When I was putting together the numerical lists of songs I had, there were a large number with times in the titles. Fortunately for me, cutting it down to ten for a column was easy because a lot of them did not do much for me. And by using a rule of one song per artist, which eliminated a few by Roger Waters, I cut myself down to 13. Should I do a list of 12? That was when I discovered one was a cover version of a song on this list but with the time changed, and another looked like it was a time in the title, but it was actually a reference to a Bible verse with the book missing. I should have known; it wasn't like I hadn't heard the song before. So that meant getting rid of just one song, and thus a list of ten songs was born!
Please note - actual times. Not the word "time".
Like I said, there's a few columns with numbers to come, and so, for now, let's look at songs with times in the titles! In chronological order of year of release.
'Five O'Clock World' by The Vogues (1965)
This song is possibly best-known to people of my generation as one of the theme songs to The Drew Carey Show. But it is actually a great song about leaving work at 5 o'clock and going to live a real-life, particularly with a "long-haired girl who waits". And it is a sentiment that people can relate to to this day. Great track.
'Twelve-Thirty' by The Mamas And The Papas (1967)
Also known as 'Young Girls Are Coming To The Canyon', this song is about a guy stuck in a place where the clock on the steeple is stuck as 12:30, and so that is the time everything seems to happen to him. And he is getting more relaxed and friendlier in this place where he finds himself. Basically, it is about how much nicer Laurel Canyon in California is compared to New York. Simple, really.
'5:10 Man' by Masters Apprentices (1969)
The 5:10 man of the title is a businessman coming home from work who doesn't appreciate the freedom of the kids. Railing against the establishment, as many songs of the time were wont to do. But it's the Masters, and they are one of the best bands to come out of South Australia, and this is a great track.
'25 Or 6 To 4' by Chicago (1970)
The track that burst Chicago onto the scene after changing their name from Chicago Transit Authority. The time relates to the time the writer woke up to pen the song, and it is about struggling to write a song. Very meta, and very, very cool. Chicago were never as good as this again, especially when they hit their power ballad 1980s output. They did re-record this track, but the original is best.
'8:15' by The Guess Who (1970)
He's going to meet some-one at 8:15. That's it. I don't think the lyrics are the most important part of this track, though – it's just an excuse for the musicians to flex their muscles and show off for a bit. This is an album track, yes, I know, so most would not have heard it, but it is worth checking out, as is a lot of this band's work.
The time in the title refers to a train. And the singer is admiring the young girls on the train. Okay, yes, that is dodgy as all out, but the song is still quite a good one. One of the tracks by The Who that has become forgotten as the years go on, but when a band has had so many great songs, this sort of thing happens.
'5:01AM (The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking)' by Roger Waters (1984)
Every track on the album The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking was titled a time of the morning, and it is a great album, but I thought I would stick with the best-known song, one released as a single, and one featuring Eric Clapton on guitar. When he left Pink Floyd, Waters released quite the eclectic collection of albums, and this is one of the better ones. And this song – superb.
'2 Minutes To Midnight' by Iron Maiden (1984)
The time in the title refers to the Doomsday Clock indicating how close the world is to imminent nuclear destruction. I'd say, yes, that is a depressing concept – and the song is filled with war imagery – but it is Iron Maiden, so it's just par for the course, really. And I say it again – best NWOBHM band.
'3 A.M. Eternal' by The KLF (1989)
The KLF were such a bizarre band. They released a track as The Timelords. They burnt a million pounds in cash (no, seriously). They did weird things with Tammy Wynette (musically). But this song was their magnum opus, the track that made people take notice of them, and they kept releasing different versions of it. It is a song where they took everything and simply threw it at the wall… and most of it stuck so they kept it. There is an extended mix that is even more insane sounding, but I think this song is great!
'3AM' by Matchbox 20 (1997)
I like Matchbox 20. I have since I first heard them. And this is one of my favourite of their tracks. Okay, with that out the way – this is a song that sounds up-lifting but… look, I have no idea what the song is trying to say. Does he go to the girl when she calls him at 3AM? Does she kick him out at 3AM? Are they even in a relationship? Look, I'll just accept it is a song I like and leave it there…
And there you have it – songs with times in the title! Simple concept and some great music here. It is amazing the sort of songs you can find when you go looking. And I hope you enjoyed this collection!