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   >> Interpretation
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dbsomniadd
(absolute beginner )
12/09/02 01:51 PM
Heathen  

On the cd Heathen,the song "Slip Away" is David talking about his carrer?



TalentedChild
(wild eyed peoploid)
12/09/02 04:15 PM
Re: Heathen new [re: dbsomniadd]  

Well first of all let me say welcome to you dbsomniadd, seeing as you're quite new around here.

Here's my take on "Slip Away":
I don't think that it's a direct reference to Bowie's own personal career/life. Hardly. But there is still a very personal, mature underlying message to it. It is an "old soul" song you could say. He chooses two old 1940's characters (Bones and Oogie, and yes, Uncle Floyd) to portray an idea of growing old and seeing many things that used to be comfort objects slowly well, slipping away. Oogie himself is getting old:

"Oogie waits for just another day
Drags his bones to see the Yankees play"

This is clearly seen in the choice "drags his bones." And with tthe next line about Bones

"Bones Boy talks and flickers gray"

there seems to be this idea of waiting...they know their time will soon be up.

The chorus takes the listener into a mix of TV/Conversation tid bits:

"Don't forget to keep your head warm
Twinkle twinkle Uncle Floyd
Watching all the world and war torn
How I wonder where you are

Sailing over Coney Island
Twinkle twinkle Uncle Floyd
We were dumb but you were fun, boy
How I wonder where you are"

The line "How I wonder where you are" really drives home the idea of watching things that you once took comfort in slipping out of your life. Almost a nostalgic feeling. Yet despite this loss, there seems to be a sense of knowing it was going to happen:

"Oogie knew there's never ever time
Some of us will always stay behind"

Don't like the idea of these beloved things slipping away, but somehow always knew it was going to happen.

I believe there to be a huge personal attachment on this song. First of all, it does not fit much with the overall theme of Heathen (but that could be a whole other discussion). And let's face it: our dear Mr. Bowie isn't exactly a spring chicken any more- the man is getting up there. It could be that this song was written from an older man's perspective, in order that others could know, yes, you will feel this way, but don't worry it's the natural course of life.

I think as well, that in the in end, slipping away is not a bad thing:

"C'mon, let's go
Slip away."

Perhaps a realization that one day Bowie himself, ieons in the future will also slip away. Is there comfort in that? Or a sense of loss? That there is where the beauty of listener appreciation/connection happens. It's left open to decide.

Any thow, those are my thoughts.




"There's a day of your life in your hands
full of people you don't understand"-Highwire Days(Psychedelic Furs)




LaughingGnoome
(grinning soul)
12/09/02 04:33 PM
Re: Heathen new [re: TalentedChild]  

I like that interpretation Talented child, i too believe that this song must be more than abstract, but is instead very personal. Such a beautiful sad song.



EJSunday
(stardust savant)
12/09/02 05:25 PM
Re: Heathen new [re: TalentedChild]  

In reply to:

Any thow, those are my thoughts.


... and they are good.


And I want to believe
In the madness that calls 'now'


ParanoidEyes
(grinning soul)
12/09/02 07:59 PM
Re: Heathen new [re: dbsomniadd]  

Growing up in New Jersey, I've had a bit of contact with the Uncle Floyd Show. They used to play it years ago on PBS, but have long since stopped, its still on cablevision up in the North Jersey / New York area. I don't remember much about it except that he used to go around to all different places in his immidiate area. TalentedChild: Uncle Floyd is quite a bit more recent that the forties and as I understand it, bones boy and oogie were characters on the show.

Now, from my point of view, Slip Away is maily a New York song with a bit of, I hesitate to say, "good-old days" longing. David cites New Yorkian standards: Yankee stadium, Coney Island, and Uncle Floyd himself. When I first heard the song I misheard "watching all the world and war torn" as "watching all the world at Montauk". Montauk is a harbor on the Long Island Sound. In my mind it fit in with the New York theme.

Now, outside of the New York aspect, it seems to be a regret for friends who "stayed behind" or fell out of touch. Oogie has been separated from Bones, obviously a close friend, and its sort of gnawing away at him in his old age (he has to drag his bones) and reminisces (Bones flickers in his memory) about their past. The narrator and listener also have some connection to Oogie ("..except for me and you..." "...the joke we always knew..") but have long since been separated. While Oogie thinks of Bones, the narrator and listener turn their minds to another character: Uncle Floyd. they wonder what happened to him after all these years and also think back on what had been. The song ends on a somber yet quiant note with the use of the stylophone. Though the notes themself are of a darker quality, the sound which the instrument produces has a circusy feel to it. And so the characters slip into obscurity.

Of course, that's just my ever-so-humble opinion... ;-)

On a final note, I believe such lines as "don't forget to keep your head warm" and "what's the matter with you?" are directly taken from the show.

Sum personae talis mirabilis, sed aerumnas habeo, nemo umquam me tangant...

WildWind
(acolyte)
12/09/02 08:29 PM
The past new [re: TalentedChild]  

Here is an interpretation of "Slip Away" that I did some months back. It has elements of TalentedChild's and ParanoidEyes's interpretations, as well as allusions to Bowie's career.

WW

I like beer with my air.

StrangeDrugs
(electric tomato)
12/10/02 09:45 AM
reruns. new [re: WildWind]  

I'll admit I haven't put excessive amount of thought into ANY tracks on Heathen...but I've been listening to it a bit more lately (since its one of the only 2 Bowie CDs I know own). Before I knew that Uncle Floyd was a television show, this song reminded me of a TV rerun.
Oogie waits for just another day
Drags his bones to see the Yankees play
Bones Boy talks and flickers gray
Oh, they slip away

Okay, lemme skip the first part for now. But Bones Boy is on TV, talking away but the black and white TV is flickering...thereception is bad...we're losing the image...and of course the memory since the only place to see these characters is on the crappy black and white reruns.

Once a time they nearly might have been
Bones and Oogie on a silver screen
No one knew what they could do
Except for me and you
They slip away
They slip away

WHen the show was in its heyday, the potential seemed limitless(no one knew what they could do). The characters couldve stared in their own movie, or something equally impressive.


Don't forget to keep your head warm
Twinkle twinkle Uncle Floyd
Watching all the world and war torn
How I wonder where you are

The memory of Uncle Floyd still glimmer, but the narrator is looking out over the new world, dark angry, troubled, war-torn....and he wonders what happened to the gold old days...carefree characters like Uncle Floyd.

Sailing over Coney Island
Twinkle twinkle Uncle Floyd
We were dumb but you were fun, boy
How I wonder where you are
Oo-oo

The TV show's perky influence spread all over, and true, the kids were innocent, naive (dumb) but Uncle Floyd was FUN. There was no need to worry about tragic real life catastrophes, they were just having a good time. Where did that go?

Oogie knew there's never ever time
Some of us will always stay behind
Down in space it's always 1982
The joke we always knew
Oo-oo
What's-a matter with you

Oogie knew it wouldn't last forever, you can't get get bigger and better one day it will end. (some us us will always stay behind)in reruns. And in TV land (space) when the show is on its ALWAYS 1982, we can laugh and go back to that time and not worry about real life...WHat's wrong with you, why aren't you happy? There's nohing to worry about!

C'mon, let's go
Slip away
Oo-oo

Why stay here? WHy live in this crappy war torn world? Lets escape into our fantasies and disapear into obscurity. We'll never have to drag our lazy bones out...it'll be 1982 forever...

But then again the TV is flickering an the memories are slipping away...

I don't know if that made sense to anyone other than myself, and remember, I thought this before I knew there was an ACTUAL Uncle Floyd show, I'm not sure what the show was really like.

JACCI





Richard Cory went home last night and put a bullet through his head.

TalentedChild
(wild eyed peoploid)
12/18/02 10:43 AM
Re: reruns. new [re: StrangeDrugs]  

I like your thoughts strangeDrugs. All in all the song defintely has a nostalgic feeling and I think that it's very applicable to people who have been around a while or who have had it hard and miss the old way of things.



"There's a day of your life in your hands
full of people you don't understand"-Highwire Days(Psychedelic Furs)




Pythonis
(mortal with potential)
12/18/02 08:05 PM
strangedrugs's signature new [re: TalentedChild]  

Why do you use, as your Richard Cory reference, the line from Simon and garfunkel instead of the original E.A. Robinson poem. It's a wonderful poem, which Simon and garfunkel did not, in my opinion, honor well in their version. Ilove this peom, it's so sad.

Whenever richard Cory went to town,
We pwople on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
"Good Morning," and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich- yes, richer than a king-
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.



StrangeDrugs
(electric tomato)
12/19/02 09:49 AM
Re: strangedrugs's signature new [re: Pythonis]  

Why do you use, as your Richard Cory reference, the line from Simon and garfunkel instead of the original E.A. Robinson poem.

Because I happen to like the SImon and Garkunkle version very much, I think the feeling is very different in it, and I attach it to something that happened here a couple years ago.
I'm sorry you don't like my signature, you don't have to use it. Just because you like the poem better does not mean it's supierior.
I have to stop talking about this now, at least in this thread, or the TW police will get me.

JACCI

Richard Cory went home last night and put a bullet through his head.


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