Bob Seger: How One Man Lyrically Effected Countless Songs #moreclassywriting

Bob Seger ~

Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band - Night Moves
I remember reading in Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band‘s Greatest Hits CD, that Bob Seger says he came up with the line “Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.” It appears in his 1980 song “Against The Wind” (see video below). But, I also read that at the time that he recorded this song he didn’t like the line and wanted to change it before releasing the album. I think he says the producer told him to leave it as it was, and it seemed to have worked out for him. After all, the line has been used in other songs since then.

Bob Seger: I Wish I Didn’t Know Now…


Toby Keith: Wish I Didn’t Know Now

Perhaps, most notably, Toby Keith released this song in 1994 which not only featured the line, but it was in the title of the song! “Wish I didn’t Know Now” was one of many big hits for Keith in the early part of his career. But that wasn’t the only song to feature the line in some form or another.


Poison: Something To Believe In

Poison also used the line, slightly altered, in their 1990 hit “Something To Believe In.” It made sense. And, if you think about it, it does make sense. I can think of several things over the course of my life that I know now that I wish I didn’t know. I think the one thing that all these songs are relating is just how tough life and relationships can become. Perhaps if we knew it going into certain things, we would approach them differently. I guess if you were going to point to a line in music history that best describes remorse or regret, this would be the line.


Bob Seger: Against The Wind

Although Bob Seger was and and perhaps is still not happy with the line “Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then,” we think he should be proud of it. It has become a line of legendary status, and is a rock and roll classic.

Is There Anything That You Wish You Didn’t Know Now?


Writing Prompts #moreclassywriting

About Jay Crawford

Jay enjoys cooking, music {his favorite artists are KISS, Def Leppard, the Eagles and a lot of the newer country music}, and sports {Carolina Panthers, Tarheels and the Appalachian State Mountaineers}. He also enjoys grilling out and cruising around with the radio up and the windows down.


  1. “Against the Wind” is one of my all time fave songs. It brings back so many memories. It’s definitely my favorite Bob Seger song.

    • Dawn McAlexander says:

      I love “Turn the Page” by him, too. ๐Ÿ™‚ I even like Metallica’s version.

  2. I love that line. I wish I didn’t know….how much it sucks to get your heart broken, I suppose.

  3. Bob Seger is 1 of my all time FAVS ever!! I think people who missed out on 70’s and 80’s music in general are just a bit deprived, really! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. I had one of those “Ah-ha” moments reading this…LOL…while I put the lines with the individual songs I never noticed they were repeated. Very interesting!

  5. My husband is an old country classic & old school rock fan!! I swear he can remember every line to every song, but forget my birthday!! lol

  6. Hmmm…that’s a tough question for a Sunday morning LOL. But thanks for sharing that lyric, I would’ve never known it was repeated.

    • Dawn McAlexander says:

      I wouldn’t have either if my husband hadn’t told me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Brian Smith says:

    That is one awesome and classic tune…now it’s stuck in my head! I wish I didn’t know how hard it is to keep everything fixed and working in our 100 year old house lol ….. a little naivete would be OK by me ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Jo-Ann Brightman says:

    I love that line and am glad that he Bob Seger didn’t change it. In country music “Agasinst the Wind” is one of my favorites.

  9. Sherry Compton says:

    It’s a beautiful line and can be very thought provoking. I can easily see why so many songs would use it. It grabs you. I can hear Toby Keith’s right now in my head.