"Stay" as written by and David Bowie....
This week dragged past me so slowly
The days fell on their knees
Maybe I'll take something to help me
Hope someone takes after me
I guess there's always some change in the weather
This time I know we could get it together
If I did casually mention tonight
That would be crazy tonight

Stay, that's what I meant to say or do something
But I never say is stay this time
I really meant to so badly this time
'Cause you can never really tell when somebody
Wants something you want too

Heartwrecker, heartwrecker, make me delight
Life is so vague when it brings someone new
This time tomorrow I'll know what to do
I know it's happened to you

Stay, that's what I meant to say or do something
But what I never say is stay this time
I really meant to so badly this time
'Cause you can never really tell when somebody
Wants so much to stay
That's what I meant to say or do something
But what I never say is stay this time
I really meant to so badly this time
'Cause you can never really tell when somebody
Wants something you want too

Lyrics submitted by saturnine

"Stay" as written by David Bowie


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Stay song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentDefinitely one of Bowie's most underrated songs. He clearly loved he song as it was mainstay of his concerts through the mid-80's. Love the guitar solo. I always thought that given the funk/soul bent of the song, it would not have been out of place on Young Americans with a slowed down arrangement and sax instead of lead electric guitar.

    The song seems to be an evolution of a song cycle on the STS album. From pure cynicism about love (Station to Station) to finally re-embracing the concept of love at the end of the album (Wild is the Wind). This song is placed second to last on the album. It seems to find Bowie still a bit trepid about fully giving himself into the idea of love.

    The first stanza seems to set the stage of where he is in life- weeks/days dragging by- life is lifeless, he takes drugs to help him get by- he hopes others will use with him so he doesn't feel so alone.

    In the second stanza he suggests to someone that they hook up. What he means by 'this time we can get it together' maybe he means time and circumstance just haven't allowed it, maybe he tried having sex with the person and it just didn't work out. Maybe he means finally declaring he is in love with the other person. Dunno.

    The chorus is more straightforward. He wants to ask the person to stay after they have sex, but can't bring himself to do it. Maybe he's afraid to commit out of fear of getting hurt or facing rejection by the other person ('you can never really tell when somebody wants something you want too')

    In the third stanza, I think he is hoping that his lover makes the first move and says she is in love with him (make me delight). He then goes on to say how life (not 'right') is so vague (uninteresting, ill-defined) when he goes from casual encounter to casual encounter (meet someone new). He then tries to get up his courage by saying that tomorrow he'll know what to do (ask his lover to stay) as he is convniced that she is in love with him ('I know it's happened to you')

    Anyway, that's my take on it.
    BillyBuddon July 09, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Commentmaybe he's really high on cocaine
    Screw0nHeadon December 01, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMaybe he's upset because Angie wanted to part with him
    CuteSparkinaon October 21, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionThis is one of my favorite Bowie songs. Not necessarily for the lyrics, which are definitely cool, but the music. It's some serious hard rockin' drums and guitar, and with flanger effect and mellotron strings. And definitely the guitar solo at the end. I love playing it as loud as I can take it. This song is why I bought Station to Station twice: vinyl then CD.
    mumajoron December 03, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo an ex maybe?
    whiskeyclonehotelon September 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMaybe he's hoping the ex has the same feelings, is missing HIM as well: "'Cause you never really tell/ When somebody wants something you want too"

    Just throwing it out there.
    Buddha of Suburbiaon December 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about wanting to ask someone to spend the night and not having the tact to do it.

    "if I did casually mention [what i want out of] tonight,
    that would be crazy tonight"

    "right is so vague when it brings someone new"

    "this time tomorrow ill know what to do"
    -tomorrow when its too late, he'll know exactly what to say:

    fortheloveon January 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWay underrated song...The guitar solo at the end is fantastic.
    thunderperfectmindon February 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Life is so vague when it brings someone new"
    Gerymanon August 22, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentha ha it is so perfectly and clearly vague and determinedly indecisive. how confusing it is to play the insecurity game and making choices based on what you think another person wants or doesnt want and so stay if you want and i want it only if you want it i mean it, but only if....
    suomynonaon January 15, 2015   Link

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