01 For Tomorrow – Unveiling a Britpop Generation’s Existential Lament


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Blur's 01 For Tomorrow at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. Syncopated Rhythms and Suburban Dreams – The Aesthetic Appeal
  5. Painting the Town – A Gritty Urban Montage
  6. Holding on to the ‘La la la’s – Choruses That Capture Collective Sentiments
  7. The Bitter Taste of Modernity – The Song’s Hidden Meaning
  8. Memorable Lines Weaved with Nostalgic Threads

Lyrics

He’s a twentieth century boy
With his hands on the rails
Trying not to be sick again
And holding on for tomorrow

London ice cracks on a seamless line
He’s hanging on for dear life
And so we hold each other tightly
And hold on for tomorrow

Singing la, la la l-la, la, la la, l-la l-la la-la-la
La, la la l-la, la, la la, l-la l-la la-la-la
La, la la l-la, la, la la, l-la l-la la-la-la
Holding on for tomorrow

She’s a twentieth century girl
With her hands on the wheel
Trying not to make you sick again
Seeing what she can borrow
London’s so nice back in your seamless rhymes
But we’re lost on the West way
So we hold each other tightly
And we can wait until tomorrow

Singing la, la la l-la, la, la la, l-la l-la la-la-la
La, la la l-la, la, la la, l-la l-la la-la-la
La, la la l-la, la, la la, l-la l-la la-la-la
Holding on for tomorrow

We’re trying not to be sick again
And holding on for tomorrow

She’s a twentieth century girl
Holding on for dear life
And so we hold each other tightly
And hold on for tomorrow

Singing la, la la l-la, la, la la, l-la l-la la-la-la
La, la la l-la, la, la la, l-la l-la la-la-la
La, la la l-la, la, la la, l-la l-la la-la-la
Holding on for tomorrow

Jim stops and gets out of the car
Goes to a house in Emperor’s Gate
Through the door and to his room, and then he puts the TV on
Turns it off and makes some tea
Says modern life is rubbish

I’m holding on for tomorrow

Then Susan comes into the room
She’s a naughty girl with a lovely smile
Says, “let’s take a drive to Primrose Hill
It’s windy there, and the view’s so nice”
London ice can freeze your toes, like anyone, I suppose

You’re holding on for tomorrow

Full Lyrics

When one ponders upon the quintessential sound that encapsulated the gritty yet hopeful spirit of the ’90s Britpop era, few songs resonate as profoundly as Blur’s ‘For Tomorrow’. Through a lens flecked with urban melancholia and buoyant tunes, the track captures a zeitgeist that would define a generation caught between the shadow of history and the dawn of the millennium.

As the song unfolds, there is a palpable contrast between the inescapable humdrum of modern life and the human yearning for a brighter horizon. Damon Albarn’s earnest delivery married with Graham Coxon’s jangly riffs create a dynamic that is at once reflective and forward-looking, coloring ‘For Tomorrow’ as a canvas for the complexities and contradictions of the period.

Syncopated Rhythms and Suburban Dreams – The Aesthetic Appeal

Sonically, the song is a perfect specimen of Blur’s renowned jangle-pop sound, replete with melodies that simultaneously evoke a sense of nostalgia and neoteric vigor. The band’s genius lies in the ability to craft a soundscape that is airy and sprightly, with a lyrical depth that graduates it from mere pop fodder to a thought-provoking mirror of the times.

The guitar work stands as a testament to the era’s veneration for the past while daring to disrupt with a new sonic identity. It’s this same audacity that charges the song with an almost tangible vitality, all the while speaking to the ennui of existence amidst the sprawling metropolis.

Painting the Town – A Gritty Urban Montage

There’s a Dickensian scope in the way Blur depicts London life throughout ‘For Tomorrow’. From the ice that ‘cracks on a seamless line’ to the thralls of daily monotony painted in Jim’s and Susan’s seemingly banal routines, the lyrics are a vivid fresco of city life.

It’s a life wrought with paradoxes, and ‘For Tomorrow’ places its listener squarely in the shoes of its characters, wading through the dregs of modernity while clutching at the straws of ‘tomorrow’, a symbol of unfounded yet necessary hope.

Holding on to the ‘La la la’s – Choruses That Capture Collective Sentiments

Much more than a melodic hook, the ‘La la la’ chorus encapsulates the shared experience of a population grasping for togetherness in the void of individuated urban life. It’s as if with every refrain, Blur stitches together the frayed edges of communal spirit.

This choral simplicity acts as a unifying call, an anthem for the disenchanted, and a clever juxtaposition to the weary narratives that precede them.

The Bitter Taste of Modernity – The Song’s Hidden Meaning

Peel back the bouncy veneer, and ‘For Tomorrow’ reveals itself as a critique of contemporary culture, echoing the sentiment of ‘modern life is rubbish’. It’s a bold proclamation painted in the personal tales of its characters, offering an intimate perspective on a universal truth.

The drift between individual and collective, present and future, real and ideal, simmers below the surface, giving credence to Blur’s role as not just musicians, but as social commentators.

Memorable Lines Weaved with Nostalgic Threads

Lines such as ‘Jim stops and gets out of the car’, followed by the simple yet profound ‘Turns it off and makes some tea’, do more than paint a mundane picture. They anchor the listener in the everyday while inviting them to seek respite in the ordinary – a warm cup of tea as an emblem of momentary peace amid chaos.

And with the whimsical suggestion to take a drive to Primrose Hill for its ‘windy’ allure and ‘nice’ views, the song subtly nudges us to cling onto the small escapes, the fleeting views of ‘tomorrow’ that sustain us.

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