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  • Writer's pictureAlex Pear

Noah and the Whale’s “5 Years Time”: A Song to Nurture Your Romantic Inner Child

In the midst of February and the accompanying cacophony of Valentine’s Day fervor—its mix of cringe-worthy commercialism and genuine affection—one song has managed to carve out a cozy corner in my mind: “5 Years Time” by Noah and the Whale. This whimsical melody, accompanied by the playful strumming of a ukulele, invokes a sense of youthful romance that is both enchanting and irresistible.

From the moment the song begins with its cheerful whistle, it's as if we're being transported into the opening scene of a Disney movie, where all the animals of the jungle frolic in carefree abandon. Then comes the jaunty ukulele, ushering in a world where love is uncomplicated and pure. The lyrics paint a picture of a young couple, strolling through a zoo hand in hand, sharing laughter and silly moments of joy. It’s a scene straight out of a fairytale—or perhaps a cheesy Hallmark commercial—complete with all the trappings of a happily-ever-after.

I’m a sucker for this kind of sugary sweetness. As I listen to “5 Years Time,” I can’t help but indulge in nostalgic reverie, reminiscing about moments of innocent infatuation from my own past. The repeated emphasis on “fun” may verge on redundancy, but it serves to underscore the carefree spirit that permeates every note and lyric. Sometimes, simplicity is the key to capturing the essence of a feeling, and Noah and the Whale generously embraces this notion.

Yet, beneath the surface of this idyllic portrayal of love lies a poignant acknowledgment of its impermanence. In the final verse as Charlie Fink, the band’s lead singer and songwriter, reflects on the uncertainty of the future, the song takes on a bittersweet tone: “In five years time, I might not know you / In five years time, we might not speak.” It’s a sobering reminder that even the most blissful of relationships are subject to change and evolution. However, instead of wallowing in bitterness or regret, the song embraces this inevitability with grace and acceptance. “There’ll be love, love, love wherever you go,” Fink sings, reminding us that love endures even in the face of separation, and that we carry its warmth with us wherever we may roam.

I first heard “5 Years Time” during my freshman year of college, a time when love felt boundless and every new connection held the promise of adventure and futurity. I vividly remember playing the song for someone dear to me at that time, each of us with one earbud in our ear as we walked to Science Quad together. I wondered in earnest what our relationship would look like five years down the road. While our paths ultimately diverged, I find myself revisiting those memories with a gentle fondness, a testament to the enduring power of connection and affection.

If there’s one lesson to be gleaned from this saccharine ode to romance, it’s that love, however fleeting, has the power to enrich our lives in ways we never thought possible. As heart-shaped candies once again adorn store aisles, “5 Years Time” serves as a playful reminder of the joy, freedom, and ever-changing nature of matters of the heart. In a world that often feels chaotic and uncertain, there is solace and beauty to be found in the simple pleasures of love and giddy companionship, especially when accompanied by the strumming of a ukulele.

In the wise words of Noah and Whale, always remember there’ll be love, love, love wherever you go.


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