February 22, 2009

Ain't there one damned song that can make me break down and cry?

David Bowie sings that line in Young Americans, which is a pretty intense tune in its own right. I was recently reminded of the one song that always has that effect on me, and it just so happens to be another of his. I go through long periods during which I forget about this song, then I'll hear it somewhere, on the radio, over a store intercom and... it'll hit me. An emotional reaction that I feel all the way down in my toes. I have no idea what it is that does it-- the lyrics are profoundly meaningful, the vocals are beautiful and evocative, and both are perfectly complimented by the softenings and swellings of the music. But dozens of other songs contain those same elements. Bowie somehow combines them all in a way that never fails to put a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. The statement at the end of the video is apt, Bowie does indeed rox.



Changes

I still don't know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
Every time I thought I'd got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I've never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I'm much too fast to take that test

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
(Turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-Changes
Don't want to be a richer man
Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
(Turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-Changes
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can't trace time

I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence and
So the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware what they're going through

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
(Turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-Changes
Don't tell them to grow up and out of it
Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
(Turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-Changes
Where's your shame
You've left us up to our necks in it
Time may change me
But you can't trace time

Strange fascination, fascinating me
Changes are taking the pace I'm going through

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
(Turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-Changes
Oh, look out you rock 'n rollers
Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
(Turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-Changes
Pretty soon now you're gonna get older
Time may change me
But I can't trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can't trace time


8 comments:

human being said...

hey KaliDurga... i read this post more than 2 hours ago in my Reader... and guess what happened?
i'm still listening to this beautiful... no it's not the word... this magical song... how many times?
don't know...
first the meaning of the lyrics struck... but when the song was finished, i felt i need to hear it again... and then again... and again...
so addictive!
really talks to me...
no lump in the throat but kind of an energy accumulating in me....

"Strange fascination, fascinating me"

though i think that lump is a bundle of energy too... which is inhibited for the time being...

ch-ch-changes...
for me this echoes the sound of chains too... as if those who are chained are moving about trying to find a way to escape... to break themselves free... to change...

thanks a tons for sharing this beauty and also your heavenly emotions with us...
love

KaliDurga said...

Funny, that's exactly what's happened to me this weekend. I heard it the other day and made a point of heading straight to a record store to replace my old copy of the album it's on. I've listened to it repeatedly since.

When your bundle of accumulating energy becomes unchained, I'll be interested in knowing what comes of it.

birds fly said...

It's definitely a classic song. I remember discovering Bowie in high school and being completely floored. Thanks for the well wishes to Fiznit. She seems to be going strong. I think she'll be one of those old lady cats sitting on the porch in a little rocker, cackling, hissing and spitting. How are Ivan and Olive getting along now? I'm always curious how Fiznit would react to another cat, but I'm also afraid she'd never forgive me.

birds fly said...

I've always loved barn owls, too. They are so beautifully creepy. I was at the library this weekend and found a new book about a biologist who rescued an injured barn owl and ended up spending the next 19 years living with him! I didn't check it out 'cause I already had a huge stack of books, but I flipped through it and it looks like an interesting story.

Yeah, Fiznit and Scratchy looked pretty different, at least to me, although very often people had trouble telling them apart, which I thought was weird. They may just not have been cat people! You're right, though, Fiznit is very asymmetrical. It's part of her charm, really.

human being said...

through the last week, it helped me to stay put despite everything...
;)

love

KaliDurga said...

I'm so glad you've gotten something out of it, and I hope that "everything" is not as ominous as it sounds.

Eleanor Rigby said...

Just read this post now... Changes is a great song. Strangely enough it's another (semi)Bowie song that just kills me every time I hear it.... Under Pressure (w/ Queen). I simply cannot sing along with that last part (see below) without my voice breaking, and heaven forbid they play it on the radio when I'm getting ready for work after I've put mascara on... ;)

"'Cause love's such an old fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the night
And loves dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves
This is our last dance
This is our last dance
This is ourselves
Under pressure"

KaliDurga said...

I have to admit that Under Pressure is one that I haven't listened carefully to. Sounds like I should the next time I hear it.