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The Meaning Behind The Song: Anytime by Vanden Plas

The Meaning Behind The Song: Anytime by Vanden Plas


I first heard the song “Anytime” by Vanden Plas many years ago, and it has remained one of my favorite songs ever since. Its haunting melody, poignant lyrics, and emotional delivery have always struck a chord within me. Today, I would like to delve into the meaning behind this powerful song and explore its significance.

A Tale of Lost Love and Regret

“Anytime” tells the story of a man who realizes too late that he was not there for someone who needed him the most – his little girl. The opening lines paint a vivid picture of impending trouble, with a storm coming from a distance and rain falling down during a summer night parade. These lyrics set the mood for the regret and sorrow that pervades the song.

The protagonist, feeling remorseful, questions who will take care of his little girl now that he is absent. He prays, hoping that he can be there for her anytime and any day. The repetition of these lines emphasizes the desperation and longing the narrator feels for a chance to make amends.

An Exploration of Tragedy

As the song progresses, it unveils a despicable character known as a “lonesome renegade” who preys on young girls. The narrator questions why this perpetrator was set free by a doctor, highlighting the injustice and frustration he feels. The contrast between the narrator’s absence and the presence of an exploitative individual further intensifies the tragedy woven into the song.

The lines “Who is gonna hold you there in heaven? / Who will wash away all the tears?” express the narrator’s anguish at knowing he can never repair the damage he allowed to occur. The pain of losing someone dear is magnified as he wonders who will celebrate his daughter’s birthday and fulfill the role of a loving parent.

Personal Reflection

I remember stumbling upon this song at a friend’s house when we were compiling a playlist for a road trip. As soon as the opening notes filled the room, I was captivated. The driving guitars, soaring vocals, and deeply emotive lyrics touched something deep within me.

The tragic tale depicted in “Anytime” resonated with personal experiences of regret and longing in my own life. It served as a reminder that our actions, or lack thereof, can have profound consequences on the people we cherish. Through the raw emotions conveyed in this song, Vanden Plas masterfully encapsulates the pain of missed opportunities and the enduring sorrow it leaves behind.


“Anytime” by Vanden Plas is more than just a song; it is a heart-wrenching narrative of lost love, regret, and the yearning for redemption. Its powerful lyrics and melodic arrangement leave an indelible mark on listeners, evoking a range of emotions. This song serves as a poignant reminder for us all to cherish the people in our lives and to seize every opportunity to be there for them, lest we find ourselves drowning in our own tears of regret.

Album title: Colour Temple (1994)

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