The Lessons of Time

By Thorin N. Tatge

To the tune (obviously) of “The Longest Time”, by Billy Joel.

I would like to sing a silly song.

You will find my paradigm is strong.

There’s no restriction

But the normal rules of diction

Set down in Billy Joel’s The Longest Time.

My friend was obsessed about the time.

His watch was ten times as long as mine.

I said “Well, golly,

I’ll just enlist Signior Dali,

And then my watch will tell The Longest Time.”

(to bridge:)

Sorry for the previous verse,

But though you may curse,

Things will get worse.

Nothing is too dumb to be done

In pursuit of fun,

Not even a pun, thus—

I went out to buy the very best

Parsley, sage, rosemary and the rest.

If I’d been cooler,

I would have brought my ruler;

Then I’d identify The Longest Thyme!

Ay, ay, ay, ay!

Fie The Longest Time!

Whoa, whoa, whoa!

Fie The Longest—

I was routed right into my place,

When I went to run a relay race.

So with no delay,

I went on to lose that relay:

I ran the relay in The Longest Time.

I was in the Dungeon of Despair.

There was only one way out of there.

If I’d had sentience,

I’d have gone out through the entrance—

Instead I’ve been here for The Longest Time.

(to bridge:)

As the years drag endlessly on,

I made up a song

To move things along.

Nothing else to do here but cough

And play, on and off,

A few holes of golf...

For golfing is the sport of noble men;

Hit the ball and hit the ball again.

No higher goals

Than to put round things in holes

Have been discovered for The Longest Time.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!

For The Longest Time!

No, no, no!

For The Longest—

I have never noticed this before,

But this cell was built without a floor

Or walls or ceiling,

Which confirms my funny feeling

That I’ve been falling for The Longest Time.

Now you know what happiness can bring:

It does not bring much of anything.

But please don’t be bored;

Happiness is its own reward!

Wise men have known this for The Longest Time.

(to bridge:)

Yet trust not all truths from the past,

For ages go fast

And truth doesn’t last.

Here’s one lesson most truly earned

Which wise men have spurned

But I’m glad I learned:

Mountains rise and ancient forests fall.

Just one thing is constant through it all:

Most of the contents

Of the universe are nonsense

And will remain so for The Longest Time.


If you feel that I have done you wrong,

Or you were offended by my song,

Give me some leeway;

Now that that song’s out of the way,

I won’t repeat it for The Longest Time.