Let's Just Pretend that David Bowie Wrote this Song

March 1, 2007 5:32 PM

A song about pretending that David Bowie is singing a song about how something else is writing his songs, including this one. Approximately. From my RPM 07 album Manifests.

posted by cortex (15 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

This just sort of came out of nowhere some time in the first week of February. The idea to wrap it around on itself at the end came a little bit later. I didn't cram in as many Bowie references as I might have.

I had originally written "Grammys", but after some research found out the man has only one, and that recently and of the Lifetime Achievement apology variety.

The fire engine at the end is just a fire engine that went by the apartment a couple nights ago when I was doing some mixing work.
posted by cortex at 5:36 PM on March 1, 2007

Great. I love the idea that that David Bowie has no control over his own songwriting, and now whatever it is that has been doing the work is trying to reveal itself somehow.

My friend just got a puppy with mis-matched eyes, and I BEGGED her to name it Bowie, but she didn't.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:26 PM on March 1, 2007

Contains the usual cortex brilliance.

My nitpick: I'd turn the vocals up just a hair. They're not exactly too quiet, but they also don't quite feel ... present enough even when there's doubling, etc. going on.
posted by sparkletone at 6:50 PM on March 1, 2007

This is my favorite song from your RPM album. I still think it needs the low "aahhhh" bit from "Man Who Sold the World," though.
posted by sleepy pete at 3:30 AM on March 2, 2007


Let's just pretend
That David Bowie wrote this song
And so its slicker than it is
And maybe half as long
And everything is English
With American infused
And your car cost half as much
As all the instruments he used

He wrote the song for Iman
In the middle of the night
As she dozed, after they'd made love
They had had an awful fight
And he worried that he'd wake her
As he sang it to himself
As the moonlight glittered goldly
Off the Grammy on his shelf

And this is what sang:

There's something writing all my songs
It's hidden in the darkness
And it's been there all along
Yes there something writing all my songs
It's hidden in the dark
And god
It's been there

And then he sang:

It's alright

He sang it again:

It's alright

And then he sang

Let's just pretend
That David Bowie wrote this song

posted by cortex at 10:37 AM on March 2, 2007

"He wrote the song for Iman
In the middle of the night
As she dozed, after they'd made love"

This is now quite possibly some of my favorite lyrics ever. Thanks cortex (David Bowie?) for another awesome song.
posted by Effigy2000 at 2:37 PM on March 3, 2007

I kiss you! you're beautiful! I want you to walk!

Of course, pastiche and bowie? sounds like my cuppa. contraption alerted me to the fact that you had posted a song that sortanotreally matched my (ridiculously precise) AskMe question. digress: Uch, why bother linking you to such things anymore?? resume: Came to check it out. Remided me of this song Lesterjett (who are now sorta the Botticellis) did: (better call) "The Police," like, when you're out of fusion ideas.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:52 PM on March 3, 2007

Heh. Yeah, I saw that askme and thought, "oh, fancy that."
posted by cortex at 7:47 AM on March 4, 2007

Hee hee! These clever lyrics and stolen Bowie melodies brought a smile to my face. Most enjoyable! I second the 'vocals should be a little hotter' comment. Bowie would never bury his vocals in the mix, nor should you!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:16 PM on March 4, 2007

This is cream of the crop.
posted by isopraxis at 7:17 PM on March 5, 2007

Am I wrong to hear overtones of the Wallflowers' One Headlight, especially in the second verse? Or is it that both you and Jakob Dylan are borrowing from the same Bowie melody that I'm too uneducated to know?
posted by abcde at 3:19 AM on March 6, 2007

You're not wrong, but you're not right either. It wasn't on purpose, but that sort of walk down—which is essentially all the melody is on that, a major scale in D starting at the submediant and crawling down to the tonic slowly—is findable in probably ten thousand songs if you keep an eye out for it.

Though now that you say it, I'm imagining some warbly organ and the stoned dead-eyed lipsyncing of Jakob Dylan. Dammit!
posted by cortex at 8:10 AM on March 6, 2007

These lyrics are great. I love the faintly ridiculous intimate portrait of a larger than life figure. I love the recursive ending. The music is good too.
posted by speicus at 2:24 PM on March 6, 2007

Reminds me of T-Bone Burnett. ...that's meant as a compliment. Proof Through The Night haunts me to this day. T-bone's a living treasure.

I don't get the David Bowie thing though.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:14 PM on April 11, 2007

Once upon a time I made a mix CD of self-referential songs. I might have to update it. This would go great between Cake's Sad Songs and Waltzes and Da Vinci's Notebook's Title of the Song.
posted by ErWenn at 9:16 PM on March 18, 2008

« Older little queen of everything   |   Summon My Jesus Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments