"The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" as written by and David Bowie....
Stars are never sleeping
Dead ones and the living

We live closer to the earth
Never to the heavens
The stars are never far away
Stars are out tonight

They watch us from behind their shades
Brigitte, Jack and Kate and Brad
From behind their tinted window stretch
Gleaming like blackened sunshine

Stars are never sleeping
Dead ones and the living

Waiting for the first move
Satyrs and their child wives
Waiting for the last move
Soaking up our primitive world

Stars are never sleeping
Dead ones and the living

Their jealousy's spilling down
The stars must stick together
We will never be rid of these stars
But I hope they live forever

And they know just what we do
That we toss and turn at night
They're waiting to make their moves
For the stars are out tonight

Here they are upon the stairs
Sexless and unaroused
They are the stars, they're dying for you
But I hope they live forever

They burn you with their radiant smiles
Trap you with their beautiful eyes
They're broke and shamed or drunk or scared
But I hope they live forever

Their jealousy's spilling down
The stars must stick together
We will never be rid of these stars
But I hope they live forever

And they know just what we do
That we toss and turn at night
They're waiting to make their moves on us
But the stars are out tonight

The stars are out tonight
The stars are out tonight


Lyrics submitted by SongMeanings, edited by Allusi0, theorykid, sp0ng, Mathiwn

"The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" as written by David Bowie

Lyrics © TINTORETTO MUSIC

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The Stars (Are Out Tonight) song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentGenerally I've seen this album as a way of Bowie reflecting on his past. In the music video Iselin Steiro is the young Bowie, who moves in next door to contemporary Bowie and acts as a ghost of his past self. The two celebrities who seem to stalk Bowie and Swinton's characters in the video (who seem to be in a lot of trouble from the magazine Bowie picks up at the beginning of the video) might also be a reflection of Bowie's darker past, perhaps from his drug addictions? Either way, I definitely think that this song is about the obsessions with celebrities in the media and how they seem more than human to their fans. Maybe this song is to Bowie's fans as a way of saying 'I'm human, just like you'.

    Anyway, pretty much from the 80s onwards I think Bowie has been obsessed with his past, often refurring to his previous well known hits (example. Ashes to Ashes's reference to Space Oddity, Hallo Spaceboy's reference to Space Oddity etc.)
    musson January 06, 2014   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI love the fact that 99.999999% of the people that have reviewed David Bowie's "The Next Day" have not seen the obvious pattern throughout the entire album. The obvious pattern is this, David Bowie had a supernatural experience, based on the album, a dark one. I'm a long time Bowie fan, been listening to all of his albums for many years, and have never heard such a theme in any of his past albums, perhaps hints of it here and there in a few songs spread out throughout his career but never in such great abundance and as a main theme of an album, but it is a hidden theme, not easy to pick up on if you yourself have not had a similar experience.

    Here is my analysis of the following verses in this song:

    "Stars are never sleeping
    Dead ones and the living"

    Bowie had a sighting, a visit from a dead celebrity, which one who knows.

    "And they know just what we do
    That we toss and turn at night"

    The visit likely took place at night while he was trying to sleep, this is the time they visit, they know exactly what we do 24/7 (dead people).

    Agree, disagree, I don't care, this is probably why Bowie is not an atheist.
    mortalon July 31, 2013   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningAs you can clearly see, it's a song about how you and I are supposed to be together.
    UrDa1on February 27, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationIt's about the role that celebrities play in our culture
    CuteSparkinaon March 03, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI understand in this song (and video I admit) that it's about all the obsessions, alienations, ideas and desires of all kinds that wonder and steer anyone of our common minds

    It's a bit the way I understand most of Bowie's art (music, painting, sculpture) .
    lavacheon March 25, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIts kinda vampiric on many levels...its a rip off of the Psychadelic Furs style/melody and requires the listener/viewers 'idealisation' for its creation...It maybe also at some level ironic...he after all couldn't live forever as did his partner in that film where he played a kind of vampire.
    maxwellzefon April 05, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Stars are never sleeping
    Dead ones and the living"

    :)
    Allusi0on April 10, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLikening the stars on Earth to stars in the sky... about fascination with celebrities, as has already been pointed out.

    "They burn you with their radiant smiles
    Trap you with their beautiful eyes
    They’re broke and shamed or drunk or scared
    But I hope they live forever"

    Common people get ensnared by celebrities because they seem more beautiful/more talented than regular people... in reality, their personal lives are just as messy as ours (sometimes even more so) and they can be "broke and shamed or drunk or scared," but people still worship them and "hope they live forever."

    "We live closer to the Earth, never to the heavens"- stars on Earth are so far removed from average people that they might as well be stars in the sky.

    "Stars are never sleeping, dead ones and the living"- the media is always reporting what big-name celebrities are doing. Even celebrities that have passed away are still never forgotten.
    EnduringChillon May 14, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSome kind of ambiguity between celebreties and angels. "Dead", "sexless", "they know just what we do". Angels are watching over us, but not clean and easy ones; it's rather about angels who don't let you go numb and apathic.
    They provoke us out of our comfort, and stir, and challenge, and consumme themselves. And, some celeb's do behave like that.
    Any thoughts?
    EifLon November 07, 2013   Link

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