Discussion: Songs About Time

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September 2, 2008

I don’t think I ever felt older than I did today.  I had a graduate class a bit earlier in the day, and also had to visit financial aid and such.  I was surrounded by undergraduates who looked like kids to me.   I actually ran in to one that I taught a few years ago, and she was surprised I remembered her name. (I was a little surprised, too.)

How did I know they were undergraduates?  They were wearing outfits.   You know, actual coordinated outfits that have a “look.”  Caps matching t-shirts matching shoelaces, which apparently are now changed to go with outfits.   Just thinking about the work that must go into such a thing made me feel old.

But as Todd Snider sang, “Too late to die young now.”    My favorite song about the passage of time is Snider’s “Age Like Wine”, but I wrote about that recently, so I’ll give a shout-out instead to Rodney Crowell’s “Still Learning How to Fly.”  I love the line about having ten good years left in his legs.  It also seems appropriate to pick a song of his, since I’ve been listening to his album in preparation to review it, and I believe time slows down when it’s on.

What are your favorite songs about time?

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  1. Erik NorthNo Gravatar says:

    This is kind of a tricky one, but I’ll start off:

    “Too Old To Die Young”–Linda Ronstadt/Ann Savoy
    “Long, Long Time”–Linda Ronstadt
    “In My Life”–The Beatles
    “Memories”–Elvis Presley
    “Time Passages”–Al Stewart

  2. Chris D.No Gravatar says:

    I’ll go with the stunning “Twenty Years And Two Husbands Ago”. Now, I’m a young male, and somehow I still relate to this song, so it must be more amazing than I think it is.

  3. Stephen H.No Gravatar says:

    “Old and Wise” and “Time” — The Alan Parsons Project
    “Time Marches On” — Tracy Lawrence

  4. Blake BoldtNo Gravatar says:

    I had a hard time (heh) finding country songs that I enjoyed more than these picks:

    “Time in a Bottle”, Jim Croce
    “Glory Days”, Bruce Springsteen

    And although it’s a little bit of a stretch, I think the passing of time as noted in “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin is about as perfect as one song should ever dare to be.

  5. Wrinkles-Diamond Rio

  6. Paul W DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Twenty Five Minutes to Go – Johnny Cash

  7. vpNo Gravatar says:

    trace atkins- your gonna miss this
    kinny chesney- don’t blink

    they make me feel older every time i hear them.

  8. ScottNo Gravatar says:

    Very fitting that you have a rodney Crowell picture with this article, as my favorite song about time is “After All This Time.”

    I also really like “Youre Gonna miss This”, “time Marches on”, and “5 Minutes” to name just a few.

  9. LanibugNo Gravatar says:

    I have to agree with Jim Croce’s “Time In A Bottle” and the first song that came to mind was Deanna Carter’s “Strawberry Wine” and then “Angry All the Time” by Tim McGraw came on my iTunes –

  10. Hard TimesNo Gravatar says:

    Vince Gill has two remarkable songs about aging, both on his “Next Big Thing” album.

    The title track is a rollicking tune about the turnover rate in Nashville. It’s fun but still pointed. Sample lyric:

    For a little while
    you can do wrong
    live it up, son
    cause it don’t last long.

    The other song, “Young Man’s Town” is again about Nashville, but it’s slower and more reflective. Sample lyric:

    You wake up one morning and it’s passed you by
    Don’t know when and you don’t know why

    Although both are about the music business, their themes are universal. (And the latter has harmony by Emmylou Harris for extra yumminess.)

  11. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    Hard Times, Great choices. I guess Vince likes to sing about time, because I’d add “In These Last Few Days” to the list, which is also on his Next Big Thing album. I mentioned it before, in the last thread regarding time, but I think it’s appropriate here too. “Young Man’s Town” is about the passing of time in the music business as well, also from the Next Big Thing album…

  12. Hard TimesNo Gravatar says:

    Good point, Leeann. That whole album was laced with reflections on time and aging.

  13. ElevenNo Gravatar says:

    “Time Passes By” …. Kathy Mattea

  14. Miss KittyNo Gravatar says:

    I’ll have to think for a while on my favorite country songs about time, but I’m commenting now to say that I feel your pain on the “kids” you see on campus, Kevin.

    Right after public schools started back in early August, I saw a large group of young people–maybe 8th graders–walking around my university, with a college student guide showing them around. Hmm, a junior-high field trip, I thought. But then I overheard what the guide was saying: “All right, next we’ll go to the Student Center where you’ll meet your advisor and register for classes.”

    And to think I almost walked up and asked the kids, “And what grade are you in this year?” Sheesh.

  15. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar says:

    Keith Urban’s “Days Go By.” There’s an urgency and conviction to that record that makes the theme sound very fresh to me, even though it’s not.

  16. Miss Kitty,

    Nothing made me feel as old as having a student last year who was born on the day I graduated high school! As Deana Carter once sang, “I still remember when thirty was old.”

  17. Erik NorthNo Gravatar says:

    Kenny Chesney–”A Lot Of Things Different”

    Kenny Rogers–”Twenty Years Ago”

    Barbra Streisand–”The Way We Were”

  18. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    Poor Bill is turning 30 on Saturday. He’s taking it well though.:)

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