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The Pogues – Transmetropolitan Lyrics 8 years ago
By the way, this song is clearly inspired by the DC comic publication of the same name. The song's narrator is the British alter ego of Spider Jerusalem, the comic's antihero, a renegade reporter obsessed with the truth and grudgingly involved in a love-hate relationship with the dystopian city in which he lives, works and subsequently demolishes. He has an excessively foul mouth - hence "drink the rat's piss, kick the shite" - and keeps himself in a state of constant consciousness with drugs - hence "and I'm not going home tonight." Additionally, the first issue of Transmetropolitan was titled "The Summer of the Year." Scarce room for error in this situation, guys.

P.S. The comic is the amusing, aggressive, satirical, masochistic, sadistic, vibrant, nonchalant, stylish, ragamuffin version of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. Find it, grab it, read it. If it's good enough for Shane MacGowan, it should be good enough for his fans. It was indubitably good enough for this one.

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Vanessa Paradis – Divine Idylle Lyrics 9 years ago
Correct lyrics!

Dans l'espoir docile
Tes ailes fragiles
Je te devine
Divine idylle

L'amour qui sommeille
Dans un souffle irréel
Ma folie, mon envie,
Ma lubie, mon idylle

Je te vole une plume
Pour écrire une rime
Au clair de la lune
Mon amie l'idylle

Mon âme idéal
A la larme fatale
Ma folie, mon envie,
Ma lubie, mon idylle

Divine idylle
Mon amie l'idylle

Dans mes vagues de l'âme
Elle a hissé la voile
J'ai le mal des chimères
Le coeur en flammes

Des étincelles
Il faut qu'elle freine
Si je ferme les yeux
Elle m'appelle
Ma folie, mon envie,
Ma lubie, mon idylle

Divine idylle
Mon amie l'idylle
Je rêve idylle
Divine idylle
Mon âme idéal
Mon idylle

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Cat Stevens – Sad Lisa Lyrics 9 years ago
As a child, my father used to sing this song to me. I always thought of the Mona Lisa, imagining her spirit trapped inside the oil paint, far from human companionship. The painting was a lonely, broken thing, or to my youthful musings at least. Her enigmatic smile isolated her, and her deep eyes were filled with an emotion equally mysterious, yet so strong that it silently called out to be understood and comforted. I thought of her in the dark halls of a gallery, and it is only now that my pompous adolescent logic can tease me into thinking that the real Mona Lisa would never stand in a corner by the door. Instead, she would be locked up at night, then exposed under bright unnatural lights for a jostling audience to point and shamelessly gawk at. Curse the years, and the unpleasant realities that are borne along with them.


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Elton John – Sixty Years On Lyrics 9 years ago
If the narrator will be sixty years of age in sixty years' time, how old does that make him? The idea that this is the bitter prophecy of an infant's soul is strange and haunting.

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The Pogues – Waltzing Matilda Lyrics 9 years ago
As an Australian, I've grown up with Anzac Day and all the nonsense that comes with it. Entire beaches blocked for the parade to pass through, sprigs of rosemary worn by children with no concept of war, old men in uniforms who still haven't grasped that concept despite their experiences. I can well imagine myself asking, as a young child, "What are they marching for?"


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The Pogues – Transmetropolitan Lyrics 9 years ago
KMRIA - Kiss My Royal Irish Arse. I believe Joyce coined the acronym. Consequently, I think the ICA is the Institute of Contemporary Art (London), and the GLC is the Greater London Council. I'm not British, though, so I could be wrong. The Greater London Council was dissolved in 1986, two years after Red Roses for Me was released. Time frame's right, and what better way to deal with politicians than doing the bastards in? Hypothetically speaking, of course . . .






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The Pogues – Kitty Lyrics 9 years ago
The correct lyrics in the second verse are "And you know that I must go, a stor"

I used to think it was "ashore" too, and it annoyed the hell out of me. He's escaping the country so he doesn't get nicked, and he's telling his sweetheart that he has to go . . . ashore? No. He's leaving her behind, presumably on the shore. If you listen more closely, MacGowan sings what sounds like "ash-tore" and is in fact "a stor", an Irish term of endearment somewhat similar to "mavourneen". "Mavourneen" is the rough equivalent to "my dear", while "a stor" is the rough equivalent to "beloved" or, more accurately, "my treasure."


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David Bowie – Future Legend Lyrics 9 years ago
The songs Future Legend and Diamond Dogs both sound a lot more like I Am Legend than Nineteen Eighty-Four. But the album Diamond Dogs is definitely based off George Orwell's novel.

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The Pogues – Hell's Ditch Lyrics 9 years ago
Ramon is most likely Ramón Gómez de le Serna (generally shortened to Ramon in popular culture). Although Ramon was an influential modernist poet, his aversion to social commentary and lack of activism during the Spanish Civil War has at times been used against him. Seeing as Jean Genet was such an avid activist, MacGowan writes with irony when he refers to Genet jerking off a person he quite probably wouldn't respect on a political level. The fact that Genet is reduced to this form of entertainment is an example of dehumanisation, which appears to be the thematic motif of this song. And yes, the song is about prison. But then again, isn't prison the epitome of dehumanisation?

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David Bowie – Big Brother Lyrics 9 years ago
In the legend of the Trojan War, Apollo is bewitched by the mortal Cassandra's beauty, and promises her the gift of prophecy. When the time comes for Cassandra to receive her gift, however, things turn sour. Angered at Cassandra's refusal to sleep with him in payment for his generosity, Apollo curses Cassandra so that her prophecies will be disregarded by everyone. Later, when Cassandra warns of the Trojan Horse and its role in the downfall of Troy, the curse proves true. The Horse is wheeled inside the walls of the city and the Greeks slaughter the Trojan people. Cassandra herself is raped and killed later on as a Greek prisoner.

So Apollo/Big Brother deceives his faithful for selfish reasons while Winston-Julia/Cassandra try to escape their fate, even though they eventually fall along with everybody else. The Trojans were just as worshipful of Apollo as the citizens in Nineteen Eighty-Four were of Big Brother. And both sets of disciples were ultimately betrayed and destroyed by their respective deities. And maybe I'm just reading too much into this.

Vote Now! You Decide!




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David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust Lyrics 9 years ago
EXTRA EXTRA! ZIGGY STARDUST = EXPLODING PLASTIC INEVITABLE!

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David Bowie – Time Lyrics 9 years ago
Reminds me of the void between input and output. Everyone goes through it once. That's adolescence. Artists go in and out and in and out and in and out again. That's just being an artist.
It's a depression and a numb sort of cowardice. You know you could be doing something productive with your time, learning how to play another instrument or helping someone with their chores. You just can't seem to escape the sludge of your own spirits, and no amount of rationalising or motivational speeches will force you into doing so. That's why I'm wasting my own precious time commenting on David Bowie's lyrics. Not that the aren't worth commenting on.


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David Bowie – The Jean Genie Lyrics 9 years ago
Course it's about Jim! Have you ever seen anyone who looks more reptilian than Pop?

Jean Genie doesn't wear shirts
Jean Genie's so sexy it hurts
He's outrageous, he's five seven tall
Jean Genie walks before he crawls

(Mine humble tribute to the Pop-ster.)


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David Bowie – Suffragette City Lyrics 9 years ago
"The time is five years to go before the end of the earth. It has been announced that the world will end because of lack of natural resources. Ziggy is in a position where all the kids have access to things that they thought they wanted. The older people have lost all touch with reality and the kids are left on their own to plunder anything. Ziggy was in a rock-and-roll band and the kids no longer want rock-and-roll. There's no electricity to play it."

(Excerpt from a Rolling Stone interview with David Bowie and William S. Burroughs, February 28, 1974. Quote by David Bowie.)

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When I read the Rolling Stone interview, I first thought of kids looting shops, wearing furs and diamond jewellery and skateboarding through deserted office buildings. But hey, if you had those kinds of options, why not take advantage of brothels and drugs as well? Most people seem to think the guy with a "school day" is in college. Not necessarily. The kids in this song could be anywhere from twelve to twenty, which is really far more disturbing, and therefore in keeping with the overall apocalyptic mood of Bowie's 1972 masterpiece.

To be honest, I'd always suspected the narrator and his mate to be a couple of kids. It's something about the way they talk. "My school day's insane" and "My work's down the drain" definitely remind me of how I feel about school - completely stuck and unable to retreat. You're basically forced to go. As an adult, you can make the choice between going to college, getting a job or going on the dole. For a kid, it's basically do as you're told or sleep on the sidewalk. The fact that the narrator refers to the woman as Ma'am also suggests youth, and a sort of ingrained submission to adults. You have to remember that despite the fact that the kids in the Stardust story are free to do as they please, they are still subservient to their paranoid moms and dads, hence the Starman line "Don't tell your papa, or he'll get us locked up in fright."


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David Bowie – Starman Lyrics 9 years ago
Now I'm done with the history lesson, I'll move on. The meaning of this song is quite clear, and has already been defined in varying words to the same end. The only thing I have to add is only of slight interest.

Let the children lose . . . their virginity!
Let the children use . . . Mary Jane, acid, ludes, crack, junk - you name it!
Let all the children . . . rock out, man!

Sex, Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll!

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David Bowie – Starman Lyrics 9 years ago
"Ziggy is in a position where all the kids have access to things that they thought they wanted. The older people have lost all touch with reality and the kids are left on their own to plunder anything. Ziggy was in a rock-and-roll band and the kids no longer want rock-and-roll. There's no electricity to play it."

"Ziggy is advised in a dream by the infinites to write the coming of a Starman, so he writes 'Starman', which is the first news of hope that the people have heard. So they latch onto it immediately...The starmen that he is talking about are called the infinites, and they are black-hole jumpers."

"They don't have a care in the world and are of no possible use to us. They just happened to stumble into our universe by black hole jumping. Their whole life is travelling from universe to universe."

". . . Now Ziggy starts to believe in all this himself and thinks himself a prophet of the future starmen. He takes himself up to the incredible spiritual heights and is kept alive by his disciples. When the infinites arrive, they take bits of Ziggy to make them real because in their original state they are anti-matter and cannot exist in our world. And they tear him to pieces on stage during the song 'Rock 'n' roll suicide'. As soon as Ziggy dies on stage the infinites take his elements and make themselves visible."

(Excerpts from a Rolling Stone interview, February 28, 1974. Interview with David Bowie and William S. Burroughs. All quotes by David Bowie.)
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David Bowie – Starman Lyrics 9 years ago
vampiresshumane is simply agreeing with roger wilco's commentary on the obvious fact that music today is largely comprised of shite. There was certainly no attack made by either commentator on either the relevance or beauty of David Bowie's work. Lighten up.

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David Bowie – Soul Love Lyrics 9 years ago
"Soul love, the priest that tastes the word and told of love and how my God on high is all love, though reaching up my loneliness evolves by the blindness that surrounds him."

I was brought up a Jehovah's Witness, brought up to believe in Jehovah and to put my faith in doing his work on Earth. When I was about ten, I came to the realisation that I could never be that person. The dilemma wasn't one of belief. At the time, I still believed Jehovah to be my God, still believed in Paradise and Armageddon. Now, I don't discount it as the truth, but nor do I consider myself mature enough or well versed enough to make that decision. The very simple fact of the matter is that I cannot devote myself to one cause, cannot blindly trust, cannot forget every other thought and philosophy and creative yearning that wells up within me. I could not at ten, and I cannot now. At the same time, I long for some sort of spiritual connection. I am reaching up for faith and love, but inside I feel isolated and strange. What others can see clearly, I am made blind to by way of an overstuffed soul. It isn't a matter of belief. Were I to fully believe in God and Paradise and Armageddon all over again, I would be faced with the same impossibility.

"All I have is my love of love, but love is not loving."

Being "in love" with love is very much the same as being "in love" with anything or anyone else. It is selfish, possessive, obsessive, torturous, degrading and always unrequited. Even if the one you are in love with appears to return your corrupted love, the love will remain unrequited because neither of you truly love each other. You love with a cold fire, passionate yet demanding. True love is bittersweet and compassion, a giving and a receiving, and a timeless codependence that transcends all other sentiments. Moreover, being in love is alienating. It turns the person you are in love with into some form of effigy, a golden calf to dance madly round. Loving in its purest form becomes a faint connection, a tangible bond and then a complete union.

Perhaps the singer of this song is in love with love, or indeed in love with anything. They are not loved and they have not loved, yet like every human, they have in innate need to be so and do so.

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David Bowie – Soul Love Lyrics 9 years ago
The flaming dove is a more or less obscure symbol for the Holy Spirit. Seeing as Bowie first uses the image directly before he describes the spiritual love between man and God, I think it's fairly safe to assume that religion is referenced here.

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David Bowie – Rock 'n' Roll Suicide Lyrics 9 years ago
In the Ziggy Stardust stories, this is the song in which:

a) Ziggy sings to his fans while they slaughter him.

b) Ziggy sings to his fans while they watch aliens slaughter him.

c) Ziggy sings to his fans after their watching him slaughter himself.

His psychotic elation is heartbreaking when you put it into context. That doesn't change the fact that we're wonderful for two minutes and fifty-seven seconds whenever we feel like it.

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David Bowie – Rock 'n' Roll Suicide Lyrics 9 years ago
Okay, so this is about five years belated and you probably won't even see it, and I know we're separated by an ocean, but . . . give me your hands, and you're not alone. Give me your hands, 'cause you're wonderful.

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David Bowie – Rock 'n' Roll Suicide Lyrics 9 years ago
@KurdtTBO:

Rock 'n' Roll Suicide was written for the concept album "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars." Note the words "concept" and "Ziggy."

For a fully referenced description of ZS, check out the album article on Wikipedia. The article includes a comprehensive version of the story by Bowie himself, inspirations behind both name and character, and other titbits of info you might be interested in. Oh, and by the way - Cobain may have been a rock 'n' roll suicide, but he was also about five years old when this song was written.

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David Bowie – Rebel Rebel Lyrics 9 years ago
On of the best things about this song is that we're not sure if the rebel's a boy or a girl. Bowie never tells us, because it really doesn't matter.

"You're a juvenile success because your face is a mess . . ."

Love it.


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David Bowie – Oh! You Pretty Things Lyrics 9 years ago
Anyone ever listened to Elton John's "Mellow"? Released about a year after "Oh, You Pretty Things" came out. The "Mellow" lyrics are similar in style to the first verse of this song, and the choruses even sound similar. I think Elton must have been greatly influenced by Bowie. He was the American copycat, but credit to Bernie Taupin - great lyricist.

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David Bowie – Moonage Daydream Lyrics 9 years ago
@bluescout:

Interesting perspective you've got there. Bear in mind, though, that Bowie has been known to sample phrases from other songs or poems. Life On Mars? contains the words "Look at those cavemen go" mirroring Dallas Frazier's early sixties hit Alley Oop and its line "Look at that caveman go!" Ashes To Ashes is also rumoured to have the eerie "My mother said, to get things done, you better not mess with Major Tom" inspired by a children's rhyme.
Bowie was and is, as far as I can tell, culturally aware to a fault. Moreover, he's a collector. Ziggy Stardust himself was a collection of different real-life and fictional characters, and Marc Bolan was probably thrown in there somewhere. I know Bowie must have been influenced greatly by the androgynous rocker, and I firmly believe the imagery in Lady Stardust is concerned with Bolan. The entire song's probably an homage to him, but who can say?

As to the "man love" commentators, I couldn't agree more. "Mama-papa," for one, thing could refer to transgender or role-play. The fact that the narrator can be a "space invader" or a "rock 'n' rollin' bitch" would also suggest his ability and undeniable eagerness in playing top or bottom. And of course, there's the whole "put your raygun to my head." Looking at this song, it's easy to see why Velvet Goldmine nearly made the cut.
I particularly like the second verse in reference to homosexual or other typically unconventional forms of sex. I don't think he's talking about faking an orgasm when he says "don't fake it, baby, lay the real thing on me." I'd speculate he's trying to say that you shouldn't fake being gay just to be trendy or wild. The "church of man, love," (said with a nod and a wink) is "such a holy place to be" - a tangible, honest form of love and sexuality that shouldn't be worn as some sort of fashion label by those who aren't truly into it. Interestingly enough, Bowie appeared to capitalise on his purported bisexuality early on in his career, and has since denied and confirmed the controversial statements multiple times. He could almost be talking to himself in this song, but then again, that's what artists do.

In any case, Moonage Daydream is a brilliant song no matter what it's about. It cuts into your soul from the first chord onwards, and shifts between nostalgia and cutting edge with a fluency that verifies its timeless status. Tears me up that I'll never get to hear all those great sixties and seventies bands live, seeing as most of them are dead or have long since quit touring. My dad saw Lou Reed twice in the early seventies. The best rock band I've seen so far was Steely Dan in concert. The band? They were gorgeous. The audience? Composed of fifty-to-sixty year olds remembering the good old days. Now, I've nothing against mature audiences - the depressing thing was that I was one of three teenagers present. None of those people had bothered to introduce their kids to this great music. Mind you, it was probably a blessing in disguise in this case, because nobody was allowed to get off their arses and even bloody well sway!

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David Bowie – Lady Grinning Soul Lyrics 9 years ago
This song makes me think of the Bond movies. There are a lot of international references in the second verse - Cologne from France, Americard from the US, the Beetle from Germany and canasta from South America. I used to connect this song with the seduction of the unknown, and in a way I still do. Mostly, I just lay back and let it wash over me.

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David Bowie – Five Years Lyrics 9 years ago
I don't know how much religion has to do with the entire Stardust saga, but I can certainly see where people are drawing their comparisons from. In relation to Bowie's in depth explanation of the Rise and Fall concept (see below), Ziggy does indeed play a similar role to Jesus Christ. Ironically, Jesus died to give hope to humanity, while Ziggy's death was simply a confirmation that hope had well and truly left the building. Still, they were both mediums of a sort, and both sacrificed their lives for what they wholeheartedly believed in.

One of the most exhilarating aspects about Bowie's songs is the way they creep up on you, and Five Years is an excellent specimen. Starting with a lazy beat and brief, semi-apathetic statements, it subtly comes to an emotional crescendo in the final few verses. It runs the gauntlet from anomic grey to bittersweet vermillion without missing a shade in between.
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"The time is five years to go before the end of the earth. It has been announced that the world will end because of lack of natural resources. Ziggy is in a position where all the kids have access to things that they thought they wanted. The older people have lost all touch with reality and the kids are left on their own to plunder anything. Ziggy was in a rock-and-roll band and the kids no longer want rock-and-roll. There's no electricity to play it. Ziggy's adviser tells him to collect news and sing it, 'cause there is no news. So Ziggy does this and there is terrible news. 'All the young dudes' is a song about this news. It's no hymn to the youth as people thought. It is completely the opposite. [...]
The end comes when the infinites arrive. They really are a black hole, but I've made them people because it would be very hard to explain a black hole on stage. [...]
Ziggy is advised in a dream by the infinites to write the coming of a Starman, so he writes 'Starman', which is the first news of hope that the people have heard. So they latch onto it immediately...The starmen that he is talking about are called the infinites, and they are black-hole jumpers. Ziggy has been talking about this amazing spaceman who will be coming down to save the earth. They arrive somewhere in Greenwich Village. They don't have a care in the world and are of no possible use to us. They just happened to stumble into our universe by black hole jumping. Their whole life is travelling from universe to universe. In the stage show, one of them resembles Brando, another one is a Black New Yorker. I even have one called Queenie, the Infinite Fox...Now Ziggy starts to believe in all this himself and thinks himself a prophet of the future starmen. He takes himself up to the incredible spiritual heights and is kept alive by his disciples. When the infinites arrive, they take bits of Ziggy to make them real because in their original state they are anti-matter and cannot exist in our world. And they tear him to pieces on stage during the song 'Rock 'n' roll suicide'. As soon as Ziggy dies on stage the infinites take his elements and make themselves visible."
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(The above quote is from a Rolling Stone interview with David Bowie. See Wikipedia for more info and references.)

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David Bowie – Cracked Actor Lyrics 9 years ago
Practically the reverse of The Velvet Underground's "New Age," and both songs are bloody ace.

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David Bowie – Boys Keep Swinging Lyrics 9 years ago
What country do you live in? In some countries there are ways to get around conscription, such as religious or basic moral opposition.

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David Bowie – Boys Keep Swinging Lyrics 9 years ago
"When you're a boy, you can wear a uniform"

The other day, I was watching an interview excerpt from UKDK on YouTube. The subject of the interview was a young Italian guy in England, who earned his living making beds in a hotel. He had left his home country due to conscription. In England, his individualism appeared to be limited to peroxide hair and a leather jacket. If he'd been a girl, it is doubtful whether he would have had to face that catch twenty-two.

Sexism is a two way street. If girls are made to seem weak, stupid or unworthy, then men instinctually distance themselves from their female counterparts. Sensitivity and other typically feminine qualities lose their place in humanity, because men have been imprinted with the idea that girly equals devolution. So the suppression of the feminine is ultimately as oppressive to men as it is to women.




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David Bowie – Aladdin Sane (1913-1938-197?) Lyrics 9 years ago
Stardust was contacted by aliens through dreams, and Sane was contacted by politicians through propaganda. Stardust sang songs of hope for a dying planet, and Sane fought battles of hope for a dying nation. Stardust believed in his prophecies, and Sane believed in his heroism. Stardust was betrayed by aliens, and Sane was betrayed by politicians. Stardust was murdered by aliens in the middle of a song, and Sane was destroyed by politicians in the middle of a battle. Stardust had his fans who watched on as he was murdered, and Stardust has his countrymen who watched on as he lay crushed.

The story of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, as told by David Bowie (see Wikipedia):

"The time is five years to go before the end of the earth. It has been announced that the world will end because of lack of natural resources. Ziggy is in a position where all the kids have access to things that they thought they wanted. The older people have lost all touch with reality and the kids are left on their own to plunder anything. Ziggy was in a rock-and-roll band and the kids no longer want rock-and-roll. There's no electricity to play it. Ziggy's adviser tells him to collect news and sing it, 'cause there is no news. So Ziggy does this and there is terrible news. 'All the young dudes' is a song about this news. It's no hymn to the youth as people thought. It is completely the opposite. [...]
The end comes when the infinites arrive. They really are a black hole, but I've made them people because it would be very hard to explain a black hole on stage. [...]
Ziggy is advised in a dream by the infinites to write the coming of a Starman, so he writes 'Starman', which is the first news of hope that the people have heard. So they latch onto it immediately...The starmen that he is talking about are called the infinites, and they are black-hole jumpers. Ziggy has been talking about this amazing spaceman who will be coming down to save the earth. They arrive somewhere in Greenwich Village. They don't have a care in the world and are of no possible use to us. They just happened to stumble into our universe by black hole jumping. Their whole life is travelling from universe to universe. In the stage show, one of them resembles Brando, another one is a Black New Yorker. I even have one called Queenie, the Infinite Fox...Now Ziggy starts to believe in all this himself and thinks himself a prophet of the future starmen. He takes himself up to the incredible spiritual heights and is kept alive by his disciples. When the infinites arrive, they take bits of Ziggy to make them real because in their original state they are anti-matter and cannot exist in our world. And they tear him to pieces on stage during the song 'Rock 'n' roll suicide'. As soon as Ziggy dies on stage the infinites take his elements and make themselves visible."


P.S. Motor sensational refers to pulse motor sensation, a diagnosis for injured and fractured limbs. The pulse is taken, followed by determining whether or not the patient can move and feel. Clutches of sad remains indeed.













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The Guess Who – Glamour Boy Lyrics 9 years ago
The Guess Who tried to use the cover picture on David Bowie's 1973 album "Aladdin Sane" with a circle around it saying "Not Just Another Pretty Body" in an ad campaign they were launching for this single. Needless to say, they didn't get away with it. In this case, I can't agree with the target choice. Bowie was not just a pretty body - he was a vaudevillian, a social commentator, a superb lyricist, a storyteller and a musical revolutionary wrapped into one. Still, I'm also a big fan of Richard Hell & The Voidoids, The Clash and many other seminal punk bands. Bowie aside, glam was becoming somewhat oppressive in its entirety, and songs like this had to be written in order to pull rock 'n' roll back down to where it came from. Spectacle is great for a while. Then it becomes detached and disassociated, and leads to depression.

P.S. Another fact in Bowie's defence was that, regardless of whether or not you dig his work, he always did whatever he was doing to perfection. It wasn't just throwing on some makeup and a dress. His performances were a work of art, akin to Cirque Du Soleil and its magnificent shows. Perhaps that's what this song is harping at - the costumes and sets that ate away so much of the artist/band's finances that they ended up living in cheap motels while they paid of their debts. In retrospect, it's all rather amusing.

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Iggy Pop – Candy Lyrics 9 years ago
I don't think this song is solely about heroin, but it certainly plays on heroin as a motif. "I had a dream that no one else could see" and "you gave me love for free" both could be taken as references to an addiction, and specifically to a junk habit in the second line. Kate's verse is a less nostalgic, more tangible in its acceptance. She was "hurt" by withdrawal, and although she's happy she's got the drug "out" of her system, she can't seem to completely quell her cravings. Of course, the song still maintains a human focus, and is primarily centred around a relationship (or relationships).

chrisb1 mentioned a movie called Candy starring Abbie Cornish and Heath Ledger, which is not only a good example of the slang term for heroin, but also a good example of what I am trying to articulate. In a similar pattern to the Sid & Nancy tragedy, the lead characters become addicted to each other and heroin simultaneously. I won't spoil the ending, but watch it and you'll see what I mean.

I'm afraid that people - including myself - often draw junk-related conclusions out of songs with no real basis of comparison, and I'm not generally one to perpetuate the myths. Still, it is perhaps humankind's own ability to love obsessively and impulsively that results in words so easily misconstrued. In any case, art is something that must be misconstrued up to a certain extent. That is wherein its beauty lies.


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Adam Green – Drugs Lyrics 9 years ago
From Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique to David Bowie's Ashes To Ashes, Lou Reed's Perfect Day and The Beatles' Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, drugs have been lauded, condemned, identified and obscured through the medium of song since the beginning of music itself. But rarely have they been so competently explained than in Adam Green's classic lines:

"I like drugs . . . I like to do drugs . . . I like to have drugs . . . I like drugs . . . I love them so . . . I like drugs"


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Adam Green – Emily Lyrics 9 years ago
"Now I got the cookies that your Momma sent
I got permission from the government"

Adolescence in a nutshell. Youth is wasted on the young, but time enjoyed wasting is not wasted.


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David Bowie – We Are the Dead Lyrics 9 years ago
David Bowie is evidently versed in the art of the double entendre, and many of his songs rival even Bob Dylan's Desolation Row in lyrical complexity. This is most likely one of those songs. To me, We Are The Dead is a song of juxtaposition and comparison - the juxtaposition of tender affection and corporate avarice, and the comparison between totalitarian oppression and prostitution. The melancholy musings of the narrator as he regards his lover are broken the grotesque imagery of a corrupted society. Towards the end of the song, the juxtaposition disappears, as the beauty of a fragile relationship is crushed by the weight of the world.

The entirety of the first chorus appears to be an explicit description of street prostitution. The narrator is pimped out, instructed to stay close enough that his employers can maintain a hold over him, but also to keep a low profile. He prowls the streets and deceives other young people down on their luck, seducing them into his world of shame and abuse. Despite the allusion that the narrator does in fact carry out these tasks, he seems to feel even more ashamed for his participation in the deconstruction of innocence. Just another pathetic minion carrying out the commands of yet another pathetic minion, and, for whatever reason, he is powerless to rebel.

So the night-walking narrator of We Are The Dead is something of an alter-ego to O'Brien and Winston of Nineteen Eighty-Four. The Ministry of Truth is symbolised by a brothel or group of pimps, and prostitution is another word for fascism. It's fascinating to get a look behind the scenes and into the mind of the enemy. O'Brien clearly possessed humanity and even a sense of individuality at some point, but he has allowed himself to become the shadow of a monster. In blind service, he continues to convert more souls into withered caricatures of living people, passing down his legacy of guilt and colourless existence. Winston and Julia are the innocents in the song, and O'Brien seeks to turn them into copies of himself.

And they're breaking. Winston looks at Julia or Julia looks at Winston, and both wonder whether or not they should simply give up and give in. When all is said and done, they do. They give up they're ideals, each other, and ultimately themselves. In the moment of the couple's capture, Winston implores Julia:

"Oh, caress yourself my juicy,
For my hands have all but withered"

Thereby implying that his hands have not completely withered and are not completely dead. Of course, we know that both hero and heroine will be dead. A betrayal, although constituting weakened character, does not specifically indicate an utter lack of humanity on a person's part. It is the final betrayal in Nineteen Eight-Four that speaks of this deficiency. So who are The Dead? They are Winston, Julia, O'Brien. They are all who came before them and all that will follow after them, although even as they lay symbolically dying, they pray that someone will survive in a world where they themselves could not.

So there you have it: David Bowie's intellectually and emotionally stimulating masterpiece converted into my own especial brand of philosophical masturbation. Clearly, I Am The Dead.





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Rickie Lee Jones – Chuck E.'s In Love Lyrics 10 years ago
Personally, I think this song is about a kind of coming-of-age. An adolescent tomboy who has to face up to tangled relationships when one of her childhood friends gets a crush on her. By the sound of it, she's both alarmed and flattered by the idea, probably because she's so naive. That's how I relate to it, anyhow, maybe because I'm a tomboy myself, and this scenario has come up more than once before amongst my friends. Anyways, this is a pretty cool, offbeat kind of song.

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Rickie Lee Jones – Danny's All-Star Joint Lyrics 10 years ago
This song's great. Has a great atmosphere to it, and even though I'm an Aussie, I can still feel as though it's authentic. It should be, in any case, because Rickie Lee Jones was a street-kid before she became well-known. I love that line: "I'm in a halfway house on a one-way street, and I'm a quarter past left alive."
Shame I'm only the second to comment on it . . .

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Rickie Lee Jones – Chuck E.'s In Love Lyrics 10 years ago
Bear with me, because my explanation of Chuck E. (the character) may at first seem irrelevant. Rickie Lee Jones used to be in a relationship with fellow beatnik poet Tom Waits, and they were living in a hotel together. One of the local characters staying there was called Chuck E. Weiss. Chuck helped Waits write some of his album 'Nighthawks At The Diner,' and has since done a little recording of his own. The three - Jones, Waits and Weiss - were good friends, and used to hang out together. After a while, Chuck decided to leave. Some time later, he phoned up the couple at the hotel; Tom answered the phone, and after talking for a brief time, he hung up. Jones asked him who it was, and Waits replied "Chuck E.'s in love." And basically, Jones liked the sound of the phrase.

I read this in a bio on Waits, who is one of my favourite solo artists.

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Sonic Youth – That's All I Know (Right Now) Lyrics 10 years ago
Just correcting some of these lyrics:

My nerves are busted
And my heart is gone
I think I once was different
But I might be wrong
There's ghosts in the attic
And GHOULS in the wall*
But it's alright
I don't care at all

'Cause I'm yours and you're mine
And that's, that's all that I know right now
That's all, that's all
I know right now

It's dark outside
Except for a pinpoint of light
FROM a LITTLE GOLD TOOTH
Lost in a fight
I DUCK outside
I pick it up from the street
I stomp on it once
And lay it at your feet

Oh baby it's dark out there BUT
Oh baby it's dark in here
Oh darling I don't care oh no

The TV's up against
The wall like a painting
And everybody here
In the museum is fainting
But me myself
I've got FROTH on my lips
It's delicious lady
Won't you have a sip?

* Might say HALL, but I'm not sure . . .

P.S. By the way, you did know this song is not a Sonic Youth original, right? It was written by New York punk poet Richard Hell, and it was first recorded by The Neon Boys. If you haven't heard the original, I suggest you check it out - good stuff.





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Patti Smith – Birdland Lyrics 10 years ago
For some reason I connect the lyrics of this song with Richard Hell's childhood in Kentucky. It's ridiculous, I know, but Hell's dad died when he was kid, and I think he was pretty devastated by that. It also reminds me slightly of some of Arthur Rimbaud's poems, his descriptions of childhood alienation, the feelings of guilt and the knowledge of being different. If you can understand that feeling, than it's easy to imagine wanting the sky to swallow you up, to lose yourself in the void of space because you are 'not human.'

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The Clash – London Calling Lyrics 10 years ago
Everything I was thinking about this song has pretty much been covered. i think one thing I could point out is my interpretation of the 'Imitation zone - another breath' verse. I think Joe is trying to say here that the imitation zone is the London youth looking to bands such as The Sex Pistols and The Clash to save them, and he's telling them to 'forget it' because there's really nothing he, or any of the others, can do for them. They have to do what they can themselves, as that's the only way the world can move forward. The Zombies of Death are the people so afraid of all the perils mentioned in the chorus, that they stop living life and trying to make a difference. They are 'holding out,' and waiting for the inevitable disaster. But Joe doesn't care - he's just going to do what he can, and if the apocalypse arrives, so be it. Dumb interpretation, I know, but that's just what I think.

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The Pogues – 5 Green Queens And Jean Lyrics 10 years ago
Whether Shane intended for it to be or not, I think this song is actually very symbolic. The narrator has 'won' the card game of his life. He seems to be looking back on harder times, and for some reason, he actually misses them. Why? Was it the simplicity of it all? Yes, and no. Just before the song end's, he gives us another clue to why he yearns for his past. It is a different, more powerful simplicity - the love of a human being. When all this guy had was a handful of cards to bet on and a black bin bag, he relied on the love of a woman, but once he moved up in the world, he didn't think he'd need that anymore. Later, he looks back on the simplicity and innocence of that time, and he finally understands that nothing can compensate for love, which makes everything - even the most meager of possessions - meaningful.
An incredibly emotional song, especially for such few words. Shane MacGowan, though he will never admit it, is a true poet - I just hope he lives long enough to grace us with another album, full of the songs he does best.

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Patti Smith – Land: Horses/Land of a Thousand Dances/La Mer(de) Lyrics 10 years ago
These are ridiculous ramblings, to be sure, but poetry is meant to be interpreted in many different ways, and I'm certain that some will agree with portions of my translation of this song.

In a nutshell:

'The boy was in the hallway . . . drove it deep in Johnny' = Johnny is abused, probably as a child.

'The boy disappeared . . . like your baby sister' = Johnny experiences pain and hallucinations after abuse.

'I want your baby sister . . . life is full of holes' = Johnny is confused, and tries to regain his masculinity by raping a woman (baby sister probably symbolic, as someone weaker than himself.)

'Johnny is laying there . . . nothing but surrender?' = Johnny is left only more confused and degraded after the attack, in which he fails to show dominance over the woman, who taunts him over his submissive attitude.

'Johnny gets up . . . the watusi' = Unable to cope with the trauma, Johnny turns to self-abuse and drugs, and also becomes homosexual.

The rest explains Johnny coming to terms with himself, learning to deal with the person he has become, even if he hates that person. He experiments, no doubt, with sex (he appears to be involved with a female, Patti's alter-ego,) drugs, religion, philosophy and more. However . . .

'He lay, pressing it against . . . inside the black tube' = Johnny attempts suicide. Although he is seemingly at ease with himself and his sexuality, he obviously harbors the trauma of his childhood. Eventually, he becomes a psychological wreck, and 'disintegrates.'

The 'sweet young thing' is, as we are all aware, a reference to 'Gloria,' although it's relevance escapes me at this point.

The last verse explains how all the pain, passion, tribulation, madness and unanswered questions of Johnny's life is condensed into what everyone sees as just a 'simple rock & roll song,' but what is really much more. This verse also seems to imply that Johnny is a rock musician. When Johnny finally loses his mind, it is only then that his art can be made complete.

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The Clash – Julie's Been Working for the Drug Squad Lyrics 10 years ago
From a standpoint of having not read any explanation by the Clash themselves for what this song is about, I'd say that it was both anti-government and anti-drugs. Rather then pointing out the actual physical or emotional damages that drugs can do to you, the song focused on how just having fun can later make you pay dearly, whether that punishment is just or not. I think it looks at both sides of the arguement - sure, the laws are too tough, but it's your fault too. I'm probably wrong, but maybe it'll get someone else thinking.

By the way, is it Mick who says 'Hi, there?' Good grief, he sounds like chick!

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Television – Torn Curtain Lyrics 10 years ago
My sister bought this album yesterday and the whole family listened to it. I loved all of it, especially the guitar on Marquee Moon, but it's this song that's been baunting me. I just keep hearing it in my head, a bit like a bad dream that you're not quite ready to wake up from. I agree with RettAlexis that Television is unlike anything I have heard, but even before I read the liner notes on band influences I could hear heavy strains of the Velvet Underground. This song has the same feel to it as Venus in Furs, possibly one of the darkest songs ever written.

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Bob Dylan – Delia Lyrics 10 years ago
I haven't heard this version, but the lyrics are very similar to the Bromberg version. Strange that no one has mentioned the origins of this song. It was written of a true incident wherein Mose Houton, a 15 year old boy, shot down Delia Green, his 14 year old African American girlfriend. Th murder took place on Christmas Eve, 1900. He shot her after a fight, and was then chased and captured by the owner of the house in which he shot her. Mose got a life sentence, but was given parole after more than 12 years. The song has been changed many times since then, and so has Mose's name, usually to Curtis.

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The Clash – Wrong 'em Boyo Lyrics 10 years ago
Yeah, Stagger Lee is a real classic, a bit like Delia. I love playing this song on my accordion. the Stagger Lee version by Dr. John is terrific, too. And yeah, its dice, 'cause I don't reckon you can 'throw' cards.

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The Clash – Gates of the West Lyrics 10 years ago
Floating eye is correct. The key is in the part were Mick sings of making it from Camden to 44th and 8th (streets,) and of course the standing at the gates of the west. I've always thought that when he says "But just like them we walk on/And we can't escape our fate" was trying to say that while few bands/artists ever 'crack' the U.S.A., what they have done is only temporary and will evntually come to pass, as all fashions do. But that is just my own and doubtable meaning I have pinned to that line. Feel free to correct me. This is a great song, but there are two things about it that bother me: a) After writing so many simplistic love songs, was it really Mick who penned these lyrics? They have a gret imagery to them; b) How can one person sound so much like Bob Dylan when he sings "He's telling the waitress he's great?" Maybe it' because they're both Jewish, I've noticed Lou Reed also has times where he sounds like Dylan, as does Paul Simon.
Actually, the whole song reminds me a lot of "Hurricane," another great song.

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The Specials – A Message To You, Rudy Lyrics 10 years ago
The first time I heard this song was when Lynval Golding featured on the Pogues concert, Live at the T&C. I loved it from the first. Thanks to all for the info about who wrote this song, I'll have to look up the Dandy Livingstone version - after all, he did it first. Out of the Specials and the Pogues/Golding version, I actually like the latter - it's more punchy or something. I reccomend it to all. "Rudie Can't Fail" is another great song. By the way, are the themes for all ska or ska influenced songs about rude boys and girls pretty much about getting a job and settling down? It would seem so . . .

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