The Byrds Turn! Turn! Turn!

Great B-Sides: She Don't Care About Time by The Byrds

The early Byrds albums are best known for their cover versions – their take on Dylan’s ‘Mr Tambourine Man’ launched their career, while their second album was named for Pete Seeger’s biblical ‘Turn! Turn! Turn!’ While Roger McGuinn, David Crosby, and Chris Hillman would write strong material for The Byrds later, the one Byrd who was an accomplished writer from the beginning was Gene Clark.

Due to group infighting, Clark was limited to only three songs on their second album, Turn! Turn! Turn! This meant that the excellent ‘She Don’t About Time’ was relegated to b-side status, backing the title track. It’s one of my favourite Clark songs for The Byrds. For me the song’s most startling feature is McGuinn’s lift of Bach’s ‘Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring’ for the guitar solo, and how seamlessly it fits in. The song inspired George Harrison to write The Beatles’ ‘If I Needed Someone’.

As a Byrds fan, it took me a while to get to Clark’s solo career, but it’s often excellent – records like No Other and White Light are very strong.

As a bonus feature, here’s another strong Byrds song that never made it onto a studio album. David Crosby’s non-album single ‘Lady Friend’ was released in 1967. It’s an interesting spin on The Byrds’ usual sound, with the harmonies and McGuinn guitar the group were known for, but also a brass arrangement. It failed on the charts, and was never included on a studio album.

Hallways and staircases everyday to climb
To go up to my white walled room out on the end of time
Where I can be with my love for she is all that is mine
And she’ll always be there, my love don’t care about time

I laugh with her, cry with her, hold her close she is mine
The way she tells me of her love and never is she trying
She don’t have to be assured of many good things to find
And she’ll always be there, my love don’t care about time

Her eyes are dark and deep with love, her hair hangs long and fine
She walks with ease and all she sees is never wrong or right
And with her arms around me tight I see her all in my mind
And she’ll always be there my love don’t care about time


  1. These are both great tunes! I think I had listened to Lady Friend once or twice before but hadn’t known She Don’t Care About Time.
    McGuinn’s incorporation of the Bach theme in his guitar solo is really cool. I also didn’t know the tune inspired George Harrison’s If I Needed Someone, which happens to be one of my favorite Beatles tunes.
    In fact, it was Harrison’s use of the Rickenbacker in the film Help, which drew McGuinn’s attention to the guitar that in turn became key to his signature jingle-jangle sound – one of reasons I dig The Byrds as well!

    • ‘The Bells of Rhymney’ was also an influence on ‘If I Needed Someone’. There was definitely a two way street there – I was just reading Wikipedia about it and there was lots of mutual respect there between McGuinn and Harrison.

  2. Great songs by the Byrds. Roger took the Rickenbacker and used heavy compression…made a great atmosphere. That sound defined the mid-sixties.

    • Yes, would have made the album better – sometimes b-sides feel a little like novelties or chances to try something different, but this one’s just a very good Byrds song that should have been included.

        • What ones do you know? I think White Light and No Other are probably stronger, and Roadmaster gets squeezed out a little in comparison. I need to spend more time with his 1960s stuff too.

          • I’m really lax in my Gene Clark stuff. Mainly his association with the Byrds and Hillman and as a songwriter.. I think we’ve had a conversation around this before. I jumped on the Hillman, Parsons trains. Cool thing is I’m hopping on this music pronto. I just popped on ‘White Light’ and the first cut has me. I’ll be living here for a while. Thanks for this.

          • White Light and No Other are kind of opposite – White Light’s kind of stripped back and similar to rootsy Bob Dylan albums from the same era, while No Other is a big, grandiose, LA soft rock, cocaine affair.

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