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09/22/03 01:20 PM
From Low to Scary Monsters:the little girl's story  

I wanted to write something a long time ago and now I'm ready. Before starting I want to make it very clear that for once, I don't try to enter in Bowie's mind when he wrote the songs. This means it's only what I feel about the songs, nothing else. And that's why I will always use "the narrator" and not Bowie all the way through.

In this interpretation, the songs I'll quote deal with a young girl (the little girl) who was in a coma, maybe because of drugs (she would have done an overdose). And the story (told by her lover) deals 1st with the moment she's in deep coma, and then the long process of coming back to life.

Scary Monsters (and super creeps) (the song)
Well indeed I start by the end, because in this song we find a short resume of the whole story of the narrator and this girl.

She had an horror of rooms she was tired you can't hide beat
"she had an horror of rooms": it could be translated as: "she had an horror of isolation". Indeed "room" is often related to isolation in Bowie's song: Sound & Vision is the best example. When the girl was in a coma, she was of course isolated in a hospital room. When she was "asleep" if I can say so, she didn't feel it, but then when she woke up she was still in this room. People who wake up from coma don't go home the day after. If she was a drug addict, it's even likely that she had to go to a detoxication center before or after being in coma, where people are isolated in a very small room, addicts feel like in a prison when they are there. So she had the hatred of imposing closure and loneliness.

"she was tired you can't hide beat": thanks to a thread concerning this song only, I understood what "hide beat" means: it's again about drugs. The narrator himself was an addict, trying to lose his drug habit, and so felt "beat" (tired) because he was in a lack of drugs, whatever the drug was. And the girl, who was either detoxicated herself, either always high because she didn't want to stop taking drugs, was tired to see that her boyfriend couldn't lose his dependance, she would have liked him to hide his weaning.

When I looked in her eyes they were blue but nobody home
She had blue eyes so they should have been beautiful (one tends more to say someone has beautiful eyes when they're blue than plain brown for instance). BUT there was "nobody home": at the moment he's thinking of, 2 solutions:
1) she was still on drugs. In this case, the drug in question was heroine: contrary to cocaine addicts who are very active and like on pills, heroine addicts seem to be in another world, they often look like they were sleeping awake, and their eyes seem "empty"
2) more likely, she was still in coma, but awake. I explain myself: when people are in a high lever of coma, and finally wake up, they often stay in a kind of "semi-coma": they don't recognize anyone, they even forgot how to speak, they are here but like heroine addicts when they're high, they seem to be elsewhere.

She could've been a killer if she didn't walk the way she do, and she do
That's what makes me think the "nobody home" is related to her coma state. For a long time I had no idea of how interpreting this sentence, but 5 minutes ago I've found, and it's very simple, in my interpret at least. Remember there was "nobody home" in the girl's eyes. So she acted a bit robot-like, you know like serial killers, or even fanatic killer like Chapman who would murder Lennon a few months after SM's release. So people could have taken her for a kind of crazy killer at 1st, but the she didn't walk in a assured way like killers do: she was just out of a coma, had just learnt how to walk again, and so was still hesitating, a bit like a child.

She opened strange doors that we'd never close again
I see a link between "doors" and "rooms", even indirect. The girl hated being isolated and left alone so she opened some doors to give herself freedom. These doors would lead to him, the narrator, she called for his help because she was lost in a world she didn't know anymore. But of course it was a strange relationship because of the state they were both in: her stepping out of coma, and him trying to lose his addiction: so she "opened strange doors. And they would never close these doors again because the feelings they had for each other were very strong, it was not a simple one month love affair.

She began to wail jealousies scream
Waiting at the light know what I mean

She became jealous of every person (and especially every girl) that her lover would meet: she needed him, she didn't want to lose the only person who cared for her and helped her. "waiting of the light": if he went out at night without her she would wait for his return to be sure he didn't sleep elsewhere.

She asked me to stay and I stole her room
Well I think the narrator comes back here even more in the past, before she fell into coma. There's a double meaning here.

The 1st meaning: at the start of their relationship, she asked him to stay for a night so he slipped in her room ("steal into" = slip if I'm not wrong): possibly she was married so he had to be discrete.

2nd meaning: much deeper than the 1st: as well as "room" is used in Bowie's songs as isolation, they are also used to qualify the mind. The girl asked the narrator to stay in her life, so he stole her mind: he made sure that she loved him and him only.

She asked for my love and I gave her a dangerous mind
Here comes the drug: as she loved him, she wanted him to love her as well of course. The problem was that loving her meant necessarily giving her "a dangerous mind": he initiated her to drugs. Or simply she wanted to share his world, so she discovered drugs by herself.

Now she's stupid in the street and she can't socialise
Thanks to Laughing-Gnoome because here again he learnt something to me. Suddendly we're back to present: when she was high, she was "cool in the street", just like the narrator. But now that she is "low", she is all the contrary, and still can't have a social life.

Well I love the little girl and I'll love her till the day she dies
For the 1st time I think this sentence could be a bit ironic: he made her a drug-addict, she's lost in life because of him, but at least she has what she wanted: his love. Maybe it's even the only thing she has in the world, and at least he swears she will have it forever. I see a good reason to call her "little girl": she was a "fine young mind" when he met her: she was somewhat pure and naive, an adult in age but still a child in mind (but not retarded intellectuelly of course!)

Scary monsters, super creeps
Keep me running, running scared

He takes himself responsible for her having a dangerous mind. So these scary monsters might represent guilt, and also the ghosts of the past: when they were both drug addicts and lived pure hell because of this addiction.


What in the world
1st appearance of the mysterious "little girl".

You're just a little girl with grey eyes
Never mind, say something
Wait until the crowd cries

In SM the narrator says the girl has blue eyes, but here they're grey instead to represent sadness. Sadness because wherever her mind is at the moment (she's in deep coma now), she must be sad.
"you're just a little girl with grey eyes, never mind, say something": she's just a young girl like another, not some sculptural and extremely beautiful woman but anyways, he loves her and wants her to speak, to prove that she is not vegetable with no will to live.

So deep in your room, you never leave your room
Here there's of course a double meaning: the most obvious: she never leaves her hospital room. But then there's the "room = mind" meaning: if she communicates, it's only with herself, she doesn't have any contact with him or anyone else. He believes there's still life in her, she's not only a vegetable, but he can't talk to her.

Something deep inside of me - yearning deep inside of me
Talking through the gloom

Even if the situation seems hopeless, there's still something in him that pushes him not to give her up. The "gloom" is the gloom of her brains: the "something" in him tries to force a way though this gloom, to force her to fight for life.

What in the world can you do
I'm in the mood for your love

He feels she wants to give up the fight against death, but himself loves her too much to accept her death: "what in the world can you do": he wants to save her despite of herself.

I'm just a little bit afraid of you
Cause love won't make you cry
But, wait until the crowd goes

He's afraid because there doesn't seem to have any life in her: she's just lying here on a bed, eyes closed, and can't show any feeling. Even if he tells her how much he loves her and miss her, she won't cry.
"Wait until the crowd goes": he wants her to be alone with him.

What in the world can I do
He knows that the situation seems desperate and that he should accept her next death, but can't.

Oh, what you gonna say?
Oh, what you gonna do?
Ah, what you gonna be?

He knows how people can be when they come out of coma: will she recognize him? will she still love him? will she be the same as before, or someone completely different? etc...

Just the real me to the real me
Under the *cool*, to the *cool* and under *fame*
What you gonna say to the real me, to the real me

It's the real "himself" who loves her, not the star that everyone knows. Will she be able again to make the difference between the "real him" and the rock star, will she remember the "real him" or only the guy in the magazines? He worries at the idea that she could become a completely different person who won't love anymore the "real him".

Always crashing in the same car
This song deals with Bowie's suicide attempt in september (I think) 1976 in Berlin, or he said so at the BBC 2000: he was quite drunk and angry because he thought a dealer had ripped him off, and with his Mercedes crashed in the dealer's car, several times, with nobody to stop him. And suddendly, seeing what he was doing, Bowie went "round and round" his hotel garage several times and finally wanted to crash himself in the garage wall, but fortunately there was not enough petrol and his car stopped itself before he could do that.

Every chance, every chance that I take
I take it on the road
Those kilometers and the red lights
I was always looking left and right
Oh, but I'm always crashing in the same car

"the same car" in question is drug. "the red ligths" are the limits of drugs use: he knows his limits, knows that if he passes along these limits, he will die. But it's very hard: even if he tries to be careful, to do anything to avoid drugs, he finally fails and takes drugs again, even to regret his weakness after.

Jasmine, I saw you peeping
As I pushed my foot down to the floor

As someone pointed out in another thread, the jasmine is the flower of love in India (if I remember well?). So in my interpretation, I take it this way: "Jasmine" is the little girl. He saw her "peeping" in his mind: when he took the decision to kill himself, he knew that if she really saw him from where she was, she was very disappointed. And imagining her is also a proof of guilt: he feels guilty because he abandons her.

Be my wife
I always took this song as desperate, not a happy song at all. None of them are free: he is married, maybe herself too, and anyways she's in a deep coma and not likely to survive to it. So this is very symbolic, a kind of last chance call to give her the will to live.

To be continued...

The advantage of being clever is that you can play the fool, while the contrary is impossible (Woody Allen)

09/22/03 10:56 PM
Re: From Low to Scary Monsters:the little girl's story new [re: Queen_Bitch_101]  


Sons Of The Silent Age
Actually it is THE song that made me think that all these songs could be about someone in the coma. I find that its lyrics corrrespond very well to a person in such state.

Sons of the silent age
Stand on platforms blank looks and no books
Sit in back rows of city limits
Lay in bed coming and going on easy terms

The sons of the silent age are those who are in coma or just stepped from coma: they can't express themselves, all that they feel stay inside them.

"They have blank looks": their eyes are empty, as said before, people who sept out from coma still can't react properly to their surroundings. And so they have "no books" for the same reason. They "sit in back rows of city limits": an obvious reference to Berlin of course, its "city limit" being the wall.
I take "lay in bed" in the sense "stay in bed", and "coming and going in easy terms": they don't need much for a living, they stay in bed thinking and feeling nothing most of the time. The "little girl" of Low (baby, here) is in this case.

Sons of the silent age
Pace their rooms like a cell's dimensions

Once again, there's a double meaning, I love this sentence. The 1st meaning is pretty clear, so I'll tell directly the 2nd: "cell" is also the cell of the brains. In the case of these people, the part of their brain which works is as small as a brain cell. The sons of the silent age "pace their room" and "search through their one inch thoughts" to try to find a way to escape from these cells where their thoughts are closed.

Rise for a year or two then make war
Search through their one inch thoughts
Then decide it couldn't be done

I don't really understand the "rise for a year or two" thing, but "then make war": they fight for life, they do a war against death.

"Search throught their one inch thoughts
": it confirms that they can use only a very small capacity of their brain: they have one inch thoughts. They try to live with that and to come back to reality, but then they "decide it couldn't be done": they give up the fight.

Baby, I'll never let you go
All I see is all I know
Let's find another way down (sons of sound and sons of sound)
Baby, baby, I'll never let you down
I can't stand another sound
Let's take another way in (sons of sound and sons of sound)

So here is the narrator who talks to his grilfriend prisoner of a state of coma. He doesn't think the silent age is a good way and wants him and her to be sons of the "sound" instead: he wants to convince her to come back with him to life, where she can talk and express her feelings just like he does.
"All I see is all I know": an explicit reference to St Thomas: "I only believe what I see". It can be an implicit interrogation about the existence of God. Anyways, he refuses to let her disappear in a world of silence.

Pick up in bars and cry only once
I think it's a reference to the past of the narrator and the girl: they certainly met in a bar (he tried to pick her up - or vice versa). And they "cry only once": they cried only when there was a good reason to cry.

Make love only once but dream and dream
once again a reference to pas: "make love only once": before meeting each other, they were only "fucking" if you don't mind me saying so, they weren't "making love". It can also mean that they had actually never loved before either. And "they dream and dream": double meaning: when they really loved the other, they both started dreaming. But it's also a fact that people in coma can dream, and even hear what happens outside.

They don't walk, they just glide in and out of life
They never die, they just go to sleep one day

The "sons of the silent age" are neither dead, neither alive, but between death and life. And "they never die, they just go to sleep one day": the clearer reference to coma: they seem to be in a very deep sleep...

The advantage of being clever is that you can play the fool, while the contrary is impossible (Woody Allen)

(mortal with potential)
09/23/03 02:40 AM
Re: From Low to Scary Monsters:the little girl's story new [re: Queen_Bitch_101]  

Very nice. I don't agree with any of it, but very nice.

T.J. Newton
09/23/03 08:01 PM
I suggest you should check some sources next time new [re: Queen_Bitch_101]  

I appreciate your efforts, Queen_Bitch_101, but they are wrong. Very wrong. Bowie himself said Sons Of The Silent Age is a song "dedicated" to punk-rockers. Daddy never believed in the ideology of punk and that's how he felt about it.

Don't let me know when you're opening the door
Close me in the dark, let me disappear
Soon there'll be nothing left of me
Nothing left to release

(mortal with potential)
09/23/03 10:21 PM
Re: I suggest you should check some sources next time new [re: T.J. Newton]  

Well, I don't think an artistic interpretation can ever be wrong. So what if it differs from the artist's own interpretation? Individual interpretations should be encouraged, and I think she does a very nice job on a song to song basis.

Now, what's missing here is that the songs mentioned work very well within the contexts of their respective albums, and I've always seen albums as complete products and individual songs just part, so it's hard for me to buy this particular interpretation on that basis. Otherwise, it seems pretty well thought-out and I think that's pretty cool.

T.J. Newton
09/24/03 10:58 AM
Re: I suggest you should check some sources next time new [re: anytimeboy]  

In reply to:

Well, I don't think an artistic interpretation can ever be wrong. So what if it differs from the artist's own interpretation? Individual interpretations should be encouraged, and I think she does a very nice job on a song to song basis.

So if I say that for me Station To Station is a song about a criple banana seller from Porto Rico based on a tale from 16th century, you will not say it is wrong?

Don't let me know when you're opening the door
Close me in the dark, let me disappear
Soon there'll be nothing left of me
Nothing left to release

09/24/03 05:40 PM
Re: I suggest you should check some sources next time new [re: T.J. Newton]  

Thanks Anytimeboy for havind read this and your support

T.J I thought I had made very clear that it was indeed a personal interpetration, so I didn't want at all to tell what was in Bowie's mind when I wrote it. It means that I don't care very much if I am wrong or not, I will even go more far: I am pretty sure that Bowie didn't think about people in coma when he wrote these songs, and would be surprised if he knew what's in my mind. But this is what these songs make me think about. And actually I pretty much agree with myself .

To explain a little, I had noticed for a long time that the "little girl" appeared only 3 times in Bowie's songs and in a very short period of time: 77-80. And that he even changed "pretty girl" in Alabama Song for "little girl". So I took that (maybe mistakenly) for not a simple nickname like "baby" or "darling" but a reference to someone in particular (Laughing-Gnoome assumed before that it was actually something, cocaine, though I don't agree, why not?). Especially when I've found out that the "little girls" of What in the world and Scary monsters seemed stunningly identical: girls with blue/grey eyes who obviously had both problems to communicate with the outside world. Then I've discovered that the lyrics of Sons of the silent age could perfectly be applied to people in coma, again the problems of communication, and so I started from these 3 songs.

So to answer your question, Anytime already did actually: you wouldn't be wrong and you wouldn't be right, either, at least if you didn't claim that it was the truth . There is no sense of "wrong" or "right" in such an interpretation. But of course, if one thinks about a criple bana seller when listening to S2S while there are absolutely no such references in the song, I will wonder why the person has found this idea. But after all, if this person has a very good argumentation... Why not? In my opinion, everything is allowed.

By the way, could you tell me please where you've heard that Bowie had dedicated the song to punks? Of course I absolutely don't believe that you invented that, but I've seen this story neither in Pegg, neither in Hopkins's biography or even Alias, and neither in any Bowie's interviews I've found on Bassman's sites, not even on a 77 audio interview. And then I really don't see the link between punks and this song, so I'm very curious to know when he said that... Thanks .

The advantage of being clever is that you can play the fool, while the contrary is impossible (Woody Allen)

T.J. Newton
09/24/03 08:19 PM
Well... new [re: Queen_Bitch_101]  

In reply to:

By the way, could you tell me please where you've heard that Bowie had dedicated the song to punks?

Not really sure. See, I've been smoking such amount of weed recently that I'm starting to see everything in green colours. Too bad I have memory loss problems.
I wouldn't be surprised if I read it in Strange Fascination. Might have read it in the Internet as well.

One way or another, you convinced me.

Don't let me know when you're opening the door
Close me in the dark, let me disappear
Soon there'll be nothing left of me
Nothing left to release

(wild eyed peoploid)
09/25/03 02:58 AM
Re: Well... new [re: T.J. Newton]  

how i imagine sons of the silent age is about himself to himself contemplating to stop making music on the old road but then scaring himself imagining how such a life would be without expression and then again deciding and encourageing himself that he never wants to stop making sounds and bringing them in the world as making love and that he wants to give it another try another way

(electric tomato)
10/01/03 04:00 AM
Heil! new [re: Queen_Bitch_101]  

The blue eyes comment marks you out as the Neo Nazi I had long suspected you to be.

Actually, it's perceptive of you to see a thread running though the albums. But I think the little girl is a more general thing. An idea.

Miss Anders... I didn't recognize you with your clothes on.

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