Turning Back the Clock

Turning back the Clock

This week’s topic, suggested by Cathy, is “Turning Back the Clock.” I did think about treating you all to another treatise on Marcel Proust’s Modernist masterpiece, In Search of Lost Time, as the theme of trying to recapture lost time, famously achieved with the help of a madeleine cake and some lime flower tea (and less famously, with a “little phrase” of music and standing on some uneven paving) has obvious relevance. But I decided against that. The theme is obviously central to Proust but though it provides the spine, so to speak , of the multi-volume work, there is so much else there that tends to be obscured by references to his cake-time continuum.

But mostly because we have not done music for a long time. What? What do you mean “last week”? That was… well, yes, I suppose it was a song but it was from a film.  

And it was in Japanese so it doesn’t count,

Anyway, we haven’t had a proper music topic for a long time and the blog format, if I can get it to work, should lend itself to hosting songs.

So first up is one about turning back time by Johnny Hates Jazz. To be honest, it’s not a favourite but I include it because of its total relevance.

Van Morrison might be a bit controversial given that he has been ranting and singing anti-lockdown stuff recently. But, hey! Anyone who has been looking to Van to be a sensible role model as opposed to a brilliant musician simply hasn’t been paying attention for the last half century or so.  Got to Go Back  is from the brilliant 1986 album, No Guru, No Method, No Preacher.  Morrison muses about his childhood in Belfast while seeming to be returning geographically (from the US?) as well as yearning to go back in time. And perhaps looking to go back to a spiritual home too.

I can’t claim to be a Cher fan but I do love Cyndi Lauper and here she helps Cher out with , If I Could Turn Back Time

The next one is not really about turning back time but repetitive time. My excuse for including it is a)

Cyndi Lauper is brilliant and there wasn’t enough of her in the last video

and b) though you probably know the song you may not have heard Miles Davis’s version of it. And, really, everybody needs to hear the Miles Davis version.

Especially, Johnny Hates Jazz!

Hope you enjoyed the musical interlude. And if you want, as well as writing how about sharing your own favourite time/turning back the clock songs?   You can post your own links, email them to me, or just let me know your choices and I will see if I can find them.


18 thoughts on “Turning Back the Clock

  1. 24.10.20
    Turning Back the Clock

    Firstly, I wanted to say a big thank you to Spencer for his excellent musical themed blog (and to Cathy for thinking of this week’s theme). I too am a big fan of both Cyndi Lauper and Miles Davis and not previously heard Miles rendition of Time after Time so special thanks for introducing me to that! I had managed to obliterate Johnny Hates Jazz from my musical memory banks but couldn’t resist a listen.

    I have enjoyed spending some of my time off work this week going on a deliberate nostalgia trip looking through old photos as it was my Mum’s 80th birthday this week and one of my dear friends from University days will be turning 50 next month. So I have been digging through my non-digital photo archives to create a ‘This is Your Life’ type montage for our forthcoming ZOOM party.

    Here are a couple of treasured finds from my foraging;

    First picture-Rasool in a tree somewhere in Sherwood Forest circa 1993

    Second picture-somewhere on holiday with my Mum circa 1996 (possibly Hawes?)

    Third picture-me and my recently ordained Dad circa 1991

    I wouldn’t wish to turn back time and generally enjoy being rooted in the here and now. However, as I get older I am beginning to understand that time is not linear or consistent and seems to speed up as you get older so I do try to utilise my time more wisely.

    However, I do miss the seemingly endless summers from my youth especially the summer holidays which seemed to span on forever. Is it me or was it always sunny during the summers of the seventies?!! It is the only decade where I feel that my skin was the colour matched my genealogy. I loved the creativity that was born from boredom and lack of funds to ‘buy’ entertainment! We would disappear for hours on adventures with our friends with the only demand to be home in time for tea. Gosh, writing that makes me feel old but I am grateful that my parents taught me to get by without needing a lot of ‘material stuff’ to be happy.

    One of my favourite time themed memories was of my daughter (then considerably younger) berating me and her Dad for not inviting her to our Wedding. At the age and stage she was at she simply could not perceive that there was a time before she existed!

    I was initially struggling to think of any time themed musical tracks other than ‘Timewarp’ from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, although a classic in its own right;

    I then remembered stumbling across ‘Times Like These-Radio 1 Live Lounge Allstars’ recently;

    And then I recalled that Mr Macinnes, of the Iain variety, had also introduced me during lockdown to the amazingly talented (and in my opinion very underrated) Nick Drake so would like to nominate ‘Time has Told Me’ by Nick Drake as my ultimate time themed choice;

    Author: Rebecca Mahony

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks Cathy for choosing this topic and thanks too, Spencer, for your contribution and song choices. Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time always triggers a big emotional response in me and reminds me of my first year in the Nicolson Institute. As I came from the GREAT Great Bernera, it was quite a trek back in them days to get from there to Stornoway, so my parents, in their wisdom – and probably to get some peace and quiet – decided to send my twin brother Donald and me to the MacRae Hostel, which was situated where the big Co-op is now. I still weep going to the big Co-op in the knowledge that the MacRae Hostel was knocked down for business purposes!! I consider my hostel days as the most memorable time of my youth and we had access to a pool table, dartboard and table tennis. I was getting into adolescent mode and it was quite a revelation to learn that there were 5th and 6th year girls from the Uists in the same hostel. I think I fell in love with about 10 of them, all at the same time!! Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time and Oakey and Moroder’s Together in Electric Dreams were my personal love songs and these two wonderful tracks are indelibly lodged in my memory bank and I am immediately transported to my hostel days when I hear them. And they become even greater songs as time goes by. Thanks, Rebecca, for sharing your songs, memories and your beautiful photographs with us. And, yes, the summers of the 70s were extremely hot. I have a very powerful response to the smell of newly laid tarmac, it just reminds me of the roads in Bernera being tarred and if you walked the roads in summer there would be a shimmer coming from the tarmac that made you think your vision was blurred. Heady days indeed and, sometimes, headache inducing.


  2. Thanks, Rebecca. Great to be reminded of the Nick Drake song especially. That is part of the soundtrack of my youth because it is on the compilation album Nice Enough to Eat, which several of my friends had. It also boasts Dr Strangely Strange’s, Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal – which is really nothing to do with the topic but is very nostalgic for me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a fantastically titled track! Tank you for introducing me to this & for reminding me that the recorder can be a lovely instrument in the right pair of hands. I think I have listened to too many squeaky renditions of children playing London’s Burning and the like and it had clouded my opinion of this humble instrument. Loving the seventies styles in the video-I will always be a 70’s child at heart (with goth undertones).

      Liked by 1 person

    • Spencer, I suspect you will be aware of Joe Boyd, the record producer and founder of the Witchseason label. Nick Drake and Dr Strangely Strange are linked as Joe Boyd produced albums for them. And if that wasn’t cool enough, he also produced albums by Fairport Convention, The Incredible String Band, Nico, Vashti Bunyan, John and Beverley Martyn and Kate & Anna McGarrigle. PHEW!!!


  3. That laugh
    The smile on that young hopeful face.
    Eyes sparkling
    Teeth glistening.
    I can still hear it sometimes
    Feel the fresh bite of the icy air around the body.
    A body that never acknowledged an ache nor a slowing down.
    Never a reason for catching breath or struggling up hill.
    There are the memories of people who have been and gone.
    Their faces flitter at times
    Through my night vision.
    As I teeter on the edge of frightening dreams that come around to often these days.
    Back then there was too much daylight for nightmares to penetrate.
    Dancing, drinking, singing, loving.
    New clothes, new digs, new days.
    Now I sit in my chair.
    Not bereft. Not quite finished.
    I survey the life
    I have built around me.
    In this time
    On this earth.
    With my feet on the ground
    My head in the stars.
    And I can say this time was worth it but
    I don’t know where
    It goes…

    Cathy Macleod.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Eight Minutes of Silence in the Night

    It is comforting to touch my bedside clock
    In the dead of night to read the time by
    A five second blue light
    Except at two o’clock
    It does not light up
    Time stands still
    It checks the time by radio waves
    After a few minutes it restarts
    The hands move with a gentle rumble
    Until they reach eight minutes past two
    And normal service resumes
    Once again the comforting blue light
    Once again the soft ticking
    Where have those eight minutes gone
    Eight minutes of silence in the night
    At quarter to two I wait expectantly
    For the silence to come
    Then lie in silence for those eight minutes
    ( more or less) and then
    Relax and go to sleep
    Time has returned once more
    At eight minutes past two

    Turning back the clock

    We are turning back the clock this weekendI remember the time

    When my daughter was a baby

    Little babies stick to old time

    They wake up early for feeding and the

    Parents do not get the benefit of that extra hour

    What benefit is there for turning back the clock?

    Are we able to cheat time

    Are we able to go back in time?

    Some mathematicians have been working on theories

    Theories of going back in time

    Time itself is a difficult concept

    It is not just about the rotation of planets

    Relative to each other


    Estimating time

    Getting up time

    Going out time

    Bus time

    Home time

    Lunch time

    Dinner time

    Tea time

    Bath time

    Bed time

    Morning time

    Day time

    Night time

    Your time

    My time

    Our time

    Writing time

    Reading time

    Time flies

    Time stands still

    Never enough time

    Too much time

    Doing time

    Time served

    Time to go

    Have we time?

    No more time


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you to Cathy and Urszula for sharing your work, I really enjoyed reading your respective pieces of work and listening to the time themed music recommendations from Cathy. I loved the imagery used in Urszula’s piece titled ‘Eight Minutes of Silence in the Night’ it is very effective. I feel very blessed that my daughter is now heading into the teenage years of enjoying a long lie on the weekend so I no longer feel cheated out of the extra hour when the clock goes back!😆

    Liked by 1 person

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