00
עדכונים

מנוי במייל

קבלת עדכונים על רשומות חדשות ישירות לתיבת האמייל
יש להזין אימייל תקין על מנת להרשם לעדכונים
ברגעים אלו נשלח אליך אימייל לאישור/ביטול ההרשמה
*שים/י לב, מרגע עשית מנוי, כותב/ת הבלוג יוכל לראות את כתובת האמייל שלך ברשימת העוקבים.
X

פ.י.מ.פ.

Analyzing Bowie: Time

<-previous

Aladdin Sane is an album that deals primarily with fears, exposing the anxieties that nested in Bowie's mind. Most songs are affected by his encounter with America, and the paranoias it awakened in him. With 'Time', however, he goes back to a more general fear, one that he has already dealt with in previous albums. What does Aladdin Sane have to tell us about Time?

Time – he's waiting in the wings
He speaks of senseless things
His is you and me, boy

Once again, Bowie is comparing living with acting. The singer is an actor on the stage of life, and Time is his prompter, standing in the wings and whispering the words he's supposed to say. Our lives, then, should be lived in awareness of the passage of Time in order to be played out right. But the words that Time whispers make no sense, and the singer is left to stand on stage with no knowledge of the part he should play. He is unable to figure out the way to live within Time. We are reminded of 'An Occasional Dream', where the hero wasted his life either dreaming about the future or reminiscing about the past, instead of living in the Now. There, too, there was something constantly whispering in his ear.

Time - he flexes like a whore
Falls wanking to the floor
His trick is you and me, boy

Time wants us to impregnate it with meaningfulness. It flexes before us, spreading its legs several decades wide, inviting us to a meaningful intercourse. But when we fail to find the way to penetrate it and satisfy its desire, it is left suspended in mid-air, and eventually falls to the floor, where it has to satisfy itself.

Time - in Quaaludes and red wine
Demanding Billy Dolls
And other friends of mine
Take your time

The substances that Bowie mentions are used to take our mind off Time, to help us forget the fact that we are living a meaningless existence, moving ever closer to death. But those substances can also terminate our existence, which is what happened to "Billy Dolls" (Billy Murcia, the drummer of the New York Dolls), whose drug-related death in November 1972 prompted Bowie to write this song. When this happens to one of our friends, we are suddenly snapped out of our comfortable haze, and become aware of the passage of Time and the fact that life is ephemeral.

The sniper in the brain, regurgitating drain
Incestuous and vain, and many other last names
I look at my watch it says 9:25 and I think oh God I'm still alive

It's like there's a sniper in your brain, shooting you down whenever you manage to forget about Time. When it does, it throws in your face all the things you usually manage to suppress, all the drain of your existence. Once again we are reminded of 'An Occasional Dream', where the soft whispering voice suddenly becomes adamant and reiterates "Time!", forcing us to face ourselves. The singer is reminded of Time, looks at his watch and realizes that it is late and that he still did not figure out what to do with his life.

We should be on by now
We should be on by now

The phrase "We should be on by now" can be understood in the terms posed in the first section, of the singer being an actor in the play of life. He should have been on stage by now, playing an exciting role, but he is still in the dressing room, trying to figure out what his role should be. We are also reminded of 'Rock'n'roll Suicide', where the hero also feels that he is not within time, that he just passes by life, until someone reaches to him and tells his to "turn on with me", showing him how to live. But here, no one gives him a helping hand, and he cannot figure out how to be "on". Meanwhile, the clock keeps ticking.

You - are not a victim
You - just scream with boredom
You - are not evicting time

The singer acknowledges that some people are not plagued with this anxiety. The wordplay "not a victim – not evicting" evokes a person who is not driven like him with the need to infuse their existence with meaning, but simply goes on through life, playing the part written for them by others. They may be more comfortable in their life, but, says the singer, their existence is nothing but a bore.

Suddenly, the music stops. The rush of the world goes away, and the singer is left to face himself and the anxiety of his impermanence. The sniper in the brain snipes again, and the realization comes swooping in with a shriek of terror (a moment that was dramatized onstage in the form of Mick Ronson pouncing on Bowie, and knocking him to his knees). With all its terror, however, this moment of clarity can also be the beginning of something new…

Chimes - goddamn, you're looking old
You'll freeze and catch a cold
Cause you've left your coat behind
Take your time

Leaving your coat behind can be understood as a metaphor for shedding your old fake identity, and thus stepping out of the comfort zone of living life as you have been told to and trying something new and unsafe. It leaves you out in the cold, without protection, where you might freeze and die. But you may just find a way to take your own time, and discover something meaningful to do with it.

Breaking up is hard, but keeping dark is hateful
I had so many dreams, I had so many breakthroughs
And you, my love, were kind, but love has left you dreamless
The door to dreams was closed, your park was real and greenless
Perhaps you're smiling now, smiling through this darkness
But all I had to give was the guilt for dreaming
We should be on by now

The "You" of the beginning of the verse, the one who is "not a victim", turns out to be the singer's lover. She does not have any dreams, does not try to write her own role in the play of life, but just passes through it. As a result, the park she plays in is more real than his, but it is also greenless, devoid of true life. He realizes now that he has to break up with her, if he wants to keep on dreaming, keep on trying to be "on". Love, here, is described as opposite to true existence: it is her love for him that has made her complacent, made her forget about her dreams, and he is not prepared to let that happen to him. He may feel guilt for the dreams that formed this void between them, but at least the dreams made him achieve breakthroughs and he is unwilling to give that up.

Once again, then, Bowie answers the problem of Time with the concept of Changes. The way to infuse your time with meaning it to keep on dreaming of something else, keep trying to get there, and keep breaking new grounds in the process. If it means you have to leave some people, and a part of yourself, behind, then so be it.

This great cabaret-rock number was usually performed in Bowie's more theatrical shows. Here is the one from 1973:

1974:

And 1987:

<-next

הוספת תגובה

נשארו 150 תוים
נשארו 1500 תוים

2 תגובות

© כל הזכויות לתוכן המופיע בדף זה שייכות ל אלדינסיין אלא אם צויין אחרת