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Beyoncé’s ‘16 Carriages’ Lyrics Sound Incredibly Intimate

On Super Bowl Sunday, Beyoncé finished her myriad Verizon-encouraged attempts at “breaking the internet” with the announcement of a new album and the drop of two singles, the “real-live hoedown” “Texas Hold ’Em” and the gorgeous ballad “16 Carriages.” The Beyhive is already calling the latter “one of her best tracks ever,” and not coincidentally one of the icon’s most “personal” songs yet. The nearly four-minute single shares revealing details of Beyoncé’s own life experiences—particularly leaving home to launch her career “at an early age”; “goin’ so hard” on the road as part of Destiny’s Child; losing her “innocence” and watching her father’s infidelity; and, now, missing her children while she’s on tour.

Read the full lyrics to “16 Carriages” below.

(Chorus)
Sixteen carriages drivin’ away
While I watch them ride with my dreams away
To the summer sunset on a holy night
On a long back road, all the tears I find
Sixteen carriages drivin’ away
While I watch them ride with my dreams away
To the summer sunset on a holy night
On a long back road, all the tears I find

(Verse 1)
Fifteen innocents was gone astray
Had to leave my home at an early age
I saw mama prayin’, I saw daddy grind
All my tender problems, had to leave behind

(Pre-Chorus)
It’s been umpteenth summers and I’m not in my bed
On the back of the bus and a bunk with the bed
Goin’ so hard, gotta choose myself
Underpaid and ovеrwhelmed
I might cook, clean, but still won’t fall
Still workin’ on my lifе, you know
Only God knows, only God knows
Only God knows

(Chorus)
Sixteen carriages driving away
While I watch them ride with my feels away
To the summer sunset on a holy night
On a long back road, all the tears I find
Sixteen carriages driving away
While I watch them ride with my feels away
To the summer sunset on a holy night
On a long back road, all the tears I find

(Verse 2)
Sixteen dollars, workin’ all day
Ain’t got time to waste, I got all to make
I got love to create on this holy night
They won’t dim my light, all these years I find

(Pre-Chorus)
It’s been thirty-eight summers and I’m not in my bed
On the back of the bus and a bunk with the bed
Comin’ so hard, now I miss my kids
Overworked and overwhelmed
I might cook clean, but still won’t fall
Still workin’ on my life, you know
Only God knows, only God knows
Only God knows

(Chorus)
Sixteen carriages driving away
While I watch them ride with my fears away
To the summer sunset on a holy night
On a long back road, all the tears I fight
Sixteen carriages driving away
While I watch them ride with my fears away
To the summer sunset on a holy night
On a long back road, all these tears I fight

(Interlude)
Oh, oh
Oh

(Bridge)
At fifteen, the innocence was gone astray
Had to take care of home at an early age
I saw mama cryin’, I saw daddy lyin’
Had to sacrifice and leave my fears behind
The legacy is the last thing I do
You’ll remember me ’cause we got somethin’ to prove
In your memory, on a highway to truth
Still see your faces when you close your eyes

(Outro)
Sixteen carriages drivin’ away
While I watch them ride with my dreams away

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