Absorbing Michael’s Lyrics – Childhood



by Bonnie Cox - Please visit her blog

July 9, 2010 – Absorbing Michael’s Lyrics – Childhood

After reading the blog entry of a friend of mine here , it inspired me to begin a series of blog entries to better understand Michael. The best way to do that, other than listening to him speak during interviews, is to get intimate with his works of art.

Many don’t know that Michael was also a fantastic creator of pencil and charcoal drawings, but his most articulate form of expression was in the written word married to music.

One of the hardest videos I have ever had to struggle through listening, was Michael’s “Childhood”. Written in 1993 not long after the first child molestation accusations broke out, he shot this video on location, with his wife Lisa Marie Presley at his side. View the video here,



These are the lyrics:

Have you seen my Childhood?
I'm searching for the world that I come from
'Cause I've been looking around
In the lost and found of my heart... No one understands me
They view it as such strange eccentricities...
'Cause I keep kidding around
Like a child, but pardon me...

People say I'm not okay
'Cause I love such elementary things...
It's been my fate to compensate,
for the Childhood
I've never known...

Have you seen my Childhood?
I'm searching for that wonder in my youth
Like pirates in adventurous dreams,
Of conquest and kings on the throne...

Before you judge me, try hard to love me,
Look within your heart then ask,
Have you seen my Childhood?

People say I'm strange that way
'Cause I love such elementary things,
It's been my fate to compensate,
for the Childhood I've never known...

Have you seen my Childhood?
I'm searching for that wonder in my youth
Like fantastical stories to share
The dreams I would dare, watch me fly...

Before you judge me, try hard to love me.
The painful youth I've had

Have you seen my Childhood...


I had never heard this song before June of 2009. The first time I heard it was Michael’s mention of it during the 2003 Interview with Ed Bradley on 60 Minutes. This was during the digging I did through interviews to get to know him. I had been through all of Michael’s interviews in chronological order by that time and was coming to the end of them.

During that interview Michael had told Ed Bradley that the most autobiographical song he has ever written was childhood, and implored his viewers to listen to it, if they really wanted to get to know him. So that is what I did. By then I had already learned through his interviews about his childhood, the cruelty of his father, family friends and even some fans concerning the comments they made to him as he grew up, his struggle with acne, then lupus, then the disfiguring Pepsi commercial fire, then the Vitiligo, all while still giving his heart and soul on stage.

I prayed. What did they do to him? And why?

Michael said:

Have you seen my Childhood?
I'm searching for the world that I come from
'Cause I've been looking around
In the lost and found of my heart...


Michael as a child performed with the depth of a middle-aged man. Michael said he had heard people tell him that he was a middle aged man in a midgets body . . . then he grew up.

Before he was done with high school, he was a veteran to the stage. Somewhere along the line Michael held on for dear life to a childhood he never had, while navigating an increasingly isolating lifestyle not only out of safety, but out of confusion of who he could possibly find that he could relate to. The very reason he hung out with other children, or older, childhood stars who had their childhoods yanked from them in a similar way.

He said:

“No one understands me
They view it as such strange eccentricities...
'Cause I keep kidding around
Like a child, but pardon me...

People say I'm not okay
'Cause I love such elementary things...
It's been my fate to compensate,
for the Childhood
I've never known...”


Not only did people not understand him, they had to dig through the devastation of debris the press left behind in their attempts to stuff Michael into a box that never fit him. Most people just took for granted that the tabloids at the top of the pile were the truth.

Strange eccentricities turned out to be once private, medical conditions and injuries. His desire to be around children was simple and understandable. They didn’t view him, as Nikki said on her blog, as a possession. Children know how to be themselves around him. Children were openly expressive, didn’t hide their feelings or mask a deeper ulterior motive. They just wanted to be his friend. They didn’t care about a position on his staff. They didn’t care how much money he made or how much they could get out of him. They just enjoyed his time, his jokes, his ability to treat them as if he were one of them . . . because he was.

He said:

“Have you seen my Childhood?
I'm searching for that wonder in my youth
Like pirates in adventurous dreams,
Of conquest and kings on the throne...

Before you judge me, try hard to love me,
Look within your heart then ask,
Have you seen my Childhood?”


The games the Michael never got to enjoy with friends, like running around outside to play cowboys or pretend he was Elliot Ness, or go on a boyscout campout, or play baseball or spend the day at the community pool with a bunch of friends at school.

Although I was a pretty solitary child myself, I spent countless hours just riding my bike down country roads just to find roads I had never been on before. I would climb the trees over the railroad tracks on the bank and watch the people walking under me on the trail, unaware of my presence. The things I took for granted back then that, although I lacked friends, I never lacked the time to be able to enjoy and ponder creation. I did have time to pretend and draw my own paper dolls and role play my way out of feeling bad about what someone did to me in school. This is time I would love to give to him.

Michael survived an abusive and emotionally cruel upbringing despite his success as a recording artist. Before he was double-digits in age he was performing in clubs people needed to be 21 years of age to get into.

Michael endured, with taunts acne, lankiness, broken nose from a fall, puberty, shyness, loneliness, scaly lesions from lupus, a pyrotechnic accident resulting in second and third degree burns and scaring to his face and scalp resulting in hair loss, the loss of his skin color due to vitiligo, battles with anxiety causing depleted appetite, insomnia and dehydration. All this BEFORE a jealous and possessive father used his son and Michael's love for children to extort $23 million out of him.

Before you judge him . . . anyone, try hard to love them (as Jesus does). Look within your heart and ask . . . have you seen his childhood? I bet most of us have.













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