The Modern Age
The Strokes Lyrics


Up on a hill is where we begin
This little story a long time ago

Stop to pretend, stop pretendin'
It seems this game is simply never-endin'

Oh, in the sun, sun havin' fun
It's in my blood
I just can't help it
Don't want you here right now
Let me go, oh, let me, oh, g-g-g-g-g-g-g-go

Leavin' just in time
Stay there for a while
Rollin' in the ocean
Tryin' to catch her eye
Work hard and say it's easy
Do it just to please me
Tomorrow will be different
So I'll pretend I'm leavin', oh yeah

Our fears are different here
We train in AVA
I wish you hadn't stayed
My vision's clearer now, but I am not afraid

Flyin' overseas, no time to feel the breeze
I took too many varieties

Oh, in the sun, sun havin' fun
It's in my blood
I just can't help it
Don't want you here right now
Let me go, ooh
Darlin' let me, let g-g-g-g-g-g-g-go

Leavin' just in time
Stayin' for a while
Rollin' in the ocean
Tryin' to catch her eye
Work hard and say it's easy
Do it just to please me
Tomorrow will be different
So this is why I'm leavin'

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Written by: Julian Casablancas

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comments from YouTube:

Gerru

Lyrics:

Up on a hill is where we begin
This little story a long time ago
Stop to pretend, stop pretending
It seems this game is simply never-ending
Oh, in the sun, sun having fun
It's in my blood
I just can't help it
Don't want you here right now
Let me go, oh, let me g-g-g-g-g-g-go

Leavin' just in time
Stay there for a while
Rolling in the ocean
Trying to catch her eye
Work hard and say it's easy
Do it just to please me
Tomorrow will be different
So I'll pretend I'm leaving

Our fears are different here
We train in A-V-A
I wish you hadn't stayed
My vision's clearer now, but I'm unafraid
Flying overseas, no time to feel the breeze
I took too many varieties
Oh, in the sun, sun having fun
It's in my blood
I just can't help it
Don't want you here right now
Let me go
Darling let me g-g-g-g-g-g-go

Leaving just in time
Staying for a while
Rolling in the ocean
Trying to catch her eye
Work hard and say it's easy
Do it just to please me
Tomorrow will be different
So this is why I'm leaving



Steve Cabral

“Up on a hill, here’s where we begin/This little story, a long time ago” Maybe New York City isn’t technically a hill and maybe 14 years isn’t so long ago, but, excepting that, the opening line from “The Modern Age” could serve double-duty as the first words in the story of The Strokes. After all, the song was the title track and one of three songs included on the EP the band released in 2001 that set off a bidding war for their services and cranked up the hype machine to deafening levels.


It also is one of the most memorable tracks on the band’s debut album Is This It, an album that somehow managed to exceed that hype. The Strokes’ sound, which combined the ramshackle attitude of garage rock with the arched-eyebrow posturing of art rock in striking fashion, receives a lot of that credit for the band’s success. But that sound wouldn’t have meant quite as much if it weren’t attached to memorable songs courtesy of lead singer Julian Casablancas.


“The Modern Age” is a fine example of this alchemy. Chunky staccato guitars in the intro eventually open up into a buoyant bass line from Nikolai Fraiture and stomping drums from Fabrizio Moretti. Nick Valensi takes off on a searing guitar solo in the middle portion of the song, yet the melody in the chorus balances that out with its melancholic chord changes.


Casablancas’ vocals contain that same kind of variety, as he trades off between dejected monotone and animated braying, like some unholy cross between Ian Curtis and Jim Morrison. The lyrics also can’t decide whether they want rhapsodize about some idealized afternoon in the sun or moan about the peripatetic nature of 21st-century life.


Along the way, Casablancas’ lines, seemingly tossed off and nonchalant, start to draw blood. “Stop to pretend, stop pretending/It seems this game is simply never-ending,” he sings, seeming to reference the chasm between childhood playfulness and adult seriousness that the young-at-heart futilely try to bridge. When he sings, “Work hard and say it’s easy,” it’s an interesting theory for this at-the-time budding rock star to put forth: that the appearance of nonchalance may be crucial to success, but the practice of it is career suicide.
Through the song a loose story about the narrator trying to shake free from a clinging suitor runs, but “The Modern Age” is after bigger fish than that, as evidenced by the song’s title. The pleasures are ephemeral (“No time to feel the breeze”), the coping mechanisms are numbing (“I took too many varieties”), and, when you can’t make it work, it’s best just to bail and try again another day (“Tomorrow may be different/So this Is why I’m leaving.”)


Speaking about his band’s enduring popularity in a 2014 Rolling Stone interview, Casablancas shook off the plaudits. “It feels humbling and validating that you’re doing some things right,” he said. “But it’s the same thing with an actor: If a movie does really well at the box office, they make 10 of those afterward because that’s what they think people like. . . . If something has commercial value, it doesn’t mean it’s good.” False modesty and indifferent cool is all well and good, but many have tried to copy The Strokes formula in the wake of Is This It and have fallen well short. And the story the band started with “The Modern Age” still enthralls.



Alex W

I’m not exaggerating when I say this. This is one of the best rock performances of all time in my eyes.

I know bands need to evolve, but I’m truly upset that The Strokes gave up their Is This It/Room On Fire sound for what it later became. I’m sure some will disagree, but they were simply never the same after approximately 2005. Not sure if it was Julian’s drinking or the collective desire of the band to go in a new direction. Granted, Julian did admit that his “iron-fisted” control over the band led to a lot of creative problems.

Regardless, songs like The Modern Age, Barely Legal, Hard to Explain, Someday, Meet Me In The Bathroom, I Can’t Win, You Talk Way Too Much, Soma, and What Ever Happened will always hold a very special place in my heart. Last Nite is obviously great as well. And don’t get me wrong, songs like Under Cover Of Darkness and You Only Live Once are great, but they released a lot of boring, poppy songs during that era too. They weren’t The Strokes I fell in love with.

If I remember correctly, watching this particular performance of The Modern Age is what really got me into this band. The energetic, yet melancholic vibe is just so addicting, unique, and thought-provoking.

Their reign at the top was so short-lived, unfortunately. The Is This It era was undoubtedly the height of their fame. Room On Fire didn’t do nearly as well as Is This It, which I can understand somewhat, but there are still numerous great tracks on there.

I don’t even hear The Strokes that much on the radio these days. If anyone I talk to about them DOES know their songs, it’s usually just Last Night and Someday. Shame.



All comments from YouTube:

icedlemonade101

A few things:
1. Julian is cooler than ice.
2. I'm never going to get tired of that solo.
3. This song is timeless.

level_ken

@LEGIT Brigade that jacket is a Marine Corps dress blues jacket, right? I'm not seeing things, right?

Count Choculitis

that last note in the solo punches me right in the dick

Maria Luisa Abelleira Novas

Timeless indeed

Naked Mario

No actually its modern (joke)

Cristian Newbury

This song will for ever be in my heart

20 More Replies...

Marco Labarile

Usually, after falling in love with a band, I try to find out bands sounding similar and with the same vibe. The Strokes are the only ones which made me fail at that. There's something in Julian's voice and in how guitars intertwine with each other that is absolutely unique

yung toxic

Acid ghost castlebeat current joys a bit a lot of newer artist tbh

Angel Sunlight

I feel this comment. Besides Television

Patrick

@MONSTER WITH 21 FACES they're both really good, that's about where the similarities end for me lol

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