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Single Review: Cyndi Lauper “Time After Time”

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Cyndi Lauper has withdrawn from her lover in the poignant ballad “Time After Time.”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.

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About Pam Avoledo

  • Guppusmaximus

    Pam,

    Honestly… I have read a couple of your reviews and I feel they are for people who can’t read the lyrics. I’ve tried not to say anything before because I feel everyone has a right to publish what they want plus I don’t want to be rude, but if you want to be a better writer I think someone should point this out to you. I’m suprised no one has… Disecting the underlying plot to a Cyndi Lauper song is like translating the horrible grammar of a 50cent hit. People more than likely get it the first time…

    Don’t take this the wrong way… I do like your straight forward style.

  • J. P. Spencer

    “Time After Time” was partially written – and includes background vocals – by one of the most notorious songwriters of the 1980’s'; Rob Hyman of the Hooters.

    How bad is the Hooters’ music? A few weeks ago my wife and I were watching VH1 Classic. For a while, they had a “Pay To Play” promotion where you could buy a certain number of videos for a donation to Hurricane Katrina relief. The VJ was announcing names of people who purchased time for the coming hour and I heard her say “…and Eric Bazilian of Bryn Mawr, PA”. I immediately recognized this name as belonging to the lead guitarist of The Hooters. It is worth noting that the VJ didn’t seem to know who he was.

    So what played at the bottom of the hour? You guessed it, three Hooters videos back to back. It has finally come down to this; the music of the Hooters is so poorly regarded 20 years later that the only way anyone will hear it is if the band pays someone to play it. Songs written by ANY Hooter should be buried deep within the depths of the nearest ocean, covered with silt and left for lobsters to eat. It was bad then when I was inundated with it while living in Philadelphia, and it is bad now. Tomorrow when I wake up, each song in their catalog (which also includes “God” by Joan Osbourne; BLECH!!) will have depreciated another 5 cents, thereby no longer allowing you to buy a gumball.

  • http://cyndi larry

    cindys time after time

    cindy s time after time
    was her best song.
    much better than girls just
    wanna have fun!
    i dont think cindy qualifies
    as a diva! larry

  • Jason W.

    It’s interesting that there’s a big block above this entry space saying “personal attacks are not allowed” when the post I see from “J.P. Spencer” is nothing more than an attack on the Hooters?

    If you don’t like someone’s music that’s fine but there are many people who liked and still like the music of this band.

    This was a review of Cyndi Lauper’s song. This wasn’t a thread about the Hooters or their music. Your post was classless, out of line and of little value to anyone but yourself. (Did you feel happy happy after posting it?)

    Now, on the topic that’s supposed to be in this comment column, Cyndi does a great job with the vocal on this track. The lyrics are certainly depressing in nature but the hint of hope does shine as stated in the review. Excellent writeup.

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