Morning: The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades

This morning, this name of a song, which just bubbled up out of nowhere. (No, this is not a bright and sunny day.)

You can listen to the song here.

From Wikipedia, with what turns out to be a complicated story:

“The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades” is a song by Timbuk3. [Note not very ingenious play on Timbuktu] It is the opening track from their debut album, Greetings from Timbuk3. Released as the album’s first single in 1986, it was the band’s only significant mainstream hit.

The inspiration for the song, and the title specifically, came when Barbara MacDonald said to her husband singer/songwriter Pat MacDonald, “The future is looking so bright, we’ll have to wear sunglasses!” But, while Barbara had made the comment in earnest – it was the early ’80s, the two had met and married and were starting a family, their first EP was coming, their book was filling up with gigs – Pat heard the comment as an ironic quip and wrote down instead, “The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.”

From there, the lyrics to the song were born, but not the song as it ended up in the minds of popular culture. While Pat wrote a song of a young nuclear scientist and his rich future, listening audiences heard a graduation theme song.

Pat revealed on VH1’s 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the 80s that the meaning of the song was widely misinterpreted as a positive perspective in regard to the near future. Pat somewhat clarified the meaning by stating that it was, contrary to popular belief, a “grim” outlook. While not saying so directly, he hinted at the idea that the bright future was in fact due to impending nuclear holocaust.

 

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