The Kinks — “Time Song”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — March 12, 2022

381) The Kinks — “Time Song”

A stunning ‘68 meditation on time, lost opportunity, and mortality. Ray Davies didn’t actually mix the song — a Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society outtake — until 2018. Ryan Reed explains that:

The Kinks meditate on lazy days and mortality in “Time Song[.]” . . . “Time lives our lives with us, walks side by side with us/ Time is so far from us, but time is among us,” frontman Ray Davies croons on the song over a slow, hazy waltz of acoustic guitar and piano. . . . Though the . . . band never included “Time Song” on a studio album, they performed the track live in January 1973 at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London, England, celebrating Britain’s inclusion in the Common Market. “When we played a concert at Drury Lane in ’73 to ‘celebrate’ us about to join what was called the Common Market, I decided to use the song as a warning that time was running out for the old British Empire,” Davies said in a statement.

Ah, Village Green. As Essentially Pop describes it:

Created in difficult circumstances by a band on the verge of disintegration and who refused to follow fashion, it is an album of timeless, perfectly crafted songs about growing up and growing old, and the decline of national culture and traditional ways. Enduring and unsurpassed, with its wit, sadness, quiet anger, regret and charm, it is generally considered the high point of The Kinks’ outstanding career and Ray Davies’ masterpiece.

What did it mean to Ray? —

I think The Village Green Preservation Society is about the ending of a time personally for me in my life. In my imaginary village. It’s the end of our innocence, our youth. Some people are quite old but in the Village Green, you’re never allowed to grow up. I feel the project itself as part of a life cycle.

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