Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over
Thought I'd something more to say

Home
Home again
I like to be here
When I can

When I come home
Cold and tired
It's good to warm my bones
Beside the fire

Far away
Across the field
Tolling on the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spell


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

"Time" as written by Nicholas Berkeley Mason David Jon Gilmour

Lyrics © T.R.O. INC.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Time song meanings
Add your thoughts

198 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +28
    General CommentIt's obvious. When you are young you think that you have unlimited time and pass off things without doing them. And then before you know it you are too old and you can't do those things anymore, and you regret passing up all those opportunities.
    flyingmopsyon May 11, 2002   Link
  • +22
    General CommentAlso talks about holding on to comfort and not getting into the unknown. "Hanging on in quiet desperation"...
    Dont we all do that? Just sit and sulk? :-(

    Waters is 'absolutely true' in lyrics, "Sun is the same, in a relative way"! heh heh! Do not forget that even Sun is getting older!
    sipayion May 13, 2002   Link
  • +11
    General CommentWhen you're young, you pay no thought to wasting time, because you think time is infinite. But suddenly you realize that half of your life is over and you don't have a thing to show for it. You have so much that you want to do but not enough time to do it in.
    demo0043on August 21, 2002   Link
  • +10
    General Commentthis has got to be one of my all time favorite songs....just the whole thing, the lyrics are so insightful and true, the musical part of it is amazing...just the whole thing makes me feel all tingly. i love the whole part "and you run and you run to catch up with the sun..." to "shorter of breath and one day closer to death" those lines are just some of my favorites ever out of any song. sipayi makes a good point by saying that just like us, the sun is getting older, but i mean it does age waaaay slower than us humans, so every day it's relatively the same, whereas we in a matter of days can change. i also love that part becasue it represents someone chasing after the sun, trying to get their time back, but it's too late, and the sun rises again and they're just older, despite all of their efforts to cheat time and catch up with the sun. gosh this song is awesome.....
    RockOn947on June 11, 2003   Link
  • +9
    General CommentThis song is lyrical genius. GENIUS!
    I just turned 30 last month.
    And it seems like I was 20 just yesterday.
    Everything is the same, but different.
    And time really does seem faster.
    The time between age 10 and 20 seems like a million years, but between 20 and 30 seems like it just flies by.
    DanVitaleRockson June 18, 2003   Link
  • +8
    General CommentLyrically this is my fave song. Not by Pink Floyd, but ever. It isn't deeply poetic with meanings hidden behind metaphors. It's so frank and to the point, and I think almost everyone can relate to it.

    I think everyone has been 'Waiting for someone or something to show you the way ' at one point. Just going along with life bored for the hell of it. This song is deeply meaningful and as shown by Mafer it can be life changing.

    Brilliant.
    Mahakalaon April 12, 2004   Link
  • +7
    General Comment"Time" is an involved lyrical presentation that has a delivery that is progressive as well as personal. Pink Floyd uses movement from a younger person’s perspective to an elder’s through gradual shifts in each stanza. This creates a progression through time, and thus the song flows much better. The personal aspect of "Time" is apparent through the choice of phrasing used by Pink Floyd, which steers the song in a specific direction.

    "Time’s" movement through stages in life is apparent through the shift in stanzas, each which illustrate a different stage of thinking. “Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town,” symbolizes the beginning of a person’s journey, whether through life, or towards illumination in a subject. This progresses to the fourth stanza, which begins, “Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time.” This line implies experience over many years, through increased involvement and lost innocence. Because of this progression, the ending stanza completes the song, creating with it the conclusion of a series of phases.

    The progression displayed by “Time” is highlighted through the involvement of the listener. Pink Floyd use lyrics that focus not on someone in the band, but instead on the person listening. Pronoun usage is limited to “you” in every stanza until the end, when the statement, “…thought I’d something more to say,” is sung. This line is a realization of the events in the previous stanzas, putting them together and summing it up in the last phrase. It encourages the listener to examine his or her own life, look for meaning, but realize that someday, time will be gone.

    Picking several perspectives from a wide range of ages, and organizing them accordingly, “Time” creates an image of a life cycle. Through select pronoun choice, Pink Floyd also achieves a way of telling the listener their message in a general sense, instead of through specific examples. “Time” is a song with universal context, created in part by a superb organizational structure, which exemplifies the message being conveyed.
    pezpaulon January 12, 2005   Link
  • +7
    General CommentWhat I think people have failed to note in the comments is how the song itself a representation of someone's lifetime. For the first 1/3rd of the song, after the clocks ring (the start of your life), there's simply nothing but instrumental...which slowly builds from a soft heartbeat to a melody with power chords and a drum that plays for a good 2 minutes before the guitar kicks in. I believe this part shows the ignorant bliss you go through the first third of your life.

    When the guitar kicks in, the stanza represents someone in their 20s-30s, who continues these habits but suddenly realizes the time is now to do something. However, they still don't reach the expectations that they had dreamed to reach when they were younger. Then comes the guitar solo...which I consider the period of life that a person realizes they are in a midlife crisis, and that their life is a failure according to their standards. By then, 5/7ths of the song is done.

    Then, between the ages of 40 and 60 (1/7th of the song), they try to make up for the time they wasted in their life, but then realize it is too late.

    For the final minute, the song is talking about someone in old age doing nothing but sitting home and remembering their life.

    Did not check this for errors, so I hope it makes sense. Just the way I see it.

    -manning015
    manning015on February 14, 2010   Link
  • +7
    General CommentWhen your 40 and you look back at your life and see what you could have been, you get a song like TIME. The first portion of the song (the first 9 lines) are about how he, or us, or whomever the song is about wasted childhood away, didnt take initiative to follow ones dreams and failed to make something of ones self until "ten years had got behind you". The lines " no one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun" perfectly describe the feeling of a failed opportunity at life.

    "And you run, and you run to catch up with the sun,but its sinking" The midlife crisis hits. Upon the realization that you've wasted your entire life you try to make up, to "catch up with the sun" and force a respectable existence out of the relatively short amount of years you have left.

    "Plans that either come to nought, or half a page of scribbled lines" The short burst of energy that is the midlife crisis has failed to procure any meaningful gains in ones life and you return to the normalcy of "hanging on in quite desperation". At this age "the time is gone, the song is over", you had your chance and you failed. There is nothing left to do but wallow in your depression and waste what time you have left at home, "warming my bones beside the fire"

    Time has slipped away from your control and now controls you. You wait for death while
    "Far away across the field The tolling of the iron bell Calls the faithful to their knees To hear the softly spoken magic spells " The faithful are all the other people who let themselves be controlled by time, and they are in their graves (i.e. across the field, in the cemetery by the church)

    This song is about the midlife crisis that many of us will go through when we hit old age, and how futile it is to attempt to reverse time. If any form of advice could be etched from this song it would be to make something of yourself while you still can, while your young.
    TheWildabeaston July 24, 2011   Link
  • +4
    General Commenttheres so many things to this song the whole first part is about kind of how you cant live your life kicking rocks around and wasting the day when you should be making the most of it, because some day its all gonna end your gonna have to go to the real world and have lots of responsibilities and you will regret sitting around all day, brilliant.
    Vast334on July 04, 2002   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain