The Billy Bragg Temporal Paradox

It's like something out of StarTrek™:

Billy Bragg: New England

I was twenty-one years when I wrote this song
I'm twenty-two now, but I won't be for long…

Read those lyrics again. Go on, I'll wait for you…

Did you spot the temporal paradox? Billy Bragg says that he was 21 years old when he wrote the song, but that he's 22 now. But, when he wrote the song, 'now' was back then, when he was still 21—so how could he have been 22? And, if he was still 21 when he wrote the song, why did he refer to it in the past tense?

It's as if the 22-year-old future Red Wedge crooner totally fucked up the timeline by getting sucked into some wormhole in space and sent back one year so that there were two of him, aged 21 and 22 respectively, at the same time.

That has got to be breaking the Temporal Prime Directive.

Either that, or Billy Bragg is a bloody liar.

See also:

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


  1. Billy was 22 years when he recorded the song, but obviously, being that it is now years later, he wasn't 22 for long. So technically, he sort of got it right.

    A bit like footballer speak:- a sort of bizarre third party, past tense, present tense word salad.

    I have a favourite Zen saying...nothing is what I want.

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