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 say
Is in the pill you took today
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
In the year 5555
Your arms hangin' limp at your sides
Your legs got nothin' to do
Some machine's doin' that for you
In the year 6565
You won't need no husband, won't need no wife
You'll pick your son, pick your daughter too
From the bottom of a long glass tube
In the year 7510
If God's a-coming, He oughta make it by then
Maybe He'll look around Himself and say
"Guess it's time for the judgement day"
In the year 8510
God is gonna shake His mighty head
He'll either say "I'm pleased where man has been"
Or tear it down, and start again
In the year 9595
I'm kinda wonderin' if man is gonna be alive
He's taken everything this old earth can give
And he ain't put back nothing
Now it's been ten thousand years
Man has cried a billion tears
For what, he never knew
Now man's reign is through
But through eternal night
The twinkling of starlight
So very far away
Maybe it’s only yesterday
This all time classic futuristic song of the one-hit artists Zager & Evans reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks, in 1969. The song was written by Rick Evans in 1964 and originally released on a small local record label in 1967. Two years later, an Odessa, Texas radio station popularized the disc, which RCA Records quickly picked up for nationwide distribution.
The overriding theme, of a world doomed by its passive acquiescence to and overdependence on its own overdone technologies, struck a resonant chord in millions of people around the world in the 1960s.
The song is based on a nightmarish vision of the future as man's technological inventions gradually dehumanize him. It references examples of technologies that were not fully developed but were known to the public in 1969, such as robots, as well as future technology that would come into existence long after being prophesied in the song, the science of test tube babies and genetic selection by parents of their future children. Such a concept had been explored in a few science fiction novels but had not yet been mentioned in the mainstream media until "In The Year 2525" was released in 1969.
It is not common for a recording artist to have a number one hit single and then never have another chart single for the rest of their career. "In the Year 2525" gave Zager and Evans this dubious status twice. They were, and remain, the only act to do this in both the U.S. and UK singles charts. Their followup single on RCA-Victor, "Mr. Turnkey" (a song about a rapist who nails his own wrist to the wall as punishment for his crime), failed to chart.
This song has been covered many times after it’s first release and is still famous and popular about it’s prophetical visions which came true or threaten to come true too much earlier than the songwriters had foreseen.
The basic concept that runs through the lyrics is strongly from religious point of view, about the human arrogance and ignorance that abuses Nature as God’s creation, with specific references to Judgement Day, as many rock artists like to sing in 60s and early 70s.
But the specific underlying environmental message of the song is quite interesting because it foresees the impacts of the devastating model of progress and outlines the concept of sustainability as moral necessity: In the year 9595, I'm kinda wonderin' if Man is gonna be alive. He's taken everything this old Earth can give, and he ain't put back nothing, whoa-whoa...
You can hear this song in youtube in an old video with the original singers and in a slide presentation which successfully reproduce the meaning of the lyrics.