David Bowie: Changes Meaning
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Song Released: 1972
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anonymous May 9th, 2018 5:25am report
A bit more than 'puberty???', I think, though certainly the song revolves around the transformations teens and young adults go through adapting to the real world beyond their childhood's "stream of warm impermanence".
One strand of this song is rejection of the establishment:
"Where's your shame
You've left us up to our necks in it"
though with a good deal more understanding of both self and the world than knee-jerk rebellion would involve:
"...these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware of what they're going through"
- that's sure telling 'em!
And that mature self-awareness is a second strand throughout the song, e.g.:
"A million dead-end streets
And every time I thought I'd got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet"
A third strand relates to Bowie himself "running wild" and his layers of identity as an actor and performer:
"...I've never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I'm much too fast to take that test"
Finally Bowie acknowledges that the transformations are something he can understand but cannot really control: " time may change me / But I can't trace time."
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