33 Best Songs About The Future
Songs about the future can be optimistic or filled with dreary, dystopic images. Some are less about life in general than a personal future for the narrator.
These songs represent several musical genres and styles, with top hits and some more obscure songs that didn't get much radio airplay.
1. “Future Looks Good” by OneRepublic
Song Year: 2016
Many popular songs feature lost loves, regrets, and life-changing events from the past. This song by OneRepublic focuses on the future and how important it is to let go of the past.
The music starts with a simple guitar with piano and percussion as the song gets richer toward the end. The lyrics are optimistic about what's to come, even though they hint that the past wasn't as rosy.
2. “Song for a Future Generation” by The B-52s
Song Year: 1983
“Song for a Future Generation” has that iconic, upbeat sound of the B-52s.
The song suggests that compatible people get together to have children to create an ideal population for the future, with references to mythical glamorous people like models and corporate leaders.
3. “The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades” by Timbuk 3
Song Year: 1986
This popular song was the first track on Timbuk 3's debut album and their only hit song.
Many assume the song is about a positive future because of the title and the funky, upbeat music that make it fun to hear, but it's about the possibility of a nuclear holocaust.
4. “Riding to Work in the Year 2025” by The Flaming Lips
Song Year: 1997
Many songs by The Flaming Lips feel psychedelic and filled with existential dread like this one about a man commuting to work in the future on a ship.
The liner notes explain the song and how the pressure of thinking himself so important drives the commuter mad and forces him to wonder about the nature of insanity and reality.
5. “Future Lovers” by Madonna
Song Year: 2005
This synth-heavy song has a driving pop beat and several repeated lines that make it more about the sound and the feel than the lyrics.
The song urges the listener to let go of worldly things and stresses and focus on spirituality and love. Some interpret it to be about facing God after death, but it can also mean that love is more important than superficial things that people focus on, like money and appearances.
6. “Tomorrow” by John Legend
Song Year: 2022
John Legend collaborated on this song with Florian Picasso, Pablo Picasso's great-grandson, and hip-hop rapper Nas.
It's a mix of Legend's smooth singing voice and Nas' rap about how great tomorrow will be and how they won't let the world try to bring them down. The whole song is about how no one should feel bad about being happy no matter who tries to make them feel ashamed.
7. “Future” by Golden Earring
Song Year: 1982
This tune is one of the songs with future in the title that seems to have a bleak message and one that's not easy to interpret. It contains references to lying for survival and something that might be an assassination attempt.
The reference to a brave new world brings to mind the novel by Aldous Huxley, giving the song an even more dystopian feel.
8. “Tomorrow Never Knows” by The Beatles
Song Year: 1966
John Lennon wrote this psychedelic, sitar-backed song that appears on their album Revolver. The song features the first reversed guitar tracks recorded in a pop song.
The lyrics contain Eastern mysticism that Lennon adapted from The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead. He also used his own experiences with LSD to write the song.
9. “Next Year Baby” by Jamie Cullum
Song Year: 2004
“Next Year Baby” is one of the songs about the future that's based more on the narrator's specific life than what the world will be like someday.
The easy-listening jazz has a crisp, clear sound with bright piano and upbeat percussion. The narrator sings about everything he's going to do in the future to improve his life, including telling the object of his affection how he feels.
10. “Years From Now” by Don Williams
Song Year: 1981
Don Williams was a country singer who became popular in the 1970s and had 17 songs reach number one on the country record charts. The Country Music Hall of Fame inducted him in 2010, seven years before he died at age 78.
This sweet, slow love song is about how the narrator will still love his significant other in the years to come.
11. “Future Love” by Kristinia DeBarge
Song Year: 2009
Kristinia DeBarge released this R&B song after “Goodbye,” her first hit from her debut album. The singer said she viewed the song as her introduction to the world.
The lyrics tell the story of how the narrator's future love for someone won't change and will endure forever.
12. “Mr. Roboto” by Styx
Song Year: 1983
“Mr. Roboto” is one of the songs about the future that imagines a more authoritarian world where the working class is little more than cattle and censorship runs rampant.
The track is from the album Kilroy Was Here and featured Kilroy as a character who escapes from a jail run by robots. The album is one of Styx's concept albums, like their earlier Paradise Theater, and helped make them one of the best rock bands of the 80s.
13. “Next Year” by Foo Fighters
Song Year: 1999
The video for this song shows the band members as astronauts lifting off and traveling toward the moon.
This imagery fits the lyrics well, but they also hint at someone having a busy time, going through both good and possibly difficult things, and planning to be more present in someone's life the following year.
The song lends itself well to holiday and New Year's Eve play.
14. “One Hundred Years From Now” by The Byrds
Song Year: 1968
The Byrds were a California folk-rock band popular in the 60s and 70s. This classic song of theirs asks profound questions about whether or not people might feel differently about their views and opinions in a hundred years.
The narrator believes that people are wrong about most things and need to change their minds in the future.
15. “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack
Song Year: 2000
Lee Ann Womack's signature song sold over 2 million copies, winning a CMA and a Grammy.
This beautiful track is one of the songs about the future that doesn't predict the upcoming state of a person or the world. Instead, an unnamed narrator lists their hopes for the future and wishes for someone else to live life to the fullest every minute.
16. “Space Oddity” by David Bowie
Song Year: 1969
This iconic David Bowie hit, about a character called Major Tom who goes to space on a rocket ship and is stranded there, came out only five days before the historic Apollo 11 moon landing.
The inspiration for the song wasn't the upcoming moon landing, though. Bowie loved the Stanley Kubrik film 2001: A Space Odyssey and wrote the song after seeing it multiple times.
When Elon Musk launched one of his Teslas into space in 2018, the car's radio played this song.
17. “Year 3000” by Busted
Song Year: 2002
“Year 3000” is one of the songs about the future that's quirky, fun, and contains references to pop culture.
The narrator's neighbor builds a time machine and goes to the future to find the narrator's album knocked Michael Jackson out of the top spot and that people live mostly underwater.
The neighbor's time machine has a Flux Capacitor, a reference to the part that turned a DeLorean into a time machine in the film Back to the Future.
18. “Rocket Man” by Elton John
Song Year: 1972
Bernie Taupin wrote “Rocket Man” after being inspired by Ray Bradbury's story “The Rocket Man” in his collection The Illustrated Man. The story's theme is that being an astronaut will be a commonplace and ordinary profession in the future.
The song features an astronaut dad who regrets his job and thinks he'll quit but keeps going and doesn't make it home.
Many people see parallels in the song with jobs like touring rock stars, truck drivers, and anyone who has to be away from home for extended periods.
19. “2112” by Rush
Song Year: 1976
Canadian rock band Rush became famous for their hard and progressive rock songs that often touched on science fiction and philosophical themes. This 20-minute narrative science fiction suite in seven tracks took one entire side of the vinyl album 2112.
The album was Rush's most popular at that time and drew inspiration from the controversial objectivist works of Ayn Rand.
20. “In the Year 2525” by Zager & Evans
Song Year: 1969
This decidedly bleak song by the rock-pop duo Zager & Evans posits what life will be like in the future, and it's not a pretty picture.
Starting with 2525, they sing about all the terrible changes they foresee, including pills that serve as sustenance that control people's thoughts and reliance on machines in a dystopian nightmare.
Each verse mentions a different year in the distant future up to 10,000 years from now.
21. “Future Nostalgia” by Dua Lipa
Song Year: 2020
Grammy-winning British singer Dua Lipa says this song is about the limitless possibilities the future holds. Classic hits by artists like Madonna and Olivia-Newton John inspired the funky disco sound.
The song's remix samples several classics like “Stand Back” by Stevie Nicks and “Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani.
22. “Future” by Paramore
Song Year: 2002
This track is one of the songs with future in the title that's easy to understand. The song says we need to move on and leave the past behind.
Lead singer Hayley Williams said she could write any number of songs about the past because she's nostalgic. Instead, she wanted to write an ode to the future.
23. “Future World” by Helloween
Song Year: 1987
Intended as a tribute to the comic book character Judge Dredd, “Future World” tells the listener that the future is a wonderful place and that we all live there.
Despite all the claims that the future will be glorious and joyful, this is one of the songs about the future you can safely interpret to mean the opposite, especially since Judge Dredd exists in a dystopia.
24. “Dear Future Husband” by Meghan Trainor
Song Year: 2014
Meghan Trainor's song became an anthem for women with its long list of everything a future husband needs to do and accept to make her happy.
The song isn't about the future world. It looks toward the future for the ideal man that might come into her life and how he should treat her to win her love.
25. “Future Shock” by Curtis Mayfield
Song Year: 1973
“Future Shock” is a song about how we must keep people from destroying the world and humanity's future.
Curtis Mayfield was a popular singer, songwriter, and guitarist who popularized political R&B and was at the forefront of the soul movement in Chicago and the United States.
26. “The Future” by Leonard Cohen
Song Year: 1992
Leonard Cohen will always be known for his 1984 song “Hallelujah.” This song came nearly a decade later with darker and more politicized lyrics than most of his work.
The lyrics refer to a religious apocalypse and the desire for things to return to the way they were before.
This tune is one of the songs with future in the title that warns about political and religious extremism and the dystopia that could result from them.
27. “My Future” by Billie Eilish
Song Year: 2020
Billie Eilish won the 2020 Grammy Award for the album of the year and became the youngest person ever to do so. Her breathy, effortless singing and quirky appearance helped make her a star.
In “My Future,” she sings about how she's looking forward to the future and plans on loving herself first.
28. “Next 100 Years” by Bon Jovi
Song Year: 2000
Bon Jovi is known for their rocking ballads, and in this song, Jon Bon Jovi sings about how he'll be there for the object of his love for the next century.
This ballad didn't get as popular as many of Bon Jovi's other songs, like “I'll Be There for You” and “Livin' on a Prayer,” but it's undeniably an intense love song.
29. “Future Reflections” by MGMT
Song Year: 2007
MGMT wrote “Future Reflections” when the members were in their early 20s.
Despite the many ways you can interpret the lyrics, the band says it's about kids surviving on an island after the worldwide destruction and horror of an apocalypse.
30. “When I'm 64” by The Beatles
Song Year: 1967
Paul McCartney wrote this song when he was a young teenager. The credits include John Lennon, who later helped shape it into a track they would release on an album.
The clarinets give the song a happy-go-lucky feel along with the hopeful, sweet lyrics about the narrator's future life.
31. “Someday We'll Be Together” by Diana Ross & the Supremes
Song Year: 1968
Diana Ross & the Supremes were among the most popular female Motown groups in the 1960s and 70s and one of the top female groups of all time.
This track is one of the songs about the future that's specific to the narrator. It's about how someday they'll be with the object of their love even though they're apart.
32. “Ghost of Corporate Future” by Regina Spektor
Song Year: 2004
Indie artist Regina Spektor combines jazz, pop, and punk to critical acclaim in the antifolk genre.
This song explores the thoughts of someone who, like Ebeneezer Scrooge, gets a visit from a ghost from the future. The spirit isn't from Christmas but a corporate dystopia.
It encourages the man to go barefoot and experience life because the future will be bleak if he misses out on simple pleasures while he can.
33. “Future Starts Now” by Kim Petras
Song Year: 2021
This upbeat pop song says that the future starts now, and the listener can turn it into anything they want.
It's a fun, feel-good song about the possibilities in the future and how we should turn drawbacks and disappointments into positive experiences.
Top Songs About The Future, Final Thoughts
We hope you found some music you enjoy in this list of the best future-based music.
Some songs are optimistic, but even those that warn of a coming dystopia imply that we can change the future before it's too late.
Whether you like hard rock, punk music, or genres like soul and jazz, you can enjoy some songs about the future that look ahead to a better tomorrow and beyond.
P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!