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   >> Interpretation
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Strawman
(kook)
09/15/02 12:57 PM
Re: Heroes - for never and never new [re: WildWind]  


Brilliantly observed & written.

I should imagine this thread's contents are right up Bowie's street, considering his often stated desire for peoples own interpretations of his work.


' Jesus said unto John, "I can see your house from here."'



AdamModerator
(crash course raver)
09/15/02 01:09 PM
and the guards shot above our heads new [re: WildWind]  

I think we posted these interperetations at exactly the same time.

It is interesting that the song seems to wrestle with "hope" and "hopelessness" almost the entire way through.

It might be said that the hopelessness represents a political realism while the hopefulness is the fantasy aspect of the song - the part where they are portraying kings and queens, and quite frankly being more "romantic" than "realistic".

I think "Heroes" is the ultimate song for hopeless lovers. It simply cannot be bettered.


Get Bowie Downunder

twister
(acolyte)
09/16/02 07:06 AM
Stop putting an "h" in Jonny, spelling queen! [re: WildWind]  

In reply to:

And you, you can be mean
And I, I'll drink all the time
'Cause we're lovers, and that is a fact
Yes we're lovers, and that is that


Perhaps it's just my love affair with beer, but unlike others, I believe that "being mean" and "drinking all the time" are positive things, as JohnnyManic suggested, a dream of them having a normal life together. Really, being mean and drinking aren't bad things, they're things that happen occasionally, that you overlook when you're with someone you love. And that's what the latter two lines are saying: We're lovers, so these things wouldn't matter.


Interesting perspective, but I really struggle to buy it, personally. To be "mean" is to be petty, spiteful, hurtful. I'm sure most (all?) couples have their arguments, their spats, their ups and downs - but to be downright mean to one another I fail to see as anything but devestating.

Also the keyword in your interpretation was occasionally. "They're things that happen occasionally, that you overlook when you're with someone you love". But Bowie specifically stated that he would "drink all the time". Drinking can be a positive thing. Drinking "all the time" is, I feel, indicative of being unhappy with your life, using it as a form of escapism. I just don't feel it fits with your thinking that this is something of a fantasy of their life together.

Also it's worth noting alcohol comes up repeatedly throughout the album "Heroes", and always in a negative context. "A couple of drinks on the house and he said, 'I'll tell you who you are if you nail me to my car'" from Joe The Lion, and "too, too high a price, to drink rotting wine from your hands, your fearful hands" from Blackout.

I agree that the titles "king" and "queen" are "role-playing" of sorts, but while on the surface this appears as a romantic sentiment, I believe it's a guilty attempt to try to distance themselves from their own lives and actions (in which they aren't king and queen (who would be married to one another) rather they're married to other people).

But as with most good songs, there's room for disagreement, naturally.

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

carsten
(grinning soul)
09/24/02 08:04 AM
Re: Stop putting an "h" in Jonny, spelling queen! new [re: twister]  

"Heroes" is a hymn.
It's a song to sing a long with.
You should sing it loud together, on parties,
when you're drunk.
Any other occasion is fine.

Everybody can be a hero,
but in the end you'll fail.

Most likely you'll die - when the time comes.
Until then, you can be a hero, maybe just for one day.

It's a song about us.

/Carsten






andro gene
(crash course raver)
09/26/02 04:41 PM
Re: Because new [re: Sysiyo]  

i think the "nothing will keep us together" line always made sense if you think about it ass-backwardsly...it's kinda like him saying "we've got nothing, but that's what will keep us together because we're the only thing each other's got."

your funeral...my trial


ZiggyZane
(kook)
09/26/02 10:49 PM
Re: Because new [re: andro gene]  

Smart..

"MAKING LOVE WITH HIS EGO!"

LaughingGnoome
(kook)
03/22/03 07:38 PM
Re: Heroes - "just for one day" new [re: ZiggyZane]  

From my perspective, the song is about an alcoholic and his girlfriend, and their relationship is coming apart. However he does have another lover, and their relationship is going fine, the other lover is alcohol.

"Though nothing, nothing will keep us together"

The following sounds like he is arguing with her, to respect their relationship, he is telling her that their relationship can not be thrown away, but is a "fact".

"'Cause we're lovers, and that is a fact
Yes we're lovers, and that is that"

But the alcoholic refuses to accept the inevitable truth (That she will leave him unless he stops drinking), and perhaps feels he has only "one day" left to share with her, in pain and denial he makes a huge thing out of being with her "Just for one day" (Though perhaps this could also have been said - just for one more day) he is asking her for. He wishes "We could steal time, just for one day". He is also talking about his relationship with Alcohol, when he says "we are lovers and that is a fact".

There are also echoes of a drug addict when he says "just for one day", who only needs a fix "now" - "one day" and will promise to kick the habit tomorrow (self delusion), we can be heroes just for one day" - "we" here meaning more so the (booze and he), than (he and his girlfriend). Alcohol numbs pain, reduces inhibitions, and makes one feel better about their life - "Heroes".

The song itself is loaded with the imagery of escapism (The wall, the dolphins, kings and queens, heroes). The exaggerated dreams of his, only underline the abject misery of his existence.

"I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen"

The references to them as alcoholics being kings and queens, further hammers home his refusal to accept just how pathethic that way of life is, he makes it seem glorious.

In the lines "i wish you could swim, like dolphins like dolphins can swim." - the dolphins are metaphors for escapism, he loathes his condition, and is drawing comparison (bear with me) to the perceived purity of freely swimming animals who couldnt have the problems of the human condition. He also wishes she were an alcoholic "she could swim", and she could also escape from lifes problems as he does, then...

"We can be Heroes, for ever and ever
What d'you say?"

He is asking her to choose his way of life, and become like him "Heroes", and they will live "forever and ever" - toghether. He is making it clear to her that the only way they can be "toghether" "forever and ever", is with him continuing to drink.

This echoes a "similiar" song called Young Americans, where we hear the lines. "Her boyfriend begs on the bathroom floor We live for just these twenty years, do we, have to die for the fifty more?" - ie a long stable normal life is compared to a form of death and short term pleasure seeking & addictive behaviour is deemed preferable (To numb the senses) - "But we could be safer, just for one day". Only in "Heroes", the idea of long life is ascribed (in a positive way) to the addict, and in YA, it is ascribed (in a negative way) to the opposite (A Normal Life free of dependancy).

"We can beat them, for ever and ever" - The cry of the typical self pitying alcoholic who feels everyone is out to get him, and cant understand why people object to his habit. Here he is definitely talking to the alcohol lover.

As the lines below show he is so desperate to hold onto the relationship, he is willing to strike a bargain with her, stay with me and you can inflict continuing humiliation and verbal denigration (over his habit) upon me, so long as you dont leave me.

"And you, you can be mean"

But not desperate enough to stop drinking.

"And I, I'll drink all the time"

As the lines below show, he remembers back in time, to the dangerous moments when they were reunited (from east to west), the following lines indicate to me, that instead of one of them constantly going back and forth across the wall to visit the other, as has been suggested here, one of them came from East To West permanently, and this is what he is remembering. Clearly times were better then (despite the danger they faced) - "and we kissed as though nothing could fall" - this also seems to imply that their relationship has since fallen itself.

"I, I can remember (I remember)
Standing, by the wall (by the wall)
And the guns, shot above our heads (over our heads)
And we kissed, as though nothing could fall (nothing could fall)
And the shame, was on the other side
Oh we can beat them, for ever and ever
Then we could be Heroes, just for one day"

Now though, instead of the "shame" being on the "other side" - meaning the wall guards, the "shame" is now upon him, because what the guards cannot destroy (their relationship), he is about to destroy himself.

I think nobody here has paid nearly enough attention to the alcoholic component of the songs theme, if you ever knew an alcoholic intimately, you would know that for an alcoholic, nothing else matters (Not the Berlin Wall, not the love of a true soul-mate, nothing can be allowed to stand between them and their drink), it usually takes over and swallows up their whole lives. There are constant references in the song to hopelessness, "nothing will drive them away", "nothing will keep us toghether".

Since the song, is from an actual alcoholic, i think that is therefore the main theme, and that the alcohol is obliterating all those other concerns and issues. The song is also being sung into his beer, and is a love song to it, as well. The song is almost a competition between the two lovers, he doesnt want to have to choose between them - "you can be mean, and i ill drink all the time" but he will.

Knew she was sellin interest drugs
She got males all hung up on her mind feeltors

revidescent
(grinning soul)
03/23/03 01:18 AM
Re: Heroes - "just for one day" new [re: th0mas]  

In reply to:

i alway thought it had something to do with the berlin wall. someone going to the eastern part but has to get back the same evening.


That's very interesting, I've never looked at it that way. But it makes alot of sense.

Andrée-Anne
----------
~Ohhh, Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am!~

androgyny
(mortal with potential)
03/25/03 07:11 AM
Let's have a crack at this interpretation lark... new [re: twister]  

In reply to:

You, you can be mean
And I, I'll drink all the time
'Cause we're lovers and that is a fact.

At first glance this sounds like it's describing a rather destructive relationship between the two of them, but in my opinion, it's describing their relationships back with their respective partners.


I like that interpretation...I'd never really seen it that way. To me, it always seems like he's talking about the two lovers trying to be the way "real couples" are, i.e. getting drunk and being mean to each other; and then, on the other hand, he's saying that they don't have to do that, because they can be heroes instead.

Anyone else see this line that way? Or another way? An interesting song, anyway...one of my favourites.

Cheers,
Androgyny

Time takes a cigarette, puts it in your mouth...

Tinkerbelle
(mortal with potential)
03/29/03 09:34 AM
Re: Adam new [re: Adam]  

"I think "Heroes" is the ultimate song for hopeless lovers. It simply cannot be bettered."

I think you've said it all in one sentence.....





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