Our 10 Favorite Songs About Time: A Playlist
Get ready for summer with a mixtape of our favorite musical reflections on the meaning of time.
Who doesn’t have memories of hanging outside on a sultry night – lying on the roof or in the grass –looking up at the stars, listening to your favorite songs?
When you are young, summer seems endless. Get a little older, and the season passes too quickly. We find that turning on some music and looking at pictures of nice watches helps stop time, if only for a few hours. Hopefully, this playlist of time-related music (paired with actual timepieces) will aid in meditation on the meaning of hours and minutes this summer.
“Just a Wristwatch on My Arm” by Lightnin' Hopkins
“I got no money, just an old wristwatch on my arm,” sings the Texas bluesman Samuel John “Lightnin'” Hopkins. These lyrics are relatable to any watch enthusiasts who spent more than they could really afford on a timepiece.
The song is also about watching the clock while waiting for a lover to come home. As Hopkins’ heyday was in the 1950s and ‘60s, we think a heritage-inspired piece like the recently released Longines Silver Arrow would have looked great on this guitar legend’s wrist.
“Sundial” by Wolfmother
This track from hard rockers Wolfmother takes the position that if you slow down and live in the moment, you will discover that everyday things can be extraordinary.
But we’re going to take the title literally and recommend wearing this stainless steel sundial pendant from NOMOS Glashütte while you are banging your head.
“Time Has Come Today” by Chambers Brothers
With its tick-tock drum beat and lyrics straight out of a rhyming dictionary, this 1960s song serves up both nostalgia and a still meaningful call to action.
Now close your eyes, and picture yourself driving across the country with a Seiko Prospex “Captain Willard” SPB151 or SPB153 reissue strapped to your wrist.
“10:15 Saturday Night” by The Cure
Some songs tackle the expansiveness of time. Others pinpoint a specific moment. In this post-punk track by The Cure, the music evokes the memory of being at home listening to the tap drip while everyone else is having fun. If you’re feeling as gloomy as goth godfather Robert Smith, you can cheer yourself up with the Louis Vuitton Tambour Carpe Diem Minute Repeater.
This haute horology masterpiece features a high relief sculpture of a skull on the dial, with a snake whose tail operates as a retrograde seconds indication. And when you activate the minute repeater, the serpent's tail moves forward to point to the minutes past the hour.
“One More Time” by Daft Punk
We were sad to hear that Daft Punk was breaking up. This banger by the electronic duo made us feel that the future held the promise of good times ahead. It still does.
Likewise, Urwerk watches suggest a new way of looking at the time. The 25-piece, limited edition Urwerk UR-100V Blue Planet also recalls Daft Punk’s motorcycle helmeted costumery.
“3 A.M. Eternal” by The KLF
Another time-stamped song, this 1991 song by techno pranksters The KLF still holds up today, proving its central thesis that time is eternal. This track deserves an equally timeless watch: the Accutron 261 Legacy a.k.a. the TV Watch.
The KLF began as an art and recording project, and much of their music was a comment on pop culture. The Accutron 261 Legacy also reflects cultural consumption. The space-age look of this Accutron collection was inspired by the cushion-shaped silhouette of TVs from the 1960s – a time when the world of art was led by movements such as pop art, conceptual art, and minimalism.
“Time (Clock of the Heart)” by Culture Club
Many songs from the ’80s are making a comeback today. So too is the post-modern design aesthetic of that era. This Tissot Heritage Memphis uses these playful design codes, such as a center seconds indicator that does away with a hand in favor of a small disc marked with a dot.
The caseback is engraved with a pattern of random geometric shapes, reminiscent of the backgrounds of all Memphis décor. This pattern is repeated on the interior faces of the rubber straps. And you can groove to this tune wearing not one, not two, but as many Heritage Memphis watches as you want.
“Watch” by Travis Scott feat. Kanye West and Lil Uzi Vert
Some songs are ruminations on the meaning of time, life and everything. But Travis Scott’s “Watch” is simply a celebration of timepieces. We can get behind that.
The chorus features Travis and Uzi rhyming about their Rolexes while Travis also contributes this lyric: “No small faces, it’s just an AP beamin’." So, we are will pair this track with the most talked-about recent release from Audemars Piguet – the Royal Oak Concept "Black Panther" Flying Tourbillon.
“Mr. Nice Watch” by J. Cole feat. Jay Z
“They say time is money, but really it’s not,” rhymes J. Cole in this rumination on what luxury – and expensive timepieces in particular – represents. It also has a great Jay-Z line, "I got a Hublot, call it Tebow/I strap that…with a gator band," which is the only song lyric that we’ve found that is about watch accessories.
Hublot is well known for its innovative materials, so we’re going to pair this track with the Big Bang Unico Yellow Magic because that vibrant rubber bracelet is bananas.
“Time” by Pink Floyd
This classic Pink Floyd song might be the reference point for songs about time. It is a reflection on humankind’s ability to waste time. And then, when it's too late, wishing we had more of it. It starts with the hypnotic sounds of a ticking watch, which puts us in mind of a swinging pocket watch – such as the Hermès Arceau Pocket Aaaaargh! – slowly lulling us into a trance.
This three-of-a-kind white gold pocket watch combines a detailed image of a T-Rex (for those who consider Pink Floyd dinosaurs) with such intricate complications as a minute repeater and a tourbillon. It’s easy to get lost in both the song and the timepiece.
Listen To Watchonista’s Songs About Time Playlist
(Photography by Watchonista)