Saturday, July 15, 2023
Back in July 1969, we were talking about Apollo 11 going to the moon and a song on the radio called "In the year 2525" subtitled "Exordium & Terminus." To be honest, I did not know what "Exordium & Terminus" meant but I figured that it was Latin. I asked my father, who had been an altar boy when the mass was in Latin, and he told me that it translated to "the beginning and the end." Then I got more confused because it seemed that the lyrics were all about a future 500 years now.
Zager and Evans recorded the song and it quickly became a "one-hit wonder." Nevertheless, it had a lot of people talking. Even today, people are trying to figure lyrics like these:
In the year 2525, if man is still alive
If woman can survive, they may find In the year 3535
Ain't gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lie
Everything you think, do and sayIs in the pill you took today.
Are you still confused? Probably.
Anyway, I found this by Bruce Kauffmanninteresting:
While half a million young people attended the Woodstock Music Festival in the summer of 1969, the number one song on the charts that summer -- from July to this week (Aug. 22) -- wasn’t on the Woodstock playlist. That song was “In the Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus),” by Denny Zager and Rick Evans.
Wow. That's something to think about. So nobody remembered the song at the Woodstock festival in late summer. Maybe those people were too "whatever" to think about anything deeper than Jimi Hendrix playing the National Anthem. Back to Mr. Kauffman:
The song begins, “In the year 2525 / If man is still alive / If woman can survive, they may find …” And then Zager and Evans take listeners to a dystopian future in which humans are zombies who don’t work, think, make choices, or even use their senses -- sight, smell, speech -- because medical and technological advances have taken over their lives.
In the second verse, the human race is “In the year 3535,” where we, “Ain’t gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lie / Everything you think, do and say / Is in the pill you took today.” A thousand years later, “In the year 4545 / You ain’t gonna need your teeth, won’t need your eyes / You won’t find a thing to chew / Nobody’s gonna look at you.”
And a thousand years after that, “In the year 5555 / Your arms hangin’ limp at your sides / Your legs got nothin’ to do / Some machine’s doin’ that for you.”
So if, in 1969, millions of people were moved by a song about a world doomed because technology controlled our lives, imagine if the song came out in today’s world, where machines have taken over entire industries, we take pills (legal and illegal) for nearly everything, Google and other search engines, including our user-friendly “Siri” and “Alexa,” answer our questions, tell us where to go, what to do and how to do it, and government agencies such as the FBI, CIA and NSA keep a constant eye on our daily lives.
The song "In the year 2525" always raises a few questions based on today's headlines.
For example, "if woman can survive" may be a reference to men winning beauty pageants or winning female sporting events. Anyway, imagine hearing "Some machine’s doin’ that for you" today when we rely so much on a machine, an I-Phone, a calculator, etc.
Anyway, I found a copy of the original RCA 45 in a garage sale recently. I asked the homeowner why she was selling it. She said that it was from her late father's collection and she had no use for it. I laughed and kept looking, knowing that most people probably have no use for it either.
Of course, this song could be like Nostradamus 500 years from now with all those predictions about the future. So hold on to your 45. It may mean something in the year 2525 if man is still alive and woman can survive.
We say happy birthday to Linda Ronstadt who was born in Tucson, Arizona, on this day in 1946.
She started her career with The Stone Poneys in the 1960's.
Linda went solo in the 1970's and recorded pop, Mexican music and ballroom dancing.
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July 22, 2009:
Guest: Bill Katz of Urgent Agenda. In our roundtable, we will talk with Alberto de la Cruz (Babalu blog) about his article on the Honduras situation. Adryana Boyne will tell us about her recent speech to a local Republican group.
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