I've been
Breaking glass in your room again

Don't look
At the carpet
I drew something awful on it

You're such a wonderful person
But you got problems oh-oh-oh-oh
I'll never touch you

Lyrics submitted by saturnine, edited by reverendayglow

Breaking Glass Lyrics as written by Dennis Davis David Bowie

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, TINTORETTO MUSIC, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Breaking Glass song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentThe line:

    "Don't look at the carpet,
    I drew something awful on it"

    is about Station To Station. On the back cover to that album, there's a picture of David drawing a Tree of Life on the ground in his ugly blue pyjamas. His discography is full of references to Alchemy, the Qaballah and the occult like that.
    rabbithowlon June 26, 2007   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationTo me, Bowie seems to have captured the sound of a man having some sort of psychotic break. Kind of like "A Beautiful Mind" sort of thing. Literally breaking glass and scattering it about the room; drawing weird images on the carpet. He has moments of lucidity where he sees what he's doing and warns his significant other. Then his paranoia turns on that person and he begins to suspect that person's actually the one who has problems, which is why he'll never touch them. Oddly enough, in past live concerts, it almost sounds like he changes the chant midway from "I'll never touch you" to "Let me touch you."
    themis2121on March 19, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentKiller stuff. It gets you started on Low's vocal takes with great punch.

    I just love how disjointed, fractured, badly damage this song manages to sound. As for the lyrics... Hmmm quite mysterious huh? No true ideas.
    Santiagofon September 19, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't know if they called Speed glass back then but if they did the lyrics seem to astutely albeit vaguely characterize a night among friends locked in a bedroom, tweaking away. Of course on the level that LOW was an extremely experimental album I suppose Bowie could be references the destructionist composer Phillip Glass -- as in the activities being described are the wacky things Bowie and Eno did in the studio at the time with atonality and randomness. The drug theme goes with his overall canon better though.
    davidbeauyon October 23, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentrabbithowl's observation about the line "Don't look at the carpet, I drew something awful on it," is spot on IMO. I'd like to point out how Bowie is saying there is something that you can hear, see, but can never touch. The song is a lot less disjointed than it appears. I think it has to do with Bowie's shattered ego and his attempt to reassemble a new persona out of the pieces. He fucked up his mind with drugs, he strained his psyche with occult practice, and created a persona that's wonderful but has problems. He can experience this ideal through second-hand experience, but he'll never really touch it. I think the entire concept of "Low" itself deals largely with the trials of trying to achieve a state of self-perfection; the frustrations of trying to bring the pureness of thought from Kether into the world of Malkuth. Occultism is the constant, blatant-but-hidden center to Bowie's entire body of work, and to truly grasp some of his lyrics you must have an understanding of these things.
    theamnesiacon January 09, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI thought the line was can I touch you, haha,
    TheXFiles8on November 06, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song lyric was written about and for J. Osterburg and AGAINST Angela who he detested by then.
    exobscuraon July 25, 2017   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningMy understanding, is Breaking Glass was written during Bowie's residence in Berlin (the "Low" album on which it appears being one of the three albums written & produced there - Station to Station, Low & Heroes. Three of Bowie's most introspective albums, sometimes referred to as "The Berlin Trilogy" ), during which time, it is well documented, Bowie developed a fascination with fascism.
    "The Night of Breaking Glass" was a turning point for Hitler's Nazi party (not in their ideology), rather in their process - it was sudden, brutal and, at that point, for the first time demonstrated to the German people.
    I believe, rether than drug references, etc, it's a reference to a sudden, dramatic & demonstrative change in how Bowie was behaving.
    Sparticjs774on January 27, 2019   Link
  • -1
    General CommentI love this song. the rythm in it just makes me dance, I can't sit still listening to this song.
    plastiksjaelon October 14, 2005   Link
  • -1
    General Commentthis song is soooo funky
    this-is-a-lowon September 23, 2006   Link

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