"Seven Years in Tibet" as written by and Reeves Gabrels David Bowie....
Are you OK?
You've been shot in the head
And I'm holding your brains
The old woman said
So I drink in the shadows
Of an evening sky
See nothing at all

The stars look so special
And the snow looks so old
The frail form is drifting
Beyond the yoga zone
Turn to question the mountain
Why pigs can fly
It's nothing at all

I praise to you
Nothing ever goes away
I praise to you
Nothing ever goes
I praise to you

I praise to you
Nothing ever goes away
I praise to you
Nothing ever goes
I praise to you
Nothing ever goes away
I praise to you
Nothing ever goes, nothing ever goes
Nothing


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"Seven Years in Tibet" as written by Reeves C Gabrels David Bowie

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Peermusic Publishing

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Seven Years in Tibet song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI fell in love with this song off the "EART HL I NG" album, I don't know why just something about it really attracts me (probably the chugging rhythm and wailing finish really). I believe it was written about the continued strife in Tibet.

    He appears to follow this song up in "Hours" on the last track...but that's a tenuous link at best.
    Koncordeon September 04, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"Are you OK?
    You've been shot in the head
    And I'm holding your brains
    The old woman said"

    Maybe the best songtextline ever.
    ralexandon November 19, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIt's about the seeming futility of belief in a higher being or afterlife-based paradigm.
    The first phrase is the man experiencing his own death and seeing nothing but himself dying; there is no afterlife.
    When I listened to a long, long time ago I imagined that the second phrase was, as the reference to the autobiographical book above says, that this man is climbing, making an Ascent to find separation (as is assumedly was found in Bowie's own practice of meditation and yoga and referenced in other songs on this album). The album cover has Bowie standing with his back to the viewer in an A-frame pose with the Union Jack lines in his coat further emphasizing this letter...I hope you follow the symbolism so far as to how it relates to the lyrics. "Turn to question the mountain / Why pigs can fly / It's nothing at all," seems to be saying that even in this non-theist paradigm there is no escape or comfort or redemption gained from attaining what is implied by going "beyond the yoga zone" and the "frail form" ("is drifting" like snow, "old snow", like ashes). The phrase "why pigs can fly, it's nothing at all," seems to be a recognition that this "enlightenment" offers nothing...he climbed the mountain to reach "heights" that "pigs" have reached without the same effort/mindfulness/practice.
    And of course, "I praise to you, nothing ever falls away" is the man's reaction to the failure of prayer and belief. When I say "man" in the above writing I speak of the character in the lyrics and not Bowie but some years prior he had written "Loving the Alien" which both in lyrics and imagery (in the video) deal with similar issues of prayer and meditation based paradigms.
    envelopeon July 22, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"I hope you follow the symbolism so far as to how it relates to the lyrics."
    The peak of the mountain/"A" climbed is the head. I think what it means to say is that there is no higher authority than man himself; there is no God above and there is no "secret" gained at the top of the mountain...just a vantage point to look down from.
    envelopeon July 22, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentEACHOTHER, DAMNIT, EACHOTHER!

    GAWD DON"T YOU PEOPLE UNDERSTAND IT"S NOT ABOUT DRUGS OR A BREAKUP???
    envelopeon July 22, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Seven Years in Tibet" is an autobiographical book. It details the travels of an Austrian member of the national socialist party who attempts to climb a mountain in the Himalayas. During the climb WWII starts and he happens upon some British troops who send him to a war prison. He eventually escapes and winds up in Tibet where he befriend the then child Dalai Lama. He experiences their peaceful Buddhist ways and realizes the shameful error of his past beliefs. After some time WWII ends and later Tibet is invaded by the Chinese, mirroring the cruelty of the Germans.
    Chard121on March 08, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOff the top of my head, "Looking for Satellites" refers to people looking for other people, "satellites" over head... maybe this is what he's getting at in reference to finding a 'higher meaning".
    envelopeon July 22, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationIt is based on the brain chemistry of sensory flooding and it is about irony. The most riddiculous suspension of belief while your real adventure might be sitting next to you while you are enraptured in this commercial rubbish. Bowie often composes songs while imagining himself in a cinema; the place most Westeners go to escape the madness of reality for a few hours. Look carefully at the lyrics - they don't make any sense unless you imagine yourself in a cinema with your dream partner that you are too scared to admit that you have just found your best chance at hapiness
    RandBon March 13, 2013   Link

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