"Look Back in Anger" as written by Brian Eno and David Bowie....
"You know who I am," he said
The speaker was an angel
He coughed and shook his crumpled wings
Closed his eyes and moved his lips
"It's time we should be going"

(Waiting so long, I've been waiting so, waiting so)
Look back in anger, driven by the night
Till you come
(Waiting so long, I've been waiting so, waiting so)
Look back in anger, see it in my eyes
Till you come

No one seemed to hear him
So he leafed through a magazine
And, yawning, rubbed the sleep away
Very sane he seemed to me

(Waiting so long, I've been waiting so, waiting so)
Look back in anger, driven by the night
Till you come
(Waiting so long, I've been waiting so, waiting so)
Look back in anger, feel it in my voice
Till you come

(Waiting so long, ahhh...)
(Waiting so long, I've been waiting so, waiting so) (repeat ad inf.)


Lyrics submitted by dewdrop

"Look Back in Anger" as written by Brian Eno David Bowie

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, TINTORETTO MUSIC

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Look Back in Anger song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentProbably obvious, but the title is likely a reference to the 1958 film Look Back in Anger, or less likely but also possibly the 1956 play on which it was based. The film's a look at a doomed relationship during a pretty bleak time in England's history, centred on an angry, abusive protagonist (played by Richard Burton -- the term "angry young man" wasn't coined for the character, but it was popularized by it). However the relationship between the lyrics and the film isn't obvious. Maybe he just liked the phrase.
    lydgateon January 04, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningIf you watch the music video, it seems this song is linked to A Picture of Dorian Gray, and "leafed through a magazine" could be seen as his new hedionism while "very sane he seemed to me" could highlight Gray's duel identity.
    Perhaps Bowie saw a link between Gray and himself, appearing normal to the public while indulging in many pleasures (cocaine in Bowie's case perhaps?).
    Or maybe I'm thinking too much about this...
    thing844on February 17, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLOOOOOOK BACK IN AAAAAAAAAANGGGAAAH.
    Bowieon May 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm not sure but I think this song may be about a visionary being ignore by the public.
    Bonehead XLon June 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBowie doing Scott Walker. amazing song. from a fantastic album.
    carcrashkisson April 10, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentr
    InDem0on August 08, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General Commentr
    InDem0on August 08, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWow!... nice information, and decomposition(?) of the song by @harvey1021.
    I'll re-read that later, and overall I think you are right.
    Now, I will explain the meaning of the song part by part, at least what I think of....

    "You know who I am," he said
    The speaker was an angel
    He coughed and shook his crumpled wings
    Closed his eyes and moved his lips
    "It's time we should be going"

    A DEMON APPEARS TO HIM, TO CLAIM HIS SOUL.
    HE HAD MADE A PACT WITH THE DEVIL LONG AGO AND IT WAS TIME.


    (Waiting so long, I've been waiting so, waiting so) (THIS IS THE DEVIL WAITING FOR BOWIE'S SOUL)

    CHANTS THE DEMON, HE HAS WAITED ALL "BOWIE"'S LIFE TO CLAIM HIS SOUL.

    Look back in anger, driven by the night
    Till you come

    BOWIE REGRETS SELLING HIS SOUL TO THE DEVIL, BUT IT HAS GIVEN HIM FAME AND FORTUNE, DRIVING BY THE NIGHT UNTIL HE DIES, UNTIL IT'S TIME....


    (Waiting so long, I've been waiting so, waiting so)
    Look back in anger, see it in my eyes
    Till you come

    No one seemed to hear him
    So he leafed through a magazine
    And, yawning, rubbed the sleep away
    Very sane he seemed to me

    THIS PART I'M NOT SO SURE.
    BUT I THINK IT COULD BE BOWIE ACCEPTING THE DEVIL AND HIS FATE, HE IS SPEAKING ABOUT THE DEMON HE HAS, THAT NOBODY SEE IT EXEPT HIM (COZ OF THE PACT WITH THE DEVIL AND ALL),
    AND THAT NOW, HE LOOKS SANE TO HIM, HE "WORSHIPS" OR ACCEPT THE DEVIL NOW, HE EVEN DESCRIBES HIM AS A REGULAR AND SANE PERSON, THE DEVIL, LOOKING A MAGAZINE, BORING, THERE WITH HIM...

    ANOTHER INTERPRETATION, COULD BE THAT THIS PART IS SOME KIND OF AN OUTSIDER OR 3RD PARTY'S VIEW, OR SOMEONE WHO DIDNT KNOW ABOUT THIS STUFF IN THE PRESENT.
    BOWIE IS DEAD, AND YOU DIDN'T SEE THE MESSAGES IN THE SONGS, YOU DIDN'T HEAR HIM, SO BOWIE CARRIED ON, AND HE SEEMED SANE TO YOU.

    THIS VERSE CONFUSES ME THE MOST, SO I DON'T KNOW,
    BUT I THINK IT COULD BE ONE OF THE BOTH OR A MIX OF THOSE THINGS.


    (Waiting so long, I've been waiting so, waiting so)
    Look back in anger, driven by the night
    Till you come
    (Waiting so long, I've been waiting so, waiting so)
    Look back in anger, feel it in my voice
    Till you come

    (Waiting so long, ahhh...)
    (Waiting so long, I've been waiting so, waiting so) (repeat ad inf.)

    AND THATS IT.

    I'm sorry if the caps bother.
    Tell me what you think.
    InDem0on August 08, 2017   Link
  • -1
    General CommentThis song really annoys me. Lyrics are decent now that I look at them. But ugggh. It's one of my least favorite Bowie songs.
    ImaNotOkayon November 08, 2006   Link

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