AS I WANDER AROUND THIS WRECK OF A TIME

Just on the border of your waking mind,

There lies another time

Where darkness and light are one.

And as you tread the halls of sanity

You feel so glad to be unable to go beyond.

 

I have a message from another time.

 

 

Well I came a long way to be here today

And I left you so long on this avenue.

And here I stand in the strangest land

Not knowing what to say or do

As I gaze around at these strangers in town.

I guess the only stranger is me,

And I wonder, yes I wonder, is this

The way life’s meant to be.

 

Although it’s only a day since I was taken away

And left standing here looking in wonder.

The ground at my feet maybe it’s just the old street

But everything that I know lies under.

And when I see what they’ve done to this place that was home,

Shame is all that I feel.

And I wonder, yes I wonder, is this

The way life’s meant to be.

 

Too late, too late to cry, the people say.

Too late for you, too late for me

You’ve come so far, now you know everything

My friend

Just look and see the wonders of our world.  

 

As I wander around this wreck of a town

Where people never speak aloud

With its ivory towers and its plastic flowers

I wish I was back in 1981

Just to see your face, instead of this place

Now I know what you mean to me.

And I wonder, yes I wonder, is this

The way life’s meant to be.

 

 

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 learnt 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.

 

 

PrologueThe Way Life’s Meant To Be, & 21st Century Man

From the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) album, Time (1981)

Lyrics (and music) by Jeff Lynne

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