Andy's Anachronisms Time Travel Songs

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)
Green Day

From the album NIMROD © 1997

In case I accidentaly offend any fans let me say that this is only an interpretation of the song and not necessarily what the artist or anyone else, besides myself thinks the song means.

Despite the fact that Seinfeld forever tainted this song for me, by using it in the final episode, it remains one of my favourite songs about time.

Every line of this song has something significant to say about time and how it impacts on our every day lives.

"Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road"

This first line reminds us that life is made up of a lot of turning points and decisions. Some big and many small ones.

"Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go"

While many of the turning points in our life hinge on decisions we are free to make, time (or lack of it) often forces us to make a decision. Remember its all about being in the right/wrong place at the right/wrong time.

"So make the best of this test and don't ask why
It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time"

In other words don't waste time speculating on "What Ifs..." in your life. We shouldn't have regrets about what might have been, rather consider it a lesson learned and move on.

"It's something unpredictable, but in the end its right
I hope you had the time of your life."

Life is unpredictable and some of the place we end up on during our journey may seem incredible, but it all has purpose. Unless you believe in time travel, then this is the only shot we have at this very moment in time so make the most of it.

"So take the photographs, and still frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf of good health and good time."

Our memories are important forms of time travel to our own past. Whether they be actual photographs or mental images we possess.

"Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial"

Questioning our memories/decisions and holding our former selves (i.e. dead skin) responsible for past decisions.

"For what it was worth, it was worth all the while"

Good times and bad times all contribute to who we are, and we are where we are today as a result. It was worth the time to get us where we are today. "For what it is worth", is a phrase often used to downplay an action or event. We sometimes think only the big events/decisions in our life have had an impact on who we are, but its often the small events that most shape our personalities.

"I hope you had the time of your life"

I particularly enjoy this line, since I think it can be taken several ways. Taken at face value it could literally be wishing us a happy life. Hoping we have a good time. Taken more sarcastically I feel the line could be saying "Tough luck if you didn't have the time of your life, because it was in your power to make the most of it."

Regardless, of how you interpret this song, I think its a great anthem about the nature of time.

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Review Modified: 2003-08-29