21st Century Man

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  • A penny in your pocket
    Suitcase in your hand
    They won't get you very far
    Now you're a 21st century man.

    Fly across the city
    Rise above the land
    You can do 'most anything
    Now you're a 21st century man.

    Though you ride on the wheels of tomorrow
    You still wander the fields of your sorrow

    One day you're a hero
    Next day you're a clown
    There's nothing that is in between
    Now you're a 21st century man.

    You should be so happy
    You should be so glad
    So why are you so lonely
    You 21st century man

    You stepped out of a dream believing
    Everything was gone
    Return with what you've learned
    They'll kiss the ground you walk upon.

    Things ain't how you thought they were
    Nothing have you planned
    So pick up your penny and your suitcase
    You're not a 21st century man.

    Though you ride on the wheels of tomorrow
    You still wander the fields of your sorrow
    21st century man
    Writer/s: JEFF LYNNE
    Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 6

  • Ed from Canton, OhThis is very cool to find out that this song was a tribute to Lennon. When I saw ELO in Cleveland in 1981 on the Time tour, they played A Day in the Life as a tribute to Lennon. when you think of it....who else but ELO could play A Day in the Life?
  • Pepper from Athens, TnLast time I looked this was a tribute to Marc Bolan, whom Jeff Lynne was good friends with. Marc also played onstage with ELO a good number of times, and played on a few tracks on a 1977 album.
  • Todd from Brentwood, CaI've theorized about this album, written as a rock opera many times. Listening to the words of all the songs, it makes sense to me. If it's true, I would love to have seen it produced!
  • Mitch from Crown Point, InTime is actually a great album - just plain weird though - sent ELO to an early grave (that, and Xanadu).
  • Logan from Troy, MtPenny in Your Pocket - Penny Lane, Written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon.

    Suitcase in Your Hand - Lady Madonna, "Friday Night Arrives without a Suitcase/ Sunday morning's creeping like a nun."

    Fly Across the City - "Flying" - An Instrumental Beatles song from "Magical Mystery Tour", or it could refer to Heaven from John's Song, "Imagine".

    One day your a hero, next day your a clown - The infamous "Bigger Than Jesus" statement during the height of The Beatles career.

    You stepped out of the dream - Imagine - "You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

    That's the best I can come up with.
  • Randy from Suburban, MnThe entire "Time" album is a sort of rock opera about a man who is sent forward, to a time not his own. It's a fearful look at a possible future. This song, in context, is about the fact that the man of the 20th century -- when the song was written -- will not find the 21st century to be what he'd expected.
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