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פ.י.מ.פ.

Analyzing Bowie: Some Weird Sin

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In the album Lust for Life, Iggy Pop and David Bowie affirm and embrace the joys of simple human life, that type of bourgeois life they always rejected. While in the past they sought extreme forms of existence, here they sing about the enjoyment of simply living. It is an ode to human life that can only be sung by people who went through hell and can therefore appreciate how good it is to just live like a regular human being. However, throughout the album there is also a sense of irony, something sardonic in the way Iggy delivers his positive lines. He enjoys life now, but he knows that this is only temporary, that this joy cannot last. In 'Some Weird Sin', this sentiment is brought to the fore.

I never got my license to live
They won't give it up
So I stand at the world's edge
I'm trying to break in
Oh, I know it's not for me
And the sight of it all
Makes me sad and ill
That's when I want
Some Weird Sin

Iggy is asking to become part of human society, the same society whose rules he has always subverted. His current overwhelming lust for life compels him to ask this society to accept him as a member and let him live a normal life, but then he is reminded that human society is based on regulations, contracts and licenses, all the things that he hates, and he feels like he is asking for a "license to live". He knows it's not for him, and that brings him down immediately. He is then compelled to go back and perform a "weird sin", something that goes against the logic of society, to feel like himself again.

Things get too straight
I can't bear it
I feel stuck, stuck on a pin
I'm trying to break in
Oh, I know it's not for me
And the sight of it all
Makes me sad and ill
That's when I want some Weird Sin
That's when I want some Weird Sin
Just to relax with
Yeah, some dumb, weird sin
For a while anyway
With my head on the ledge
That's what you get out on the edge
Some Weird Sin

The problem is, he doesn't really enjoy the "weird sins" anymore. In the past they gave meaning to his life, but now they just seem dumb. He is caught between the two worlds, not really feeling at home in any of them.

Bowie, whose backing vocals are what gives this track its flavor, is caught in the same conundrum. Coming out of the drug addled craziness of the past two years, he shares Iggy's positive feeling towards existence, but he knows that a straight life is not for him. It is up to him now to find a new stance, a stance that is affirmative of life and human society but still stands somewhat apart of society, a stance that will give new meaning to his life. Lust for Life doesn't provide the answer – this question is the stuff that "Heroes" is made of.

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