Song of the Day #2,881: ‘Blackstar’ – David Bowie

bowie_blackstarMy exploration of David Bowie’s catalog comes to an end with a 33-year leap to his final album, Blackstar, released on his 69th birthday, just two days before he died.

It’s hard to view Blackstar without the lens of Bowie’s death, especially when it seems he was very much aware that this would be his final artistic statement. Lyrics such as “Something happened on the day he died,” “look up here, I’m in heaven” and “I’m trying to, I’m dying to” are powerful and bittersweet because he recorded and released them so close to his death.

Musically, Blackstar is as confident and adventurous as anything Bowie recorded in his heyday, and the reviews said as much (even before critics knew this was his swan song). Apparently his realization that the end was near served as the ultimate inspiration.

In the final, pleading moments of Blackstar‘s last track, Bowie sings “I can’t give everything away…” He knew he had a lot more to offer. But fortunately for us, he had already given so much.

..

Here are my top 13 David Bowie albums:

1. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars
2. Hunky Dory
3. Station to Station
4. Aladdin Sane
5. Scary Monsters
6. Young Americans
7. Let’s Dance
8. Lodger
9. Blackstar
10. The Man Who Sold the World
11. Diamond Dogs
12. “Heroes”
13. Low

{​Intro}​

In the villa of Ormen, in the villa of Ormen
Stands a solitary candle, ah-ah, ah-ah
In the centre of it all, in the centre of it all
Your eyes

On the day of execution, on the day of execution
Only women kneel and smile, ah-ah, ah-ah
At the centre of it all, at the centre of it all
Your eyes, your eyes

{​Bridge I}​

Ah-ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah

In the villa of Ormen, in the villa of Ormen
Stands a solitary candle, ah-ah, ah-ah
At the centre of it all, at the centre of it all
Your eyes
Ah-ah-ah

{​Bridge II}​

Something happened on the day he died
Spirit rose a metre and stepped aside
Somebody else took his place, and bravely cried
(I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar)

How many times does an angel fall?
How many people lie instead of talking tall?
He trod on sacred ground, he cried loud into the crowd
(I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar, I’m not a gangstar)

I can’t answer why (I’m a blackstar)
Just go with me (I’m not a filmstar)
I’m-a take you home (I’m a blackstar)
Take your passport and shoes (I’m not a popstar)
And your sedatives, boo (I’m a blackstar)
You’re a flash in the pan (I’m not a marvel star)
I’m the Great I Am (I’m a blackstar)

I’m a blackstar, way up, on money, I’ve got game
I see right, so wide, so open-hearted pain
I want eagles in my daydreams, diamonds in my eyes
(I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar)

Something happened on the day he died
Spirit rose a metre then stepped aside
Somebody else took his place, and bravely cried
(I’m a blackstar, I’m a star’s star, I’m a blackstar)

I can’t answer why (I’m not a gangstar)
But I can tell you how (I’m not a film star)
We were born upside-down (I’m a star’s star)
Born the wrong way ‘round (I’m not a white star)
(I’m a blackstar, I’m not a gangstar
I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar
I’m not a pornstar, I’m not a wandering star
I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar)

{​Bridge III}​

In the villa of Ormen stands a solitary candle
Ah-ah, ah-ah
At the centre of it all, your eyes
On the day of execution, only women kneel and smile
Ah-ah, ah-ah
At the centre of it all, your eyes, your eyes
Ah-ah-ah

{​Outro}​

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One thought on “Song of the Day #2,881: ‘Blackstar’ – David Bowie

  1. Dana says:

    Well, that’s quite the intense, creepy video and song! Rather hard to experience given what we now know was his imminent death. I can’t imagine listening to that last album is a light, fun or easy experience.

    Thank you, though, for taking the time to explore Bowie’s expansive career. He was unquestionably a great talent and a unique voice that will be missed, but like so nancy other great artists, his music will live on for generations.

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