Andy's Anachronisms Time Travel Songs

It's All Been Done
Barenaked Ladies

From the album STUNT © 1998

In case I accidentaly offend any fans let me say that this is only an interpretation of the song and not necessarily what the artist or anyone else, besides myself thinks the song means.

Canadian popsters Bare Naked Ladies bring us this ditty about a couple who have a unique relationship that spans several millennia. I'm still somewhat undecided whether the couple in the song are time travellers that accidentially encounter each other during various time periods, or whether they may be immortals whose paths continue to cross through out time. Either way they are time travellers in a loose sense of the word.

The lyrics presented here by no means do the song justice. To experience the full pop flavour of the song you should really buy the album STUNT. Missing from the lyrics is the "wooo who who" of the background singers during the chorus which just add to the song in my opinion.

On with the lyrics.

I met you before the fall of Rome
And I begged you to let me take you home
You were wrong, I was right
You said goodbye, I said goodnight

It's all been done
It's all been done
It's all been done before

In the first verse our time traveller meets a fellow voyager "before the fall or Rome" where he tries to convince her to let him take her home. Sure "take you home" probably refers to getting lucky, but I much rather think he was being a stereotypical male chauvanist pig and trying to convince time travel to the Roman Empire isn't safe for a woman. He's convinced he was doing the right thing by trying to talk her into returning "home" with him. She obviously disagrees. They agree to disagree and part ways.

The chorus refers not only to history repeating itself -- It's all been done, but also to human relationships. It's all been done implies that nothing is new.

I knew you before the west was won
And I heard you say the past
was much more fun
You'll go your way, I'll go mine
But I'll see you next time

They meet again sometime before the "west was won" and have a discussion about their favourite time to visit in history. They disagree and failing to hit it off again part ways, although he's still intrigued by her.

It's all been done
It's all been done
It's all been done before

And if I put my fingers here, and if I say
"I love you dear"
And if I play the same three chords,
will you just yawn and say
It's all been done before?

The poor guy has fallen hard, and wants to express his feelings, but is afraid he'll be rejected in the process.

Alone and bored on thirtieth-century night
Will I see you on the Price Is Right?
Will I cry? Will I smile
As you run down the aisle

It's all been done
It's all been done
It's all been done before

Part of him realizes that he may not be able to convince her of his feelings and that it may not work out. He wonders what will happen next time their paths cross. Will he cry over what might have been, or will he smile knowingly. He works up the courage to express his feeling for her, by telling himself that process of love and rejection has all been done before.

Only the future will tell what course their relationship will take.

Review Modified: 2003-08-29

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