All the Time in the World
- Composer: Ada Palmer
- Format: Three voices
This is one of our unconventional love songs, since it is traditionally romantic in one sense, but then focuses on how the experience of love changes the speaker’s attitudes toward life, rather than on love or the relationship itself.
Composer’s Comment: In this piece I used improvisation to create my harmony, so each chorus is an indulgently more elaborate variation on the basic repeated chant. By doing my own casual improv on a theme, often while cooking or cleaning the house, I could develop harmonies and then choose the ones that worked best together and set them down as fixed harmonies, but still let it feel spontaneous and natural.
Life was gonna be perfect this morning,
yesterday it was all gonna be bliss.
I never thought that with so little warning
so very many things could go amiss.
But thinking back on everything I’m losing
there’s really very little that I’ve lost.
I’ve still got what I need to keep on cruising
through life, no matter where I’m tossed,
’cause I’ve got all the time in the world
time to try, time to fail, time to live.
All the time in the world,
time to try and to fail and go on for as long as I live.
All the time in the world, the time in the world to live.
All the time in the world, the time in the world, the time in the world to live.
Just a couple springs ago while wandering lonely
I came across a stranger wandering too.
A couple paces later he was singing to me
and talking about what we were wandering through.
His presence turned the greys to gold and drizzle to diamond,
the world around us sparkled like a dream.
But I wasn’t sleeping, it was real this time
and this paradise was meant for him and me.
And we had all the time in the world,
time to dance, time to sing, time to live
all the time in the world,
time to dance and to sing and to love
and to learn that I live.
A couple seasons later he was dying,
my paradise was crumbling away.
He took my hand and chided me for crying
said there was nothing tragic happening today.
His zest for life was always what was carrying him,
zest born of beauties love had let him see.
What mattered this frail body we were burying
if everything he loved he loved through me?
And I had all the time in the world,
time to rest and rejoice, time to live
all the time in the world
time to rest and rejoice and remember
and know that I live.
Now seasons pass and hours take their ups and downs
but all the downturns seem like ups to me.
What sorrows exist within this life I’ve found
If all that I desire is to be?
I fell in love with him ’cause he made life worth loving
by showing me the gold behind the grey.
As long as I keep reveling in everything
we’ll both have all we want of every day.
And I have all the time in the world,
time to run, time to play, time to live
all the time in the world,
time to run and to play and to laugh
and to shout that I live.
All the time in the world, all the time in
the dance and to sing and to love and to learn that I live.
All the time in the world, all the time,
time to run and to play and to laugh and to shout and to try and to fail and go on
as long as I live.