30 Century Man
Scott Walker Lyrics


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See the dwarfs an' see the giants
Which one would you choose to be?

And if you can't get that together
Here's the answer, here's the key

You can freeze like thirty century man
Like a thirty century man

I'll save my breath and take it with me
Till a hundred years and so
Shame you won't be there to see me
Shaking hands with Charles de Gaulle

Play it cool an' Saran wrap all you can
Be a thirty century man




You can freeze like a thirty century man
Like a thirty century man, mmhm

Overall Meaning

In Scott Walker's song "30 Century Man," the lyrics ask listeners to ponder a question of personal identity – whether they would prefer to be like dwarfs or giants. The implication is that one must choose between being seen as small and insignificant or large and potentially dangerous. The chorus then presents a different option – to become a frozen "thirty century man," a reference to cryogenic freezing, in which someone's body is preserved at extremely low temperatures to potentially be revived in the future. The choice to become a "thirty century man" is presented as an alternative to the difficult and uncertain choice of which type of person to be. The lyrics go on to suggest that this frozen state is desirable because it allows someone to experience life for far longer than a typical human lifespan, and to potentially meet important historical figures such as Charles de Gaulle.


Overall, "30 Century Man" encourages listeners to think about their place in the world and the advantages and disadvantages of different ways of living. The song also presents a futuristic concept that was gaining attention in the late 1960s and early 1970s, which was the idea of human cryogenic freezing as a potential way to cheat death and live an extended life.


Line by Line Meaning

See the dwarfs an' see the giants
Observe the small and insignificant and compare with the big and influential.


Which one would you choose to be?
Which group do you wish to belong to?


And if you can't get that together
If you can't decide which group you prefer,


Here's the answer, here's the key
Allow me to reveal the solution to your dilemma.


You can freeze like thirty century man
You can preserve yourself like a futuristic time traveller.


Like a thirty century man
Just as those from a distant era.


I'll save my breath and take it with me
I will conserve my energy for the journey ahead.


Till a hundred years and so
Until at least a century in time.


Shame you won't be there to see me
Regrettable that you will miss the opportunity to witness me.


Shaking hands with Charles de Gaulle
Meeting a famous historical figure.


Play it cool an' Saran wrap all you can
Maintain a nonchalant attitude and preserve as much as possible.


Be a thirty century man
Transform yourself into a futuristic, preserved being.


Like a thirty century man, mmhm
Just like one of those advanced beings from a distant age.




Lyrics © O/B/O APRA AMCOS
Written by: Scott Engel

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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