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pablopicasso
(wild eyed peoploid)
01/22/04 02:36 PM
When I'm five new  

When first heard is sounds like a childhood dream of innocence, but two lines disturb me:

I wonder why my daddy cries.

I get headaches in the morning.

Is the protagonist in this song actually going to make it to the age of five, or is there some ailment that is going to stop him, is that why his daddy is crying?

She's so swishy in her satin and tat,
and her frock coat and bippety boppety hat

Shoes
(grinning soul)
01/27/04 05:08 AM
Re: When I'm five new [re: pablopicasso]  

i put these lines into google and got directed straight back to tw!
as i didn't know the song well i didn't realise the two lines weren't related

> I wonder why my daddy cries.

bowie, born in 1947, would have had parents who directly experienced the war and thus that line is self-explanatory
(to me)

> I get headaches in the morning.

well he sounds such an active kid, both in imagination and body etc, that he probably does things like read under the sheets at night when he's sposed to be asleep, which could give him headaches : stuff like that

tues night syd time - great tennis - roddick and saffin, 3rd set, one each



zigbot
(electric tomato)
01/28/04 08:17 PM
Re: When I'm five new [re: pablopicasso]  

I always took the "I wonder why my daddy cries" line to suggest the innocence of the not-yet-five-year-old from who's perspective we hear this song. This boy is convinced all in life will be so much better if only he attains that magical age of 5. As if the difference between 4 and 5 were the difference between childhood and adulthood. (He observes he can't currently walk in the May Day Parade "'cuz I'm only 4 and grown-ups walk too fast"--as if a five-year-old can really hang with the grownups).

But he is puzzled as to why his daddy cries. He is not aware of real pain in the world. He is so single-mindedly convinced that life will be rosy after he grows up (i.e., in his head, he's a "grownup" at 5!). Yet he sees his father (who's way older than five), crying. That just doesn't make sense to him, 'cuz he's only four and doesn't understand the real pain that exists in the adult world.

As for the "I get headaches in the morning" line, I'm apt to agree with the theory that he's just a hyperactive little boy and may not always get the rest he needs, so he awakens often headachy and groggy.

Isn't this such a lovely song? I just love it to pieces, especially the last "when I'm . . . ." that fades off into a yawn instead of the full world "five," as though our little boy falls off into sleep during his little prayer to that "photograph of Jesus" that he can just have his wish and be a five-yaer-old.

But the daddy's crying is interesting, because it tells us that this little boy's problem load will surely not get lessened as he ages. In fact, unbeknonst to him, things will get worse.

Growing up sucks, doesn't it?

zigbot

Emil
(stardust savant)
01/29/04 02:57 AM
No, there's something wrong new [re: zigbot]  

I, for one, side with pablo's view that there is a more sinister undercurrent here. A 4-year-old who regularly (I presume) has headaches in the morning, then there is something wrong, right? Then you have to be hyperactive in a pathological sense.

Are we completely sure of the lyrics here? It couldn't be anything else than "I get headaches in the morning", could it?

It could also be, that Bowie was a hyperactive child who was plagued by headache as a little child himself and, when he wrote this lyric, didn't reflect very deep but just included it as one of the typical features of four-year-old-hood that he could think of. I don't know.

Another thing... Bowie did not want the song to be reissued on the Deram Anthology. Is that just because it's too silly ... or - in line with pablo's theory - too personal?



pablopicasso
(wild eyed peoploid)
01/29/04 03:43 AM
Re: No, there's something wrong new [re: Emil]  

In reply to:

I wonder why my daddy cries and how I wish that I was nearly five

When I'm five
I will catch a butterfly and eat it and I won't be sick
When I'm five
I will jump in puddles, laugh in church and marry my mum
And I'll let my daddy do the washing-up

If I close one eye, the people on that side can't see me
I get headaches in the morning and I rode on Freddie's tricycle
And everywhere was funny, when I ran down to the sweetshop
Then I fell and bleeded-up my knee and everybody soppied me


There's the lyrics, the headaches one is buried between two happy thoughts, but it is there like a deadly undercurrent.

It was Strange this wasn't allowed on the Anthology album as it was the only officially released song which wasn't (although there are longer edits of Space Oddity and Ching-a-ling which weren't either). All three tracks are available on the Pickwick CD reissue of the LYTT album). I also think it is strange that Bowie was still singing and demoing this song as late as 1969, when, if you listen to it, it seems like a derivative of "There is a Happy land", even sharing some of the melody lines.Going back to my original point though, most of the Deram material had a darker meaning when you scratched the surface, when on first listen it just seems a jaunty sixties style album.

Beatle boys, all snowy white
Razzle dazzle clubs, every night
Wish I'd sent a Valentine
I love you


Emil
(stardust savant)
01/29/04 05:55 AM
Re: No, there's something wrong new [re: pablopicasso]  

That's how the lyrics are written out on TW, but I doubt that there exists an official printed lyrics endorsed by Bowie. (Not on my copy of LYTT!) English is not my mother tongue, so I wonder whether it's possible that the line can have been misheard by whoever transcribed it?

Let me restate my theory about why Bowie resisted the reissuing of WIF (which has only been officially released on the LYTT soundtrack, and in a cover version by the Beatstalkers, right?). The lines we are discussing may in fact hint at some deeply personal details of Bowie's childhood and he didn't want that released on CD, that's my little theory.



pablopicasso
(wild eyed peoploid)
01/29/04 06:35 AM
Re: No, there's something wrong new [re: Emil]  

That it is written about something personal sounds feasible to me.
Even before reading the lyrics I always thought it was headaches and there is no other English words that would fit.

Oh, except for Haddock, and kippers are more traditional for breakfast

Beatle boys, all snowy white
Razzle dazzle clubs, every night
Wish I'd sent a Valentine
I love you


diamondogz74
(crash course raver)
01/29/04 07:30 AM
Re: No, there's something wrong new [re: pablopicasso]  

Fascinating post there Pablo,Those lyrics now you mention them in that way!,They do seem to have a dark undertone to them,When i first heard that that track,I just thought it was a child of a certain age wishing he was older(as we all did),Now the reverse is in order lol.It could be that the child is just experimenting with emotions( although a tad young to be that specific). I can remember being sunburnt when i was four years old,But thats it,To be able to remember feelings etc...Suggests to me a more deeper meaning?.Take also into consideration these words are being written by a song writer of Bowies talent,So maybe we are allowed a little bit of poetic license?.And i had'nt realized it was'nt on Anthology until you mentioned it!. I once read a review of Anthology on Amazon and it described these years in Bowies song writing as "Listen with Edgar Allan Poe",As opposed to "Listen with Mother",A review i found funny but somewhat disturbing also.
What is that Pickwick CD you mention Pablo please?.

London Bye Ta-Ta...

pablopicasso
(wild eyed peoploid)
01/29/04 08:08 AM
Re: No, there's something wrong new [re: diamondogz74]  

It's the only cd issue of the original Love you til tuesday soundtrack (1984 release), It however is different to the vinyl in the following ways...
Space oddity is a lot longer (most instrumental pieces on the end, nothing new just extended)
Ching-a-ling is the unedited version with Bowie's verse at the beginning, whereas the filmed version is just hutch and hermione on the verses with Bowie on the choruses.
Sell me a coat is the DB 1967 version without the feathers overdubs on the top.

They changed the cover too, with a 1966/67 picture of bowie looking like a young paul weller (this was around the time of the britpop explosion that this cd was released) surrounded by loads of clocks. it was released about 93 and is long deleted.

Beatle boys, all snowy white
Razzle dazzle clubs, every night
Wish I'd sent a Valentine
I love you


diamondogz74
(crash course raver)
01/29/04 09:57 AM
Re: No, there's something wrong new [re: pablopicasso]  

Thank you very much indeed,I can see im gonna have to go hunting yet again to find that,I also never realized there was all these different versions from the 1960s,Apart from from whats on Anthologies 27 tracks.I've seen the CD called London Boy,But i take it the versions are exactly the same as on Anthology?.

London Bye Ta-Ta...


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