"Ricochet" as written by and D. Bowie....
Like weeds on a rock face, waiting for the scythe
Ricochet
Ricochet
The world is on a corner waiting for jobs
Ricochet
Ricochet
Turn the holy pictures so they face the wall

And who can bear to be forgotten

March of flowers, march of dimes
These are the prisons, these are the crimes

Men wait for news while thousands are still asleep
Dreaming of tramlines, factories, pieces of machinery
Mine shafts things like that

March of flowers, march of dimes
These are the prisons, these are the crimes
Sound of thunder, sound of gold
Sound of the devil breaking parole
Ricochet, it's not the end of the world

Sound of thunder, sound of gold
Sound of the devil breaking parole
Ricochet, ricochet
These are the prisons, these are the crimes
Teaching life in a violent new way
Ricochet, ricochet
Turn the holy pictures so they face the wall

And who can bear to be forgotten
And who can bear to be forgotten

March of flowers, march of dimes
These are the prisons, these are the crimes

Early, before the sun, they struggle off to the gates
In their secret fearful places they see their lives
Unraveling before them

March of flowers, march of dimes
These are the prisons, these are the crimes
Sound of thunder, sound of gold
Sound of the devil breaking parole
Ricochet, it's not the end of the world

But when they get home, damp eyed and weary
They smile and crush their children to their heaving chests
Making unfulfillable promises
For who can bear to be forgotten


Lyrics submitted by saturnine

"Ricochet" as written by D. Bowie

Lyrics © TINTORETTO MUSIC

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Ricochet song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentI thought this song on Let's Dance was real exciting. It's not the most popular song on there, even though it was the name of Bowie's 1983 Serious Moonlight documentary, about all the places he went and things he saw on his tour. My favorite lyric is 'These are the prisons, these are the crimes.' To me, that is saying, 'You did your best. Sorry. That's the way life works. That's the way it goes.'
    davidbowiefan1on December 26, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI do like it. My 3rd favortite song on Let's Dance, after Without You and China Girl.
    TheThornBirdson March 15, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song always makes me think of Loki and the mythology of Ragnarok.
    TheYellowSignon July 10, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is a proclamation of superiority of an independent responsible individual judgement over external dogmatics. "Turn the holy pictures so they face the wall" says it all. The dogmatics here does not have to be religious - could as well be social, cultural, scientific, etc.
    tokenextraon April 03, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really like this song; it seems very different and almost off-beat. Bowie said he felt the syncopation in this song was pretty bad in hindsight, but oddly enough I think that's why I like song. The spoken "Ricochet-- it's not the end of the world!" doesn't really fit very well but it's there anyway and I love how unique it is.
    adieuadeeron April 17, 2014   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThere weren't many comments on this song so I was left alone to figure out an interpretation that suited me.

    I think this song is about people who sacrifice tomorrow for today and ultimately waste their lives.
    People who toil away their lives in thankless mind-numbing jobs just trying to get by. People who recklessly chase impossible dreams. People who drift through life waiting for opportunities to present themselves. People who get addicted to drugs, alcohol, or destructive behaviors. People who stay in abusive relationships. People who make deals with the devil because today's fears outweigh tomorrow's salvation.
    Every day they work a little, and suffer a little, and hope a little, but nothing every really changes. They eventually find themselves old and worn out and the dreams they once had of a joyful life have evaporated. They reach the end of their lives exhausted, depressed, and full of regret. The worst part is that even if they could do it all over again, they know they would make the exact same choices because even after all this time, they still don't know better. They know this unfulfilling lifestyle is a problem, but they have no solution to speak of.

    The last paragraph gets me the most. -
    An exhausted father comes home to his children after a long day at work. He smiles, hugs them, and is reminded of why he's willing to make such sacrifices.
    This man doesn't get to see his children often and he promises that he'll make it up to them. Someday he'll find the time to watch a movie with them. Someday soon he'll find the time to play a game with them. One day he'll take them to Disney World.
    Only someday never comes; and his children grow up at a distance and eventually follow in his footsteps.
    Xalis1on October 19, 2014   Link

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