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Top 100 Songs About Time

We all think we understand time, but no one does. Albert Einstein, with his theory of relativity, gave us an inkling if you can understand it. But, if we are honest, we don’t know how it works or even what it is for.

We have our time on this planet, but it isn’t stable. How much time we all have can be affected by so many things, and we can influence that by how we behave. 


The Clock is Ticking

Songs About Time

We think we are going to do something tomorrow. But we can’t guarantee it; we cannot be sure we will have the time. All we know is that from the moment we are born, the clock is ticking, and time is running out. 

Is that a good enough motivation for us all to make sure we get the best out of our time? Is music a good way to use your time? I like to think so. Songs about time can be used in a variety of ways. The songwriter can always apply his thoughts and interpretations. So, let’s see how some of them have expressed themselves using time as a subject, starting with the classic…

Top 100 Songs About Time

1 Time Is On My Side by The Rolling Stones

This was a track from The Rolling Stones second album released on Decca. It had been written originally as a jazz song by Jerry Ragovoy and had been covered by other artists several times.

The lyrics are quite simple. A man has a relationship with a woman who wants to go out partying all the time. He seems not to mind because he thinks time will be on his side.

Their first album, The Rolling Stones, musically and on the UK charts, had been a success. However, the second album from which this track was taken was a bit of a disappointment to many.

2 Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? by Chicago

One now from a band that blew the Isle Of Wight audience away with their hard-driving brass-laced rock. But then, they seemed to change more into a ballad band. The days of “I’m A Man” and “25 or 6 to 4” seemed, to some of us, to disappear very quickly.

However, it must be said they wrote some great ballads. This one from their first album, Chicago Transit Authority, is a great example. A very good track that was a precursor of what was to come in the not too distant future.

This is a song about how fragile time can be. Everyone seems to be rushing around trying to beat the clock. And, what or where does it get us? Have we lost the ability to take our time, look around, and appreciate what we already have?

3 If I Could Turn Back Time by Cher

Cher has had a long and illustrious career. Ever since the days of her work and marriage to Sonny Bono, she has produced a string of great records. To be fair, she hasn’t always been the flavor of the month since those heady 60s days. But, somehow, she has always come up with something new.

This song was released in 1989 on her 19th studio album called Heart Of Stone. It is one of those songs that never seems to go away. And, 35 years later, it is still being played in clubs and on the radio. 

That is not surprising… 

It is a great song with a powerful, easy-to-remember hook that she does an excellent job with. The song, as you can guess from the title, is about her wishing she could turn back time. She wants to be able to rectify some mistakes she has made. I think we can all associate with that.

4 Time of the Season by The Zombies

This is a song from the British progressive rock band, The Zombies. It was written by keyboard player Rod Argent and comes from their album, Odessey & Oracle.

The song had an interesting history. It was lauded as a great song and a potential hit, but in the UK, nothing happened. It was re-released, and still, nothing happened. A year after its release in America, it suddenly appeared in the top 100 and rose to #3.

It is still often used as a soundtrack when people want to conjure up images of those late 60s days. Very much a hippy, free-love song with its “It is the time of the season for loving..” and other such lines.

5 Time After Time by Cindy Lauper

Cindy Lauper wrote this song with Rob Hyman, who also provided backing vocals. This was taken from her debut album, She’s So Unusual, released in 1983. In the UK, it got to #3 and did even better in America, where it went to #1. 

The lyrics have an interesting theme in that they’re about a couple whose relationship has ended. Even though they are no longer together, one says to the other, if you need me, I will be there. I will come to you any time, as many times as you need me.

An excellent and widely popular song talking about time with great production. Easily in the top five best songs about time that we have.

6 Time in a Bottle by Jim Croce

This is a song by singer-songwriter Jim Croce that has a special meaning regarding time. He wrote the song after his wife told him she was expecting their child. 

It was always earmarked just to be an album track from his first album, You Don’t Mess Around With Jim. The idea of releasing it as a single came later.  

Life is short…

It talks about the joy of living and is a song about how life is too short. He wishes that he had more time to enjoy life. That became a prophetic insight as he was killed in a plane crash just a couple of years later.

It was then decided to release the song as a single. After Otis Redding and Janis Joplin, it became the third single ever released posthumously. Of course, it went to #1, making it his second and final hit record. The album followed and stayed at the top for five weeks.

Out of this tragic story comes a message for everybody. Don’t assume you have time to live; it might be that you haven’t. So, make the most of every day. Life isn’t a practice run, and it’s not a rehearsal; this is it. And there will be no encore.

7 The Times They Are A-Changin’ by Bob Dylan

One of the greatest songs of the 60s, and even now, it encapsulates all that was going on and about to happen. It is, strictly speaking, not a song about time in terms of the ticking clock. But, time can be used in different ways, and here it is. 

Times refer to a period of time, not a precise moment. The 60s were ‘times.’ It was a time of innocence and a time of consequences. I shall be looking at those words again in a different context later.

Times That Had To Change

The times that Dylan refers to are those that had racism, the rise of the counterculture, and kids challenging their parent’s opinions and beliefs. These words say it all rather eloquently.

But did it happen? Did the times really change? In some ways, they did, but some of those old habits are still very visible today. It was what you might call a work in progress. You can also call it a memorable song about time that has yet to fade.

8 Back In Time by Huey Lewis And The News

This is one of those songs that, for most people, means just one thing. It reminds them of a film they saw. That film, of course, was “Back to the Future Part 1”.

Apart from its familiarity because of the film, it is a great song as well. It is played at the beginning and the end. And, you get to see Huey Lewis himself sitting on the band’s judging panel early on.

As a pop song… 

This has got just about everything it needs. Nice progression for the chords and the bass, powerful rhythm, and a good hook. It’s all there and probably should have been a bigger hit than it was. Still, it’s a pretty well known song about time.

While we’re on the subject of the film, the other big song included was also from Huey Lewis, “The Power Of Love.” Great film, with some good music and plenty of nostalgia. But it also gives us food for thought about time travel.

It has already been done, of course, and European scientists have been successful in achieving that with a single cell amoeba. A human is something else, though. Maybe they’d better fire up the De Lorean if they want to make it work.

9 Cat’s in the Cradle by Harry Chapin

As we move towards the end of our list of songs about time, let me include one of my favorite artists. This song was taken from his 1974 album, Verities & Balderdash.

Harry Chapin was a storyteller and poet. Not just a songwriter, but a crafter of songs with stories. Even in a world that contains Bob Dylan, James Taylor, and Neil Young, Harry Chapin was special.

His untimely death in 1981 at the age of 39 in a road accident in New York robbed us of some great music that would have come.

A Literal Approach

He writes the song with a literal approach to time. He tells a story in chronological order of the relationship between a father and son as time moves on. But, it is more than just that. 

He demonstrates how our actions can define what our children become. As a result, this also became perhaps the greatest song about time ever produced.

10 Time by Pink Floyd

Some would say that The Dark Side of the Moon was Pink Floyd’s masterpiece. And many of those would say that this song was the best on the album. It is one of those songs that, for some, is very hard to listen to because it represents what can happen to you. 

As you go through life, it is easy to get caught up in things that are not important. These days Facebook and other similar social media can be the biggest culprit.


This is a song not about having a life full of fulfillment. As young people, we think we have got forever. We haven’t. We waste our precious time on things that are just not important.

One day you look in the mirror, and the realization hits you. There are things you can’t do anymore. On average, it could be that you’ve spent half of your time. Half of your life. And what have you achieved? Five hundred friends on Facebook? Sad, isn’t it.

And So It Goes

But now, you are running to try and catch up. You can’t, the boat has left, and you aren’t on it. The song moves towards its end by painting a grim picture. 

There you are, an old person, sitting by the fire with nothing but memories of what could have been. And are your 500 “friends” around? Of course not; they didn’t exist in the first place.

Dead Poets

What is that quotation that Robin Williams uses in his class? That most men lead lives of desperation and die with their song still in them? This is a song about how quickly time can pass and that you can’t get it back when it’s gone. The message is clear. Don’t die with your song still in you.

11 Old Friends by Simon and Garfunkel

Of all the albums that Simon and Garfunkel released, this has always been my favorite. There was just something about it. So, if we are going to finish a list about time, there is hardly a better place. Let’s go back to a phrase we read earlier, “a time of innocence, a time of consequences.”

It was a track from their album, Bookends, released in 1966. Like the Pink Floyd song, this talks about the passing of time. It refers to two old friends sitting quietly on a park bench “sharing the same fears.” And knowing “how terribly strange it is to be 70”.

And finally, the great line to close, “preserve your memories; they’re all that’s left you.” When you are young, life and time are all so innocent. It is a song with such poignancy; I suppose, in many ways, a predictor of things to come. But, also a challenge not to waste what is here now and what you have.

12 Time Stand Still by Rush

13 Time Waits for No One by The Jacksons

14 Time Has Told Me by Nick Drake

15 25 or 6 to 4 by Chicago

16 The Last Time by The Rolling Stones

17 Time Warp by The Rocky Horror Picture Show Cast

18 Time of Your Life (Good Riddance) by Green Day

19 Time to Say Goodbye by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman

20 Time Will Tell by Bob Marley and the Wailers

21 Time to Pretend by MGMT

22 Time by Hootie & The Blowfish

23 Time of the Preacher by Willie Nelson

24 Time Won’t Let Me by The Outsiders

25 Time Travelin’ (A Tribute to Fela) by Common

26 Time of the Season by Ben Taylor

27 Time and Again by Asia

28 Time Fades Away by Neil Young

29 End of Time by Beyoncé

30 Time of Our Lives by Pitbull and Ne-Yo

31 Time Is Up by Pop Evil

32 Time is on the Run by The Black Keys

33 Time is the Master by Wynton Marsalis

34 Time Passes Slowly by Bob Dylan

35 Time Will Crawl by David Bowie

36 Time (Clock of the Heart) by Culture Club

37 Time Bomb by Rancid

38 Time to Move On by Tom Petty

39 Time After Time (Live) by Miles Davis

40 Time for Me to Fly by REO Speedwagon

41 Time to Say I Love You by Stevie Wonder

42 Time in a Tree by Raleigh Ritchie

43 Time for Love by Diane Schuur

44 Time to Make a Change by The Jackson 5

45 Time and Tide by Basia

46 The Clock by Thom Yorke

47 Time and Space by PVRIS

48 The Future by Leonard Cohen

49 Time in a Bottle by Brad Paisley

50 Time Has Come Today by The Chambers Brothers

More 50 Songs About Time

    1. Time Alone with You by Jacob Collier feat. Daniel Caesar
    2. Don’t Waste My Time by Krept & Konan feat. Headie One and K-Trap
    3. Time’s Up by Living Colour
    4. Times Like These by Foo Fighters
    5. Time Travel by Blake Shelton
    6. Once Upon a Time by Lana Del Rey
    7. Time to Get Away by LCD Soundsystem
    8. Time to Get Closer by Foster the People
    9. Timeless Love by Smokey Robinson
    10. 4 Minutes by Madonna feat. Justin Timberlake
    11. Time’s Scar by Yasunori Mitsuda
    12. In Due Time by Killswitch Engage
    13. Old Time Rock and Roll by Bob Seger
    14. Time Is a Lion by Joe Henry
    15. A Moment in Time by Tiffany
    16. Time to Shine by Lil Wayne feat. The Game
    17. The Times by They Might Be Giants
    18. Timeless Flight by The Moody Blues
    19. Time Has Come by Europe
    20. A Little Time by The Beautiful South
    21. Times Square by Marianne Faithfull
    22. Time Passages by Al Stewart
    23. As Time Goes By by Dooley Wilson
    24. Time Is Tight by Booker T. & the M.G.’s
    25. Time Is On Your Side by The Moody Blues
    26. The Longest Time by Billy Joel
    27. The Times They Are A Changin’ by Peter, Paul and Mary
    28. A Matter of Time by The Killers
    29. About Time by Penny and Sparrow
    30. Big Time by Peter Gabriel
    31. Closing Time by Semisonic
    32. Time Is Now by Moloko
    33. Only Time by Enya
    34. My Time of Day by Frank Sinatra and Vivian Blaine
    35. Somewhere in Time by Iron Maiden
    36. Time and a Word by Yes
    37. Timeless Melody by The La’s
    38. Time Is Ticking Out by The Cranberries
    39. Time Is a Healer by Eva Cassidy
    40. Time Capsule by Matthew Sweet
    41. Time Machine by Black Sabbath
    42. Time of the Turning by Christy Moore
    43. Time is Running Out by Muse
    44. Long Time by Boston
    45. Time of the End by The Kinks
    46. No Time by The Guess Who
    47. Time of Your Song by Matisyahu
    48. Time for War by LL Cool J
    49. Time of Your Life by Green Day
    50. Time (Has Made a Change) by Blind Willie McTell

Searching For Sentimental Songs?

We have you covered. Take a look at our thoughts on the Best Songs About HeroesSongs About BetrayalSongs About Bravery, the Best Songs About Change, and the Best Songs About Magic for more fantastic song selections.

Also, you need to hear all those new tunes. So, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Wireless Outdoor Speakers, the Loudest Portable Bluetooth Speakers, the Best Party Speakers, the Best Waterproof Speakers, the Best Sonos Speakers, and the Best Tailgate Speakers you can buy in 2023.

Songs About Time – Final Thoughts

These are some songs that are sure to get you thinking. Some of the greatest songwriters have tackled the subject of Time, and some have come up with profound statements.

But, the overall message is simple. Time is not a guaranteed commodity. Make the most of it while you still have it.

Until next time, happy listening.

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About Joseph L. Hollen

Joseph is a session musician, writer, and filmmaker from south Florida. He has recorded a number of albums and made numerous short films, as well as contributing music to shorts and commercials. 

He doesn't get as much time to practice and play as he used to, but still manages (just about!) to fulfill all his session requests. According to Joseph, it just gets harder as you get older; you rely on what you learned decades ago and can play without thinking. Thankfully that's what most producers still want from him.

He is a devout gear heat and has been collecting musical instruments all his life. As his wife, Jill, keeps on saying, "You're very good at buying nice instruments, but terrible at selling them!".

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