This song philosophizes about the future of mankind as technology exerts its tremendous influence on society. It expresses a pessimistic view of the future evolution of mankind, that we will become dehumanized, like unthinking automatons. It theorizes that there may come a day of reckoning , a tipping point where man either survives to eternity or is wiped out and has to start over from the beginning (rise and evolve again from the primordial sludge), but it does end on an optimistic (hopeful) note.
00 In the year 2525, if man is still alive,
01 If woman can survive, they may find…
02 In the year 3535
03 Ain’t gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lie.
04 Everything you think, do, and say
05 Is in the pill you took today.
06 In the year 4545
07 You ain’t gonna need your teeth, won’t need your eyes.
08 You won’t find a thing to chew.
09 Nobody’s gonna look at you.
10 In the year 5555
11 Your arms hangin’ limp at your sides,
12 Your legs got nothin’ to do,
13 Some machine’s doin’ that for you.
14 In the year 6565
15 Ain’t gonna need no husband, won’t need no wife.
16 You’ll pick your son, pick your daughter too
17 From the bottom of a long glass tube.
18 In the year 7510
19 If God’s a-coming, He oughta make it by then.
20 Maybe He’ll look around Himself and say,
21 “Guess it’s time for the Judgment Day.”
22 In the year 8510
23 God is gonna shake His mighty head.
24 He’ll either say, “I’m pleased where man has been,”
25 Or tear it down and start again.
26 In the year 9595
27 I’m kinda wonderin’ if man is gonna be alive.
28 He’s taken everything this old earth can give,
29 And he ain’t put back nothing.
30 Now it’s been ten thousand years; man has cried a billion tears
31 For what he never knew; now man’s reign is through.
32 But through eternal night, the twinkling of starlight,
33 So very far away, maybe it’s only yesterday.
- Slang and bad grammar are shown in bold font. This is necessary to make the syllables match the song melody.
- Note that the years are pronounced as two numbers less than 100 (25-25, 35-35, 85-10).
- Line 05: in the pill you took today => mind-control or mind-calming pill => drug-controlled society
- Line 11: limp = loose, relaxed, no muscle-tightening at all, like a wet spaghetti noodle or a piece of string
- Line 13: automation => machines are going all the work so humans have nothing to do but stand around getting lazy
- Lines 16-17: pick you kids from a long glass tube (test tube) => “in vitro” fertilization (in vitro is Latin for “in glass”)
- Lines 18, 22: Had to chance the year to end in “10” to make the lines rhyme.
- Line 21: Judgment Day = the day when all good religious people are taken up into Heaven, leaving the abandoned people behind to live in agony on the Earth. Maybe also known as “the day of reckoning” or “the Rapture”.
- Line 25: Destroy mankind and start over with a new “Adam and Eve“. Start again from scratch.
- Lines 28-29: Mankind has used up all the Earth’s resources (taken everything) and done nothing to replace them (put them back).
- Line 30: The year is now 10,000 CE (common era).
- Line 31: Man’s reign is through => Mankind’s period of ruling over the Earth is finished.
- Line 32: eternal night = eternity = forever in time
- Line 32: The air movement in the atmosphere causes starlight to vary slightly or waver in brightness or stability. We cause these visual fluctuations “twinkling”. The stars twinkle in the sky but not in deep space (no air).
- Lines 32-33: Perhaps tomorrow is just yesterday. Perhaps time and history repeat themselves in the vast scale of the universe. Gives hope that we can try again or be reborn again.
- What factor does the author feel will lead to mankind’s doom?
- How long was man’s reign in this song?
- Why would there come a day when we don’t need arms and legs?
- Why would there come a day when we won’t need husbands and wives?
- If God’s not happy with mankind’s development over mankind’s long reign, what might he do?
- What factor in the universe gives us hope at the end of the song?
- What is “in vitro” fertilization?
- Why does this song writer use so much bad grammar?
- What is a tipping point? Can you name an idiom that expresses reaching this point?
- How did mankind treat the Earth over this long period of time?