Song of the Week
“Where’d All the Time Go?” by Dr. Dog is a nostalgic melody that urges us to live in the moment and cherish all the wonderful things life has to offer. I chose this song for song of the week because I truly believe there’s no other song that expresses it’s meaning better and song explanation online is minimal. We spend so much time worrying about the past or the future. Let’s see what Dr. Dog has to say about it!
The song starts with an almost unintelligible echo whispering, “Above the clouds were cliffs / Love moves through me / And into the abyss.” The psychedelic sound clouding out these words has a mind of it’s own as you can almost see its lucid movement. Floating above the clouds symbolizes existing in your daydreams. If there are cliffs above the clouds then your dreaming about living on the edge. The breathless feeling experienced when seeing something so vast and beautiful brings you intensely into the moment. Dr.Dog expresses that the present is all about giving the love you have to the world around you. He let’s all this love he has pass through him and infect the world around him.
The first verse captures time in a bottle with it’s lyrics that bring anyone into remembrance. “Where’d all the time go? / It’s starting to fly / See how the hands go / Waving goodbye / And you know I get so forgetful / When I look in your eyes”. One of the ambiguous parts about growing older is noticing time goes by faster and faster. Any memory can feel like it was yesterday. Youth tricks you into thinking people will be in your life forever and realizing the opposite is a startling thought. Dr.Dog reminds us that truly existing in the moment is how you honor the past you wish to be apart of. Tomorrow you could be thinking the same about today. He takes us to that breathless cliff by giving the example of how time stands still when you look into the eyes of someone you love. Life is short and if you spend everyday thinking about a year before then your going to miss everything!
In the second verse, a female character that Dr.Dog cares about deeply is introduced. “Now she’s walking backwards / Through a parade / And I’m stuck in the shadow / Blocking the shade / And there ain’t no way to sweep up / The mess that we’ve made”. This girl always finds a way to make her life harder than it has to be. Sometimes, we have to let go. People have the ability and tendency to build up every problem into huge undefeatable challenges when in reality we’re stronger and more capable than we think. The shadow symbolizes his own personal anxieties. He may be stuck in the shadow but this rut he’s in has him blocking the relief of the shade. These fears make him powerless to help her despite desperately wanting to. Leading by example, he let’s go of his anxiety about the past and future. When he looks into her eyes he’s never seen everything so clearly and for a simple blessed minute has no doubts or regrets. He wrote this song as a way to teach her all the lessons he’s learned and share this moment of clarity she gave him.
The thunderous chorus begins with a flowering guitar thumping along to his preaching melody. “She gets dressed up like a pillow so she’s always in bed / Flowers for the sick and dead / She’s on the go, way too fast and way too slow”. How do you help someone see our timeless reality? She moves fast through life, never stopping for a breath but slow through her appreciation of all life has to offer. All the stress from constant motion makes her burn out quickly. An intense racing mind has her retire to bed for backbreaking rest whenever she can. Even in bed, her mind doesn’t stop.
You can’t see the world through a window.
Flowers for the sick and dead is a blunt yet ambiguous statement. I think Dr.Dog is asking, Why do we give flowers to the sick and dead? Obviously, we want to show our love and appreciation to those who need it most but we should be doing this all the time. We go through our lives forgetting the people we love and see everyday. We need to show appreciation for people before they are sick and gone. He urges us to go and tell someone we care about that we love and appreciate them because time goes by in the blink of an eye. When life moves to fast, don’t move slow on the actions that really matter.
Letting your love flow through you is key to having a life overflowing with joy. Why are we fighting the flow of the parade? Why are we putting our own happiness on the backburner to keep up with the racing speed of work? “She’ll turn to stone at hospitals and funeral homes / And when the fog rises / Somebody sighs who is not in disguise anymore”. When the fog rises, the illusion of having all the time in the world is gone. Nobody takes the time to say what they want to say, until they realize they won’t have another chance. The hardship of losing loved ones turns even the brightest hearts to stone. These times force the fog to rise. A sigh of a 1000 years work comes out in a moment of impeding tranquility. That person you forgot to appreciate is out of time and you can finally see them and yourself in the absence of all the elegant props of societies resistance. Let’s let go of resisting this path and let the fog rise from behind our eyes.
Dr.Dog takes a heartwarming turn in verse three with his beaming lyrics. “There’s nothing to keep you / From falling in love / It starts at the bottom / And comes from above / Like pieces of a puzzle / Like a hand in a glove”. Human nature makes us overthink and over complicate EVERYTHING. Loving is easy if we want it to be . If we can open ourselves up, nothing is more satisfying then that absolute connection you feel with your partner. When we grumpily stomp around about the bad days it rubs off on the people around us. The people around us will give the negativity right back in this endless cycle. Just take a breath and look into their eyes for a second. Feel the fear of the future and anxiety about the past drip away and let your love for eachother make you feel full. Why not ask them out? What’s so important that we’re risking that compares to this ultimate happiness? Dr.Dog reminds us that love can be simple if we want it to be. We just have to get out of our own way.
The outro leaves us with a final warning that the ones we love will not always be there. “And when the tide rises / Somebody sinks and is gone in the blink of an eye”. Tell your family and friends you love them now so that when they are sick and gone they’ll have known and felt loved the entire time. Even if you have 50 years left to live don’t you want to look back and know you lived and loved every single one of them?