"My Death" as written by Jacques Roman Brel, Eric Blau and Mort Shuman....
My death waits like an old roué
So confident I'll go his way
Whistle to him and the passing time
My death waits like a bible truth
At the funeral of my youth
Weep loud for that and the passing time
My death waits like a witch at night
As surely as our love is bright
Let's not think about the passing time

CHORUS
But what ever lies behind the door
There is nothing much to do
Angel or devil, I don't care
For in front of that door, there is you

My death waits like a beggar blind
Who sees the world through an unlit mind
Throw him a dime for the passing time
My death waits there between your thighs
Your cool fingers will close my eyes
Let's not think of that and the passing time
My death waits to allow my friends
A few good times before it ends
So let's drink to that and the passing time

CHORUS

My death waits there among the leaves
In magicians' mysterious sleeves
Rabbits and dogs and the passing time
My death waits there among the flowers
Where the blackest shadow, blackest shadow cowers
Let's pick lilacs for the passing time
My death waits there in a double bed
Sails of oblivion at my head
So pull up the sheets against the passing time

CHORUS


Lyrics submitted by bowiegurl

My Death song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentTwo words describe this song: Poetic Beauty. I wasn't a very big Bowie fan, then one day I was flipping through the channels and caught "Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars" on AMC right as Bowie began this song, and I was stunned. It's an endlessly beautiful song, and Bowie delivers it perfectly.

    The song is originally by a guy named Jacques Brel, who I believe was French, so Bowie was the first to do an English version of this song. I believe the song is about someone who is contemplating their own death as they see it nearing, but they don't want to accept it.

    I think the most beautiful lines are...

    My death waits there in a double bed
    Sails of oblivion at my head
    So pull up the sheets against the passing time

    He sees himself dying of old age in a bed. He sees death as oblivion, because he doesn't know what will happen to him once he dies. Chances are he doesn't believe in heaven or hell. And he sees oblivion in the form of ships coming for him. Then he says he'll pull up the sheets to protect himself against the passing time, and the passing time equals inevitable death. This is much like a child pulling up the sheets to protect themself from monsters.

    When Bowie played this song live, during the last chorus he would sing...

    But whatever lies behind the door
    There is nothing much to do
    Angel or Devil, I don't care
    For in front of that door, there is...

    And then he would stop singing and people in the crowd would shout "ME".

    This is one of the most beautifully sad songs I have ever heard.
    Ratman_84on June 06, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentjacques brel wasn't french but he did sing in french
    Dushon January 11, 2008   Link
  • 0
    Song FactIt was actually covered in English by Scott Walker in 1967 on his debut solo album. He did it first, but Bowie's vernon has the lines: "My death waits there between your thighs/ Your cool fingers will close my eyes/ Let's not think of that and the passing time" which is different from Walker's version. It's a great few lines.

    Whoever translated this did a beautiful job. Some of the lines are closer to the literal word for word translation than others, so there was definitely some liberty taken but it is very beautiful.
    brooke7476on September 09, 2014   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI always think of this song as a love song.

    It is a song of a man who knows that he will eventually die, although unlike others I don't think that is necessarily to be soon.

    This can be shown in the lines

    My death waits like an old roué
    So confident I'll go his way
    Whistle to him and the passing time

    So he knows that death waits for him as it does for everybody. But he is not going immediately follow death. So he cheekily whistles at it and allows time to pass.

    It also shows in this line

    Throw him a dime for the passing time. Now it says passing as time that is currently going passed and will continue to pass. Not time that has passed..

    I think it is a man talking about spending the rest of his life with a woman.

    My death waits there between your thighs
    Your cool fingers will close my eyes

    He is talking of his lover and that she will be there when he dies. Thus will be there all his life.

    He is talking about acknowledging death but not being afraid because she will be there beside him for his life.

    But what ever lies behind the door
    There is nothing much to do
    Angel or devil, I don't care
    For in front of that door, there is you
    Missy1972on August 18, 2017   Link

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