Haven't Got Time for the Pain

"Haven't Got Time for the Pain" is a song written by Carly Simon and Jacob Brackman that was first released on Simon's 1974 album Hotcakes. It was also released as a single, reaching #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. It is also known for its use in commercials for the ibuprofen brand Medipren in the late 1980s.

Lyrics and music

Allmusic critic Joe Viglione described "Haven't Got Time for the Pain" as sounding like a sequel to "The Right Thing to Do," from Simon's previous album No Secrets from 1972. The lyrics state that after a new, wonderful person has entered the singer's life, she no longer has time or reason for suffering over past lovers lost. According to author Sheila Weller, the lyrics reflect Simon's life at the time - she has no more use for "self-obsession" or "existential angst." Viglione describes Simon's vocals as being "perfectly in tune," and Weller describes the passion expressed by her "bleating voice" as undercutting the "vow of emotional peace" in the lyrics, which according to Weller "gives the song its edge." Instrumentation includes piano, played by Simon herself, drums and string instruments, plus acoustic guitar played by Simon's then-husband James Taylor. Weller describes the string interlude (arranged and orchestrated by Paul Buckmaster) as "operatic." Viglione praises producer Richard Perry for "very cleverly accentuating Simon's emotions" by using classical instruments in the song.


Rolling Stone Magazine critic Jon Landau described "Haven't Got Time for the Pain" as Simon's "best single to date"; this following such hit singles as "Anticipation" and "You're So Vain." Viglione describes it as "one of the classiest as well as one of the simplest" of the many successful singles released by female vocalists in 1974. Music critic Robert Christgau called "Haven't Got Time for the Pain" "the most insidious let's-write-God-a-love-song to date. Author Bruce Pollock described it as a "yuppie credo."

Other appearances

"Haven't Got Time for the Pain" has been included on several Carly Simon compilation albums, including The Best of Carly Simon in 1975, Clouds in My Coffee in 1995, The Very Best of Carly Simon: Nobody Does It Better in 1999, Anthology in 2002, Reflections: Carly Simon's Greatest Hits and Carly Simon Collector's Edition in 2009.

Vikki Carr covered "Haven't Got Time for the Pain" on her 1974 album One Hell of a Woman. Lesley Gore covered it on her 1982 album The Canvas Can Do Miracles.

Weekly charts

Year-end charts