Better Late Than Never: 21 Songs About Being Late

We all have had the opportunity to run late for something in life; while some might not care, the majority of people feel the pressure of the lack of punctuality as, in some cases, there are lost opportunities. This playlist will explore different songs about being late, telling different stories from composers’ perspectives.

While some of the tracks on the playlist focus on punctuality, others are love songs where the singers express how it’s late to rekindle past flames. 

These songs from multiple genres and generations will explore the different ways lateness has been used in music so that we can understand the composer’s intentions.  



1. Sorry for Being Late by René Miller

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The German multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Rene Miller has a talent for composing heart-wrenching ballads, and this is no different from the rest of his songs. The artist laid his smooth vocals along an instrumental acoustic guitar on this piece to relay his emotions.

His song is from the perspective of a man trying to win back love from an ex-lover as he apologizes for taking too long to commit. 



2. It’s Too Late by Carole King

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This over-moody melody from the early seventies is about a couple who have been in a relationship for a long time but gradually drifted apart.

Though the singer is tormented at the outcome of her relationship, she realizes it is too late for her to salvage what remains. Carole King’s song was the Grammy Record of the Year in 1972; many artists have covered it over the years. 



3. Monday Morning by The Bouncing Souls Ant Brigade

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Monday Morning tells the story of a man that wakes up late to go to work at the beginning of the week late, and what follows is a string of disasters, from forgetting his key because he is in a hurry to realizing that he has a flat tire after getting his car keys. 

As the song progresses, we see that the man is a drunk, and it is a regular cycle for him to be late for work, but he does not regret his choices.



4. Your Late by Guttermouth

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The short piece from Guttermouth is a little-known song from the band, but it explores the thought that goes through the mind of anyone running late for work.

From everything not going smoothly when you realize time is running out to have thought of being let go from employment. It shows the risks one would take to get to work, even in cases where they don’t like where they work. 

Recommended: Manipulation Melodies: 21 Songs About Gaslighting.



5. It’s Late by Queen

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This Queen’s track is one of the best songs about being late as it discusses the conflicting emotions of a romantic relationship. The lyrics focus on a couple who cannot make their relationship work however much they try and put in an effort. They also imply there is less chance of reconciliation.

The song explores the pain because of the unfulfilled possibility of their relationship continuing after realizing it’s too late to be saved, and what remains is the longing for what could have been. 



6. Manic Monday by The Bangles & Prince

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The iconic song from the mid-eighties is about a woman returning to reality after a wonderful weekend of relaxation with her lover. The song starts with her waking up on Monday morning and realizing she is late for work.

She faces a hectic journey to her job, and on her way there, she wishes and prefers that it is Sunday all over again as it is her fun day. 



7. Dead On Time by Queen

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Dead On Time is one of the best songs from Queen’s Jazz album. Over the years, the song has had multiple interpretations from the band’s fans, and one of the popular meanings is it is about a person who lives a life full of stress.

Especially career-wise, and will do anything to get to his job despite being exhausted. The singer is advising him not only to leave home on time if he does not want to be late but also to take a break from all of life’s stresses.  



8. I’m Late by Offbeat

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If you are a fan of parody songs, then this will be a fun piece to listen to. The humorous song tells the story of the singer who keeps running late because he keeps on getting into one or the other unintentional predicament. 

The song shows it is always common for him to run late, and he even sought the help of a physician to diagnose his problem, but there was no help for him.

He ends up complaining about his date, who ran late despite him also arriving on the date late, showing he is not accommodating to others as his friends accommodate him for his lateness. 

Recommended: 21 Songs That Speak the Truth About Abusive Relationships.



9. Always Late by Rizzle Kicks

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Here is another piece, one of the best humorous songs about being late. It is from the perspective of a person who is always late but is unapologetic for his behaviors.

The duo rapper delivers solid rap bars that document the various occasions they are always late with unique choruses that are tailored and made for the verses that came before.  



10. Too Little Too Late by JoJo

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This is one of the best songs of 2006, becoming a number-one hit upon its release. It is about a breakup where the girl lets her boyfriend go because she realizes she deserves better.

By the time the man realizes he wants her back, it’s too late for them to mend anything. The track is the lead single on Jojo’s sophomore album, The High Road.



11. Too Late by Cash Cash ft Wiz Khalifa & Lukas Graham

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Though the song’s title and lyrics have ‘late’ on it, it has nothing to do with punctuality. It is advice to us, the listeners, to live to the fullest and not let it flash before our eyes, as it will be too late.

The star-studded eclectic DJ’s trifecta, Cash Cash, organized the sentimental, emotional anthem. 



12. Fashionably Late by Falling in Reverse

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Undoubtedly, no one can deny that Fashionably Late is one of Falling in Reverse’s most ambitious projects. This is because it has a combination of different influences spewed to create a musical format unique to the sound we are familiar with from the band.

The decision to include rap verses in the song unexpectedly shows that Ronnie got his inspiration from both Tupac and Eminem.

Recommended: 21 Songs About Honey to Sweeten Your Day.



13. Hold On by Offbeat

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The concept of time management seems to be lacking in the vocabulary of Offbeat, which is why the artist has penned several songs about being late to explain his predicaments. 

The track takes us through the artist’s events as he leaves for one of the biggest gigs in his career. The journey meets different predicaments, making him nearly miss the chance to perform in his allocated time slot. Only on his arrival is he told that he has an hour to spare before he goes to the stage.



14. Move B***c by Luda Chris ft Mystikal, 1-20

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Have you ever found yourself running late and in traffic? To express that feeling and frustration is a song by Luda, who just wants traffic to move to get where he wants on time.

Upon its release, the song enjoyed massive airplay, making the artist a household name because it is relatable to anyone running late. The original version contains profane lyrics expressing the composer’s agitation. 



15. In A Hurry by Paul McCartney

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In a Hurry is one of the few popular songs by Paul McCartney after The Beatles split. It tells the story of a woman who is always in a rush as if running late. The singer advises her to take time and enjoy life.

It’s incredible how Paul has inspired younger artists by continuing to release music in his old age. 



16. Too Late For Love by Def Leppard

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This song by the English rock band Def Leppard describes a city filled with darkness and tranquility. The song’s protagonist wonders if it is too late to fall in love with such a place. 

The song’s emotional lyrics and outstanding guitar riffs made it stand out on the band’s album, Pyromania. The ballad has a powerful way of expressing regret and love making it a favourite among fans of Def Leppard.

Recommended: 21 Songs About Hiding and Staying Out of Sight.



17. It’s Too Late To Change The Time by The Jacksons

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The next piece is a ballad that explores the constantly changing times and highlights despite all that, emotions and ambitions will remain the same. The song from the early 1970s opens by acknowledging that people are no longer interested in visiting grocery stores as everyone adapts to the use of Yellow Pages. 

The track is revolutionary as over 50 years later, we see that times have changed and the trends of that time are no longer relevant in these modern times. It shows that despite all that, our desire for those we love remains the same. 



18. Running Out Of Time by Paramore

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Running Out of Time is one of the most popular songs about being late that was released recently. The song has managed to gain more than 12 million views since it was uploaded two months ago.

The composer conveyed her sense of anxiety around time management and how it has, over time, become worse, questioning herself if she is selfish by letting people wait for her. 



19. One Day Too Late by Skillet

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The idea of this song is to put effort into yourself and be who you want to be today because tomorrow could be a day too late. The composer emphasizes that time is constantly moving forward, and one can never return to capture lost moments.

It is an inspirational track to help listeners move forward so they don’t live a life of regret.



20. It’s Too Late, by Johnny Rivers

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While some might advise you that it is never too late to say you are sorry, in some cases, you can be. Johnny River’s rendition of Bobby Goldsboro’s song shows us this song is about an ex-lover seeking forgiveness for past mistakes only to realize her ex has moved on. 

Recommended: Top 21 Inspiring Songs About Climbing.



21. Late Again by Stealers

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The last song of the playlist is from a man who is always coming back home late hours, and his partner keeps complaining about his lack of punctuality. He seeks forgiveness one more time for being a disappointment and lacking the respect to come back to her on time. 



Last Words

The songs about being late in the compilations have shown the word late has been used by artists to convey a message about punctuality but also cover different topics.

If you have any song to add that fits into the theme of being late for something or someone, be sure to share it in our comment section.


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Music is the lifeblood of my veins. I love to listen, play and write music. Being a music band manager is what I love to do mostly because I love working with artists on their personal branding and brand building while helping them find the next level of success.

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