Cyndi Lauper has withdrawn from her lover in the poignant ballad “Time After Time.”
Tearful guitars start the single, setting a lonely tone. It’s two a.m. Lauper hears the clock on her nightstand tick. She turns and touches the right side of the bed. It’s her boyfriend’s spot. She wonders how he is doing. She can’t make sense of her emotions, which seem to change every hour on the hour. She remembers cuddling in his arms at night. She nearly forgot the special moments she had with him.
Lying in my bed I hear the clock tick/And think of you/Caught up in circles confusion/ Is nothing new/Flashback warm nights /Almost left behind/Suitcases of memories/Time after.
Further in the verse, she says that he thinks she’s running away from him. Although he’s tries to contact her, she has already shut him out. He pleads for her to calm down. She eventually does, but she finds herself sinking back into her melancholy.
Sometimes you picture me/ I’m walking too far ahead/You’re calling to me, I can’t hear/What you’ve said/ Then you say go slow/I fall behind/ The second hand unwinds.
In the chorus, her boyfriend says that he will be there for her whenever she needs him. He will rescue her if she starts heading towards a downward spiral. Each and every time, he will comfort her.
If you’re lost you can look and you will find me/Time after time/If you fall I will catch you, I’ll be waiting/Time after time.
In the second verse, she believes he wants nothing to do with her. She perceives herself as a lost cause. However, he’s calling her friends and family, trying to figure where she is and if she’s doing all right. He knows her better than she knows herself.
After my picture fades and darkness has/Turned to gray/Watching through windows, you’re wondering/If I’m OK/Secrets stolen from deep inside/The drum beats out of time.
The chorus is sung again.
Part of the first verse is sung again.
You said go slow/I fall behind/The second hand unwinds.
The chorus is sung again.
Lauper realizes he is not going to let her flounder and self-destruct.
Time after time/Time after time/Time after time.
In “Time After Time,” Lauper believes she is a difficult person, unworthy of love. She runs away and shuts people out. However, her devoted boyfriend who loves her unconditionally is willing to help her through anything. The relationship is given depth. The couple’s intimacy and history is apparent. They’ve been together for a long time. They love and have seen each other through every tough part of their life. Now, it’s her boyfriend’s turn to help her.
Lauper’s vocals are full of loss. But there is a glint of hope in them also. She knows she will not be abandoned, despite how much she may fight his compassion.
“Time After Time” is a sure-fire classic.