I’ve spoken about “Time Alone” previously in my artist highlight on Joshua Hyslop, but as a song that’s one of my favorites by Joshua Hyslop and of all time, and has been a song I’ve been listening to a lot for months now, I feel it merits a dedicated post.
In spite of the somewhat-humorous story behind the song’s composition as mentioned in my earlier blog (this being that the first two verses are composed from words Hyslop overheard in a couple’s fight), “Time Alone” is packed with emotion and poignant lyrics. The lines that most strike me each time are the first lines of the second verse: “Time alone can waste you / if that’s where you place your hope.” There’s something very powerful to me in the way it parallels the beginning of the first verse and then further deconstructs the notion of time alone being able to “save” you.
As it carries into the third and final verse, Hyslop’s reflection on these words makes them even more powerful, acknowledging himself as being vulnerable to the same things that he saw tearing away at this couple.
With no choruses and only three verses, the nearly four-and-a-half-minute song only has so many words and a good amount of instrumentals making up the remainder, but the words are more powerful in their succinctness. Furthermore, the stripped-down solos that break up the second and third verses and then close off the song really add to the emotional and introspective nature of “Time Alone,” with electric guitar fading back into acoustic while the lyrics are left to resonate.
This acoustic folk ballad is simply so well-constructed; I cannot recommend it highly enough. Whether you want to keep it on the back burner for a rainy day, or just enjoy it on a better one, it’s worth taking the time to give it a listen.