Vitruvian Man

(Words and music by and © Talis Kimberley, 2005)

Poor old Leonardo took his final PhD
Top marks; that’s all there is to know
You may think there are sciences mankind has yet to see
You were born too soon; that’s how it goes.
You’ve got your Greek and Latin, you’ve got your Golden Mean
You’re a polymath and genius, and it shows;
You’ve got your Mona Lisa and your crazy flying ships
So leave it be; that’s all there is to know.

 But take heart, Leonardo, I assure you this won’t last
 You can be our poster boy when we’re living in the past
 Just about now we’ve got everything our little hearts desire
 Roll on the new dark ages, Leo – oh, and:
 How do you make fire?

After Leonardo things got rather out of hand
Science just got bigger every year
Disciplines unheard of back in his renaissance days
And a learning curve that went from slope to sheer
Theories and paradigms, hypotheses galore
More than any brain could hold, it’s clear
We’ve mapped the human genome and we’ve got as far as Mars
Pushing on through every last frontier

 But take heart, Leonardo, I assure you this won’t last
 You can be our poster boy when we’re living in the past
 Pretty darn soon by my reckoning we’ll be ignorant again
 Leo, we could split the atom – oh, yeah
 We were clever, then

Well, mankind’s had a good run, and we’ve burned so very bright
Top marks to fragile us; we’ve had our turn.
Shame we’ve not the sense to look beyond the next few years
But you see, there’s just so very much to learn –
Smash the glass, shoot the messenger who dares tell it like it is
His every last good advice we’ll spurn
Behold! The god Petroleum demands his sacrifice:
Burn everything there is to burn.

 But take heart, Leonardo, I assure you this won’t last
 You can be our poster boy when we’re living in the past
 Way back when, you knew everything, everything there was to know
 I don’t think we’ll forget the wheel, but – tell me –
 What I need to know, Leonardo, I assure you this won’t last
 You can be our poster boy, when we’re living back in the past
 Just about now we’ve got everything our little hearts desire
 Never mind the flying ships, hey, Leo – How do you make fire?
 So tell me – How do you make fire?
 Oh, Leonardo. How do you make fire?
 Pass me that stick, please –
 This used to be so easy! –
 Tell me, how do you make fire?


A Little Bit About 'Vitruvian Man'...

Leonardo da Vinci - the last living man to know everything. He'd probably be surprised by where we are now. And even more surprised by where we will be in 100 years' time.


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