When I was a kid my favorite movies were the Back to the Future trilogy and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey was in heavy rotation as well. Basically, I like movies with time machines. Songs that feature time machines aren’t too bad either. Here are a few.
If Wills could turn back time—if he could find a way—he’d take back those words that hurt her, and she’d stay, but not before he prevented the assassinations of President Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and John Lennon. Or maybe his heroic ways screw up the space-time continuum and the woman he’s in love with is never born. Time travel does have its consequences.
Since only one of her singles ever broke the Top 40, Fairchild might want to go back in time and record “Before He Cheats” before Carrie Underwood does. Here she wishes for a time machine to transport her to the summer she was 17 and got frisky in some dude’s car while “Maggie May” played in the background. Girl, if you have a fantasy time machine, go back until the dude is James Dean and the car is a Spyder.
No plutonium-fueled, flux-capacitor-outfitted DeLorean or telephone booth for Raye: his time machine is a barstool. You sit on it and suddenly you’re back with the gal you loved. Oh, and (surprise!) it runs on “a few drinks.” This soft rock/country hybrid—written by Gary Burr—is on Raye’s 1995 album I Think About You.
If Toby Keith could invent a time machine, he’d want to be seventeen too, that age “when dreams were too young to die.” I think this is one of my favorite Keith songs, and, watching his ’90s mullet undulate under power of a wind machine, it might be one of my favorite Keith music videos too.
Texas artist Morrow wants to hop in his Caddy and be transported back to “see this land before it drowns underneath the city streets.” Lest you think his mission is purely an educational one, he also wants to go skinnydipping with his girl. Well, nobody’s perfect. But this song is excellent.
Juli Thanki is the editor of Engine 145 and a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, Bluegrass Unlimited, and M Music & Musicians Magazine. In 2011 she received the International Bluegrass Music Association Print Media Person of the Year award.