"Lazarus" as written by and David Bowie....
Look up here, I'm in heaven
I've got scars that can't be seen
I've got drama, can't be stolen
Everybody knows me now

Look up here, man, I'm in danger
I've got nothing left to lose
I'm so high it makes my brain whirl
Dropped my cell phone down below
Ain't that just like me?

By the time I got to New York
I was living like a king
There I'd used up all my money
I was looking for your ass
This way or no way
You know, I'll be free
Just like that bluebird
Now, ain't that just like me?
Oh, I'll be free
Just like that bluebird
Oh, I'll be free
Ain't that just like me?


Lyrics submitted by IniquitatisRex

"Lazarus" as written by David Bowie

Lyrics © TINTORETTO MUSIC

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Lazarus song meanings
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  • +11
    My Interpretation"His death was no different from his life - a work of Art."
    - Tony Visconti, producer for Bowie's final album Blackstar

    Bowie is saying goodbye to us in the video for "Lazarus". He appears in a hospital bed, blindfolded with button eyes. It's symbolic of a weakened, end of life condition.
    The ghostly girl who comes out of the closet and crawls under the bed is something of a grim reaper. She is death. As she reaches for him, Bowie levitates in the bed... possibly delaying her touch momentarily. He still has some fight in him.
    The levitation might also symbolize entering a state in between life to beyond.
    We next seen him free of bandages, up and on his feet, looking a little better and bright eyed. He's reviewing memories and important moments from his life. He does a silly little dance and smiles. It was good.
    He sits and begins writing a note or letter... or the script for this video. Knowing death is near, he ponders... and then composes his last work. We see the little reaper girl occasionally, apparently allowing him some time to wrap things up... but looking impatient. Once finished with his final composition, he stands and slowly but knowingly, retreats backwards and steps into the closet from which death entered... and closes the door. It's over.
    Wow.
    -----------
    Blackstar is Bowie's 27th studio album. It is the first one that doesn't feature Bowie's image on the cover art. Bowie & Elvis were both born on Jan 8. Do you think Bowie knew that Elvis recorded a song in 1960 titled "Black Star"? The first verse:

    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

    songmeanings.com/songs/view/3530822107858896173/
    youtube.com/…
    kcpoppson January 12, 2016   Link
  • +6
    General CommentWell, Bowie knew how to leave an impression.
    Chard121on January 11, 2016   Link
  • +6
    General CommentIt's almost as if he knew he was going to die, putting out the video for this only a few days before his death. Damn, he was something else.
    Aerineaon January 11, 2016   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationThis song is, along with the rest of the album 'Blackstar', the final piece of art of David Bowie.
    To understand these lyrics you will have to see them in context of his death.
    On 8 January 2016, Bowie’s 69th birthday, the album 'Blackstar' was released. Only two days later, 10 January 2016, Bowie died from cancer. His passing came as a big shock for almost everyone, because Bowie did only tell a select group of people about his condition and kept it out of publicity.
    On the album release, this song seemed just to be another enigmatic artwork of Bowie, maybe a new faze that he was going through. Until everything became clear when Bowie died and everybody found out that he was diagnosed with cancer 18 months before. Bowie knew he was dying when he wrote this song.
    With this album and this song, he turned his death into art, to match his life as David Bowie.
    Bowie’s death is the key to understanding this song. ‘Lazarus’, the song title, is a biblical figure that rose from the death, like Bowie in this song speaking to us from the death.
    floxianon January 12, 2016   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI don't think I have cried anymore when i heard David Bowie died, I just put on Lazarus and felt like my childhood died.
    JudgementDayon January 14, 2016   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationJust a guess but I suspect Bowie is in imagined dialogue with his greatest idol and fellow glam rock auteur Lou Reed in this song. Mention of New York and bluebirds (see "Candy Says" by The Velvet Underground) seem more than coincidental to me.
    heppercatnonpluson January 15, 2016   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSuch a genius. I miss him so much already.
    mrsaffon January 12, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDavid Bowie has died.

    This is off his last album of seven songs. "Blackstar"
    thecrossboneon January 11, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song has already inspired me to deeper more meaningful work. So it's possible that this was this artist's intent consistently through his life and work: to inspire others.
    sdz896542on January 16, 2016   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationFirst thing you need to know is that he is referencing Lazarus which is one of Jesus's miracles. Jesus said this "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die"

    In a way, Bowie will never die because of his large body of work so long as he has fans.

    And in a way that is partly what the first verse is about.

    "Look up here, I'm in heaven
    I've got scars that can't be seen
    I've got drama, can't be stolen
    Everybody knows me now"

    He in a way, predicted, that everyone would know him after he died. He would gain lots more fans and notoriety after his death. He also references the drama and scars of fame he has had previously most notably in the 70's when everyone treated him as a freak show. He was the first rockstar to come out as gay, bisexual or otherwise and the first glam rocker. And it is all so eloquently put in to that first verse. And he is right. None of that can be taken from him.

    "Look up here, man, I'm in danger
    I've got nothing left to lose
    I'm so high it makes my brain whirl
    Dropped my cell phone down below
    Aint it just like me."

    Well this second verse he is talking about his sickness in a way he is stepping back from the death of the first verse. Talking about how he can put out this crazy album and how he is high on medication or high on creativity. I don't even know. And dropped my cell phone down below? Maybe that is a loss of communication? And the final line kinda asks if the highness was just like him, and even though he quit drugs decades ago, yes. That is how many people thought of him.


    "By the time I got to New York
    I was living like a king
    Then I used up all my money
    I was looking for your ass"

    I think this is going back further in time. This seems it is specifically referencing Ziggy/Aladdin period. When his manager at the time Tony was spending lots of money to make Bowie look more famous than he really was. It worked in Britain and not so much in America. Maybe he was hunting down his manager's ass to chew him down, maybe he was looking for fame's ass. This is a line I am curious about.

    "This way or no way
    You know, I'll be free
    Just like that bluebird
    Now ain't that just like me
    Oh I'll be free
    Just like that bluebird
    Oh I'll be free
    Ain't that just like me"

    Bowie was always a free spirit. nuff said.
    brittanyeion January 25, 2016   Link

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