makes people wonder
If the life you’re living now
Is just a pastime or if this time, you’re sincere
You thought she’d take you back so gladly
But in sorrow you find now
That you’re untrusted by the one you hold most dear

If you could live your life all over
You’d have cherished every vow
You’d have placed no one above her
You’d live like you’re living now
A few short days cannot erase
A lifetime that’s been spent in sin
You find it’s hard to live down the life you’ve lived

Nothing gets to me quite like that line “you’d live like you’re living now.” I’m not sure what demons chased Eddie Noack — he also wrote and recorded two very twisted and entertaining singles about killers, Psycho and Dolores — but as it is with many artists, his pain somehow produced this beauty of a song.