"Blackstar" as written by David Bowie....
In the villa of Ormen, in the villa of Ormen
Stands a solitary candle, ah ah, ah ah
In the centre of it all, in the centre of it all
Your eyes

On the day of execution, on the day of execution
Only women kneel and smile, ah ah, ah ah
At the center of it all, at the center of it all
Your eyes
Your eyes

Ah ah ah
Ah ah ah

In the villa of Ormen, in the villa of Ormen
Stands a solitary candle, ah-ah, ah-ah
At the center of it all, at the center of it all
Your eyes

Your eyes

Ah ah ah

Something happened on the day he died
Spirit rose a metre then stepped aside
Somebody else took his place, and bravely cried
(I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar)

How many times does an angel fall?
How many people lie instead of talking tall?
He trod on sacred ground, he cried loud into the crowd
(I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar, I’m not a gangster)

I can’t answer why (I’m a blackstar)
Just go with me (I’m not a filmstar)
I’m-a take you home (I’m a blackstar)
Take your passport and shoes (I’m not a popstar)
And your sedatives, boo (I’m a blackstar)
You’re a flash in the pan (I’m not a marvel star)
I’m the great I am (I’m a blackstar)

I’m a blackstar, way up, oh honey, I’ve got game
I see right so white, so open-heart it’s pain
I want eagles in my daydreams, diamonds in my eyes
(I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar)

Something happened on the day he died
Spirit rose a metre then stepped aside
Somebody else took his place, and bravely cried
(I’m a blackstar, I’m a star star, I’m a blackstar)

I can’t answer why (I’m not a gangster)
But I can tell you how (I’m not a flam star)
We were born upside-down (I’m a star star)
Born the wrong way ‘round (I’m not a white star)
(I’m a blackstar
I’m not a gangster
I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar
I’m not a pornstar, I’m not a wandering star
I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar)

In the villa of Ormen stands a solitary candle
Ah ah, ah ah
At the centre of it all, your eyes
On the day of execution, only women kneel and smile
Ah ah, ah ah
At the centre of it all, your eyes, your eyes
Ah ah ah


Lyrics submitted by IniquitatisRex

"Blackstar" as written by David Bowie

Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, TINTORETTO MUSIC

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Blackstar song meanings
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  • +10
    My InterpretationThis song gives me chills. knowing he was dying he must have asked God why? But got no response,"
    I can’t answer why ,Just go with me. Also he thumbed his nose at the great I am or he believed that after death he would become the great I am. Everything would be taken from him, I’m-a take you home (I’m a blackstar)
    Take your passport and shoes (I’m not a popstar)
    And your sedatives, boo (I’m a blackstar) Probably was on sedatives and pain pills. Your'e a flash in the pan meaning you are just here for a short time, you are fleeting.
    In the video, He said Goodbye to his success, as Major Tom was the alien like astronaut.His solitary candle burned out, he floated off to be a star that was burnt out, a dead star. I believe he believed in reincarnation from the lyrics,
    Something happened on the day he died
    Spirit rose a metre and stepped aside
    Somebody else took his place, and bravely cried
    (I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar)
    When he mentions the day of execution, I believe that the cancer was his execution.
    ​Loved the Artist that he will always be, wished I knew the man he was. Love to His family and fans.
    terminalstareon January 11, 2016   Link
  • +3
    General Comment1. The title of the song 'Blackstar' refers to the unreleased Elvis Presley song 'Black Star' which is solely about death and has the lyrics:

    Every man has a black star
    A black star over his shoulder
    And when a man sees his black star
    He knows his time, his time has come

    2. 'On the day of execution, only women kneel and smile'

    Refers to the assisted suicide that will have taken place to relieve Bowie of his suffering, and which was staged purposefully 2 days after his birthday and the release of the album.

    The song 'Girl Loves Me' later on the album reinforces this with the lyric 'Where the fuck did Monday go'. Bowie died on Monday morning.
    milkshockon January 14, 2016   Link
  • +2
    General CommentSeems to be about religion, and some crazy nonsense that the bible tells. Also, it says some things about him accepting death and becoming someone that will now dwell the universe (far away), becoming a star that is no longer bright.

    The video shows the bible some times. Ormen means "snake" in Swedish and Norwegian. (Adam and eve). How many times does an angel fall (Lucifer).
    DavidLagoon January 11, 2016   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationRenck, the director, indicates there were links to Aleister Crowley. Donny McCaslin said that Bowie told him the solitary candle was a reference to ISIS. While this has been refuted by PR, McCaslin may have misheard him; Bowie may have been speaking of Isis, the Egyptian Goddess of rebirth. With the connection to villa of Ormen -Ormen meaning snake, a symbol of rebirth for their ability to shed their skin, this song seems to intentionally be at least in part about rebirth or reincarnation.

    My sense is that Bowie is speaking metaphorically. When looking at the video, the female cult takes this gilded skull from the Starman away with them, leaving the body to rot away and pass into death (the Black Star). They worship the ideas and perform a ritual to bring these ideas back to life, who is born at the execution of the three scarecrows -a creature of life and chaos being born from stagnation and blindness. Out with the old, in with the new, as it were. AKA, much like Bowie was his own generation's version of Elvis (connection to BlackStar and the worshiping nature of female fans swooning and shaking over their idol), there will come out of death a new idol, who will look nothing like the old version -may even be frightening to those of the old order (the gyrating hips of the trickster -another connection to Elvis -are seen being performed by the scarecrows).

    Anyway, those are some quick thoughts, based in part by a reddit thread I saw on the matter, though they went way too far with it.
    lynn100754on February 08, 2016   Link
  • +1
    My Opinion I totally agree with you, terminalstare. The lyrics are about his coming death.
    Darkdreamon January 12, 2016   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningWhile I agree with nearly all of these postings, everyone seems to have missed an obvious one. High school reading. The poem The Hollow Men by T.S. Elliot.

    allpoetry.com/…

    "Stuffed men...filled with straw...wind in the grass...more distant and solemn than a fading star...There the eyes are...Eyes I dare not meet in dreams...The eyes are not here...There are no eyes here...In this valley of dying stars...sightless...We grope together and avoid speech...

    The whole scarecrow portion of the video references The Hollow Men. Check it out. The poem has all sorts of meaning too. There are websites about it.

    One last thing. On the Criss Angel website, look at the gallery. Is he using Bowie's video set, or did Bowie film on Criss Angels set? It's the Blackstar Attic. It even has a Blackstar in it:

    crissangel.com/…
    kirokon August 31, 2016   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningFor various reasons, this song struck a chord with me bigtime. Upon seing the video, an even bigger one. For related reasons, I feel particularly apt to draw interpretations. Why? Please just bear with me.

    Link to the video, which I refer to, and another interesting link:

    youtube.com/…
    genius.com/…

    First off, I think we can expect most of the lines in this song to have multiple connotations. I deem my analysis to be accurate, but not complete. The people posting before me have mentioned organised religion and death. To me this is very one-dimensional. As we are about to see, the song is both more down-to-earth and esoteric than that.

    "In the villa of Ormen, in the villa of Ormen
    Stands a solitary candle, ah-ah, ah-ah
    In the centre of it all, in the centre of it all
    Your eyes"
    A
    1) A candle can obviously be phallic
    2) The candle in the video resembles a scrotum
    3) Center of it all, the phallus is, in terms of height at the center of a mans body.
    4) The stereotype is that men tend to think/see with their penis/balls. Hence "your eyes". Bowie is as much a visual artist as a lyrical one ("Dont you wonder somethimes, about sound and vision?" c.f Sound and Vision from "Low"). Here, in the video, Bowie is disfigured (blind) and hence castrated.

    B
    1) Ormen = "the snake" in nordic languages such as my native swedish. Yes, it's THE snake, orm is snake. Aside from being yet another phallic cue, this places the song in a phantasmatic and long gone european setting. Considering, however, the raids conducted by Norse people both directly and indirectly via Normany ~1000 years ago, this is basically a large part of Bowies heritage (he does look very nordic).
    2) I don't quite know what to make of this other than Bowie wanting a mystical connection that isn't your usual egyptian/abrahamic/vedic one. It needed to be closer to home.

    "On the day of execution, on the day of execution
    Only women kneel and smile, ah-ah, ah-ah
    At the centre of it all, at the centre of it all
    Your eyes, your eyes"

    C
    1) First of all, whos execution? Probably Bowies. I have other theories but they are too far fetched...
    2) Note that both here and in the first stanza, repetion and the manner in which Bowie is singing creates the feeling of a chant.(Much like you would expect from a public execution, by the way).
    3) The comment about women is double-edged. On the positive side, the stereotype is that women are better at emoting than men. In a situation such as an execution they are likely to show more feeling, whatever feeling this may be. One can "smile" for so many different reasons and in so many ways. The darker side of this coin: Bowie, especially being bisexual and a very attractive man on many level knew better than most the nature of women. The reader may not agree, but let's just say the -stereotype- is "frailty thy name is woman" -W. Shakespeare. He is basically bringing up the fact that women are, paradoxically, more willing than men to execute/dethrone/castrate a fellow human being if he/she is considered inferior. The fact that this lust is rarely seen in the open is another matter. By now I will have made some people angry, it's OK. You don't have to agree with me about everything, but hear me out.

    "Ah-ah-ah
    Ah-ah-ah

    In the villa of Ormen, in the villa of Ormen
    Stands a solitary candle, ah-ah, ah-ah
    In the centre of it all, in the centre of it all
    Your eyes
    Ah-ah-ah"

    More chanting and repetition.


    Now the song takes a great big turn. In many ways. In the video, even Bowies charcter changes. He isn't blind and sensless anymore, but very much alive.

    "Something happened on the day he died
    Spirit rose a metre and stepped aside
    Somebody else took his place, and bravely cried
    (I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar)"

    This is where it gets really interesting.
    D
    1) On the day Bowie died he left his sick ("blind") body an entered a realm where he is now healthy.
    2) We then go on to discuss the void left by Bowie, but maybe not just by Bowie... He stepped aside and someone took his place. Someone who is a black star. Here I make very few esoterical connections, even if blackness and stars are concerned. We are obviously talking about black people, black musicians more specifically. The greats of Bowie, Jagger, Elvis, Beatles, Freddie Mercury etc. all owe A LOT to black music. And what Bowie envisions here is all these white (well, in the case of Elvis and Freddie somewhat white) will now step aside having given back to a new generation of black musicians. So, just like Bowie is not means as "just Bowie" but all ol' white men who have been inspired by black music, this new blackstar isn't one but many people.
    3) To take it further, one might look to black people moving up the ranks of american (in particular) society notably seen with the election and re-election of Obama, and his policies.

    "How many times does an angel fall?
    How many people lie instead of talking tall?
    He trod on sacred ground, he cried loud into the crowd
    (I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar, I’m not a gangstar)"

    The first three line, I am having trouble with. Please help me! :)
    The last one is an obvious reference to black people being taken for criminals and having to prove they are not.

    "I can’t answer why (I’m a blackstar)
    Just go with me (I’m not a filmstar)
    I’m-a take you home (I’m a blackstar)
    Take your passport and shoes (I’m not a popstar)
    And your sedatives, boo (I’m a blackstar)
    You’re a flash in the pan (I’m not a marvel star)
    I’m the great I am (I’m a blackstar)"

    Here we get a very interting passage. Note that during this more "cheery, post-death middle of the song" Bowie -really sings in quite a black manner-, i.e. a soul-y voice (and a good one at that!!), also note how he uses "boo". Here, Bowie intermingles with his heirs. I won't analyse this in detail, it's somewhat beoynd me. It deals alot with seduction and the allure of the black gentleman.

    "I’m a blackstar, way up, on money, I’ve got game
    I see right, so wide, so open-hearted pain
    I want eagles in my daydreams, diamonds in my eyes
    (I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar)"

    More of the same "daydreaming about fame, glory". An active livestyle of a super celebrity (and ofcourse it's a bit TOO bright, i.e. satircial)

    "Something happened on the day he died
    Spirit rose a metre and stepped aside
    Somebody else took his place, and bravely cried
    (I’m a blackstar, I’m a star's star, I’m a blackstar)"

    Same as above.

    "I can’t answer why (I’m not a gangstar)
    But I can tell you how (I’m not a flam star)
    We were born upside-down (I’m a star's star)
    Born the wrong way ‘round (I’m not a white star)
    (I’m a blackstar, I’m not a gangstar
    I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar
    I’m not a pornstar, I’m not a wandering star
    I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar)"

    He doesn't really need to answer why he is not a gangsta(e)r, or else like many black celebrities is adopts/is given that image regardless. Born upside-down. Humans originate from Africa, and white people are indeed born on the other side of the globe. Bowie here takes on teh role of a black man trapped in a white mans body (born on the wring side) and he isn't a white star. Nor is he a wandering star, now this could have soemthing to do with (not) being Jewish. That would indicate a connection to certain anti-semitic notions (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…) however. It is still possible.

    "In the villa of Ormen stands a solitary candle
    Ah-ah, ah-ah
    At the centre of it all, your eyes
    On the day of execution, only women kneel and smile
    Ah-ah, ah-ah
    At the centre of it all, your eyes, your eyes
    Ah-ah-ah"

    We revisit the nordic setting. In the video, we also see a black priestess leading a group of bewitched (white) women dancing and making the black panther sign(!), yes look in the video link above at 8.35-8.40.


    This song has many themes, one of which is clearly a renaissance in black culture.
    Msicson January 13, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJust some miscellaneous observations and thoughts:
    Little smiley embroidered on the astronaut's suit blows a kiss to his son re:his great film 'Moon'.
    Bowie respects his audience and has a sense of humour. He knows it will entertain us to be confounded and to take the piss is acceptable, because we can hack it.

    He is/was a star. In an interview once he spoke of past tangles with Crowleyism. Maybe part of him feels a little incredulous at his continuing fame, and he wonders whether he might unwittingly have done a bit of a Johnny Favorite. A lot of ambivalence about the direction his life has taken and how much he agency he really had in the teeth of the juggernaut of the industry around him and about him.

    If everything is in reverse, upside down, the wrong way round, mirrored, if he was born the wrong way round, that could be why he's a space oddity, a stranger in a strange land in a world, an oyster that couldn't absorb or dissolve him and so built him into a pearl.

    Possible small cruelties referred to:
    A critic who said he'd come to nothing
    Someone who threatened an afraid or in pain person with withholding of medication, and then frightened them
    A grim reaper who doesn't speak here of stopping the mouth or breaking the legs but of taking away the dying person's selfhood [passport] and mobility [shoes]

    In the mirror universe in which David is Famous when he perhaps shouldn't have been- and in fact isn't, in the ordinary universe on the other side of the mirror- and feels like a straw man, host to the projected fantasies of millions, the women who mourn him don't cry as Mary did at the death of her crucified son, but instead see him off with loving smiles that are comforting.

    Someone has been his stalwart through hard times of confusion, pain and doubt; through it all, their eyes.

    It's important to live authentically, to be brave and take someone's place in a spirit of sacrifice if it seems required, to talk tall and not to lie, to see clearly, to stay alive on the inside, feel fully, not to shrink the outlook or apsirations or dampen the emotions- daydream of eagles, diamonds in eyes. The astronaut's skull has been adorned with precious gems. They came to be there through a combination of his own efforts to love life and the cherishing given by admirers.
    To feel fully is painful, especially to know what is right and the importance of that in any given moment, but it's not easy seeing this if you feel you've been consigned, or volunteered to go, to the misfit/oddity/shadow side of life.

    The taking of the place- was it a kind of usurping, again the guilt at having been chosen? None of this has to have been deliberately written. People just write whatever and then follow where the evocations lead. It's not necessarily an intricately made puzzle with every bit representing anything directly.
    Usurping, like the moon usurps the sun during an eclipse. The moon is cold and lonely and desolate, a lonely place to be, like the world if you feel like an oddity.

    The Astronaut's clothes are worn and damaged. He's been knocked about by life and has tried to patch himself up makeshift. He's ramshackle.

    Maybe a worst-case scenario vision of the fearful process of dying [possibly assisted], supported by one loving person in a nightmare world in which the dead person's remains will inevitably become relics to be worshipped by primitive subjugates [a certain kind of fan] and their power-broker priests [those who will process the sole soul into a legend/commodity].
    smusron January 19, 2016   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretationthe video shows 3 crucified beings
    the one in the middle is a female

    blackstar has a pawn
    the pawn is executed
    blackstar then steps forward

    radiohead's black star and bowie's blackstar both sing of home

    radiohead's black star is about a troubled woman (blame it on the black star)

    bowie's blackstar is going to take somebody home

    blackstar exalts himself

    the unknown somebody that blackstar is involved with is insulted; they're a flash in the pan (they're not a star, like blackstar)

    the unknown somebody is losing their passport (freedom) and shoes (soul)

    the unknown somebody will have no sedatives (boo, as in cry, for where blackstar is taking them they are going to want or need sedatives, but will have none)

    the executed one, the unknown somebody, and blackstar are three different beings

    in the city of sin (villa of ormen)
    the women are worshiping their god, lucifer

    lucifer is not I AM (he wants to be)
    lucifer is I WILL
    secreturelalooon January 28, 2016   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationBowie reflects on his position as an entertainer in a pan-political, abstract, theological way. He stretches beyond pure anger -- neither the lyrics, his video, or the composition scope in on the music industry, but hang in the air as a memoir, though given his recent death, the term eulogy might be more appropriate.

    In a style he exhibited from his early years, Bowie forbids us the expected diss
    INeedThisOnceon March 12, 2016   Link

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