Precious Time is Slipping Away

Precious time is slipping away
But you're only king for a day
It doesn't matter to which God you pray
Precious time is slipping away

It doesn't matter what route you take
Sooner or later the heart’s going to break
No rhyme or reason, no master plan
No Nirvana, no promised land

Because, precious time is slipping away
You know you're only king for a day
It doesn't matter to which God you pray
Precious time is slipping away

Say que sera, whatever will be
But then I keep on searching for immortality
She's so beautiful but she’s going to die some day
Everything in life just passes away

But, precious time is slipping away
You know she's only queen for a day
It doesn't matter to which God you pray
Precious time is slipping away
Well this world is cruel with its twists and turns
Well the fire's still in me and the passion burns
I love a medley ‘til the day I die
'Til hell freezes over and the rivers run dry

etc.

Van Morrison from Back on Top

Since I often wasn’t quite up to reading in the hospital, but I was unable to sleep more than an hour at a time, I spent considerable time listening to CD’s. My first request for CD’s was for Van Morrison CD’s because he usually seems upbeat and often times insightful in his songs.

Somehow the lyrics of “Precious Time,” although it’s never stood out before, seemed particularly appropriate to my situation. My surgery, if it has done nothing, has certainly made me realize just how precious time is.

The line “this world is cruel with its twists and turns” describes exactly how I felt when my tumor seemed to come out of nowhere to ambush me precisely when I was in as good of shape as I’ve been for year. I’d given up smoking years ago and have mostly eaten “health foods” for years and years.

I also liked the verse:

It doesn't matter what route you take
Sooner or later the heart’s going to break
No rhyme or reason, no master plan
No Nirvana, no promised land

Life, at best, seems unpredictable. True happiness, if it is indeed attainable, is, at best, temporary. It is simply impossible to live your life by a master plan; life is what happens while you’re planning for the future.

As much as the lyrics attracted me, though, it was the contrast between the lyrics and the music that most appealed to me. Although the lyrics are generally sad, there’s a driving horn section suggesting Texas blues and the melody itself is uniquely Van Morrison, containing folk, Celtic and blues elements. It’s hard to be sad when there’s such a driving force behind the lyrics.

The song’s suggestion that although life is short and that pain and failure are an unavoidable part of it we must still celebrate the moment seems like one of the only ways of dealing with life’s tragedies.

We can only transcend these moments by embracing them as part of life.

What do you think?