Day 91: The song with the oldest “date added” listing in your iTunes/iPod/mp3 player.

“Time Passages” – Al Stewart

Time PassagesI love how the author of the challenge assumes there’s a single oldest “date added” song in your iTunes. I had a significant collection of MP3s (well over a thousand) long before I converted to iTunes, so when I started importing them, it was not one at a time (drag and drop is a wonderful thing!) and it most certainly was not one per day. The day I decided to bite the bullet and go iTunes, I added 1341 songs.

Even if I break it down by time, iTunes is only as granular as the minute. In the first minute, it imported 49 songs. If I sort by “Date Added,” then “Ah! Leah!” is first, but with my “no repeat” policy, I can’t do that one again. And who knows if it was actually first? The sort algorithm on iTunes can be sketchy. Given that it was 8 years ago (how the hell did that happen?) I have no idea what was actually imported first. So I’m going to use some license, make a decision, and talk about “Time Passages.”

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I remember hearing “Time Passages”—once again courtesy of my brother—shortly after it came out. I would have been about nine. I liked the music even then, and although I memorized the words shortly after, I really had no idea what they meant until years later. Back then, I thought it was about actual time travel (and on some level I guess it is), not realizing it was really about looking back on the moments in your life and being able to “transport” back in time. At nine years old, you’re not thinking in those terms. And even if you were, you only have about three moments to transport back to, anyway.

Given most of the discussions here, maybe I should have named this blog “Time Passages.” (Or possibly “Aimless Ramblings of an Annoying Windbag,” but that doesn’t have the same ring.) But when I was hearing this song for the first dozen or so times, I could never have predicted that I’d be putting the premise of the song into action today.

I should state explicitly that, yes, I do a lot of “remembering” in this blog, and it’s fun to look back, but I don’t long for those days. It’s not Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days” or anything. I don’t want to go back there. I realize that life is a journey, and what happened in the past is what made me what I am today, good or bad. Going back would serve no good purpose. To quote the song “it’s just a game that you play.”

Back when I was first hearing the song, I couldn’t have known that the lyrics were, in part, describing my future outlook, either:

Well I’m not the kind to live in the past
The years run too short and the days too fast
The things you lean on are the things that don’t last
Well it’s just now and then my line gets cast into these
Time passages

A wise(-ass) movie character who took a famous day off once said “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it.” I don’t think there’s anything wrong with looking back once in a while as you’re looking around. I think it helps make sense of it all.

Incidentally, there were a number of other potential candidates in the list of 49 “first minute” songs. Here are some of the highlights (or lowlights depending on how you look at it):

So there you have it. Some musical time passages.