Monday, May 21, 2012

Musical Monday - In the Year 2525 by Zager & Evans

Sometimes a band appears out of nowhere with a single song that dominates popular music for a time and then vanishes. In 1969 Zager & Evans did just that, sweeping to the top slot on the U.S. and U.K. charts, holding that position on the U.S. charts for six weeks. It was the number one song in the U.S. on July 20th, 1969 when Apollo 11 landed on the moon, and stayed at the top of the charts while Woodstock was going on. The song was nominated for (but did not win) a special Hugo Award that year (instead a special Hugo Award was handed out to Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins for "Best Moon Landing Ever").

Born in the sixties amidst fears of impending nuclear war, the song paints a vision of a progressively more dystopian future. By the year 3535 humanity's thoughts and actions will be controlled by a daily pill. By 4545 humans will no longer have a need for teeth or eyes. By 5555 our arms and legs will be atrophied to uselessness while machines handle all chores for us. By 6565 marriage will be a thing of the past and children will be produced "in the bottom of a long glass tube". In 7510 God returns and contemplates Judgement Day, and in 8510 he decides whether he is pleased with humanity or will destroy it and begin again. The song wonders if humans will still be around in 9595, having consumed all that the Earth has to offer and failed to replenish it. In the end, man's suzerainty is over amidst a billion tears.

Previous Musical Monday: Do You Wanna Date My Avatar by The Guild
Subsequent Musical Monday: Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac

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