I'm feelin' rough I'm feelin' raw I'm in the prime of my life
Let's make some music make some money find some models for wives
I'll move to Paris, shoot some heroin and fuck with the stars
You man the island and the cocaine and the elegant cars

This is our decision to live fast and die young
We've got the vision, now let's have some fun
Yeah it's overwhelming, but what else can we do?
Get jobs in offices and wake up for the morning commute?

Forget about our mothers and our friends
We were fated to pretend

I'll miss the playgrounds and the animals and digging up worms
I'll miss the comfort of my mother and the weight of the world
I'll miss my sister, miss my father, miss my dog and my home
Yeah I'll miss the boredom and the freedom and the time spent alone

But there is really nothing, nothing we can do
Love must be forgotten. Life can always start up anew
The models will have children, we'll get a divorce,
We'll find some more models, everything must run its course

We'll choke on our vomit and that will be the end
We were fated to pretend
To pretend
We were fated to pretend
To pretend
I said yeah yeah yeah
Yeah yeah yeah
Yeah yeah yeah
Yeah yeah yeah

Lyrics submitted by lieswithinus

"Time to Pretend" as written by Ben Goldwasser Andrew Vanwyngarden

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Time to Pretend song meanings
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  • +11
    Song MeaningFeel as though this song is about how the general concept of free will does not actually exist in modern day society. This song begins in the mindset of a young rebel, whose dream is not an odd one at becoming famous and living the life a celebrity. A dream life where it seems as though one is free to do anything in life, but the song brings the point that this so called "dream life" is a life which has already been planned and set. The song then compares the problem to a typical "office job" type of life where it is the same routine, of going to work everyday. By making this comparison the songs over all meaning can be interpreted as even a with a "dream life" one will still fall into the basics of an everyday routine much like that of working in an office, and from the beginning of life, no matter the choices one makes, everyone in society is born with the fate of living a pretend life that is not chosen for them.
    liferollson37on April 23, 2012   Link
  • +8
    General CommentThe first verse of this song talks about all the dumb decisions we make as kids. It talks about rebbeling against you're parents and living life the easy way. Its about being afraid to live a real life, find real people who care about you. The song goes on talk to reflect on all the things you start to miss when you realize how important they were to you. This song is about regretting all the bad desicions made in life liek doing drugs and running away from the people who care about you. It can also kinda be about growing up and realizing your life needs a serious change.
    thadius0924on February 27, 2007   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI think theres no deep deep meaning in this song, their bluntly stating the expectancy of a well off musician's life. the lyrics in my humble opinion are bluntly perfect.
    enkychyon September 04, 2007   Link
  • +4
    General CommentTo me, this song is a farce... The narrator is at the crossroads of adulthood for sure, playfully imagining the escapists' ultimate fantasy (sex, drugs and rock n' roll), no responsibility, Peter Pan's NeverNeverLand if you will.. the opposite of society's traditional structure-- growing up, going to school, getting the office job and having kids (so THEY can grow up, go to school,etc...). Either extreme offers its advantages and disadvantages (family values vs. complete abandon of values)... Basically, either way we go, we're missing out on something, we're "fated to pretend" we're happy. Kind of bleak, the feeling you get when you realize that "what do I want to do when I grow up" question is STILL unresolved... le sigh.
    thepigmanon January 23, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General CommentMGMT just rocks. These guys are hilarious but deep at the same time.

    I see this song as a tongue-in-cheek prime directive. There's a whole history of songs that are basically mission statements, a song that defines what the band is about. One of my favorites is Kick Out the Jams by The MC5. Or Long Live Rock by The Who. Both of those tunes have good doses of humor threaded through them as well.

    I wouldn't take their stated desires seriously. Do these guys really want to do a bunch of cocaine and heroin then die by choking on vomit? C'mon, the song is called Time to Pretend, right? I know nothing about their private lives, but even if they do drugs personally, this song isn't glorifying drugs. The song is contrasting materialism (models, drugs, fame, etc.) with the simpler things in life like family, friendship and solitude. You don't have to see the video to understand the song, but there's a part where the band and their friends/tribe are pushing stacks of money into a bonfire. That says it all. The fact that everybody can relate to it in some way, like the anxiety of growing up and feeling alienated from our loved ones by life's pressures, just goes to show that these are great lyrics. I think the whole point to parody/satire is to expose and criticize the underlying meaning of things.

    I'm 39 years old and have been playing in bands for close to 25 years. Everyone in my current band is just crazy for MGMT. We're all 35 to 45 years old and just rant and rave about how much we like these guys' songs. They are catchy as hell, they expertly steal from a bunch of different genres for their tracks (in a way that's not boring or derivative) and mash it all together into a distinctive sound. Maybe it'll get overplayed today, but it's classic stuff, 25 years from now people will still dig this song.

    The only lyric that makes no sense to me is the "You man the island" part. Huh? I listened to that line 10 times, at loud volume with headphones on, and even though it sounds like that I can't quite figure it out. These lyrics are so tightly written, every line thought out near perfectly, I don't think they would throw in something that seems like such a non-sequiter. Am I missing something?
    AluminumAnemoneon February 11, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General CommentAs I understand it: This whole song is about how growing up will make you lose your self in to the norm; getting a jobb, mariage and children. It is allo about the most common idea of how to break against the norm is to get rich, wild and "free". But allso how the real freedom died when we grew up, and to get obsessed with luxery and wealth doesn't realy free you. The freedom is to be your self, get rid of your insecurity and open up your self like a child. Freedom doesn't come from outside, but from with in.
    We pretend that we are free and/or feel good, when we look outside for our emotional needs.
    chloé.shoe:3on April 13, 2014   Link
  • +2
    General CommentA lot of what I got from this song was mainly just above growing up and moving on. It's about feeling and living. I was obsessed with this song last summer and was ecstatic to see itunes offering the song for free. Too bad all the itunes freaks kept on bitchin about the "explicit language" and "drug references".

    C'mon. Grow a pair.
    accioblitzon January 12, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is a parody on stardom and a critique on the lifes they are supposed to lead when becoming famous.

    The only true, real part of the song is:
    I'll miss the playgrounds and the animals and digging up worms
    I'll miss the comfort of my mother and the weight of the world
    I'll miss my sister, miss my father, miss my dog and my home
    Yeah, I'll miss the boredom and the freedom and the time spent alone
    viccieon November 05, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Commentsongs awesome.
    I think it's about a guy whose talking about all the things he wants to do..what he can do since he's in the "prime of his life"
    I think it's a little bit sarcastic with lines like "I'll move to Paris,
    shoot some heroin and fuck with the stars
    You man the island and the cocaine and the elegant cars" and "This is our decision
    to live fast and die young
    We've got the vision, now let's have some fun!"
    but then again when he says the line "Get jobs in offices, and wake up for the morning commute" i think yeah, he knows that doing heroin and cocaine are extreme, but honestly the monotinus (sp?) idea of getting up and sitting in a cubical and waiting in traffic every single day for the rest of your life sounds almost as terrible, so why not live it up now while you still can?
    Again i think he's mocking either rock stars or even teenagers when he says "forget about our mothers and our friends" because when we're doing these crazy things, all we do is think about ourselves and only care about that moment, however we are "fated to pretend" or fated to live in boring,mundane life, pretending that everything is okay..pretending that our indifference to every day boring life is okay. if this is our fate, how can you blame us for trying to change, even at the cost of such extreme measures such as, in this case, heroin use.
    in the verse when he saying all the things he will miss, he's telling us all the things we will miss out when we choose this life style. hes kinda like, shit...i miss my sister, miss my father, etc but he goes right back to the 'what can ya do' mentality in the next verse "but theres nothing we can do..."
    Again, is he referring to being 'fated to pretend' as that mundane lifestyle we're going to have to live.
    the last line "We'll choke on our vomit and that will be the end" means whoever the "we" is, they are dying in such an unfortunate way, something that could have been prevented, but their own stupidity led them to such a death
    that's when the 'fated to pretend' meaning actually switches, and they were the ones pretending the whole time. pretending that their family, friends, their own life didn't matter. they 'pretending' that crazy lifestyle they lived was ok and better then what was to come, even though they never gave it chance, and gave up everything that meant the most to them.

    wow. that was long.
    well thats just my interpretation, let me know what you think
    membon November 29, 2008   Link
  • +2
    Song Meaningthe meaning of this song is going way over a few of your guys head..

    This song is about Mental Masturbation.

    "Yeah, I'll miss the boredom and the freedom and the time spent alone"
    The freedom and time spent alone daydreaming of things he wishes to do..

    Hes talking about his Imagination in the Third person gathering everything he wants..

    "You man the island and the cocaine and the elegant cars"

    RobBayon December 09, 2008   Link

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