What is happening and how have you been
Gotta go but I'll see you again
And oh, the music is so loud
And then I fade into the

Crowds of people standing everywhere
'Cross the street I'm at this laugh affair
And here they always play my songs
And me, I wonder if it's

Wrong or right they come here just the same
Telling everyone about their games
And if you think it obsolete
Then you go back across the street
Yeah, street, hey hey

When I leave now don't you weep for me
I'll be back, just save a seat for me
But if you just can't make the room
Look up and see me on the

Moon's a common scene around my town
Here where everyone is painted brown
And if we feel that's not the way
Let's go paint everybody gray
Yeah, gray, yeah


Lyrics submitted by Benjer, edited by sirnoname

Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hilldale Lyrics as written by Arthur Lee

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Maybe The People Would Be The Times Or Between Clark And Hilldale song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

7 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +2
    General Comment

    I love the lyrical structure of this song, how the last word in the last line of the previous verse is left off, but becomes the first word of next verse.

    As to what the lyrics mean, I've always been pretty much in the dark about that. Maybe someone can fill us in. Many of the lyrics on Forever Changes seem like drug-influenced stream-of-consciousness lines.

    Bluewaveson June 03, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I agree on the lyrical structure, I haven't really seen anything like that before.

    I at least have a vague idea that this is about the music scene in L.A. in the 60's, and Arthur Lee being a little bit ambivalent about it (he does call it a "laugh affair" and wonders if it's "right or wrong", and the fact that he keeps saying "they" instead of "we" kind of makes it seem like he considers himself to be a little bit outside of it). But at the same time I guess he's also saying that when he dies, he'll still be part of the scene in spirit.

    destroyalltacoson October 31, 2006   Link
  • +1
    Song Fact

    Arthur Lee was convinced that "Forever Changes" would be the last LP that he would make before he died, which turned out not to be the case.

    WhoopeeHeyHeyon October 06, 2014   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning

    "Maybe The People Would be the Times" - the lyrics and the song title show that Arthur Lee thinks the people (fans and his fellow musicians) can probably influence the government and the current generation regarding war, racism and things like that.\n\nHe calls it a "laugh affair", because maybe a lot of bands were doing protest songs just for clout and also the fact that a lot of the fans really didn\'t give a crap about any of that. They just came there to get high and get laid. So, he wondered if his songs being played there were, "right or wrong".\n\nThat last verse seems like its about race or people\'s mindset, but I can\'t figure it out.

    Stephen-Raoon February 19, 2022   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    What's Clark and Hilldale? I thought it might have been the site of a festival held in the 60s, which this song was written about. Or maybe the names of 2 streets. But I have googled it and found nothing.

    sugarbabydollon September 14, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Clark and Hilldale are the cross streets of Sunset Blvd., between which lie the Whiskey a Go Go, the seminal rock club at the center of LA's music scene.

    uniongabeon March 19, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Es sin duda uno de mis albums favoritos de siempre. Maybe the people would.. Tiene una estructura muy interesante, The red telephone, es genial, alone again or, debe ser una de las mejores canciones de la historia, bummer in the summer, podría ser el origen del rap. Genios. Ojalá y hubiera podido vivír ésa época, nací después, seguro me retrase 20 años.

    Padrede4on September 10, 2016   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!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
Light Up The Sky
Van Halen
The song lyrics were written by the band Van Halen, as they were asked to write a song for the 1979 movie "Over the Edge" starring Matt Dillon. The movie (and the lyrics, although more obliquely) are about bored, rebellious youth with nothing better to do than get into trouble. If you see the movie, these lyrics will make more sense. It's a great movie if you grew up in the 70s/80s you'll definitely remember some of these characters from your own life. Fun fact, after writing the song, Van Halen decided not to let the movie use it.
Album art
Standing On The Edge Of Summer
Thursday
In regards to the meaning of this song: Before a live performance on the EP Five Stories Falling, Geoff states “It’s about the last time I went to visit my grandmother in Columbus, and I saw that she was dying and it was the last time I was going to see her. It is about realizing how young you are, but how quickly you can go.” That’s the thing about Geoff and his sublime poetry, you think it’s about one thing, but really it’s about something entirely different. But the lyrics are still universal and omnipresent, ubiquitous, even. So relatable. That’s one thing I love about this band. I also love their live performances, raw energy and Geoff’s beautiful, imperfectly perfect vocals. His voice soothes my aching soul.
Album art
Mountain Song
Jane's Addiction
Jane's Addiction vocalist Perry Farrell gives Adam Reader some heartfelt insight into Jane’s Addiction's hard rock manifesto "Mountain Song", which was the second single from their revolutionary album Nothing's Shocking. Mountain song was first recorded in 1986 and appeared on the soundtrack to the film Dudes starring Jon Cryer. The version on Nothing's Shocking was re-recorded in 1988. "'Mountain Song' was actually about... I hate to say it but... drugs. Climbing this mountain and getting as high as you can, and then coming down that mountain," reveals Farrell. "What it feels to descend from the mountain top... not easy at all. The ascension is tough but exhilarating. Getting down is... it's a real bummer. Drugs is not for everybody obviously. For me, I wanted to experience the heights, and the lows come along with it." "There's a part - 'Cash in now honey, cash in Miss Smith.' Miss Smith is my Mother; our last name was Smith. Cashing in when she cashed in her life. So... she decided that, to her... at that time, she was desperate. Life wasn't worth it for her, that was her opinion. Some people think, never take your life, and some people find that their life isn't worth living. She was in love with my Dad, and my Dad was not faithful to her, and it broke her heart. She was very desperate and she did something that I know she regrets."
Album art
I Can't Go To Sleep
Wu-Tang Clan
This song is written as the perspective of the boys in the street, as a whole, and what path they are going to choose as they get older and grow into men. (This is why the music video takes place in an orphanage.) The seen, and unseen collective suffering is imbedded in the boys’ mind, consciously or subconsciously, and is haunting them. Which path will the boys choose? Issac Hayes is the voice of reason, maybe God, the angel on his shoulder, or the voice of his forefathers from beyond the grave who can see the big picture and are pleading with the boys not to continue the violence and pattern of killing their brothers, but to rise above. The most beautiful song and has so many levels. Racism towards African Americans in America would not exist if everyone sat down and listened to this song and understood the history behind the words. The power, fear, pleading in RZA and Ghostface voices are genuine and powerful. Issac Hayes’ strong voice makes the perfect strong father figure, who is possibly from beyond the grave.
Album art
American Town
Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran shares a short story of reconnecting with an old flame on “American Town.” The track is about a holiday Ed Sheeran spends with his countrywoman who resides in America. The two are back together after a long period apart, and get around to enjoying a bunch of fun activities while rekindling the flames of their romance.