what does this little poem mean ?" Every generation blames the one before, And all of their frustrations come beating on your door "

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stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This segment of lyrics from the song "The Living Years" sets the stage for the story presented by the rest of the song, the story of the conflict between succeeding generations and the pain that can result.

The first line highlights the way in which children rebel from their parents and want to do things differently. Young people want to establish their own identity and do so by rejecting the ways of their parents and blaming all the problems they see in the world on the actions of the generation that came "before.

In the second line, the speaker is facing the fact that those frustrations which he once felt, as a young person rebelling against his parents' generation, are now being placed upon his shoulders. As the song continues, we come to understand that the speaker is regretting the conflicts he had with his father, who is now deceased so angry words and "stilted conversations" cannot be retracted. However, the speaker has become a new father himself, and is already coming to understand how miscommunications occur. He is hoping to be able to find a better way to relate to his son when they need to "admit we don't see eye to eye."