Artist – Jim Croce
Album – You Don’t Mess Around With Jim
Year – 1972
Genre – Folk/Folk Rock
Thanks to its great deal of recognition in modern pop culture films, such as The Hangover 2 and X-Men Days of Future Past, Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle” is a beautiful love song that won’t be lost to time. Reflecting on how we wish we could spend forever with our loved ones is such a commonality in love, and Jim Croce, one of the greatest “common man” songwriters of his time, so wonderfully encapsulates that in this song.
The whole song showcases Croce’s melodic and melancholic fingerpicked guitar, which keeps makes the song flow perfectly from one section to the next and gives it an ethereal quality. Croce’s own voice is the sole other instrument showcased in the song, but make no mistake, it is an instrument of pure emotion. Right from the first word of the first verse to the last word of the final chorus, Croce is pouring his entire soul into every incredible line. It’s understandable too, considering he wrote the song for his unborn son, who unfortunately who grow up without a father. Knowing this, the song becomes even more chillingly beautiful.
There’s a wonderful guitar tone that mimics a chiming bell that appears throughout the second half of the song. Believe me, this adds so much to the song, and adds just that little bit of whimsy and brightness that keeps the song from being dragged down into too much sadness, musically speaking. Lyrically speaking, this song just is…wow. I can really see now what a great treasure we lost when Croce died in 1973. The whole song is just a pure outpouring of love and affection for anyone special that we hope to never lose and who we wish we could spend forever with. Every line is amazing, and it’s really a song that begs to be personally reflected upon and cherished, but there are parts that just have to be called out:
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go through time with
I love this line. The fact that he chooses the phrase “go through time with” just adds that sense of true devotion and commitment to the song. It really shows deep and true love.
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
This is the third verse, and…it’s just breathtaking. So long in life we pine for love, and how joyful we must feel to have all our dreams and wishes answered by that one (im)perfect person. That sense of seeing the world through the eyes of love and that moment of true bliss…all crystallized in this final verse. No wonder this song is so adored and so special to many.
“Time in a Bottle” may be on the big screens for all to hear, but it’s a song that really needs to be pondered by the single human heart to be fully appreciated. I can guarantee if this song is on your playlist or Ipod, you won’t look at love songs the same way again. It’s that powerful. It’s a shame Croce didn’t live long enough to write more beautiful songs, but at least we’ll always have this one.
Thanks for reading/listening, everyone! If you leave a like, comment, follow me, or share this post, I’ll give you a hug. Seriously. I mean it. Hugs for everyone!