I've got time to think about the beauty of a thousand variations
Of the beating of a wing
Of a hummingbird suspended in the aspic of the world
Moving slower than molasses
As I'm off to catch the girl
Who's falling off the bridge

And I'm there before she knows it
I'll be gone before she sees me
Got my hand around her waist
(as) I pull her back to safety
By the time she knows what's happened
There'll be someone else who needs me
Cause time keeps dragging on

And on, and on, and on
Time keeps dragging on
(Time keeps dragging on)

I've got time to think about my past
As I dodge between the bullets
How my life was so exciting
Before I got this way
How long ago it was
Now I never can explain by the clock that's on the tower
Or the one that's in my brain

And I'm there before you know it
I'll be gone before you see me
And I'd like to get to know you
But you're talking much too slowly
And I know you wanna thank me
But I never stick around
Cause time keeps dragging on
And on, and on

And you say the time goes rushing by
(but) It seems so slow to me
And you see a blur around you fly
But it takes too long
It seems so slow to me


(How) I wish I'd never gone into my lab
To experiment that night
Before lightning flashed around me
And time changed speed
Now I've got to try to be so patient
Till calamity will strike
Because when things change in an instant
It's almost fast enough for me

And I'll be there before you know it
I'll be gone before you see me
Do you think you can imagine
Anything so lonely
And I know you really like me
But I never stick around
Cause time keeps dragging on
And on, and on, and on, and on

And you say the time goes rushing by
(but) It seems so slow to me
And you see a blur around you fly
But it takes too long
It seems so slow

And you say the time goes rushing by
(but) It seems so slow to me
You complain I'm gone before you blink your eye
But it takes too long
It seems so slow to me

And you say the time goes rushing by
(but) It seems so slow to me
And I want to be there when you laugh or cry
But it takes too long
And seems so slow to me

Time keeps dragging on...


Lyrics submitted by Way_AE, edited by Ebonstorm, DaidalOS, Ralmek

The Ballad of Barry Allen song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentBarry Allen is/was the DC comics Superhero, "The Flash"

    Though most of the people who seek out this song probably know that.
    Way_AEon December 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about Barry Allen (The Flash) describing how time goes so slow for him because he's able to move so fast. My favourite line is:

    'Now I never can explain by the clock that's on the Tower or the one that's in my brain'

    'Aspect' in the first verse is actually 'Aspic' which is a jellied squid apparently. That piece of information is available from the bands website. I have no idea how it relates to the song.
    Jetsamon December 13, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThese lyrics actually have a few minor errors in like that.

    You know what I think this song is about? I think this song is all about the dudes in Jim's Big Ego trying to write the song that would depress me the most.

    Damn you, Jim's Big Ego, damn you! Why you gotta be so good?
    Pacon April 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI've got time to think of the beauty of a thousand variations
    Of the beating of a wing
    Of a hummingbird suspended in the aspic of the world
    Moving slower than molasses
    As I'm off to catch the girl
    Who is falling off the bridge

    And I'm there before she knows it
    I'll be gone before she sees me
    Got my hand around her waist
    I pull her back to safety
    By the time she knows what happened
    There will be someone else who needs me
    Because time keeps dragging on

    And on, And on, And on
    Time keeps dragging on

    I've got time to think about my past as I dodge Between the bullets how my life was so exciting Before I got this way and how long ago it was Now I never can explain by the clock that's on the Tower or the one that's in my brain

    And I'm there before you know it
    I'll be gone before you see me
    And I'd like to get to know you
    But you're talking much too slowly
    And I know you want to thank me
    But I never stick around
    Because time keeps dragging on
    And on, And on

    And you say the time goes rushing by
    But it seems so slow to me
    And you see a blur around you fly
    But it takes too long
    It seems so slow to me

    I wish I'd never gone into my lab to
    Experiment that night before lightning flashed Around me
    And time changed speed
    Now I got to try to be so patient until Calamity will strike
    Because when things change in an instant
    It's almost fast enough for me

    And I'll be there before you know it
    I'll be gone before you see me
    And do you think you can imagine
    Anything so lonely
    And I know you'd really like me
    But I never stick around
    Because time keeps dragging on
    And on . . .

    And you say the time goes rushing by
    But it seems so slow to me
    And you see a blur around you fly
    But it takes too long
    It seems so slow to me

    And you say the time goes rushing by
    But it seems so slow to me
    And you complain I'm gone before you blink your eye
    But it takes so long
    It seems so slow

    And you say the time goes rushing by
    But it seems so slow to me
    And I want to be there while you laugh or cry
    But it takes too long
    It seems so slow to me
    -----------------------------------------------------
    As Jetsam said, this song is about The Flash (the 2nd, Barry Allen, in particular) who sees the world as being extremely slow, for he can move so fast. Great song.
    x-Country Kidon January 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy favorite part of this song is the line "Because when things change in an instant
    It's almost fast enough for me" but other than that its a great song.
    RaiTheHeroon September 30, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI find it interesting that the band chose to use Barry in particular. Out of the four Flashes (Jay, Barry, Wally, and Bart) Barry is the one who was always late for everything. It's sort of ironic that the song describes him being "gone before you see me" -- surely, he's no longer late.

    It's also very sad to think that he has all this "time" in his brain. There was an episode of the cartoon Justice League (circa 2005) in which Wally West as the Flash was stuck in a nightmare that depicted everyone frozen around him because they were moving so slowly compared to him.
    blackwolfj31on January 14, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song reminds me of a particular issue of The Flash--the name escapes me at the moment, but it was from the early '90s--wherein Wally West sped up too much and effectively made time freeze for himself because he wanted to save everyone. I think most of this song might actually be an allusion to that issue--though, then, why it's the Ballad of Barry Allen is a mystery to me...
    AshErmineon February 28, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationAs anyone who reads the comics of Flash and all DC comics know that Barry Allen perceives time as so slow that it bores him when people are talking to him. So imagine living your life at the speed of light when everyone else is stuck in first gear. That's what this song is about.
    guygardneron January 07, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThere is subject matter - and then there is meaning. The subject matter is the Flash, as mentioned several times already. The meaning however derives more from a personal comparison to the Flash (or the Flash mythos as presented in the song).

    The problem with 'living eternity between seconds' is that you have the time to understand what you are seeing and act accordingly. You aren't given any power over what others do, but you have such insight into the 'now' that the future becmes largely predictable. Think about how many times you can hear the same jingle on the radio before you both loathe and have it memorized? Even if you intially enjoyed the thing?

    Being so familiar with a thing that you long for unfamiliarity - wistfully remebering a time when newness existed. Waiting with anticipation for the next big thing but knowing at the same time that it's going to be more of the same no matter how big it is. These are all concepts that, while not necessarily experienced by everyone, are experienced by many people.

    Now tie into it the aspect of doing the right thing and being overlooked. (Not necessarily a Flash only thing - think Superman/Clark Kent or any other alter-ego'd hero). But in the Flash's case it's not solely a matter of being overlooked by choice but rather being overlooked because of who he intrinsically is. Always there when needed, but off to the next thing before the accolades get handed out. Over-worked. And while not underappreciated, never managing to reap the rewards of appreciation.

    And finally the social aspect of the thing. If your drive (for whatever you pursue) prevents you from getting to know people around you because they can't keep up (with your drive) you tend to be in a very solitary place or surrounded by others with the same/similar drives. Which CAN be fulfilling in the necessary way, but can just as easily be like being alone in a crowd.

    Personally I can tie a lot of my empathy into this song due to my Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) as much of the time I live life bored. If you aren't fast enough to keep my attention then you're predictable. I've spent much of my life wishing I was anyone else (both before and after ny mid-college diagnosis) because the place I occupy in the world just isn't the same as the state others seem to habitate naturally. And time does seem to drag for me when I'm not interested in something. I can literally get lost in a complete train of thought and look up to find only a few moments have passed when my inner clock dictates a much larger amount of time should have. (And to be fair, the reverse is also true - I'm almost always late for something because I lost track of time. Sometimes I get so involved in things that I take for granted how long in real time they are actually taking me.) And part of the whole package deal is a large amount of social awkwardness. Even in a bar situation with close friends I have trouble slowing myself down to talk about the things they do....sitting still is a chore and tracking with conversations that don't interest me out of politeness is a sheer act of superhuman will.

    At any rate, the point I'm trying to make here (and the whole reason for this, my first posting) is that what a song is about isn't always what a song means. And sometimes a song means different things to different people. And on the far, far side of extreme....sometimes a song might end up meaning more than even the lyricist intended. Stranger things have happened. :)
    UnderTruthon July 27, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAlso, Jim's uncle was Carmine Infantino who co-created The Flash. The song could possibly be inspired as a way to honour both his uncle, and the character he helped create. =)
    JesseQuickon October 23, 2012   Link

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