Songs which date themselves by mentioning the current year.

I was listening to a couple of songs recently, “Modern Woman” by Billy Joel and “Heat of the Moment” by Asia, and noticed that both songs mention the year that is contemporary with their release. In “Modern Woman” it’s “And after 1986, what else could be new?” and In “Heat of the Moment” it’s “And now you find yourself in '82.”

The placement of the year such as this can make a song sound hip and current, yet after the passage of time makes it horribly dated. Are there other examples of songs such as these which mention the current year, then become outdated?

Note, I’m not asking for songs such as “December 1963” which were written well after the date mentioned and are intended to evoke more of a nostalgic mood.

How about songs that mention a future year? (E.g., Prince’s “1999”)

Even better are songs like “80’s Ladies”, which declare that decade to be the time of “now” and their maturity.

I’m sure if mankind is still alive in the year 2525…

It doesn’t mention the number of the year exactly, but “Millennium” by Robbie Williams probably fits the spirit of the OP.

Obliquely: in “Nowadays” from Chicago there is the lyric “In fifty years or so/things will change, you know.” When the musical first came out (and flopped), it was about 50 years after the events portrayed (it’s based on real events). Now, it’s more.

The only thing I can think of is something by Public Enemy that mentions the year 1989 - “Fight the Power,” or maybe “Welome to the Terrordome.” I’m not sure.


It’s “Fight the Power.” I came in to mention that.

Jackson Browne’s RUNNING ON EMPTY, but the dates mentioned are in the past (and incidentally match my age):

“In '65, I was 17…”

“In '69, I was 21…”

I wouldn’t really count “Running On Empty”. The date and his age are really more functions of the year he was born (1948) than of the year he recorded it (1977). He could sing it in concert tomorrow night and it would still make sense. He still was 17 in 1965 and 21 in 1969. That would never change as of the current year.

I could give a pass to 1999. That would be in the spirit of what I’m looking for.

Out of of my mind on Saturday night
1970 growin’ in sight
Radio birdman up above
Beautiful lady, needin’ my love.

“1970”, Iggy and The Stooges

Still a great song, though.

Hey, little punk, forget all that junk
And celebrate summer with me.
Summer is heaven in '77.

“Celebrate Summer”, T. Rex

Still a shit song: hopelessly and rather pathetically outdated musically, considering that in Britain the Pistols were tearing everything up and Bowie, Bolan’s one-time glam rival, had wisely decamped to Berlin to write moody electronic instrumentals with Brian Eno.

Barenaked Ladies - Shoebox

Near the end;

“You’re so nineteen-ninety
And it’s nineteen-ninety-four
Leave this world behind me
'Cause you don’t want me anymore.”


The Clash: “No Elvis, Beatles, or Rolling Stones in 1977!”

How about songs that date themselves by mentioning the century? "She’s a 20th Century Fox (Doors); “They got earphone heads, they got dirty necks, they’re so 20th century” (Stones, Live With Me).

Or conversely, songs that mention a future century that is no longer in the future, as in King Crimson’s 21st Century Schizoid Man?

Tone Loc, Funky Cold Medina. This is the 80s, and I’m down with the ladies.
(This following one of my favorite lyrics after learning that “Sheena was a man!”: I don’t mess around with no Oscar Meyer Wiener: you must be sure that the girl is pure, before the Funky Cold Medina.)

After the Goldrush by Neil Young (released in 1970) contains the line “look at mother nature on the run in the 1970s”.

He’s updated it in live performances, and the current line is “… in the 21st century”.

Hrm… also, I just thought of the opening to They Might Be Giants’ “Flood”. It does kind of date the whole damn cd when the first thing you hear is:

Why is the world in love again?
Why are we marching hand in hand?
Why are the ocean levels rising up?
It’s brand new record for 1990.
They Might be Giants’ brand new album:

I’m not quite sure how this one fits in, but Bad Religion recorded 21st Century (Digital Boy) in 1994. At that point, I suppose it was talking about high-tech futuristic things, but based on the lyrics it still holds up just fine.

Will Smith did a very stupid song that sampled “Rock the Casbah,” titled “Will 2K,” which came out right before the year 2000.

If we’re counting songs that mentioned a future year that had passed, there are a passel of songs referring to 1984 or 1985. These include

Paul McCartney – “1985”
Spirit – “1984”
David Bowie – “1984”

“The Eighties are here; I know cause I’m looking right at 'em” -The Kinks, “Attitude”

The Ramones, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio”

It’s the end, the end of the Seventies,
It’s the end, the end of the century
which came out on the album “End of the Century” (released two decades before the century ended)