What does Time mean?

Search Login

Pink Floyd: Time Meaning

Song Released: 1974

Get "Time" on MP3:

Get MP3 from Amazon

Time Lyrics

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an off hand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

Tired of lying in the sunshine...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Mar 5th 2007 report

    This song is for each individual to interpret through his own feelings. The song may mean something to Roger Waters personally, but it should also have a personal meaning for yourself.

    The introduction suggests the weight of time that we all feel from being in an inevitably decreasing life in which we are always walking towards the end. The entire introduction is to represent the entire plane and span of your time of consciousness, starting from the heavy silence which is present only before we turn our hour glass. We are awoken by the loud alarm clock which represents the first acknowledgement of time. From there time only grows more intense, a heavy presence which is ceaselessly building towards a culmination or climax. It continues to grow until our emotions are reawakened into the present dimension of time in which we become conscious after a loud clash of drums.

    As if a voice in the back of our heads, it mocks how we try to play it cool; how easily we slide time into the back of our minds. So we just stick around where our decisions have already been made for us, because it’s easier to just sit around and wait. We have all the time in the world and besides, we don’t know what’s right – no one told us. So we wander in circles; waiting.

    Then comes the beautifully done jam session, which suggests how we will eventually begin to drift forward into life, instead of standing on our feet and taking it on. The music takes on our emotions in the sensation that we are lost. It begins to sound like a burning monotonous pain, our hearts constantly yearning for something that we just can’t reach and are constantly battling in our weariness, every once in awhile coming upon our own internal clocks; waking up and realizing we are getting older.

    So we pretend to except who we are to quiet our anxieties; picking a better character to play the parts of ourselves, because we were too cowardly to follow the truth. All the time, we are dwindling towards our end, living as zombies who can’t come face to face with ourselves or time’s destiny lying before us. For hanging on a quiet desperation has become our society’s way. Be proper and follow the rules is what we were told even if you deny yourself freedom.

    Then we are dropped into another dimension of time where we have accepted, without resistance (though still painfully), an empty existence. And when the cold iron bell comes ringing our names and taking our numbers, we do just what we did in life.

    This song basically says time is no joke and to find the answers in this life you can’t look to anyone else but yourself. Time does catch up.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Jan 16th 2011 report

    A song that becomes more meaningful as you get older. Time runs faster the older you get; when you are young time runs slowly and your lifetime ahead of you seems like an eternity. When you get to 30, you suddenly become aware that your life is ticking away and you haven't done anything with it yet - "ten years have got behind you, no one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun". From then on, you are battling against the ticking clock but because of the pressures of life (job, family etc) you dont accomplish the things you wanted and you become increasingly aware of your own mortality until you die feeling that your life could and should have been so much more "the time is gone, the song is over, thought i'd something more to say".


    #3 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Sep 3rd 2009 report

    To the above, the first half of the paragraph represents that the author/person who is thinking about time has accepted that sooner or later he is going to die. At the end of the day, being in a comfortable place where you are happy is important as you only have so much time and you might as well enjoy it. The second part of the paragraph refers to church/religion and its role in helping others who still fear death/the end of time. The softly spoken magic spells are the lessons we hear about the afterlife that awaits as in order to quell our fear of the unknown.

  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 14th 2022 report

    Home, home again
    I like to be here when I can
    And when I come home cold and tired
    It’s good to warm my bones beside the fire
    Far away across the field
    The tolling of the iron bell
    Calls the faithful to their knees
    To hear the softly spoken magic spells.

    This is the death experience with home again being the afterlife.

    Tolling of the iron bell means it is rung at death. The tolling of the iron bell occurred for each death to signify the count in the 1666 English plague.

    Calls the faithful to their knees is literally those who drop to their knees and say a soft prayer (magic spells).

    The death occurred with the line, Thought I had something more to say.

  5. kooljohn176
    click a star to vote
    Dec 29th 2018 report

    One of my favorite PINK FLOYD Songs of old times that came out in i974. a timeless song that i believe could also be about one's unfortunate transformation throughout ''time'' that gradually gotten ahead of oneself within that time. from his/her starting home point town or city. who suddenly feels a little older and left behind now in the present future. but who always feels good being back home to warm his/her bones by the home fire. even if it's only 'mentally' if not physically nowadays. it's like in a small way,when one is experiencing ''time'' on a personal micro level to compare and think of what might have happened on a macro level to the great Tartarian Empire and Her people's astronomical geocentric clock that was Earthly centered and aligned in one with our mind,body and soul that got all severely interrupted,streched out and divided. by which placed our time by the speed of a thousand years in the future with that invention of the fast moving and spinning heliocentrick 'magic spell' model of time. cause like they[the invading parasites] say ''time is money''. but for who's control towards the end. when one gets old, usually and natuarally just yearns to get back home and warm his/her bones by the fire of the natural and original home time of god the creator, who's time was robed from us towards that future. all for slave driving and speeding things faster with us by the invading parasites that reset the timeline that moved us around faster.

  6. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 8th 2017 report

    You know things are strange or relative. Why should anybody at any given moment should say "heureka" and find "time is ticking away"...Youve been in passing time for this moment all of your life and suddenly you "discover that time is passing by"...This sounds like entering into maniacal thinking and starting to run "somewhere"..going into anxiety mode.. . Maybe this is some kind westernist modern flaw..abscence of "death culture" which existed in medieval times where there was much more talk and symbolism about death which in strange ways was oriented to life meaning. In past times people where happy to live and not to die for some plague..happy to be strong and therefore i think they were thankful for seeing years lived so far. But now we think some problem for ourselves..."time is passing by" or "what have i done the last 10 years" and son on... Why ? This thinking is not necessary, we should try to be aware and content to be live and that past 10 years have not extinquished us. We have learned something.

  7. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 21st 2016 report

    When you're young, TIME seems to move much slower running with your mind into the future, who had to leave his loved ones and his loving home behind on his travels immigrating overseas where one day he realized after 10 years or more on the road and away from ''home'' that it really feels good to be back and warm his bones by the fire and wonders, being ''back in time'' where did all the time went that he lost from the starting gun he jumped ahead in the future from and with going overseas by and with all the magic spells that kept him there running away from his home and into the future.

  8. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 4th 2015 report

    Home, home again
    I like to be here when I can
    And when I come home cold and tired
    It’s good to warm my bones beside the fire
    Far away across the field
    The tolling of the iron bell
    Calls the faithful to their knees
    To hear the softly spoken magic spells.

    To me this verse is clearly reffering to media. How media controlls everyone via television.

    When most people get home nowadays, they turn on the tv. "Warm my bones beside the fire.."
    Far away the show or whatever, gets broadcasted, the tolling of the iron bell. Calls the faithful to their knees, people that are depending on tv. It's their source of information.
    "Hear the softly spoken magic spell" is reffering to the brainwashing nature of todays television (that is owned by ca 6 huge corporations.

  9. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 29th 2012 report

    I believe Waters explained in an interview that he felt like he was wasting his time with this rock and roll band and not doing what society says he should be doing. His added that his mother wanted him to get a respectable career.

  10. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 18th 2012 report

    Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day - not making use of your time
    This hits very close to home, where not only do I not easily make use of time, but when I want to do something important, other trivial things get in the way.

    And then one day you find ten years have got behind you - Midlife crisis right here

    The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older - More midlife crisis: the realization has passed and now you're trying to make up for what you missed, in vain.

    Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines - We all make plans for important things, then Life leaps up with a big "DENIED" stamp and your dreams are crushed

    It's good to warm my bones beside the fire - Realizing the futility of it all, it's nice to come back home and cope with the nice things you still have and cherish

    The very last stanza is about religion, alluding to the deception of it all.

  11. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 13th 2008 report

    Home, home again
    I like to be here when I can
    And when I come home cold and tired
    It’s good to warm my bones beside the fire
    Far away across the field
    The tolling of the iron bell
    Calls the faithful to their knees
    To hear the softly spoken magic spells.

    Can anyone tell me what that verse really is about? I'm assuming since it's the end of the song that it's possibly about death? Maybe a funeral? I'm a little confused on that

  12. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 15th 2007 report

    The song is describing the phenomenon in which time seems to pass more quickly as one ages often leading to despair in old age over missed oppertunities of the past.

  13. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 30th 2007 report

    To pompey, no he is not high, you just do not posses the analytic capacity to understand but the title of the song, unlike the guy who posted that

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  14. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 20th 2007 report

    yes, that's what is beautiful

  15. pompey
    click a star to vote
    Mar 9th 2007 report


    Are you high?

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  16. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 7th 2007 report

    From what I've gathered listening to the song over and over again, the first line explains the song. "Tickling away, the moments that make up the dull day." It's about all the time we spend at school or at work just wishing the clock would hurry up. Saying "2 more hours and I'm out of here!"
    Then "Ten years has got behind you" and "You're one step closer to death" just completely dumbfounded trying to figure out where the time has gone.

  17. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 22nd 2006 report

    person above me,

    he wasn't in the band since '67
    time was released 5 years after that.

    he was NOT in the band at that time.

  18. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 23rd 2006 report

    To the person above me: Syd Barret was still in the band at the time.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
‹ prev 12

More Pink Floyd song meanings »


Latest Articles


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]

Just Posted

Hayloft II anonymous
Pacify Her anonymous
Bigger Than The Whole Sky anonymous
Enter Sandman anonymous
Life is a Highway anonymous
Record Player anonymous
Dosed anonymous
Hurricane anonymous
Sister Golden Hair anonymous
Sheep anonymous
The Grand Tour anonymous
Far Away anonymous
Bloody Mary anonymous
Mud on the Tires anonymous
River anonymous

Get a weekly email update

(We won't give out your email)

Latest Releases

King Snipe
Gucci Mane
Runs In The Water
Royale Lynn
Ayra Starr
Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53
Lizzy McAlpine