The future of music

30 Best Songs About Time

May 22, 2023
Songs about time

There’s one thing in life nobody can escape, time.

It often feels as if there isn’t enough of it. Sometimes we wish to go back in time, and sometimes we want to freeze it.

But just like change is the only constant in the world, time often simply slips away.

Now when we’re done with some overused but truthful sayings, we’ll show you some of the best songs about time.

There are songs about time running out, but also tunes that will remind you to live in the moment.

So, it’s time to begin!

30 Songs About Time

1. Hans Zimmer – “Time”

We’re starting this musical journey through time with a familiar, powerful tune by Hans Zimmer.

Hans Zimmer is undeniably the best film score composer of our time, and one of his best works is the soundtrack for Christopher Nolan’s “Inception.”

“Time” is the most memorable song of that soundtrack and a true musical masterpiece.

2. Moloko – “The Time is Now”

Without a doubt, “The Time is Now” is one of the best pop songs about time.

Released in 2000, this disco-influenced tune is still universally popular and loved.

The song mainly talks about living in the moment. And its vibe will definitely motivate you to go out, dance your soul out, and appreciate the ‘now.’

I been in it too long
The time is now
And the time has gone
Let’s make this moment last
And the night is young.

3. Coldplay – “Clocks”

When it comes to best songs about clocks, Coldplay’s 2003 hit is an absolute winner.

“Clocks” was released on Coldplay’s unforgettable second studio album “A Rush of Blood to the Head.”

In essence, the song talks about love and being in a complex relationship while time is passing by.

Confusion that never stops
Closing walls and ticking clocks
Gonna come back and take you home
I could not stop that you now know.”

4. Muse – “Time is Running Out”

You’re probably familiar with the feeling of time passing by too quickly. This feeling is definitely universal, so it’s no wonder that there are so many songs about time running out.

In 2003, Muse released an amazing album ” Absolution”, and the song “Time is Running Out” stands out.

It’s a powerful, captivating rock track expressing the idea of being cornered by something. It could be time, or a person, or society – Muse always lets you find your own meaning.

“Our time is running out
You can’t push it underground
You can’t stop it screaming out
How did it come to this?”

5. Imagine Dragons – “It’s Time”

When you feel unmotivated, listening to “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons will instantly cheer you up.

It’s also the band’s debut single released in 2011.

The song was a big commercial success and marked the beginning of Imagine Dragons’ universal popularity.

“It’s time to begin, isn’t it?
I get a little bit bigger, but then I’ll admit
I’m just the same as I was
Now don’t you understand that I’m never changing who I am?”

6. Patrick Wolf – “Time of my Life”

“Time of my Life” is the first single by English singer/songwriter Patrick Wolf.

Although it shares the same title, “Time of my Life” is not a cover of the famous Dirty Dancing hit.

It’s a powerful, emotional song about going through hard times and letting them pass.

“We go on
Heart beats strong
Still whole
As we divide
Our love, goodbye.”

7. Cher – “If I Could Turn Back Time”

“If I could turn back time
If I could find a way
I’d take back those words that have hurt you
And you’d stay.”

From time to time, we all wish to turn back time and do things differently.

In 1989, which was a legendary year for music releases, Cher turned these thoughts into a song.

“If I Could Turn Back Time” soon became a hit and one of the most popular songs about wanting to go back in time.

8. Joe Boden – “How Long Will I Love You”

This sweet, uplifting song was featured in the film “About Time” starring Rachel McAdams and Domnhall Gleeson.

“About Time” is a romantic comedy/drama about a young man with the ability to time travel. After he attempts to change past events to fix the future, he realizes that some things are impossible to change.

One thing that movies and music about time taught us is that it’s probably better not to meddle with the past. Or with time traveling in general.

How long will I love you?
As long as stars are above you
And longer if I can

9. Cyndi Lauper – “Time After Time”

You might not have a chance to time travel, but you can go back in time by listening to some good all-time hits.

Released in 1983, “Time After Time” remains one of the most popular songs about time.

After all, it’s also an iconic love song about devotion, patience, but also difficulties in relationships.

Many musicians made a cover of this song, including Iron & Wine who made a tender, acoustic version.

“If you’re lost, you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall, I will catch you, I’ll be waiting
Time after time.”

10. Pink Floyd – “Time”

The noise of clocks, alarms, and time passing by – you’ll know it’s Pink Floyd’s “Time” right away.

The song is a part of the band’s iconic album “Dark Side of the Moon.”

Apart from being one of Pink Floyd’s best works, this song is a good reminder of how time often slips by before you notice.

It’s easy to get lost in everyday life and be in a loop of always waiting for something. But your life is happening now, and you shouldn’t waste it on waiting.

“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 hometown
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.”

See also: Songs About Waiting

11. Fatboy Slim – “Right Here Right Now”

As we’ve just mentioned, your life is happening right here and right now.

And that’s exactly what Fatboy Slim conveyed through the title of the 1999 hit single.

“Right Here Right Now” is undoubtedly one of the best dance tunes of all time, and the music video which depicts the evolution of life helped to make this song iconic.

The song conveyed an even stronger message after Fatboy Slim mixed Greta Thunberg’s UN speech into one of the live shows.  

12. Madonna – “Hung Up”

We were tempted to put Madonna’s and Justin’s hit “4 Minutes” on the list but decided on this pop classic instead.

Before recording and releasing “Hung Up” in 2005, Madonna asked ABBA to borrow the sample from their song “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme.” She was one of the rare artists they granted such a request.

In “Hung Up”, Madonna is waiting for a guy to call her, but it’s clearly a song about time, especially because of the lyrics:

“Time goes by so slowly for those who wait
No time to hesitate
Those who run seem to have all the fun
I’m caught up
I don’t know what to do.”

13. Harry Styles – “Sign of the Times”

“Sign of the Times” marked the beginning of Harry Styles’ success as a solo artist.

It’s a soft rock ballad with an emotional story behind the lyrics – the song was inspired by a tragic story of a mother right after childbirth.

After being in released in 2017, “Sign of the Times” gained a lot of praise, and Rolling Stone even placed it on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

“Just stop your crying
Have the time of your life
Breaking through the atmosphere
And things are pretty good from here.”

14. Semisonic – “Closing Time”

“Closing time, open all the doors
And let you out into the world
Closing time, turn all of the lights on
Over every boy and every girl.”

Closing Time” was a breakthrough single for the American rock band Semisonic.

The song was featured in movies and TV shows and became a perfect closing song for the band’s concerts.

And although many refer to Semisonic as a one-hit-wonder, “Closing Time” opened many doors for the band, especially for the singer Dan Wilson who co-wrote lots of hits including Adele’s “Someone Like You.”

15. Quantic – “Time is the Enemy”

Although it doesn’t have lyrics about time, this jazzy triphop tune will make you stop for a moment and simply listen and think.

And along with an interesting title, “Time is the Enemy” deserves a spot on this list.

The song was released on Quantic’s debut album in 2001.

16. ONUKA – “Time”

“Time” by the Ukrainian electro-folk band ONUKA is a dreamy, captivating song about time.

In the song, the narrator wishes to freeze time, which is a well familiar feeling.

Happiness that we have is so elusive
Like the shadows disappearing in the noon

17. Kings of Leon – “Time in Disguise”

Close your eyes and what do you see?
Is it a man or masked machine?
Is the world I belong to just a shade of light?
It’s just time in disguise.

In their track from the 2021 album “When You See Yourself”, Kings of Leon talk about life after their universal success as a band.

Although it’s based on the band’s personal experiences, “Time in Disguise” can be interpreted in many ways, and ‘time is disguise’ is such a good phrase to think about.

18. Zombies – “Time of the Season”

After being released in 1968, “Time of the Season” turned out to be The Zombies’ signature song.

And there’s a funny story behind this classic rock tune – although it’s a song about the time of the season for loving, it seems like the band members had a little creativity war going on while they were recording it.

Either way, it’s still a widely popular song regularly heard on the radio, especially at this time of the season.

It’s the time of the season
When love runs high
In this time, give it to me easy
And let me try with pleasured hands.

19. Blur – “Out of Time”

And you’ve been so busy lately
That you haven’t found the time
To open up your mind
And watch the world spinning
Gently out of time.

These brilliant lyrics are the beginning of Blur’s 2003 single “Out of Time.”

The song was recorded in Morroco where the band invited the Andalucian orchestra to play the song with them.

Gentle and melancholic harmonies, Damon Albarn’s familiar vocals, and interesting instruments in the background capture the notion of running out of time perfectly.

20. The Rolling Stones – “Time Waits for No One”

Blur and Muse aren’t the only ones aware of the passage of time. The Rolling Stones firmly claim: time waits for no one.

However, they don’t claim it as firmly as they often do – “Time Waits for No One” is a gentler, slower track than their most popular hits.

And there is something dreamy about this song. It’s a good reminder to enjoy the moment you’re in.

Yes, star-crossed in pleasure, the stream flows on by
Yes, as we’re sated in leisure, we watch it fly, yes.

21. LCD Soundsystem – Time to Get Away”

LCD Soundsystem released this catchy dance tune in 2007.

In our opinion, it’s one of their best tracks and a perfect soundtrack for when it’s time to get away.

Next time we can talk about it
Or even start again
I couldn’t tell you what you wanted.

22. Culture Club – “Time (Clock Of The Heart)”

When it comes to the most popular songs about time, we can’t skip this track by Culture Club.

Although it’s not as famous as “Karma Chameleon”, “Time (Clock of the Heart)” remains one of their most beloved singles.

It’s a soulful, gentle song with genuine, heartfelt lyrics about time and lost love.

Oh, in time
It could have been so much more
The time is precious I know
In time
It could have been so much more
The time has nothing to show.

23. Amy Macdonald – “Your Time Will Come”

You’ve probably heard the sentence ‘your time will come’ more than once.

In her 2010 track, Amy Macdonald sings about using your time while you’re still young and, of course, time passing by too fast sometimes.

All in all, it’s a hopeful song that will encourage you to think about your future more positively.

So soon your time will come. Let it out while you’re still young.
May all your dreams come true for someone like you.

24. BADBADNOTGOOD and Sam Herring – “Time Moves Slow”

Sometimes you feel like the time is passing by too quickly, and sometimes it moves so slow.

When you listen to “Time Moves Slow” by the Canadian instrumentalist group BADBADNOTGOOD, it feels like the world has slowed down, just a bit.

And the Future Islands singer Samuel T. Herring’s vocals fit the song’s atmosphere perfectly.

Time moves slow
When you’re all alone
And the time moves slow
When you’re out on your own.

25. M83 – “Wait”

And a song that will make you feel like the time has stopped is “Wait” by the French electronic duo M83.

It’s a powerful, captivating tune with a world of its own.

“Wait” was also featured in several movies and TV shows, including the film “The Fault in Our Stars.”

Send your dreams where nobody hides
Give your tears to the tide
No time.

26. Lily Allen – “Our Time”

Lily Allen released “Our Time” on her third studio album “Sheezus” in 2014.

Although the song isn’t as popular as some other tracks from the album such as “Hard Out Here” and”Air Balloon”, it’s a sweet, upbeat tune that will make you reflect on your life and appreciate the moment you’re in.

Let your hair down now
It’s the end of the week
And this is our time now
Let’s forget everything
And put your glad-rags on.

27. Green Day – “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”

Although it doesn’t have a sound that Green Day is best known for, “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” is one of the band’s most popular songs.

The song was released in 1997 but it sounds like it could have been recorded yesterday.

And there is something very raw and emotional about it. After all, Billy Joe Armstrong wrote it for his girlfriend who moved away.

It’s something unpredictable
But in the end is right
I hope you had the time of your life.

28. Chicago – “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?”

We’re here talking about time and all its effects on people, and this song simply asks: does it really matter?

Well, many would agree that time is just a concept and that we shouldn’t worry too much about it. But easier said than done.

On the other hand, it’s easier to think like that while listening to songs like these.

Does anybody really know what time it is (I don’t)
Does anybody really care (care about time)
If so I can’t imagine why (no, no)
We’ve all got time enough to cry.

29. The Kinks – “Time Song”

When it comes to time songs, The Kinks literally decided to write one.

“Time Song” was recorded in 1968 but released in 2018.

It’s a simple and somewhat nostalgic yet hopeful song with genuine lyrics about time.

Time is so far from us
But time is among us
Time is ahead of us
Above and below us
Standing beside us
And looking down on us.

30. Asaf Avidan and The Mojos – “Reckoning Song (One Day)”

Although you can say that time is relative, one thing is for sure: one day we’ll be old.

And that’s why people are so preoccupied with time – it’s limited. But that’s also the reason why you strive to make the most out of it, in order to avoid regrets.

“Reckoning Song (One Day)” by the talented Israeli artist Asaf Avidan depicts these thoughts perfectly.

One day baby, we’ll be old
Oh baby, we’ll be old
And think of all the stories that we could have told.

Songs About Time – Final Thoughts

It wasn’t easy to pick the 30 best songs about time since time is one of the most common themes in music.

However, we hope you enjoyed our playlist and that you came across some new perspectives on the concept of time.

In the end, many songs suggest making the most out of every moment. But that can sometimes be overwhelming, and it’s equally important not to rush things and to take your time.

And as J.R.R. Tolkien said, “Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”

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Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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