Life on Mars (David Bowie)

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Life on Mars (David Bowie)

Xah Lee, 2005-06, 2010-07-03

David Bowie (b1947) is a true artist in all the glory of that word.

“Life on Mars?” (1971), this is a great song. The lyrics is just fantastic. If i were to list top 20 greatest songs (not counting classical music), this would be in it.

Both lyrics and music are by David Bowie.

「• Lennon = what does Lennon refers to? Some web discussion suggest it may be John Lennon and or Vladimir Lenin. The suggestion for Lenin cites the line “the workers have struck for fame” inferring the proletariat in communism. While, Lennon connotes captilism, with his big records success. Some suggest it's a pun on both, since Lennon is a major peace activist in the Vietnam war era, running afoul with the US Government and FBI at the time, and have sympathies for communism. (For more about Lennon, see: I Met the Walrus.) 」
「• Ibiza = a island east of Spain. Ibiza
「• Norfolk Broads = A network of mostly navigable rivers and lakes in the English counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. (above London) Norfolk Broads
Ibiza Norfolk Broads
「• Rule Britannia = a British patriotic song. Rule, Britannia!
It's a god-awful small affair
To the girl with the mousy hair
But her mummy is yelling “No”
And her daddy has told her to go
But her friend is nowhere to be seen
Now she walks through her sunken dream
To the seat with the clearest view
And she's hooked to the silver screen
But the film is a saddening bore
For she's lived it ten times or more
She could spit in the eyes of fools
As they ask her to focus on

Sailors fighting in the dance hall
Oh man! Look at those cavemen go
It's the freakiest show
Take a look at the Lawman
Beating up the wrong guy
Oh man! Wonder if he'll ever know
He's in the best selling show
Is there life on Mars?

It's on Amerika's tortured brow
That Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow
Now the workers have struck for fame
'Cause Lennon's on sale again
See the mice in their million hordes
From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads
Rule Britannia is out of bounds
To my mother, my dog, and clowns
But the film is a saddening bore
'Cause I wrote it ten times or more
It's about to be writ again
As I ask you to focus on

This vid is directed by Mick Rock, 1973.

Note the distinguished mark of David's pupils. Commonly thought to be a genetic condition known as Heterochromia, e.g. each iris has different color. That's not true. According to Wikipedia, the appearance of David's eye is a result of injury of the left eye. At age 15, he got punched by his friend George Underwood over a girl. Operation prevented it from being blind but left with imperfect vision and permanently dilated pupil.

Wikipedia has quite some detail about the meaning and background of the song. See: Life on Mars?.

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