Tyler Childers - Rustin' In The Rain Album Cover
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‘Space and Time’ by Tyler Childers - Lyrics & Meaning

September 8, 2023 11:01 pm GMT
Last Edited December 19, 2023 7:49 pm GMT

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Tyler Childers - ‘Space and Time’

Label: Hickman Holler Records / RCA Records

Release Date: September 8th, 2023

Album: Rustin’ in the Rain

Producers: Tyler Childers & The Food Stamps

Songwriter: S. G. Goodman

The Background:

Tyler Childers has built a reputation for being generous with his luminous spotlight, making room to place up-and-coming artists in front of his colossal, fervent fanbase.

On his newly released album, Rustin’ in the Rain, the boundary-pushing maverick has showcased the artistry of a fellow Kentucky native, S.G. Goodman, by including a stellar cover of her celebrated 2020 offering, ‘Space and Time’.

Fans have been clamouring for Childers to release an official version of ‘Space and Time’ ever since he performed the rose-tinted ballad during his Healing Appalachia 2022 set.

It aligns with the heartwarming sentiment of devotion to his wife, Senora May, that knits together so many of the tracks on Rustin’ in the Rain, with Childers expressing a similarly endearing message on ‘In Your Love’ and the project's title-track.

The Sound:

Instrumentally, ‘Space and Time’ stays close to S.G. Goodman's original, which was released as part of the singer-songwriter's much-loved 2020 album, Old Time Feeling.

Although this final track on the album feels much more stripped-back and vulnerable than the Rustin’ in the Rain title-track, which kicks off the project, both feel undoubtedly coloured by a deep-seated appreciation of traditional country music.

Despite underlining Elvis Presley's influence on Rustin’ in the Rain, you can't help but feel Tyler's rendition of ‘Space and Time’ could easily work its way onto an 80s George Strait album, with the same being true of the lonesome ballad, ‘Phone Calls & Emails’.

The pining guitar gels seamlessly with the swaggering keys and emphatic, deliberate drum-beat, giving the track an orchestral, big band feel. As a result, the listener is transported back to the smoky, 1950's bar scene of the ‘In Your Love’ music video, underlining how carefully Tyler has woven the sonic tapestry of Rustin’ in the Rain.

The Meaning:

“I never wanna leave this world without saying, ‘I love you’
Without saying what you mean to me
You know you make me happy, oh, when we share this space and time
Want you to know you shape this heart of mine
And I never want to leave this world without saying, ‘I love you’”

Unlike some of Tyler Childers’ previous offerings, ‘Space and Time‘ conveys a clear sentiment from start to finish. It continues in the vein of the preceding song on the Rustin’ in the Rain tracklist, with the ‘All Your’n’ hitmaker utilising S.G. Goodman's lyrics to viscerally underline his undying love for his wife.

Interestingly, the idea of mortality arises in both ‘In Your Love’ and ‘Space and Time’. In the former, Tyler croons, “We were never made to run forever / We were just meant to go long enough / To find what we were chasin’ after / I believe I found it here in your love”.

In ‘Space and Time’, he highlights how he doesn't want to breathe his final breath without having made sure his wife knows just how much he cares about her. Thematically, at the core of ‘Space and Time’ is the same sense of devotional urgency we hear so movingly in Garth Brooks’ iconic hit, ‘If Tomorrow Never Comes’.

“Oh, and out in the woods, this picture is clear to me
I owe my life to even my enemies
The ones who have loved me, the ones who have tried
Their grips on my heart and their grips on my mind”

Although this verse might appear a little out of place following the message of love and commitment in the opening hook, it arguably serves as an extension of the warm-hearted outlook expressed throughout the recurring choruses.

The gratitude Childers feels for his wife causes him to reexamine the way he perceives all of his relationships, emphasising how his entire worldview has changed since he fell for Senora.

“The stranger I pass, my momma, brothers, friends and my father
They're God undercover
I'm telling you now in case I must go
Want you to know”

This echoes the amiable feeling of the preceding verse, while the line “They're God undercover” touches on Childers’ exploration of universalist and omnist approaches to faith on Can I Take My Hounds To Heaven?

A popular notion in certain philosophies, such as certain sub-strains of Buddhism, is the concept that ‘God’ or ‘the ultimate’ underpins every thing we perceive.

However, rather than digging into thorny theological debates, it seems Childers is merely underlining how his newfound gratitude - stemming from his relationship with his wife - leads him to be able to find beauty and goodness in all that he sees.

“I never wanna leave this world without saying, ‘I love you’
Without saying what you mean to me
You know you make me happy, oh, when we share this space and time
Want you to know you shape this heart of mine
And I never wanna to leave this world, oh, without saying, ‘I love you’”

The only lyrical discrepancy of note between S.G. Goodman and Tyler Childers’ versions of ‘Space and Time’ is the fact that Goodman sings, “You know it makes me happy”, whereas Childers croons more directly, “You know you make me happy”.

What has S.G. Goodman said about Tyler Childers’ ‘Space and Time’ cover?

Speaking to The New York Times ahead of the release of Rustin’ in the Rain, S.G. Goodman expressed her gratitude towards Tyler Childers.

“Tyler is writing out of a region, and he is putting back good into that region," she noted. "For him, it extends outside of art, as a vehicle for positive change in our communities”.

For the full lyrics to Tyler Childers’ ‘Space and Time’, see below:

“I never wanna leave this world without saying, ‘I love you’
Without saying what you mean to me
You know you make me happy, oh, when we share this space and time
Want you to know you shape this heart of mine
And I never want to leave this world without saying, ‘I love you’

Oh, and out in the woods, this picture is clear to me
I owe my life to even my enemies
The ones who have loved me, the ones who have tried
Their grips on my heart and their grips on my mind

The stranger I pass, my momma, brothers, friends and my father
They're God undercover
I'm telling you now in case I must go
Want you to know

I never wanna leave this world without saying, ‘I love you’
Without saying what you mean to me
You know you make me happy, oh, when we share this space and time
Want you to know you shape this heart of mine
And I never wanna leave this world, oh, without saying, ‘I love you’

I never wanna leave this world without saying, ‘I love you’
Without saying what you mean to me
You know you make me happy, oh, when we share this space and time
Want you to know you shape this heart of mine
And I never wanna to leave this world, oh, without saying, ‘I love you’”

For more on Tyler Childers, see below:

Written by Maxim Mower
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