Song of the Day: Time to Pretend by MGMT

– Time To Pretend:

“Time to Pretend” is a song by MGMT, and the debut single (in the UK) from their album Oracular Spectacular. An earlier version was released on their Time to Pretend EP.


I’m feeling rough, I’m feeling 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’re fated to pretend
To pretend
We’re fated to pretend
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’s 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’re fated to pretend
To pretend

Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah


In early 2009, the song was re-released in the UK. The song was ranked at number 493 on Rolling Stone‍ ’​s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”. The song was ranked at number 90 on NME‍ ’​s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The track was originally recorded for the Time to Pretend EP (2005). It was re-recorded for the Oracular Spectacular album.

From a quote from live at Abbey Road: “We wrote Time to Pretend our senior year of college, and the music was inspired by a praying mantis we had in our house. She laid eggs and it died, and we laid the egg case on this kinda model pirate ship on the mantle piece, and the eggs hatched and all these baby praying mantises were climbing up the rigging of the ship, and it was pretty crazy…uhm so the music was inspired by our praying mantis that liked to dance to The Clash {laugh} and the lyrics are just about us imagining being rock stars….and yeah, fantasy rock star life.

The music video contains references to Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1973 film The Holy Mountain and the classic book Lord of the Flies. The video was directed by Ray Tintori.Tiscali Music gave the video a rating of 10 out of 10 A 3D version of the video with minor changes to the original was also produced.

Soundtrack appearances

  • HBO’s show Pacquiao-Hatton 24/7, episode 2, which originally aired on April 18, 2009.
  • The Season 1 finale of Gossip Girl on May 19, 2008
  • Featured prominently at the end of the second series finale of popular UK teen drama Skins but was later omitted from the DVD release of the series due to issues acquiring the rights.
  • Featured in the series premiere of 90210 on September 2, 2008
  • In the pilot episode of HBO’s Girls.
  • Appeared in ITV’s live coverage of Champions League football.
  • Used on the Argentine TV show Exitosos Pells, showing bloopers from the series.
  • It has been used in the 2008 films (or in the trailers for) Sex Drive, How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, 21 and Eagle Eye, an early trailer for the Tim Burton film Alice in Wonderland and the 2011 film Warrior.
  • The song was the theme music for Manchester-based UK radio station Key 103/Piccadilly Magic 1152’s new football show Total Football covering Manchester United and Manchester City games.
  • It was also included in one of HMV’s holiday commercials.
  • The song was also used for the Polish TV commercial for the Ferrero SpA Duplo chocolate bar aired from December 2009.
  • Played in the video game Shaun White Snowboarding, released in November 2008, along with another track from Oracular Spectacular, “Of Moons Birds Monsters”. It has also been featured in several skateboarding videos.
  • Featured on the NHL 2K10 soundtrack.
  • Sections of this song appear in the PlayStation 3 game LittleBigPlanet.


Origin Middletown, Connecticut, United States
  • Psychedelic rock
  • indie rock
  • psychedelic pop
  • indietronica
Years active 2004–present
  • Cantora
  • Columbia
  • Sony
  • RED
Associated acts
  • Beck
  • of Montreal
  • Tame Impala
  • Pond
  • Glitter Penis
  • Accidental Mersh
  • Kuroma
  • Yeasayer
  • Kid Cudi
  • The Flaming Lips
  • Sonic Boom
  • Andrew VanWyngarden
  • Ben Goldwasser

image by Peter Strain

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