"21st Century" as written by and Chad G Smith Michael Peter Balzary....
All the creatures
On the beaches
Making waves in a motion picture
Won't you keep this
In between us
Search and seizure, wake up Venus

The dollar bill will
Mentally ill bill
Mum and dad take your 'don't be sad' pill
Turn the screw and
Twist my language
Don't forsake me I'm contagious

There's a reason for the twenty first century
Not too sure but I know that it's meant to be
And that it's meant to be

Come on, wooh
It's my favorite
Combination
Coming down with the favored nations
Deep rotation
Mutilation
Learn to give and take dictation

Oh, oh oh, oh oh
Like a Cain and Abel
Oh, oh oh, oh oh
It's time to run this table

There's a reason for the twenty first century
Not too sure but I know that it's meant to be
And that it's meant to be

Come on, yeah

Read me your scripture and
Read me your scripture
Read me your scripture and I will twist it

Show me your wrist and I
Show me your wrist and
Show me your wrist and I'll kiss it, kiss it

Oh, oh oh, oh oh
Like a Cain and Abel
Oh, oh oh, oh oh
It's time to run this table

Simple soldier
Hand it over
Stop and read what you just wrote her
Strangulation
Altercation
Oral sex and bird migration

There's a reason for the twenty first century
Not too sure but I know that it's meant to be
And that it's meant to be, come on

There's a reason for the twenty first century
Not too sure but I know that it's meant to be
And that it's meant to be


Lyrics submitted by Avatar-rock

"21st Century" as written by John Anthony Frusciante Michael Balzary

Lyrics © MoeBeToBlame

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21st Century song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentRE: The Cane and Able reference
    The message...
    "I'm not my brother's keeper"
    If we all loved our neighbours this world would not be as ugly as it's (accurately) depicted here.
    humanideeon May 19, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIf you notice, he keeps repeating phrases about twisting words. "Rotation and mutilation" are themes repeated many times, and the obvious one, "Read me your scripture and I will twist it". This song is about ideologies worldwide (and opinions in our own country) and how everyone has a different perception of everybody else.

    Whenever I hear the main chorus "There's a reason..." I always think of people who are stuck in the past. "Why can't things be like the good old days? When you didn't have to lock your doors or pay too much for gas?" Anthony is saying, well... we're here in the 21st century; better to embrace it and deal with it rather than think of the past.

    But going back to the themes of "twisting language", I think the chorus is hopeful - this is the 21st century, and we have an opportunity to change as a human species, and try to understand each other rather than twist words and point the finger.
    geejodibeeon August 14, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentomg...duhh guys! hes saying that the world needs a wake up call...to wake up adn smell the coffee..look and see the kind of fucked up world we live in. pornography, depression pills, oral sex, bird diease's, plastic surgery, agrguments and contreversity over the world....he mentions all this in the verses..adn than the chorus is saying...that theres all reason why the world is like this..almost like not to be scared..there a reason why this is happening..and that its meant to happen cause everything happends for a reason..! thats my inturpatation at least. intresting song. and yea its like californication cept this is happening all over the world..
    nicolelovesrhcpon May 08, 2007   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationNow with that being said, I'd like to throw in my own interpretation.

    All the creatures on the beaches/Making waves in a motion picture - people don't care about nature these days. All those living creatures are just another thing bothering them. It leads to cutting trees and killing animals for furs, food and all different reasons, which is unnecessary.

    Won't you keep this in between us/Search and seizure wake up Venus - we want to be rulers of literally everything, even of what seems like impossible to rule. "Won't you keep this in between us" may be a reference to politicians who usually don't care about what society says or thinks, they do what they want to do keeping it a secret.

    The dollar bill will mentally ill bill/Mom and dad take your don't be sad pill - money is what keeps us alive, what keeps us going. We work not because we like doing what we do, but because we want more money. And it's a vicious cycle - the more money we have, the more money we want to earn. It leads to mental diseases, that's why we hear so much about people gaining depression and other conditions to be treated. It also says about addictions.

    Turn the screw and twist my language/Don't forsake me I'm contagious - it's sad, but there may be two or three people that I know who actually use proper language, don't use slang, weird, shorten wordings and care about punctuation. "Don't forsake me I'm contagious" is a calling of sick person who doesn't want to be left, but they will be, because nobody really wants to have to struggle with sick people. Sick people usually have less friends than healthy ones - people just don't seem to care.

    It's my favorite combination/Coming down with the favored nations - I don't know if I'm correct, because I'm not a native speaker, but I've heard that "coming down" also means "wreaking havoc", which makes me think of favored nations as the strong ones destroying the small ones, just because they can do that.

    Deep rotation mutilation/Learn to give and take dictation - I think it's about the kind of rotation reffering to the job position, about some soldier to be exact. Mutilation and taking dictations - soldiers need to take dictations and even kill others if they're told to. That's the rotation - they're told to do new things so they can "enhance" their skills.

    Oh, oh oh, oh oh, like Cain and Abel/Oh, oh oh, oh oh gonna run this table - nowadays it's all about winning and reaching our goals. People are ready to do things like Cain did, they'd even kill their own brothers just to win.

    Read me your scripture and I will twist it - Scripture is something holy, something that can't be changed because it's full of God's words. These days people feel like they're on the same level as God, which means that even things impossible to change can be changed by them, nothing stays holy anymore.

    Show me your wrist and I'll kiss it, kiss it - people feel pressure, they keep comparing themselves to others and it makes them feel like they suck. That's why they destroy themselves - with drugs, with alcohol, any kinds of addiction. In this case, it's about cutting.

    Simple soldier hand it over/Stop and read what you just wrote her - soldiers who actually fight for peace (such a paradox, huh?) are treated like shit by people who are higher in the hierarchy, that's why it says "simple soldier". They're also under control, there's no privacy these days, and privacy is a human right, which means that human rights stop existing.

    Strangulation altercation/Oral sex and bird migration - The first line may be about people killing their loved ones because of simple, stupid fights. The oral sex part is about people wanting to feel pleasure but not have to struggle with any consequences. When you have oral sex, you do get a pleasure out of it, but girls can't get pregnant, guys don't have to wear condoms - it's safe and fun. Also, I've heard a lot of people (especially teenagers) talking about oral sex not being a kind of sex, and some girls do that to stay virgins longer (another paradox...). Bird migration - it may be about those bird flus, but I thought about it more in terms of the animals trying to escape this world because of people trying to kill them, or just to run away from this human insanity. Bird also symbolizes peace, and since birds are migrating, that means peace is very rare these days.

    Just thought I'd let you know what I thought about that song. I didn't explain the chorus, because it's pretty obvious.
    agjk8on February 17, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commentafter more listening, i believe that i mnay have got part of this wrong :s i think its 'oral sex and ___ might break her'... not sure...
    Avatar-rockon May 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentjust relised i can edit them, so if anyone works out what that blank is, do tell me
    Avatar-rockon May 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is one the most amazing chilies song on Stadium Arcadium. It's so much better than Dani California.
    bobjebus16on May 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCan't stop listening to the bass!!!
    adam07on May 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell I think this song seems to be about fucked up the times are right now.

    Anti-depressants
    War, the "favoured nations"
    Strangling, fighting, mutilation

    I like how they have such and upbeat song about such a sad topic, lol !
    adam07on May 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthje last verse has gotta be a reference to the 'beatings' in iraq, love the song, so funky
    Avatar-rockon May 06, 2006   Link

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