What does Ashes To Ashes mean?

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David Bowie: Ashes To Ashes Meaning

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Song Released: 1980


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Ashes To Ashes Lyrics

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Do you remember a guy thats been
In such an early song
Ive heard a rumour from ground control
Oh no, dont say its true

They got a message from the action man
Im happy, hope youre happy too
Ive loved all Ive needed love
Sordid details...

  1.  

    anonymous
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    May 8th, 5:41pm report


    "They got a message from the Action Man
    'I'm happy. Hope you're happy, too.
    I've loved. All I've needed: love.'"

    'Action Man' was the leading British military boy's doll, equivalent to "GI Joe" in the US, so Bowie is poking fun at 'The Right Stuff' astronaut image, or perhaps showing how much space can change a man.

    "The shrieking of nothing is killing me"
    - the emptiness and loneliness of space?
    "Just pictures of Jap girls in synthesis"
    - maybe girl-on-girl porn (synthesis = merging)? Not much company out there!

    "Time and again I tell myself
    I'll stay clean tonight
    But the little green wheels are following me
    Oh, no, not again"
    - sounds like coke-induced paranoia; even though this was written five or so years after his acute addiction ("I know I made 'Station to Station' in L.A., because somebody once told me so") Bowie understands, even if he doesn't quite remember, the associated delusional thinking.
    "I'm stuck with a valuable friend"
    - certainly an expensive one!

    "Want an axe to break the ice
    Wanna come down right now
    Strung out in heaven's high
    Hitting an all-time low"
    - Bowie sure did have a way with words!



  2.  

    anonymous
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    Aug 21st, 2016 8:54am report


    Why does he have the elderly woman in the video? Is she a wisdom he's reaching for or cannot obtain while still preoccupied with doing or wanting drugs? I always found this part of the video intriguing. The colors as well, but I can see how drugs can warp how physical environments appear.



    Thanks!



  3.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 6th, 2012 12:47am report


    Ashes To Ashes was basically about Drug Use and how at the end of the song MY MOTHER SAID TO GET THONGS DONE YOU BETTER NOT MESS WITH MAJOR TOM! It means Major Tom is a junkie. (Drug Use) YEA STAY AWAY KIDS! WE ALL DIE O_O



  4.  

    frogger100
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    Jan 6th, 2010 1:11am report


    when david bowie sang space oddity,in order to get it played and past the censors of the bbc,he coded the song as it was about drug use.years later he wrote ashes to ashes which basically is telling all and sundry that space oddity was about drugs.hence the line ashes to ashes funk to funky we know major toms a junkie!



  5.  

    DresdenDoll
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    Dec 31st, 2007 12:20pm report


    This song is pretty much the sequel to Space Oddity (despite the separation by time) It could be interpreted two ways, one being in a literal sense, about Major Tom becoming sick of the world and going out into space. Another, the one I agree with, is about drug use.




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