The tactful cactus by your window
Surveys the prairie of your room
The mobile spins to its collision
Clara puts her head between her paws
They've opened shops down the West side
Will all the cacti find a home
But the key to the city
Is in the sun that pins
The branches to the sky, oh, oh, oh

Lyrics submitted by saturnine

Eight Line Poem Lyrics as written by David Bowie

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

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Eight Line Poem song meanings
Add Your Thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +2
    General CommentO.K., anyone that has clicked on this song is really the Bowie fan --congratulate yourself!

    What a great song and a great album. I think this song has to do with celebrating London as a city. This is a guess.
    Motown1on August 08, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentOne thing that shows throughout many Bowie songs, particularly this one, is that the very sound of his lyrics strongly complements the music.
    I'm basically certain he's describing his yearling child's bedroom in the first four lines; they're quite direct for Bowie lines. Clara sounds like a cuddly toy. The last four lines zoom out to show the greater scene, and get a bit oblique. The words and music portray a relaxed, content attitude, and it is the lack of pomp that makes this song an alternative kind of excellent.
    colintronon May 03, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's a perfectly warm Summer day.
    Bowie is standing in his baby son's room.
    There is a crib with a mobile hanging over it.
    Clara, the Collie mix dog who is resting on the floor, calmly puts her head between her paws.
    There is an open window across the room. It is opened with a screen in it. There is a small cactus on it's sil.
    There is a strong breeze coming in the window moving a sheer curtain and spinning the baby's mobile more than enough.
    David doesn't move but looks beyond the cactus, out the window to the street below, where new shops have opened and he wonders if they will be successful. Will the cactus shop he was just at find buyers for their goods.
    When you look up into a tree and the brightest part of the sun is behind a branch, it's as though it's pinned there. Move a little and you can't see the Sun, it's too bright. Move a little more and can't really see the branch. The sight of both are elusive, just like the answer to What is the key to the city's success.

    As I see it.
    cliff11341on March 29, 2019   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit's got 8 lines in it and it's called eight line poem :) bowie knows.
    smfon July 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this song, London was also the first thing i thought about when i heard it for the first time and have since associated it with the place.. glad to know i'm not insane! (or just alone) :P
    tel7e2on August 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWow. A song about a cactus. Imagine that. Well, in a lot of his songs I know he may not mean to do this but he mentions titles or lyrics for future songs. For example, in Cracked Actor (the David Live version) he adds, 'Just for a day.' Coincidential? Or, in Buddha of Suburbia, he says, 'Never born so I'll NEVER GET OLD.' Still coincidential? There's plenty like that. Anyway, this is quite a haunting melody and I love it.
    davidbowiefan1on October 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit reminds me of "queen bitch" because i dont see any microcosm description as in "Oh you pretty things" and The brilliant micro-erudition of "Life on Mars" have you gone through Disney's micro - world next to Autopia? You get really small. and in "Queen Bitch" He's up on the 11 th floor. so the eight line poem is a haiku and it does instil peace and frolic and sense of frozen time. So i like it. and I Like Clara, because shes aware of the Tom Foolery of humans. .
    mca5517aon March 31, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is so chill. It just describes this room from a cactus' point of view. Not sure what the last two lines mean, any ideas?
    DJgifon June 03, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlove the guitar in this song
    stpfan22on April 28, 2010   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top