"This Is Not America" as written by David Bowie, Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays....
This is not America
Shala la la la

A little piece of you
The little peace in me
Will die
For this is not America

Blossom fails to bloom this season
Promise not to stare
Too long
For this is not a miracle

There was a time
A storm that blew so pure
For this could be the biggest sky
And I could have the faintest idea

For this is not America
This is not America
This is not

Snowman melting from the inside
Falcon spirals
To the ground
So bloody red tomorrows clouds

A little piece of you
The little piece in me
Will die
For this is not America

There was a time
A wind that blew so young
For this could be the biggest sky
And I could have the faintest idea

For this is not America
This is not America
This is not

This is not America
This is not
This is not America
This is not


Lyrics submitted by Der_Bulle

"This Is Not America" as written by Lyle Mays David Bowie

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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This Is Not America song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI'm glad we liked it and know the movie...but does anyone know the the SONG MEANING? ;-) I'm stumped.
    proteuson March 13, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIn the film The Falcon and the Snowman that this was made for, the main character is captured and beaten by the police in Mexico(?) or maybe somewhere else, it's been awhile since I've seen it. He protests, saying "I am an American citizen!" which gets the reply, "This is not America". To me, the song's about one's rights and privileges that get taken for granted until they're gone. Really paranoid song, but that's the 1980s in a nutshell.
    Chocolate Is Yummyon July 02, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentsad it is hahaha
    in my view it speaks of desillusions..
    beatuiful lines telling about one's hopes not reaching destination, becoming a melting identity..

    it can be seen as a song about aknowledging the fact that you've lost something precious in which you believed in.
    - America representing that 'glorious destination' ...the land of milk and honey! -
    yeah i sure love the music and melodies
    and it suits well the lines if it speaks of shattered hopes
    ...it can be seen as someone's broken dream
    or broken love?
    maybe...
    anyway...something like that
    naivadaon August 29, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me it's the theme of alienation, that Bowie feels his 'normal' envoirment changing for the negative. As he doesn't have a 'faint idea' how these changes came along (or are in progress) he feels that he no longer is in a place he knows.

    just the title says it all: 'This is not America'
    This is not the country I grew up in.
    Not how I know it.
    OldSkoolon May 16, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it's a great song. It seems that the original meaning in the movie is about how many other nations don't enjoy the freedoms that Americans do. But I think that a couple of other meanings have emerged. Bowie plays the song to a British crowd in 2000 - check youtube - and there it seems to have the meaning of "we're British, not American." Another youtube video also used the song to spread a progressive message - that the George W administration did not represent America.

    Part of the lyrics seem refer to a dying dream, (the American dream?) to promise unfulfilled - "this could be the biggest sky." But instead, the clouds will be bloody tomorrow. So, although it doesn't fit the movie script, the critique of America seems like a main theme.
    dokdoforeveron July 21, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGorgeous song, from one of my favorite movies. The story actually is about a guy that gets a job at a private contractor that handles the US secret services communications. He stumbles upon an old file, obsolete secrets about an armament project that never happened. All the while keeping this job he feels his faith for his country fading, and with these secrets he sees an opportunity to protest against the US. He devises a plan to sell the useless secrets to the Russians. He gets his childhood friend to act as a go between : he gives his friend a piece of information and the friend goes to Mexico, to the KGB's offices, to sell them the secrets. But the plan eventually turns against them, as the Russians get hungrier for more info and the friend develops a heroin addiction that requires more and more money. This is all based on the true story of Christopher Boyce and Daulton Lee, and their story is well documented on the net.

    That song holds its own, but in the context of the movie takes all its meaning. True that it is a direct allusion to lost dreams, the American dream.
    swanpason September 13, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationIn the film The Falcon and the Snowman, for which just song was written, the main character, a Russian spy and drug dealer from a rich California family, is captured and beaten by Mexican police in Mexico City. He protests, saying "I am an American citizen," which of course implies his perceived entitlements, to which the policeman replies, "This is not America.”

    The lyrics mean exactly what the in the Mexican policeman said so dryly, but he might as well have added, “You spoiled and stupid little twit! You have now exactly what you deserve.”

    It speaks of the fate of the captured American turncoat and what he has lost as a result of his greed and callousness. The line from the guard so simply says, you can’t expect here in Mexico what you had there in the USA.

    You neither recognized nor appreciated the freedoms and privileges your country, America (United States), afforded you. You did not appreciate the sweat and toil of those who came before you; those who came to start fresh without the mistakes of past civilizations, a place with the freedom to implement the goodness of the human spirit. You inherited those things as a result of where you were born, not your merits.

    Yes, you are no longer there, you no longer have a right to those gifts. You are here, and you will get what we have here.

    (Just a side note and an "oh by the way,"...Mexican citizens are Americans and so are the citizens of Canada, Brazil, Costa Rica, Argentina, etc. Citizens of the United States are only a portion of those who may refer to themselves as "Americans."
    ThinkAbouton April 05, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI've always liked this song, it sounds so sad, the hole song only disappointment...
    placebiston April 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsorry, the whole song...:)
    placebiston April 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsorry, the whole song...:)
    placebiston April 10, 2005   Link

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