"Big Brother" as written by and David / Bowie....
Don't talk of dust and roses
Or should we powder our noses?
Don't live for last year's capers
Give me steel, give me steel, give me pulses unreal

He'll build a glass asylum
With just a hint of mayhem
He'll build a better whirlpool
We'll be living from sin, then we can really begin

Please savior, savior, show us
Hear me, I'm graphically yours

Someone to claim us, someone to follow
Someone to shame us, some brave Apollo
Someone to fool us, someone like you

We want you Big Brother, Big Brother

I know you think you're awful square
But you made everyone and you've been every where
Lord, I think you'd overdose if you knew what's going down

Someone to claim us, someone to follow
Someone to shame us, some brave Apollo
Someone to fool us, someone like you
Someone to claim us, someone to follow
Someone to shame us, some brave Apollo
Someone to fool, someone like you
Someone to claim us, someone to follow
Someone to shame us, some brave Apollo
Someone to fool, someone like you

We want you Big Brother


Lyrics submitted by saturnine

"Big Brother" as written by Rob Lloyd Andy Jones

Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Big Brother song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +5
    General CommentIn the legend of the Trojan War, Apollo is bewitched by the mortal Cassandra's beauty, and promises her the gift of prophecy. When the time comes for Cassandra to receive her gift, however, things turn sour. Angered at Cassandra's refusal to sleep with him in payment for his generosity, Apollo curses Cassandra so that her prophecies will be disregarded by everyone. Later, when Cassandra warns of the Trojan Horse and its role in the downfall of Troy, the curse proves true. The Horse is wheeled inside the walls of the city and the Greeks slaughter the Trojan people. Cassandra herself is raped and killed later on as a Greek prisoner.

    So Apollo/Big Brother deceives his faithful for selfish reasons while Winston-Julia/Cassandra try to escape their fate, even though they eventually fall along with everybody else. The Trojans were just as worshipful of Apollo as the citizens in Nineteen Eighty-Four were of Big Brother. And both sets of disciples were ultimately betrayed and destroyed by their respective deities. And maybe I'm just reading too much into this.

    Vote Now! You Decide!



    NellieWhiskeyon June 20, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentDon't talk of dust and roses
    Or should we powder our noses?

    Ive always thought of those lines as eing about cocaine.
    NewKillerStaron April 12, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe chorus says it all: Someone to claim us, someone to follow/
    Someone to shame us, some brave Apollo/
    Someone to fool us, someone like you---what great lines for anyone that has bought into the political figures in the world. Bowie (within the 1984 theme) warns us not to trust leaders. Sound advice and what a great song. Love the distortion and the filtered vocals....
    Motown1on August 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about Big Brother from George Orwell's 1984 (Bowie's quite a fan, if you haven't noticed) from the point of view of one of the brainwashed typical citizens who idolizes him.
    jopkins_the_monkeyon March 21, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really enjoy the poetic quality of these lyrics. It flows very smoothly.
    I envision this song as sort of the origins of Big Brother. Sort of a sinless figure for people to look too. Someone to shame us. You get the idea.
    Bonehead XLon June 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Don't talk of dust and roses
    Or should we powder our noses?"
    This is advice to avoid the waste of time that contemplating the inevitable of death("dust and roses") or wasting too much time on ever decaying appearances of ourselves or things("or should we powder our noses?"). In essense: "Get to the root of things!", which would be "pulsars/pulses unreal" with the objective certainty of them, solidity, being "steel" that is demanded.
    The next phrase is more along the lines of telling of how one would remove themselves to seek such a state of mind to contemplate/experience such "steel pulses". You have to take these lyrics of Bowie's as monologues, conversations of the self with the Self. This whole album, 1984(and alot of his other work), may be a favorite book of his, but in the lyrics you can see him and his views woven in the manner he phrases these stories....they've become completely his own to describe completely a different thing (not society at large so much as one's individual, internal dealings with the very nature of being human).
    liplexon September 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBowie wanted to do a musical "1984", but Orwells wife would not sanction it. This was one of the first songs written for the project
    nagromnaion October 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI thought that this was the central focus of this Orwellian album, until I heard '1984.' It's telling you not to waste time, and instead of treating Big Brother like this big camera that sees all, it sees it as a role model for others. "Someone to follow." Get it?
    davidbowiefan1on October 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love the saxophone work on this album
    Dushon January 15, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIs that saxophone? It sounds strange hmm, but good. Pretty obvious what it's about.
    DJgifon June 06, 2009   Link

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