Barbara has spent over forty years writing poems, lyrics, and sayings for cards, and interpreting the meanings and messages in song.
Here are 6 country songs that speak about time marching on from the perspective of reflection, love, advice, and guidance. When we're young, it can be hard to listen to mom and dad, but often times, the stories and lessons they were trying to express to us were right.
These choice six songs each deliver a distinctive message. From messages of life passing by, to staying hopeful that it all works out, to reflecting upon the love you shared, these songs cover all of it.
Find the song the works best for your life.
6 Popular Songs about Time Passing By
- "Don't Blink" by Kenny Chesney
- "Letter to Me" by Brad Paisley
- "26 Cents" by The Wilkinsons
- "Through the Years" by Kenny Chesney
- "100 Years" by Five for Fighting - Not Country, but great life message
- "The Living Years" by Mike and The Mechanics - Not Country, but a beautiful story about the power of time.
1. "Don't Blink" by Kenny Chesney
Don't Blink by Kenny Chesney - The Most Powerful Song about Time Passing By
Album: Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates
Don't Blink became Kenny Chesney's 13th number one single on the Billboard Hot Country Charts. The song was released in September 2007 as the second single on the album, Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates.
The beauty of this song is the poignant way it tells the story of time, how one day we're little and the next day, we're 30, 50, or older. It delivers a powerful message for those of us who are older.
If you're looking for a song about time passing by, Don't Blink poetically describes our life's journey. The lyrics talk about how time marches on from six years old to 100.
This song is a wonderful choice to use if you're creating a family video for a significant anniversary.
Just like that you're six years old and you take a nap and you
Wake up and you're twenty-five and your high school sweetheart becomes your wife
You just might miss your babies growing like mine did
Turning into moms and dads next thing you know your "better half"
Of fifty years is there in bed
And you're praying God takes you instead
Trust me friend a hundred years goes faster than you think
So don't blink
2. "Letter to Me" by Brad Paisley
Album: 5th Gear
Letter to me was released in October 2007 as the third single on his album 5th Gear.
The song hit quick popularity and stayed at number 1 for four weeks in February 2008. He was inspired to write the song by his wife Kimberly-Williams Paisley who in 2007 was asked to write a letter for a book entitled, If I'd Known Then: Women in Their 20's and 30's Write Letters to Their Younger Selves.
Apparently once Brad Paisley sat down to write the lyrics to this song, it took him about a week.
This song measures time through a Letter from a man's older self, assuring his younger self that these are nowhere near the best years of his life.
The song is hopeful. Although the messages in the song are profound, the song itself is light and fun. For those younger, the song puts life in perspective and gives a measure of reassurance that things will work out despite the current problems being experienced in your youth.
Older and wiser you reminds yourself in the song that each time you have a fight with dad, just assume you're wrong and dad is right; something we usually only realize in our later years. When we're young, we believe we know it all, yet as we grow older, we learn that was never the case. The cycle repeats as we see our children do and think how we did.
And oh, you got so much going for you
But I know at seventeen
It's hard to see past Friday night
She wasn't right for you
But still you feel like there's
A knife sticking out of your back
And you wondering if you'll survive
But you'll make it through this and you'll see
You're still around to write this letter to me
3. "26 Cents" by The Wilkinsons
Album: Nothing But Love
The Wilkinsons are a Canadian Country Music Group. 26 Cents was written by Steve Wilkinson and William Wallace (no, not that William Wallace, lol).
The song was released in June of 1998 and was the first single on their album 'Nothing but Love'. It made it to number 1 on the RPM Country Tracks and also found fame in the USA reaching number 3 on the U.S. Hot Country Billboard Chart.
Released in June 1998, this song won't be forgotten.
This song will resonate with those who are leaving home to start their life without mom and dad. The song gets you feeling how hard it is for this 18 year old girl to leave home.
A symbolic 26 cents is given to her daughter, 25 cents for the call and a penny for her thoughts and all of her mother's love.
Time continues to march on, and 'it's been years since her momma's gone'. She holds that coin with beautiful memories of her mother's love. It becomes the constant symbol of reassurance that her mother would give anything to be there for her if she needed a soft place to land.
When you get lonely, call me
Anytime at all and I'll be there with you, always
Anywhere at all
There's nothing I've got that I wouldn't give
And money is never enough
Here's a penny for your thoughts
A quarter for the call
And all of your momma's love
4. "Through the Years" by Kenny Rogers
Album: Share Your Love
Through the years has stood the test of time. It was released as the fourth single on Kenny Roger's album 'Share Your Love' in January of 1982. It remained in the top 40 for 11 weeks and also reached number 1 on the Adult Contemporary Chart. It also reached number 5 on the US Billboard Hot Country Singles.
The ideal choice for a milestone wedding anniversary.
Through the years, tells the story of a couple who've managed to stay together through thick and thin.
It's no wonder the song has remained a top choice for decades, it encapsulates a relationship that has seen its share of obstacles, but still managed to stay together. Of course, not all relationships can stay together, but those who were able to enjoy 50 years or more as a team are honored in this timeless song.
I can't remember when you weren't there
When I didn't care for anyone but you
I swear we've been through everything there is
Can't imagine anything we've missed
Can't imagine anything the two of us can't do
5. "100 Years" by Five for Fighting
Album: The Battle of Everything
100 Years is a sentimental song. It takes you on a journey from five years old to 100 and during that journey you feel just how short that trip really is.
Life passes by so quickly and the age intervals that 100 Years reflects upon lets us see through the lyrics in one song, how important it is to live a life of meaning and purpose. Although the song itself doesn't discuss meaning and purpose, the songs words brings the thought to the forefront.
Note this song isn't officially a country song, however it had to be included purely for it's story telling message.
I'm 33 for a moment
I'm still the man, but you see I'm a "they"
A kid on the way, babe
A family on my mind
6. "The Living Years" by Mike & The Mechanics
Album: Living Years
This song delivers a powerful message between parent and child; more specifically, father and son. It describes going through life talking through each other instead of to each other.
It describes a lifetime of unresolved lack of communication and how it's too late when we die to make amends.
The song falls into the Adult-Contemporary category, however with Country Music expanding it's genre reach, Living Years could easily be made in a country music version.
Say it loud (say it loud), say it clear (oh say it clear)
You can listen as well as you hear
It's too late (it's too late) when we die (oh when we die)
To admit we don't see eye to eye
© 2014 Barbara Tremblay Cipak
Do You Have a Favorite Song that Speaks about Time Passing By?
Barbara Tremblay Cipak (author) from Toronto, Canada on April 09, 2018:
thank you Cynthia, appreciate you as well. You're one of those constants in my life
Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on April 07, 2018:
What a wonderful way to start the day! I love these songs. I'll be leaving this article open for a while this morning to entertain me while I work online. Time does pass too quickly but I think God that I am blessed with my friends, family and my sweetheart to walk with me through this life. I count you as one of those wonderful blessings too Barbara!
Elsie Hagley from New Zealand on December 14, 2014:
Very interesting article, time is passing, far too quickly for me, if only I could turn the clock back and relive my last 50 years again, with my family, my oldest son just turned fifty last week, many memories.
Barbara Tremblay Cipak (author) from Toronto, Canada on September 17, 2014:
@DealForALiving, you are so right, it's marching on no matter what we do, looks like we have very little say in the matter of 'time' :)
Barbara Tremblay Cipak (author) from Toronto, Canada on September 17, 2014:
@bravewarrior, that is quite a memory for you, powerful, sad and moving in how you learned so much from it - and I'll bet my younger self and your younger self wouldn't even listen to our own older selves! I think you said it well when you said: 'we try to spare our children (goodness knows I'm doing that now), but as you say, they have to learn for themselves and go through their lessons. I recall some hurtful things I did to my parents in the past, and I wish I could change them too. Thanks for such a thoughtful comment, it may help others.
Sam Deal from Earth on September 17, 2014:
I don't know why, but seeing the title of this made me really want to see these songs and have a listen. Time is just rolling on by.
Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 17, 2014:
Barb, these songs are so inspirational. I love Don't Blink. I have to admit, I've really come to appreciate country music much more since I met you.
I left home when I was 18 and the day before I graduated from high school. I was quite the rebel and couldn't wait to get out of the house. What my selfish self didn't realize that my graduation day was also my mother's birthday. She was devastated when I left home. I kept looking for my parents at the ceremony and they never showed. They never saw their daughter graduate with honors in the top 10% of her class (out of 300 students). I later learned my mother was on the verge of a nervous breakdown after I left home. I hate that I hurt her so much. Oh, the letter I could write to my young self!
It's funny how no matter what year it is, children rebel against what their parents try to teach them, only to learn later in life that they were right. And the next generation does the same thing. We try to spare our children, but I guess just as we did, they have to learn for themselves. The best we can do as parents is build a strong foundation. They'll embrace what we've taught them when the time is right.
I love this series, Barb. Music is a wonderful bridge to the obstacles we put before us.
Barbara Tremblay Cipak (author) from Toronto, Canada on September 16, 2014:
@ecogranny, you know there is a country song in that story and it would be a hit! I completely empathize with you on this. This has happened to so many of us in our life, when we just didn't trust ourselves and our instincts enough to act upon them, and worse, let someone explain to us why we shouldn't or why we're wrong - You're not alone on this one, I have a few to tell just like this myself too. I can understand the regret of not working side by side with dad on this project too. With age comes wisdom - would be nice to have the mind and direction we have now in life, in that young 20 something body we had too! - Thanks for such an insightful and very thoughtful comment.
Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on September 16, 2014:
When I was 19, I worked for a bank. An adorable little cottage I had loved for years had a for sale sign on it and I told my boss I'd like to buy the cottage, fix it up with my dad, who knew a thing or two about fixing up a house, let me tell you. I planned to live in it for awhile, then sell it for something bigger.
Mind you, back in the Sixties, I'd never heard of real estate speculation or "turning" a property. I dreamed about that house for months.
My boss talked me out of buying it, despite the fact I could have afforded it on my tiny secretarial salary. I've regretted that every time I thought about it since, and today is no different. I was onto something and didn't even know it.
So yeah, I would tell my young self, "Trust your instincts!" "Go for it!" "You know better than anyone what is right for you."
The thing I regret most about listening to my boss back then is not the money we would have made buying properties, fixing them up and selling them, because I know we would have gone on to more. What I miss more is the time I would have spent with my dad.
He taught me how to use a saw and how to drive a nail. I could have learned so much more from him. We would have worked side by side, enjoyed those after-hours cups of hot steaming coffee from the thermos.
Oh dear, I'm beginning to sound a little like a country song myself.
Thanks for these. Good choices, all.
Drake McSherry from Milwaukee, WI on March 09, 2014:
What a brilliant review! I really enjoy those reflective songs especially- "Don't Blink" and "Letter to Me". "The Living Years" always gets me too. Never heard "26 cents", thank you for introducing me to that song. The wall decal about life is like a camera is spot on.
Barbara Tremblay Cipak (author) from Toronto, Canada on March 09, 2014:
@Merrci: so true, everything you said - funny, I've been thinking about a lot of what you talked about here lately (a lot) - you're right about ...makes us wonder what we're chasing in this life
Merry Citarella from Oregon's Southern Coast on March 09, 2014:
This is a wonderful lens Barbara. I just wish you'd broken it in one for each. Just listening to Don't Blink made me drop here to comment and I haven't finished reading the lens. Kenny did a touching job on that song. Just watching it makes me think of how much time we spend striving--for who knows what--when so many of the best moments slide away. It makes me wish for a time of less materialism, (which requires much effort to maintain). If we spent more of that time on treasuring love--for spouse, children, family, friends--our lives would be filled up with what matters. Sigh...sorry to go on and on. Did I say this was a great lens?
Barbara Tremblay Cipak (author) from Toronto, Canada on March 08, 2014:
@Nancy Hardin: I'll have to listen to that one as well
Nancy Carol Brown Hardin from Las Vegas, NV on March 08, 2014:
Excellent thoughts on this type of country song...Beautifully done!
Nancy Carol Brown Hardin from Las Vegas, NV on March 08, 2014:
Ain't It Funny How Time Slips Away, written and performed by Willie Nelson, and covered by other artists.