Dimly Remembered: Song with "Tick tock"

Actually it came up in conversation, someone asked about “that song that had ‘tick tock’ as part of the lyrics” and I said I remembered it.

Other people chimed in and after a few moments it became apparent that the original speaker and most of the others were remembering a different one (and after a moment or two I remembered the one they were thinking of as well): sort of a cheerful hippie-esque thing about how everyone is going to love each other some day with the refrain “tick tock, tick tock baby, time’s ticking away”.

But I’d been thinking about a different one and when I tried to describe it I just got blank looks. It was on the radio circa 1991, 1992, thereabouts, on the rock stations, a much darker song. Singer sang in the bottom of his vocal range, more low-pitched than most songs, kind of brooding and gloomy. And afer some line about time, “tick…tock…” rather slowly.

This ring a bell with anyone?

REM, it’s from the Automatic for the People Album, it’s called “Drive.”

REM - Automatic for the People - Drive


Ok can someone please kill me in my sleep? The first thing I thought of was, “Tick tock, you don’t stop stop! (to tha ha) Tick tock you don’t stop stop…”

Slacker you definitely deserve to be for putting that horrific song in my head.

My first thought, purely by the title of the thread, was the new Metallica song, where James Hetfield screams “tick tick tick tock!”

Oh, and Slacker? You’re thinking of I Wanna Sex You Up by Color Me Badd.

Maybe, but “to the tick tock you don’t stop” is a really old rap sample. “C.M.B.” from OK never wrote it themselves.

My grandfather’s clock?

Strange… I thought it might be Placebo’s Without You I’m Nothing. Am I imagining it, or did that song also have “Tick… tock…” as part of the lyrics?

My first thought is the Marshall Crenshaw tune “What time is it.”

“Like Clockwork” by the Boomtown Rats also had tick tock in the lyrics.

That sounds like the Stevie Ray/Jimmy Vaughan song. From their album double trouble.

Correction, album was family style as in the link.

Amazingly, about a month ago, I awoke at 7:00am like every other morning. This particular morning, however, the music and lyrics “Tick…tock…tick…tock…maybe I ride, maybe you walked Maybe you rocked around the clock, maybe…” were slowly washing around in my head as I drifted between sleep and consciousness. Have no reason to have had it in my head. I’ve been waiting to hear it on radio or something, but alas, I see it here. REM’s “Drive”

That was my first thought, too . . . There’s also a prison song from the 1920s with a lot of “tick tocks” in it; cannot remember the title.

Leroy Anderson’s “Syncopated Clock”?

There was a man like you and me,
as simple as a man could ever be;
And he was happy as a king,
except for one peculiar thing.

He had a clock that worked all right,
It worked all right, but not exactly quite;
Instead of going “tick, tock, tick,”
the crazy clock went “tock, tick, tock.”

“Drive” is it, all right.


Truly people, I am the man, you don’t have to keep guessing. I guess I should have taken some excerpts.

  1. "One night while sleeping in my bed I had a beautiful dream
    That all the people of the world got together on the same wavelength
    And began helping one another
    Now in this dream, universal love was the theme of the day
    Peace and understanding and it happened this way"

Hippy peace and love stuff : check.

  1. Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock people, time’s tickin’ away

Refernce to line remembered from chorus : check.

:waiting for high fives and woo woos:

:sheepish look on face:

Okay damn, I just reread the OP. This was the song he was not thinking of.

Move along people, nothing to see here.

No, no, no, no. The Chambers Brothers, "Time Has Come Today. From the Age of Psychedelia.

"lyrics. They don’t say “tick, tock,” but they are definitely in the song.