"A Question Of Time" as written by and Martin Gore....
I've got to get to you first
Before they do
It's just a question of time
Before they lay their hands on you
And make you just like the rest
I've got to get to you first
It's just a question of time
Well now you're only fifteen
And you look good
I'll take you under my wing
Somebody should
They've persuasive ways
And you'll believe what they say
It's just a question of time
It's running out for you
It won't be long until you'll do
Exactly what they want you to
I can see them now
Hanging around
To mess you up
To strip you down
And have their fun
With my little one
It's just a question of time
It's running out for you
It won't be long until you'll do
Exactly what they want you to
Sometimes I don't blame them
For wanting you
You look good
And they need something to do
Until I look at you
And then I condemn them
I know my kind
What goes on in our minds
It's just a question of time
It should be better
It's just a question of time
It should be better with you
It's just a question of time

Lyrics submitted by gasmask

"A Question of Time" as written by Martin Lee Gore

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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A Question Of Time song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentAlthough the song meaning seems to be obvious it always strikes me as a fact that he is desperately trying to get to her, and even though he is trying not to give any significance to it, he finds her very attractive. Also he states that he knows HIS kind (yes you can understand this in different ways but mine is as acceptable as others), now these little things that steal away from him… It always reminds me about Hamlet and Ophelia. Hamlet told Ophelia to run to the monastery because all men were sinners (especially in Hamlet’s Denmark) and make a sincere gesture of repentance for his own sins. Let’s say that Hamlet was just a little bit more sinful, would he advise Ophelia to run to the monastery OR would he like Gore (for example) advice her to stay with him as he knows, feels inside him, that he has to be at least better than all the alternatives. And by doing so he becomes the same thing he despises, he gets the girl just like the rest would (with his persuasive ways), except if he suddenly starts feeling the same guilt like Kevin Spacey in American Beauty, which in my theory is impossible. Subconsciously he knows he is just one of them and that is the reason why he is focusing all of his strength not to think about that and dresses his lustful needs in a savior knight’s suit. Maybe he is better then others, but he is definitely not showing it.
    The best part of the song is, by my opinion, when he says “it should be better” “it should be better with you” and deluded by his selfish feeling completely reveals that there are no generous gestures of charity and that he expects to get something in return. For a conclusion I’m not saying that she won’t be happy with him, and I’m not even saying that he is a pig or whatever, basically things like this are normal and whether she is going to be happy (also if he is going to be happy) doesn’t have nothing to do with “who will get her” it’s all in themselves. I mean if she wants she could be happy with “the rest of his kind” (like the girls who date their own age) but if she wants to give her self to a much older man with all of its consequences, let her be happy...
    Killeeon January 14, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentwhen i was a teenager i was obsessed with vampire stories. so natrally, when i heard this song, i cooked up a daydream about a vampire looking after a young girl. another pack of rouge vampires kidknapped her and now its "a question of time" if he can stop them from turning her. after all he "knows his kind, what goes on in thier minds" lol
    newwavefan28on September 14, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentdefenitly about a younger girl just coming out to be the "legal age" if you ask me. Like their other song "Little 15"
    ThoR294on October 22, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI also think theres like an element of dominance and submission in there. >>

    "It won't be long until you'll do
    Exactly what they want you to"

    And if the girl takes on the role of a submissive or even a sex slave, she'll be reduced to a mere object. The narrator of the song doesn't want to see that happen.
    MrsO426on April 30, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commenttotally agree with jayboi's depiction... i think the 'fresh meat' on gay scence scenario applies completly... and this song describes the mentality of these people veery well...when you enter the scene young you are preyed upon...
    decoder2kon April 04, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about prostitution in Germany or Eastern Europe... somewhere in Europe.

    Martin Gore was living in Germany at the time and he probably fell in love with a young girl who was suffering from poverty and was about to venture off into prostitution in order to earn money.

    So basically, he is telling the girl that he wants to get to her first before she loses her innocence and becomes like the rest.

    "Before They Do"... That is talking about pimps or people who pay money for sex...

    Prostitution is still prevalent among the youth in Eastern Europe & Russia. All you have to do is go visit Germany, Holland, or Dubai to figure that out. So it's no surprise that Martin Gore saw it first hand and wanted to write about "saving" these girls.

    "It's Just A Question of Time" before you lose your innocence like the rest of your peers do.
    depmode21on December 20, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's the pedobear anthem!
    Muggeron June 15, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI'll have to disagree with everone here.
    I think it's clear from the following part as well as the social criticism in many of Depeche Mode's songs that this song is NOT primarily about some sexual attraction of the portrayed man to a girl.

    "Before they lay their hands on you
    And make you just like the rest"

    It's about conformity.

    When he sings ...
    "I know my kind
    What goes on in our minds"
    ... I think he means the different reasons for which people want that girl to be part of their group. "They" only want her for her body. But while he recognizes her beauty, he sees more in her. He values her personality - which is why he would like to mentor/protect her ("I'll take you under my wing").

    Also note that this clearly sexual part is only very late in the song. Up until then, everything is very ambiguous. And so this part of the chorus ...
    "It won't be long until you'll do
    Exactly what they want you to"
    ... is probably meant primarily non-sexual. Yes, it's sexual as well. But again - that's because that's the only thing that most men think about. The comments here are evidence of that...
    But that's not his perspective.
    MAYBE he is also sexually attracted to her. But that's really besides the point.
    DavHon September 13, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA mature guy with James Dean-image.
    movitzon April 27, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOK, I can actually draw some parallels between this song and "Wong Way" by Sublime (songmeanings.net/…).

    Both songs talk about trying to keep a teenage girl off the wrong path. In "Wrong Way" it's already too late - she's on it, and he can't get her off of it. Of course, the character whose viewpoint the singer took isn't helping matters.

    In "A Question of Time" we have a different situation. The girl's not yet on the wrong path, and the narrator may be able to save her. However, I also sense that David's narrator has the same temptation that the one in the "Wrong Way" did. I just think he's resisted it better.

    I can relate to this song, actually - I've been there. Anyone else?
    SirThorethon June 20, 2003   Link

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