"30 Century Man" as written by and Scott Engel....
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
Like a thirty century man
You can freeze like a thirty century man
Like a thirty century man

Lyrics submitted by Mount_Scoundrel, edited by brandon798

"30 Century Man" as written by Scott Engel


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30 Century Man song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI think this fits best in the new futurama movie, bender's big score. Come on, im sure that they added charles de gaulle's head just to have this song in there.
    asiananime408on December 06, 2007   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionPretty sure the "de Gaulle" reference is to his handshake with Henri Giraud in Casablanca in January of 1943. It's a pretty famous handshake.

    France caved to the Nazis and the subsequent Vichy Regime was basically just a puppet of the occupiers. Charles de Gaulle left France and waited out the war in the UK. He coordinated the French resistance in exile. The Vichy Regime both sentenced him to death, and later to prison, in absentia.

    General Giraud was a leader propped up by the West (mainly the U.S.) as the tides were turning in WWII. He was France's de facto leader at the end of the war.

    General de Gaul attended the conference in Casablanca under protest, and the word is Churchill practically had to force him to shake hands with Giraud. The whole thing was filmed by Frank Capra. It was basically just theater. Post War de Gaulle ousted Giraud in very little time.

    My read is that Scott takes a dim view of 'saran wrapping while you can'. IMO, the de Gaulle line sort of cements that.

    But I say 'my opinion', because I'm a firm believer that interpretation is everything. Most songwriters couldn't tell you what they meant for sure anyway. Songwriting isn't essay writing.

    And if they could, would it matter? It shouldn't. A song is how you respond to it. It isn't some sort of truth that is waiting to be discovered. Everyone has there own truths, and they are not wrong.

    jhorsageron October 23, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI cannot believe no one has commented on this brilliant song. Damn! I feel special. 'Play it cool...and saran-wrap all you can...be a 30 century man.'
    sailingallaloneon August 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment...but I don't understand the Charles de Gaulle reference. Anybody know?
    sailingallaloneon August 14, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgreat song, can't help you out with Charles de Gaulle. I'm just surprised there is no one here to comment on his beautiful music.
    savingupspendon September 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCharles de Gaulle was a military leader for France in World War 2. Don't know what that has to do with the song but that's who he is for all though who don't know.
    jizzlipsmcfagsteinon August 08, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song was not composed specifically for The Life Aquatic, as it was originally from on of Scott Walkers albums: "Scott 3," released in '69.

    My interpretation - I think the song is talking about impressions of greatness. Some people are historical dwarves and some are giants, but in the long run the difference depends on how well you're image ages. Or, in other words, it depends on how well you're remembered. A man might be world famous today, but will his fame last?
    ArchetypeRyanon November 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don`t know, correct me if I`m right. I`m not a native english speaker, but I have this simple intuition about the de Gaulle thing.
    "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"- I think its just about wasting time on mundane things like politics, when Scott is thinking about eons of greatness. The other interpretation( if the first one is just made up by my crappy english) is that he thinks of himself as an equal to big guys, kings, politics( art is as much important as politics). Why de Gaulle? Maybe its just his fascination about France, Jacques Brel etc.
    minimoseson October 05, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think this song is about indecision, and justification of cowardice.

    Your choices can make you a "dwarf" or a "giant", and if you cannot figure out what choice to make you can "freeze like a 30th Century Man."

    I think the song evokes Charles De Gaulle because he played a background role in World War II. He was in exile most of the time, playing the role mostly of a symbol of freedom. Not until the war was over did he come to any substantial power.

    That model of power is to "play it cool and Saran wrap what you can." Wait out whatever conflict is calling for you to make a choice. History will vindicate you.

    Of course there is a healthy amount of sarcasm and irony at play here. If you choice not to choice how can you be a giant? I think Walker is telling us it is okay not to be bold, that it is okay to escape, and I think he is saying it both tongue and cheek, and with a mournful tone.
    LarryDobyon June 30, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWritten from a late 60's persecutive of the future.This is like a science fiction time travel story,travel ahead to the 30th century from post war 20th century Europe.
    nusoundson June 22, 2015   Link

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