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The Impression That I Get
Have you ever been close to tragedy? Or been close to folks who have? Have you ever felt the pain so powerful, so heavy you collapse? No? Well, I’ve never had to knock on wood, but I know someone who has, which makes me wonder if I could. It makes me wonder if I’ve never had to knock on wood. And I’m glad I haven’t yet because I’m sure it isn’t good, That’s the impression that I get.
Have you ever felt the odds stacked up so high, you need a strength most don’t possess? Or has it come down to do or die? You’ve got to rise above the rest. I’ve never had to knock on wood, but I know someone who has. It makes me wonder if I could. It makes me wonder if I’ve never had to knock on wood. And I’m glad I haven’t yet, because I’m sure it isn’t good. That’s the impression that I get.
I’m not a coward, I’ve just never been tested. I’d like to think that if I was I would pass. Look at the tested, and think there but for the grace go I. Might be a coward, I’m afraid of what I might find out. I’ve never had to knock on wood, but I know someone who has. Which makes me wonder if I could. It makes me wonder if I’ve never had to knock on wood. And I’m glad I haven’t yet because I’m sure it isn’t good. That’s the impression that I get. Never have, I’d better knock on wood. ‘Cause I know someone who has.
Wonder if I could, it makes me wonder if I’ve never had to. I’d better knock on wood ’cause I’m sure it isn’t good. And I’m glad I haven’t yet, that’s the impression that I get.

I love this song so much. It comes up on my Pandora station a lot lately, which gets me thinking about the time when the song first came out. Essentially reading the lyrics as a young teenager made me realize that although I don’t have certain experiences, doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the path that other people have to walk.

The line, “I’m not a coward, I’ve just never been tested” is so validating, because of the optimism that I try to have going into uncertain situations. Still, without having the experience, I can hardly cast judgement onto those who have.

There perspective in the song that always gets me is the underlying respect the singer has for the people who have gone through much worse, who have to knock on wood. And, although, I’ve had my metal tested as I’ve aged since this song first came out, I still remember the “Look at the tested, and think there but for the grace go I” line and knock on wood just in case.