Learn English with Music: Time (Pink Floyd)

“Time is free, but it’s priceless. 
You can’t own it, but you can use it.
You can’t keep it, but you can spend it.
Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back.”

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How much TIME have you spent trying to learn English? How much TIME have you lost with impractical studying exercises, only to forget what you have learned before your next class?

If that’s the case, why not try learning English in a more natural way that will never become boring, a way that  can even help you become more interested and curious about the language.

Learning English with music can do all of these things and more, which is what I’m about to show you with Pink Floyd’s amazing track TIME!!

In this article you will:

  • Interpret the MEANING of the song Time by Pink Floyd
  • Practice PRONUNCIATION as you sing along with the lyrics
  • Learn someINTERESTING FACTS about the band Pink Floyd


As I have written in the previous article, Learn English with Pink Floyd: I wish you were here, Pink Floyd has been a very influential band for progressive rock music. Their philosophical lyrics and extraordinary live shows gave them huge fame during the 60’s and 70’s.

Today I would like to share with you one of my favorite Pink Floyd songs ever… TIME!!

This song is about how time passes by so quickly, but most people tend to waste it on unimportant things and don’t realize until it’s too late. Roger Waters (lead singer), came up with this song when he was 28 after realizing that he had nothing more to prepare for in life. Take a look at the clip and sing along with the lyrics below.

[media url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOMd7CSt0KU” width=”500″ height=”300″]

The song time is from the album ‘The Dark Side of the Moon.’ This title, according to the band, is an expression that refers to insanity. The idea behind the album was, through each song, to describe how modern life can drive people crazy. Each song from the album represents a different aspect of social issues which have caused people to go insane. The idea behind the song time is that it represents fear of mortality. Time will kill us all.

Let’s look at the lyrics and try to interpret the the meaning.


Fritter- To waste something as if it had no value

Off-hand way– Without preparaton or thought

Kicking around– Being present but doing nothing

Time to kill– having more time than necessary

Miss the starting gun– The gun used at the start of a running race. In the song they are saying that your life is the race.

Catch up –
To reach or to pass something or someone.

Racing around- Moving in a fast working motion

Older/Shorter- The comparative forms of adjectives old, short and close.
older = more old / shorter = more short / closer = more close




Scribbled lines- When words are written in an uncomprehensible way.

Hanging on- Holding onto something/ not releasing

Over- Something is finished



When you are young you think that you have unlimited time and don’t do the important things. And then before you know it you are too old and you can’t do those things anymore, and you regret passing up all those opportunities.






“Time is the master, time can be a disaster”

As we have just heard in the song, time is something that affects us all and it’s something none of us can escape. But time doesn’t have to always be a negative thing. In English there are many positive and negative expression related to time.


To save time means to efficiently plan what you are going to do so you have more time to focus on other things.

“Doing all my banking online really saves me a lot of time.”

To waste time is the opposite. To be very inefficient with your time which in return gives you less time to do the things you want.

“I wasted so much time in traffic today that I couldn’t go to the gym.”


This is used to express that time is moving or passing. When used it is commonly to say that something is changing gradually.

“As time goes by I can see my English getting better.”


We use this expression to tell someone that your time is valuable. The most common situation is when someone is taking a long time to do something for you.

“Hey, can I talk to you for a second?”
“Sure, but make it fast, TIME IS MONEY!!”


Whether you have been hurt emotionally or physically, we can say this to console someone, that with time they will feel better eventually. It is more common in the emotional sense.

“I’m so depressed after my girlfriend broke up with me.”
“You will feel better soon, time heals all wounds.”


This is used to say that we will know the answer or result to something only after a period of time.

“Do you think Manchester United will win the championship this year?”
“I don’t know, only time will tell.


When something is done many times in a repetitive way. This expression is usually used for something that is irritating you, so it’s generally negative.

“Time after time he was late for the meetings. If this continues he will get fired.”


When you have so much time that you don’t know what to do.

“Yesterday I played age of empire for 10 hours.”
“Man, you have too much time on your hands. You should get a job.”


To take a break or a holiday from work.

“I have been working so much lately, I need some time off.”


This expression means that you arrive or finish something just before it is too late. At the last possible moment.

“I arrived at the airport in the nick of time. My plane was leaving at 10pm and I arrived at 9.30.”


Like Pink Floyd has taught us, your time is a very precious commodity and must be valued.
What are you doing in your free time?

The next time you have some extra time don’t forget that an extra 10 minutes could be used very efficiently to practice your “Lifestyle English.” Put on a song and get the lyrics, read an article on the RLE website, chat with some people on the RLE community.

Whatever it is, use your time wisely and appreciate it while you can!!

More to come soon on this topic. If you found this article helpful, we greatly appreciate your feedback, participation, likes, sharing and telling your friends about us. If you haven’t already, join the free and open Real Life English Facebook Community. And of course, we hope to see you at our next Real Life English Event!

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  • Perla Rubido says:

    Excellent article, I found it really useful and interesting!!! Congratulations and Thank You

  • What a lovely tool to learn and teach!

  • Pink Floyd is my favourite… I always tell my students that listening to music is the best way to learn English. Pink Floyd is one of the best to learn English.

    • Agnieszka from RealLife English says:

      Aww yeah!