Enya’s “Only Time” Lyrics Meaning

In Enya’s “Only Time”, the “time” is characterized as somewhat of an omniscient entity. In other words, we as people do not know what tomorrow brings. But as the old adage goes, ‘time reveals all truths’. And that’s fundamentally the idea which “Only Time” is based on.

The song relays this sentiment via utilizing primarily what reads like a romantic scenario. For instance, it is put forth that even though an individual’s own heart may chose a specific partner, “only time” will tell if the relationship actually prospers. Moreover there’s a general unpredictability concerning the topic of “love” which is expressed overall. So in a way this song is also based on another proverb if you will, which is love being an indefinable emotion.

But again, whereas it harps on something like a romantic motif, it is presenting a general unpredictability concerning what occurs in life. That may be one of the reasons why it was used as a theme song for the World Trade Center disaster – something which no one saw coming. But ultimately it postulates that as time progresses, the truths in our lives, specifically within the arena of interpersonal affections, will be revealed.

Lyrics of "Only Time"

Facts about “Only Time”

The Warner Music Group first released this song on 20 November 2000 as part of Enya’s bestselling album “A Day Without Rain”.

It was re-released in 2001. And this time around it served as one of the unofficial theme songs to commemorate the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City. In fact proceeds from that rendition were actually donated to a charity catering to the widows and children of firefighters who died in the disaster.

The result of this association was Enya breaking the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time in her career.

Others countries in which the Enya classic charted include the following:

  • Canada
  • Germany
  • Poland
  • Switzerland

It actually scored a number one in all four of those nations.

The track has also gone Gold in these countries:

  • Austria
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Switzerland

Moreover “Only Time” has remained quite popular throughout the years, largely due to its usage in pop media.

For instance, a Volvo advertising campaign starring Jean-Claude Van Damme famously featured this track in 2013.

And shows which have featured this classic include the sitcom “Friends” (2002) and the movie “Deadpool 2” (2018).

Nicky Ryan, Enya’s manager and producer, likewise produced and co-wrote “Only Time”. And the other co-writer is Enya herself.

3 Responses

  1. Paula Beaulieu says:

    Its going to resurface again…as we embark down a road we’ve never been on.. the Road to Perdition..

  2. Kadi white says:

    I see the music taking a u-turn to resurface again because the lyrics got a lot of emotions and meanings hidden in it

  3. Anonymous says:

    When I listen to this song, I remember my ex-narc. I began to think he’s a devil incarnate. It gives me an eerie feeling because he loved this song. He never said how it made him feel just that we don’t know where life will take us. This song makes me feel strangely sad yet it has a heavenly aura about it. The lyrics I relate to because I don’t know if his love will ever grow to be true.

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