Very few songs have resonated through time, relentlessly. David Bowie’s “Starman” is one of them. The song is about a ‘starman’ (space man) in the sky, who wants to meet the inhabitants of the earth, but is afraid. This song created a whole culture of just as many ‘starman’ alter egos in David Bowie’s career. With many hidden meanings, this song anticipated many “vices and virtues”, typical of the contemporary age. Yet another example of Bowie’s foresight and genius. The story of “Starman”
“Starman” was the first single released from David Bowie’s fifth album ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’ in April 1972. The single, surprisingly, didn’t make it to the top of any music chart, but it was one of the best-selling singles in Bowie’s career. According to Chartmasters, the single has sold a whopping 4.7 million copies worldwide since its release. However, even today, “Starman” is considered a milestone in Rock n ‘Roll culture. The analysis of the song
In the first verse, Ziggy is on the radio listening to rock n ‘roll music. ‘Cat’ is a slang used to refer to cool people in the 1960s. Then suddenly the loud music starts to fade and a foreign wave frequency is intercepted in the radio. There is a ‘hazy cosmic jive’, which is difficult to explain. Hazy refers to something fuzzy, fuzzy, mind jive and a lively dance style popularized in the 1950s.
Didn’t know what time it was, the lights were low
I leaned back on my radio
Some cat was layin down some rock ‘n’ roll
“Lotta soul,” he said
Then the loud sound did seem to fade
Came back like a slow voice on a wave of phase
That weren’t no DJ, that was hazy cosmic jive
In the chorus you get to the content of the message coming from the radio says. This says that there is a ‘Starman’ in the sky who also wants to meet the inhabitants of the Earth. Ziggy Stardust is not the Starman himself, but only his messenger. And an alien
Absolutely not. And human, with an alien perspective on life. Despite thinking of the alien species as something menacing, Ziggy Stardust in “Starman” claims that the Starman came to enlighten them.
There’s a starman waiting in the sky
He’d like to come and meet us
But he thinks he’d blow our minds
There’s a starman waiting in the sky
He’s told us not to blow it
‘Cause he knows it’s all worthwhile
He told me
Let the children lose it
Let the children use it
Let all the children boogie What Bowie’s “Starman” tells us today
Human beings are blinded by social constructs such as religion, nation, power, money and greed. The very core of some religions would shatter if aliens showed up on our doorstep. Powerful forces equipped with advanced technology should kneel before alien technology that is capable of space travel. Ziggy, aka Bowie, is reaching out to the fresh-minded young people of Earth who are capable of making the revolution. The whole message is aimed at those who have not yet fallen into the traps of society. If adults and past generations are unable to change their way of doing and thinking, then it is the turn of the young. It is they, the children, who are the only ones able to open up to “news”.
A forward-looking, innovative message. As always, David Bowie is the spokesperson for a generation that wants to make a difference.
Stella Grillo

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