I recently experienced the agony of waiting after Ringo was admitted to the hospital and I was separated from him for two nights. As I discussed in that post, we spend a lot of our time waiting, and we often put our lives on hold while we wait. This got me thinking about the importance of time, especially how we spend this precious commodity.
As I often do when I focus on a topic, I turned to my music library for inspiration. There are many songs about time and the different ways we use and think about time as we journey through life. Waiting for love or to see someone we love again are common themes in songs. There are also songs about wasting or killing time from boredom or restlessness. In contrast, there are songs about seizing the moment and taking action.
I rounded up my favorites and put them on my new It’s About Time playlist.
Waiting for Love
People spend a lot of time waiting for love. I’ve written before about my experience with waiting for love and in hindsight, see how much time I squandered by putting my life on hold until I met the right person. A tip for those in-waiting: once I stopped waiting and starting living, Mr. Right magically appeared. ❤️
Foreigner’s Waiting for a Girl Like You is one of my all time favorites and the lyrics I’ve been waiting for someone new to make me feel alive perfectly capture the essence of waiting for love. Eddie Money’s Endless Nights is another great song about waiting for love, and the pleading lyrics underscore the one track mind we have while waiting:
My mind keeps holdin’
Only one thought
When you gonna call
I think it’s worth the time
How you gonna change
All these endless nights?”Songwriters: John Cesario, Michelle Collyer, Steve Mullen
The Last Worthless Evening by Don Henley describes the misery of being without love and suggests this time on our own is just wasted. I personally believe spending time on your own and learning to live well on your own is worthwhile, even mandatory for happiness in life and relationships, but appreciate how Henley conveys the emotional difficulty that can accompany it. This song also introduces the twist of waiting for love while being stuck in the limbo of heartbreak:
I heard you broke up with him
and your heart’s still on the shelf.
It’s been over two years for me
and I’m still not quite myself.
You can’t be with someone new
and you can’t go back to him.
You’re beginning to realize
that it’s sink or swim.Don Henley, John Coury, Stan Lynch
Foreigner offers us a remedy to being stuck in heartbreak. That Was Yesterday is an anthem for proudly moving on, with Lou Gramm drawing a line in the sand with these lyrics:
That was yesterday but today life goes on
No more hiding in yesterday
‘Cause yesterday’s goneMick Jones, Lou Gramm
One of the hardest parts of my recent experience with Ringo being in the hospital was being separated from him. This added the element of waiting to see him to the already nerve racking waiting for news. Being separated from loved ones is difficult. The Scorpions hit No One Like You is a passionate example of the pain of separation and longing to be reunited.
Oh babe, I just need you like never before
I just imagine you’d come through this door
You’d take all my sorrow away.Klause Meine, Rudolf Schenker
Patience is a Virtue
All of this waiting requires patience and some of us have more patience than others. Stevie Nicks is shamelessly impatient in her song I Can’t Wait, while Guns N’ Roses encourages Patience in their ballad of the same name.
What Are You Waiting For?
It’s tough to find a better example for wasting time than the hit song by Styx, Too Much Time on My Hands, in which vocalist Tommy Shaw complains I’ve got nothing to do and all day to do it. The jittery tempo underscores the restlessness behind this particular state of mind.
At a certain point, we may realize it’s time to stop waiting and take action. Sometimes you just have to say fuck it and get on with life. If anyone is going to help me get going it’s Sammy Hagar who sang about seizing the moment on Right Now. This song is from For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, Van Halen’s 9th album and the 3rd album with Hagar on vocals. It’s the rock and roll version of mindfulness with Hagar pushing us to live in the moment.
Right now, hey
It’s your tomorrow
C’mon, it’s everything
Catch that magic moment, do it
Right here and now
It means everything.Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony, Alex Van Halen, Edward Van Halen
The Eagles take it a step further and show us the victory in moving on in the iconic break-up song Already Gone. The lyrics offer a wake up call to anyone who is stuck in a bad situation.
So often times it happens that we live our life in chains and we never even know we have the key.Songwriters: Jack Tempchin, Rob Strandlund
This particular line has helped me a number of times in my life. That key is in your pocket. You may have to dig deep for it, but it’s there!
Finally, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers understand that The Waiting is the the hardest part. Sometimes just knowing this feeling is universal can bring relief.