#327 CYNDI LAUPER TIME AFTER TIME

#327

CYNDI LAUPER

TIME AFTER TIME

 

Cyndi Lauper—Cynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper—(b. 1953) is a singer, songwriter, and actress from Astoria, Queens, New York City. Known as well for her variety of hair colors and eccentric clothing as she is for her singing and acting, her career was propelled by a series of pop hits in the mid-1980’s. “Time After Time” was part of Lauper’s debut album, She’s So Unusual.

I liked this song from the very first time I heard it, listening on the car radio. I was in my third year of being part of Sinclair’s Music faculty, Tiraje and I had a young son, and life felt like it was at its beginning…the happiness of this song permeated my mind.

I still find “Time After Time” difficult to just listen to it once–it always takes several re-plays for me to get my fill. It is a simple and well-composed song, with a catchy refrain. This may have been the peak of keyboard synthesizer usage in pop music, and it certainly got a boost here. Of special appeal to me was the flexible, repetitive bass guitar line (very good for air guitarists!).

The song, from 1984, has had an immense amount of recognition:

American Video Award for both Best Female Performance and Best Pop Video
BMI Award for Pop
Billboard Best Female Performance
Most Performed Foreign Song (in Canada)
MTV Best New Artist
MTV Best Female Video
Grammy Song of the Year
Grammy Best New Artist
Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Love Songs
VH1 Greatest Songs of 1980’s
Nerve’s 50 Greatest Love Songs of All Time

The language that critics used for Time After Time was florid and impressive:

• “Time After Time” stands tall among the music of the entire rock era as one of its all-time great timeless ballads”

• “a masterpiece…the best and most significant song Lauper ever wrote or recorded…sentimental, gorgeous”

• “gorgeously heartfelt, one of the decade’s finest ballads”

• “beautiful and bittersweet ballad”

• “Lauper’s most enduring masterpiece hits at the very essence of commitment…she captures real romance in the most simple and straightforward of lines”

Here are those straightforward lines:

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–

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

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

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–

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

You said go slow–
I fall behind
The second hand unwinds–

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

Time after time…
Time after time…
Time after time…
Time after time…

Lauper is understandably and immediately associated with “Time After Time.” But it should be noted—and I will, in a future post about her—that Lauper is a significant composer for Broadway. She won the 2013 Tony Award for her score to Kinky Boots. Additionally, she has attracted a lot of attention for her acting in films, on television, and on the Broadway stage—truly, a multi-talent.

**********

And, as an important aside about Lauper: she has long been associated with the LGBT movement, championing causes, raising support funds, and campaigning all over the world for equal rights. Her song, “Above the Clouds” was written in remembrance of Matthew Shepherd, the young Wisconsin man who was beaten to death because he was gay. Lauper’s True Colors House in New York City serves as a residence for homeless LGBT youth.

FACEBOOK comments welcome

%d bloggers like this: