It was the year 1969 when the song “In The Year 2525” by the rock-pop duo Zager and Evans came out. The two musician from Nebraska met at Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1962.
This bleak and futuristic tale is a very unusual song. “In the Year 2525″ stayed at #1 for six weeks, which was longer than any other song that year but this earned it the distinction of #1 record of the year 1969. The song reflected the apprehension of the times and also the wonder of technology. It started its run at the top of the US chart the week before the Apollo 11 moon landing.
The song was subtitled “Exordium & Terminus,” which is a fancy way of saying “Beginning & End.” The song took itself quite seriously in its description of what will become of man as technology takes over.
“In the Year 2525”
The song soon became a hit, reaching the top of the charts and becoming the anthem of a generation worried about the future ahead. The lyrics were written by Evans first in 1964. The song was primarily recorded in 1968 by their own record label, Truth, on a regional level, with the collaboration of Mark Dalton, Dave Trupp, and the Odessa Symphony.
Zager and Evans never returned to the pop charts after their triumphant debut in the summer of ’69. Nor did they ever explain what “Exordium and Terminus” meant.
After 9/11, “In the Year 2525” was famously banned from airplay by Clear Channel. As we get closer to the year, expect to hear this song with ever-increasing frequency.
Listening to the song, it makes me wonder if we could yet assess how accurate Zager & Evans’ predictions of the future were…
So, let’s recap. In 7510 God was thinking about the Judgement Day. By 8510 he was just about getting around to shaking his mighty hand. And 2525, Zager & Evans don’t actually make it clear whether God was happy or not, and instead, comes out with some fashionable hippie eco-claptrap.
Still, I’m curious- what can possibly happen next in this amazing future?
Now it’s been 10,000 years,
Man has cried a billion tears,
For what he never knew,
Now man’s reign is through,
But through the eternal night,
The twinkling of starlight,
So very far away,
Maybe it’s only yesterday…
2525, Exordium & Terminus, Zager & Evans
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