I remember sitting in my mom’s living room, with headphones on, listening to Jim Croce’s album, “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim.” The title song, about a bar fight, was a hit. But another hit on the album was, “Time In A Bottle.”
The original key signature, for Time In A Bottle, was D minor.
I don’t have airtight confirmation on that. But most sources seem to agree it was D minor. The main point is, it’s a minor key. And when you want a song to sound melancholy, mournful, or even downright morbid, you can’t go wrong with the minor keys.
Mr. Croce wrote the lyrics to Time In A Bottle after finding out his wife was pregnant. And when you listen to the words (or read them below), you hear, see, AND feel the sad understanding of how even the best times don’t last.
Notice how each of the verses start with “if.” And when you hear them sung, in that sad minor key, you can feel the “if only” longing. The desire to hold on to the moment and never let it go.
Sadly, Jim Croce found out, all too violently, how quickly this life can pass. He died in a plane crash on the way to a concert on September 20th 1973. He was only 30. And just about three months later, on this day (December 29), this song went to Number 1.
Time In A Bottle
If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I’d like to do
Is to save every day ’til eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you
If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I’d save every day like a treasure, and then
Again, I would spend them with you
But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go through time with
If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory of how they were answered by you.
Be sure you take time to enjoy and appreciate God’s gift of life today.
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