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   >> Interpretation
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(wild eyed peoploid)
07/09/02 07:27 PM
The Width Of a Circle  

I just read that it was about giving God oral sex in the Cactus thread, so I pulled out my lyric sheet and read through it, and I've come to the conclusion that it's a song about Bowie being tricked by the devil. Until he mentions all the obvious references to a particular infernal fiend, I thought it was Bowie calling God a whore, but it's not. The devil, portraying God, is tricking him into mutual sex, or, in turn, into selling his soul. The sex is a metaphor. It's Satan saying "I'll give you something if you give me something". Did Bowie really sell his soul? ;) Maybe he IS a heathen. When the devil says "you'll never go down to the Gods again", he's basically saying, I'll give you what you need, you don't need God anymore". It's odd too, because at the beginning of the song, Bowie talks about prayers and how his roads are straight and narrow, and it's really the devil showing him all the possibilities, showing him that he doesn't have to live a Christian life-style. It's showing him his potential - before TMWSTW, Bowie was very monochromatic - the song was a progression for him both musically and stylistically, in terms of his life. It was a transition. He was saying "the devil may have shown me the light, but at least I know what I'm capable of now". He was essentially putting his past behind him and starting on a new road, and you know what? This is the start of Bowie's career as WE know him to be.


The Velvet Goldmine - my glam-rock message board.

(grinning soul)
07/10/02 12:01 PM
Re: The Width Of a Circle new [re: CDS]  

Honestly I had never paid attention to those lyrics, but if they are as you described them I don't think I'll bother...
Personally I don't like such pretentious, mind-boggling stuff, songs about God and the Devil... I think good music should come with straightforward lyrics that we can immediately understand and relate to. IMO Bowie's best lyrics are the ones from songs like "Heroes", a simple, beautiful song about a couple in love who have lots of things against them but still have faith in the fact that their relationship can turn them into a King and a Queen, though just for one day. Or God Knows I'm Good, about this needy woman who is driven by her poverty to steal and then is caught. Or even Ziggy Stardust, why not, nice portrait of a superglam rock star.
But the Devil pretending to be God and asking for sex from a human being? I don't think so, thank you.

(wild eyed peoploid)
07/10/02 04:12 PM
It's the epitome of rockstar. new [re: francesco]  

It's not about sex, and it doesn't have a moral - it's Bowie telling us how he sold his soul for rock 'n' roll. There's nothing more rockstar than that, is there?


The Velvet Goldmine - my glam-rock message board.

(electric tomato)
07/11/02 02:55 AM
turn around, go back!!! new [re: CDS]  

I think (and have heard) it's about bisexuality. This is my interpretation of the lyrics, without them in front of me cause I can't find my CD:
In a way, he's making a contract with the devil because he's doing something that's forbidden, and he can now "never go back to the god's again." His life was straight and narrow, then he was tempted, and shown the leather belt 'round the guy's hips and whatnot, and then the "tongue gets swollen with devil's love" (heehee) and he gets it on in a cave. (Is there a cave? maybe i just made that up.)
Of course, it doesn't exactly need to be about having sex with boys, it could be anything commonly thought of as sinful, even knowledge (kahlil gibran)
On another note, my image of this song is Bowie skipping around a forest in a dress.

If you're not pissed off at this world, well then you're just not paying attention

(grinning soul)
07/11/02 11:49 AM
Re: It's the epitome of rockstar. new [re: CDS]  

OK, let's just say I prefer it when he writes more direct lyrics. It's great to be able to use metaphores and imaginative language, however the function of a metaphore is to make a concept clearer, not more difficult to grasp.

(wild eyed peoploid)
07/11/02 04:58 PM
Re: It's the epitome of rockstar. new [re: francesco]  

Mysteriousness is exciting.

(wild eyed peoploid)
07/11/02 05:34 PM
Re: It's the epitome of rockstar. new [re: xgirl81]  

Ok, I know it was a bit theatrical post to make- but what would we discuss here on Interpretations forum, if it all was oh so clear? I like when I can understand very well what an artist says and think to myself: ''What a great (neat(pointed)) thought!'' But I also like vagueness, ambiguity as well as to think to myself: ''What an incredible combination of words and meanings!'' I do find it interesting.

07/12/02 10:54 AM
Suck, Baby, Suck! new [re: CDS]  

Check out my thoughts right about here.

Or if you can't be bothered, long story short I think the song is about a chap bored with "normal" life, seeks a bit of spice so has a same-sex encounter, after which he can no longer show his face in polite society.

Top song.

I could be a genius if I just put my mind to it.

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