Pink Floyd’s “Time” versus Shakespeare’s “Time”

After discussing the complexity of Shakespeare’s sonnets last class, I felt a song with additional time metaphors was certainly what this blog needed.

Here are the song’s lyrics:

Pink Floyd– Time

Ticking away the moments
That make up a dull day
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
Staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long
And there is time to kill today

(The above lyrics are strikingly similarly to the time metaphors and message in Shakespeare’s early sonnets. While Shakespeare is encouraging reproduction to fight the time, the speaker here is just telling someone to seize the moment while you are young)

And then the one day you find
Ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun


And you run and you run
To catch up with the sun
But it’s sinking

Racing around
To come up behind you again

The sun is the same
In a relative way
But you’re older

Shorter of breath
And one day closer to death   (A metaphor for the passing time)

Every year is getting shorter
Never seem to find the time

Plans that either come to naught      (Here the speaker is identifying that time has 
Or half a page of scribbled lines           passed too quickly for them to complete                                                                           intended plans)

Hanging on in quiet desperation
Is the English way

The time is gone
The song is over
Thought I’d something more to say

(Above, the speaker thought that by now his life would have amounted to more. Again, time has gone by too quickly)

Home again
I like to be here
When I can

When I come home
Cold and tired
It’s good to warm my bones
Beside the fire

Far away
Across the field
Tolling on the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spell…

Shakespeare’s sonnet twelve is below. No one can touch the mastery of Shakespeare’s metaphors and use of language to get across a point. It takes Pink Floyd, one of the most notable bands of time, to hold a flame to Shakespeare’s work. (Even then, its a flickering flame.)

Sonnet 12

When I do count the clock that tells the time,  (sound of the striking clock)
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;  (Sun going down)
When I behold the violet past prime,                 (flower dieing)
And sable curls all silver’d o’er with white;       (brown hair turning grey)
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves             (leaves falling from trees/ changing seasons)
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,
And summer’s green all girded up in sheaves
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard,
Then of thy beauty do I question make,
That thou among the wastes of time must go,
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake
And die as fast as they see others grow;
And nothing ‘gainst Time’s scythe can make defence
Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.

In parenthesis above, I made a note of how Shakespeare uses metaphors to relate to the time going by. He’s a genius.

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