"Ziggy Stardust" as written by and David Bowie....
Ziggy played guitar, jamming good with Weird and Gilly,
And the spiders from Mars. He played it left hand
But made it too far
Became the special man, then we were Ziggy's band

Now Ziggy really sang, screwed up eyes and screwed down hairdo
Like some cat from Japan, he could lick 'em by smiling
He could leave 'em to hang
'Came on so loaded man, well hung and snow white tan.

So where were the spiders, while the fly tried to break our balls
With just the beer light to guide us,
So we bitched about his fans and should we crush his sweet hands?

Ziggy played for time, jiving us that we were voodoo
The kid was just crass, he was the nazz
With God given ass
He took it all too far but boy could he play guitar

Making love with his ego Ziggy sucked up into his mind
Like a leper messiah
When the kids had killed the man I had to break up the band.

Ziggy played guitar


Lyrics submitted by magicnudiesuit

"Ziggy Stardust" as written by David Bowie

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, TINTORETTO MUSIC, CHRYSALIS MUSIC GROUP

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Ziggy Stardust song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentI have no idea where you got that from Pabstdrinkin. 1) Vince Taylor wrote "Brand new Cadillac" 2) Ziggy Stardust is a fictional character.

    Anyway: Ziggy Stardust, like Major Tom, is a autobiographical character. Ziggy = Bowie. Though Bowie wasn't a guitar player, the point of the Rise and Fall album is Bowie's ascension into the media spotlight following the success of Man who Sold the World. With Hunky Dory Bowie reinvented himself, going into a singer/songwriter mode rather than the harder songs of Man who Sold the World. The differences between "Changes" and "Life on Mars" are completly different than "Width of a Circle" or "Shook me Cold." Bowie came to the realization that he didn't really need the band for Hunky Dory, as Mick Ronson played such a small roll. Bowie thought he was god. He moved into his androdgenous male period, especially with "Oh! You Pretty Things." But he realized he was wrong, he needed the other guys, they were a part of him as older fans complained about the lack of the guitars on Hunky Dory.

    Lady Stardust is about people questioning his choices with "Oh! You Pretty Things", Ziggy Stardust is about Bowie realizing that he may have really killed his older fan base, which was important to him. So he went back to what got him there in the first place. The "death" of Ziggy is Bowie's change BACK the Bowie of "Man Who Sold the World."

    However, Bowie quickly turned Ziggy into another part of himself, as you can see from Aladdin Sane's cover art alone. That's the rise of Glam rock.
    p3nguinpi3on May 26, 2004   Link
  • +5
    General CommentHmm. All interesting. Maybe I'm wrong. I always just thought that Ziggy Stardust was David Bowie's glam alter-ego. Basically, like he was everything about him times a million. His own fears, inadequacies, ego, lust..etc just magnified.
    BunnyHatteShoppeon June 26, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"Ziggy played guitar" is the best thing Bowie ever wrote.

    I really like the way that he starts the song by saying that, and then lets that linger and sink in for just a second before going on, and then ends it with that thought once again.

    The album is about the rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust, of course. But with that line it is like Bowie is saying that no matter what the person is like, it's just his music we will be left with.
    Johnnycrulezon September 10, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI'm amazed that this hasn't been mentioned yet.

    The band wasn't even "Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars" originally. It was just "The Spiders from Mars". Of course, because Ziggy got so much attention, suddenly the Spiders were Ziggy's backups.

    They got annoyed after he got all big and whatnot, so they devised a scheme to bring him down. They "broke his sweet hands", thus rendering him unable to play guitar.

    This, of course, killed Ziggy. They took away his life by breaking his hands, and so Ziggy literally took his own life. The band couldn't continue after their star guitarist was dead, so they had to break up the band.

    But looking back on it, man, Ziggy COULD play guitar...
    FearTheHobbitson May 16, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentit's funny, everybody says that the song is about something different. i think this song must've took so much work from bowie to write, i think he intentionally made the meaning so open to interpretation by incorporating all of his career, and all of the careers of other musicians. so this song speaks to just about everyone. i like to think of ziggy as a fictional character, created from the ashes of every musician before him, whose life tells the tale of those musicians, to give everyone a peek into what these people go through.
    girltonguetiedon March 15, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentguitarjoe93, Bowie is bi.

    Wow, I just realized something about the line "When the kids had killed the man, I had to break up the band."
    I always thought that they killed Ziggy, but then I thought, "Ziggy wasn't a man." So, maybe they figuratively killed the man inside of him, and he was left only as a cold, hard shell.
    TheFifthBeatle91on July 07, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWho, to be honest, cares who exactly Ziggy is?
    The songs about a rock star who went a bit to far, had a massive ego, thought he was the best, etc, etc
    This really annoyed his band so they killed him (which is harsh!)
    But boy could Ziggy play guitar
    LottieLovesLifeon June 23, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMmm... awesome, awesome, AWESOME song!!!

    I will now present my interpretation as through the lyrics. It might not make any sense, just warning.

    Ziggy played guitar, jamming good with Wierd and Gilly
    The Spiders from Mars.
    (Explaining who the main character of the song is, obviously, and his bandmates)
    He played it left hand, but made it too far,
    Became the special man, then we were Ziggy's Band.
    (He became too popular, at least in the eyes of the other band members. He was the face of the band, the "special man", and no one really paid attention to the other band members- they were just "Ziggy's band".)

    Ziggy really sang, screwed up eyes and screwed down hairdo
    Like some cat from Japan, he could lick 'em by smiling
    He could leave 'me to hang
    (Showing his power over people, how he influenced them, everyone loved him. You know. He could metaphorically destory a person just by smiling. He controlled all these people who practically worshipped him.)
    Came on so loaded man, well hung and snow white tan.
    (I believe "hung" might have to do with the "hang" in the line above, but IDK. "Came on so loaded"- sounds like "came across as such a jerk" or "came on too strong" to me, you figure out whatever that means.)

    So where were the spiders while the fly tried to break our balls
    Just the beer light to guide us,
    So we bitched about his fans and should we crush his sweet hands ?
    (Epic lines. Epic rocking going on here. This could be the question the fans are asking- where was their band now, when they most needed their help and musical guidance?- or it could be what the band itself is asking their frontman, sarcastically- where were we in your plans for the future? Anyway, I'll take the idea that it's the fans asking themselves this question, and continue- "Just the beer light to guide us" could mean that the band had abadoned them, leaving only a false sense of security with the "beer light" guiding... I'm not actually sure, really. Next line is confusing- I'm not sure why the fans would be bitching about themselves. But then again, it could be from the band's point of view. They're complaining about how everyone loves Ziggy and no one notices them or gives them any credit. My original interpretation was that the fans were speaking the last line- "should we crush his sweet hands?" Threatening violence because they feel they're not being treated right. But now that I see it could be about the band, I guess it's what they're thinking... "should we hurt him for not caring about us?")

    Ziggy played for time, jiving us that we were Voodoo
    (Stirring up controversy and angry feelings by making fun of the fans/the band, whiever one it is)
    The kids was just crass, he was the naz
    With God given ass
    (Yes, now he is definitely insulting his fans, saying he's better than all of them. Also, the line "God-given ass" makes me giggle.)
    He took it all too far but boy could he play guitar.
    (The fame really got to his head. But he was still a great musician!)

    Making love with his ego Ziggy sucked up into his mind
    Like a leper messiah
    When the kids had killed the man I had to break up the band
    (That last line is so damn powerful, in my opinion. So's the first of the last verse- "Making love with his ego..." Basically, he was killed by his fans when they turned on him for neglecting them, and the band broke up, having lost their frontman. Though I have a feeling they were pretty happy about that.)

    So, I guess, the story of a rock star who was consumed by his lifestyle. Not too strange, really...
    EnduringChillon March 12, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is truely a classic bowie song!! Wonderful I must say.
    fallenturtleon September 06, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdavid bowie is truely amazing...
    tieyourshoeson March 23, 2003   Link

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