Ain't Your Time To Go
By: Beck Hansen
Written by: Beck Hansen

Alternate Titles:

a.k.a. Untitled (KCRW 1996)

Live Versions:
  1. Ain't Your Time To Go
  2.  
 
Lyrics:
Ain't Your Time To Go [Live version (a)]:

Well, if it ain't your time to go then you'd better stay put for now
Everybody's got to do their time until it's time
And if it ain't broken then break it and say you knew me way back when
When fools were fools and all the rest were swine waiting to be defiled
I could hang up my shingles out by the side of the road
Try to bang the blame out of the cinders you left behind
Like a driftwood in the night that was washed up by the light
Of the moon that bleached my bones then sent me to the pile
Mustard in your smile, land that hand on the radio dial
Then the breezes of the season have blown us back to hell
It's a stolen telephone that I dialed, blind and alone
Just to hear the voice of a bargain center soul
Now the deserts are in flame and the bandages are the same
And the factory's casualties are looking for mangled jewels
Well if it ain't your time to go, then you better stay put for now
'Cause everybody's got to put their hand upon the hand of the clock
Like the minds of misers grinding down their gears to a halt
 
The Song:

Beck pulled this song out on a radio show in 1996. Apparently, he knew he just had a few minutes left in his set, and he went looking though his magic notebook of songs to find a good, short one.

A few years later, Mutations would end up being filled with older songs like this one, and the style of the song really fits with that album. Beck's long continuous phrases like
Try to hang the blame out of the cinders you left behind
Like a driftwood in the night that was washed up by the light
Of the moon that bleached my bones, then sent me to the pile
Mustard in your smile, land that hand on the radio dial
remind me of some of the lengthy wordy lines in "Nobody's Fault But My Own" or "Lazy Flies" or the like. This is not a style he really used on Odelay, where he was making songs up piece by piece in the studio, but he frequently used in his folk songs at the time.

And of course the awkward last lines ("'Cause everybody's got to put their hand upon the hand / Of the clock like the minds of misers / Grinding down their gears to a halt") get tightened up into the less awkward "The misers wind their minds like clocks / That grind their gears on and on" on "Sing It Again." More obscurely, "bargain center soul" recalls wearing "a bargain center dunce cap sittin' on your head" in this song.

I read this as a subtle, but sarcastic, song, about success (probably the music industry mainly, but it works on a general level too).
 
Live:

Played live once:
June 19, 1996

Only played the one time of which I am aware.
 
Notes: