Song Lyric Sunday (22 March 2020) – Vows

Last week, Jim (NewEpicAuthor, A Unique Title For Me) set a theme of cash and flowers (my selection). This week, he gives us the theme of vows.

In the summer of 1989, I was studying for my final exams at university, spending about 10 hours in the library each day. There were distractions, of course. I had a girlfriend whom I’d banned myself from seeing while the exams were on.

Plus there was this record going around by a brand new artist, who seemed to be like a breath of fresh air. Every track on her album was brilliant, we listened to them over and over, and we got to know each track off by heart. The album had been released in 1988, but it took it that bit longer to reach us over in Cardiff.

My selection today comes from the lyrics of one of the album tracks. I normally like to link Jim’s theme to the title of my music tracks, but this is a cracking protest song. If fact I did tag this song onto one of my other posts just a few months ago – I don’t like to repeat myself, but my SLS audience is generally far wider than my every other post audience, and besides … this track is that good!

I called the song a protest song, and I shall explain why (and my link) by quoting some of the lyrics (I’ll quote them again, in their entirety, below):

If not now then when
If not today then
Why make your promises?
A love declared for days to come
Is as good as none

In other words, if you commit to doing something, and you say you’re not gonna do it now, but one day, then what use is that? That is not a committment, merely an aspiration.

The album is Tracy Chapman’s self-named debut album, and every song on the album, including my selection, was written by Tracy herself. The album was a surprising commrcial success, selling over 20 million copies worldwide, and reaching #1 in the album charts in both the UK and the US. From the album Tracy Chapman, here is If Not Now.

If not now then when
If not today then
Why make your promises
A love declared for days to come
Is as good as none

You can wait ’til morning comes
You can wait for the new day
You can wait and lose this heart
You can wait and soon be sorry


Now love’s the only thing that’s free
We must take it where it’s found
Pretty soon it may be costly


If not now what then
We all must live our lives
Always feeling
Always thinking
The moment has arrived

Tracy Chapman

Author: Mister Bump UK

Designed/developed large IT systems, interrupted by a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Now mix development of health-related software with voluntary work and writing. Married, with an estranged daughter.

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