There’s Only So Much (Time In a Bottle)

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Music Flashback - Time in a Bottle by Jim Croce

By Randal C. Hill 

When Ingrid Croce sat her husband Jim Croce down at the kitchen table on their Pennsylvania farm one night, she told him they were finally about to become parents. Jim was so overcome with emotion that he composed “Time in a Bottle” that very night: 

If I could save time in a bottle // The first thing that I’d like to do 
Is to save every day till eternity passes away // Just to spend them with you 

 Of course, life doesn’t work that way, and we are granted only a finite number of days together:  

But there never seems to be enough time //  
To do the things you want to do once you find them 

Their blessed event was a boy. The happy couple named him Adrian. 

“Time in a Bottle” ended up on Croce’s first successful album, “You Don’t Mess Around with Jim.” The title track on ABC Records had been a rollicking Top Ten novelty single, but “Time in a Bottle” ended up being buried on the LP’s second side.

Related: Music Flashback: Heart of Gold by Neil Young

Fast-forward a couple of years, and Jim Croce had become a recording superstar. Sadly, in September 1973, he and his backup band were touring in the South when their small chartered plane struck a tree on takeoff and everyone on board perished. 

Adrian Croce had turned two years old just eight days earlier. 

Coincidentally, one week before the crash, ABC-TV had aired a now-forgotten Movie of the Week, “She Lives!” starring Desi Arnaz, Jr., which told the story of a young woman stricken with cancer. The film’s producers had included “Time in a Bottle” on the movie’s soundtrack. The following day, radio stations were bombarded with callers asking to hear the poignant tune again. ABC Records issued Croce’s creation, which raced to the peak of the Billboard singles chart and quickly became Jim’s signature song. 

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