Time is relative. While in science time dilates in relation to velocity and gravity, as humans, we psychologically wane and stretch time ourselves, eagerly hoping to experience things we love a little longer while grinding out excruciating moments which seem to linger for short lifetimes. We enumerate passing moments by the tick tocks of our clocks and markings on calendars that demarcate the stages of our lives.
Sometimes, we even think of time as the space between memorable moments, such as when you last met someone for coffee, the long while between two rain storms or even the previous instance you heard a song. As the time between the two occurrences may be immeasurable — or rather because our perception of time shifts depending on what we compare it against — our nostalgic recollections of these moments become sensationalized.
In K-pop, time becomes something that is often measured and marked by our memories: that 25th year of our life, the long nights without someone or even the exact digits pronounced when a loved one has passed. Associated with a relationship, it is filled with poignant feelings and revelations that become distorted, and time transpires within these scenes locked within the lines of a song. Moments transform into the lyrics measured by seconds and memory is distorted, revisited and imprinted. When time becomes such a variable, we disregard past and future in hopes of taking advantage of time, as it laid out before us now.
In Drunken Tiger‘s “8:45 Heaven,” he ruminates on the specific time of his grandmother’s passing, which very much feels much like a moment suspended, where he wishes all of his thoughts would reach her. Love is often counted in time spent. For a love that was once bright, the time is fleeting. For those meant to endure, it is timeless. And yet for others, an eternity is not enough.
K-pop uses this theme profusely as a subject matter. As such, I could not include all the songs I wanted to. Which K-pop time-related songs are your favorites? Which do you wish were included? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below!