"Because You're Young" as written by and David Bowie....
Psychodelicate girl
Come out to play
Little metal faced-boy
Don't stay away
They're so war-torn and resigned
She can't talk anymore
What are they trying to prove?
What would they like to find?

It's love back to front and no sides (like I say)
These pieces are broken (like I say)
These pieces are broken (oh, no, no, no, no, no)

Because you're young
You'll meet a stranger some night
Because you're young
What could be nicer for you?
And it makes me sad
So I'll dance my life away
A million dreams, a million scars

He punishes hard
Was loving her such a crime?
She took back everything she said
Left him nearly out of his mind
They're people I know, people I love
They seem so unhappy
Dead or alive

It's love back to front and no sides (like I say)
These pieces are broken (like I say)
These pieces are broken (oh, no, no, no)

Because you're young
You'll meet a stranger some night
Because you're young
What could be nicer for you?
And it'll makes me sad
So I'll dance my life away
A million dreams, a million scars

A million dreams
A million scars
A million
A million dreams
A million dreams
A million
A million
A million
A million


Lyrics submitted by saturnine

"Because You're Young" as written by David Bowie

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, TINTORETTO MUSIC

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Because You're Young song meanings
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  • +1
    General Comment"front and no sides" would be a flattening effect... 3-d down to 2-d. The 2-d would be the "metal faced boy" and the 3-d would be the "psychodelicate girl". I'll explain what each one stands for in the next paragraph.

    The mid section:
    "He punishes hard
    Was loving her such a crime
    She took back everything she said
    Left him nearly out of his mind"
    ...seems to be about the unbending, hard nature of the masculine "metal faced boy". This is a side of one person (himself, perhaps) but any person will do, really. The masculine being the objective self commiserating with the internal, soft, feminine/subjective self. In this case I believe it's a self-referential statement about Bowie's difficult times when "extracting the subjective/psychodelicate" from his mind with chemical means and how this wrought "hard punishment" upon his body. If anyone has experienced a placid mind though constant meditative practice as did Bowie (or in my own case, the placid and boring nature of a mind that is balanced by Chinese Medicine...or in Bowie's case a mind that is boring because he's drained all his neurochemicals through drug-use leaving him on the crash/burn side of the trip (see "Always Crashing In the Same Car"). "Left him nearly out of his mind" is about his difficulties with drug-use...it gained him much by way of creative/human insight but almost took away his sanity.



    "Hope I'm wrong but I know" is a reference to this idea that he hopes his view of the world is wrong because it contains no afterlife. "But I know" speaks of his certainty of this worldview.

    "But it makes me sad / so I'll dance my life away" is his understanding of the inevitable arrival of death and his fall into oblivion and so he dances while he can. This ties into the larger paragraph I referenced above which ends with:
    "They're people I know
    People I love
    They seem so unhappy
    Dead or alive"

    He's found a way of making the best of his situation in the face of this tragic, universal demise to come. Some may not take him seriously for staying in the world of fantasy/subjective but it's how he deals with it all...he's "happy" or at least aware, but there are so many that aren't happy/content ("with coping method").

    ================================

    A million dreams (childhood)
    A million scars (adulthood)
    A million, A million ("years" is implied... a phrase which equals "infinity" or "oblivion")

    These three are the choices: you can dream, you can complain, or you can die... but you will eventually die... so why not make the best of it and enjoy your time; be happy, son!

    Touching song with a hint of the straining air that surrounds confronting your mortality and how to approach that final period.

    "these pieces are broken"... no idea other than it might reference a shattered "metal faceboy"... the body will fail in your attempts to squeeze the juice of life out of it... realize that there is an negative for every great positive... that obtaining the subjective costs an objective price.... and avoiding this will leave you as nothing BUT a "metalfaced boy" that is unhappy "dead or alive".

    Hope you've enjoyed my rambling style. It saves me time.
    envelopeon December 24, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentCHORUS
    Because you're young
    You'll meet a stranger some night
    Because you're young
    What could be nicer for you
    And it makes me sad
    So I'll dance my life away
    A million dreams, a million scars

    I thought about this part again and came up with what could possibly something that ties in with what notthattartagain said about this being a song written for his son Zoe/Zowie. At the time the song was written Zoe was still in his single-digit years while Bowie was "mounting the hill" (in his case 30 was the year he went over the hill...it's why he was able, or why at all, to write "Up the Hill Backwards" which has an excellent interpretation on its page on this site...Read That First.) This is about Bowie standing at what he feels to be the culturally understood year that is the end of Youth while looking down upon the place his young son has and the all of the climbing he has ahead of him. It's another point of self-reflection on aging and death in the frame of paternal advice. Read through it again.. it's almost fully self-centered, which is perfectly fine since the most ego-centric advice can sometimes be more rich than some watered down "selfless" advice that essentially cuts the Self out of the picture in an attempt to console by sleight-of-hand. As a man who has squeezed out a copy of himself in child he can do nothing but realize his place on the linear progression of human life. The action of contemplating the nature of his son's own youth puts his own into view.
    envelopeon December 26, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentActually, David Bowie has been quoted as saying that this is the second song he wrote for his son (Zoe, or Joe Bowie - the first was "Kooks" on Hunky Dory). Per Bowie, the song is about the inevitability of life letting you down. ("A million dreams" become "A million scars.")
    notthattartagainon March 03, 2008   Link
  • -1
    General CommentThis song is self-referential. It's basically David Bowie writing an open letter to himself in the chorus of the song. In the demo, the main chorus of the song actually goes "Because I'm young..."

    There are also some parallels here between the psychodelicate girl and his rampant drug use at a younger age.
    rabbithowlon July 24, 2007   Link

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