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BowieTalk
   >> Interpretation
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Kdog
(absolute beginner )
05/23/05 02:01 PM
Everyone Says 'Hi'  

Is the object of the song, i.e., the "you" dead? Has this been written about previously?



Pablo-Picasso
(kook)
05/23/05 02:06 PM
Re: Everyone Says 'Hi' new [re: Kdog]  

He has said that it is about his father.

I haven't got a signature at the moment.


AdamAdministrator
(acolyte)
05/23/05 02:12 PM
Re: Everyone Says 'Hi' new [re: Kdog]  

Yes, good observation. Bowie said the song is about his father but I must admit, I never picked up that it was about a dead person as much as it was about someone who had just 'moved away'. What clinched it for you?

The Last of the Disco Kings MP3 by Adam D Versus David B

LadyGravedigger
(cracked actor)
05/23/05 02:16 PM
Re: Everyone Says 'Hi' new [re: Kdog]  

I've actually also heard that it is about his dead father. But before that I always just thought it was about some ex-girlfriend or something. And about someone who's still alive.

Vanity is all

Kdog
(absolute beginner )
05/23/05 02:39 PM
Re: Everyone Says 'Hi' new [re: Adam]  

They play a great remix of this song at the bathhouse (Steamworks) here in Chicago. I downloaded the original today—a really amazing song. At first I thought it was about someone who had 'moved away', too. But when I printed the lyrics and listened to the song this morning it seemed pretty clear that the object of the song is dead. Thus the thing takes on a kind of prayer status.

Journeys and death are archetypal synonyms (e.g., the death card in the tarot signifies travel moreso than literal “death”). Also, consider the line “Happened oh, so quietly / They say.” More interesting is the notion that either 1. the object is in hell (cf. “Hope the weather’s good / And it’s not too hot” and “Don’t stay in a sad place / Where they don’t care how you are” and "We can do all the bad things") or 2. the object only might be dead.

If Bowie has said it’s about his dead father then that’s that; but I could offer a reading that ties this song in perfectly with Odysseus’ struggle to return to Ithaca after the Trojan War (right down to the “big fat dog” line), but from Penelope’s point of view.

Some have posted about how it is a sequel to “Major Tom” (from his wife’s point of view). Some very good ideas there!




Mxy
(kook)
05/23/05 10:58 PM
Re: Everyone Says 'Hi' new [re: Kdog]  

It's been my favorite song in Heathen since I read in this same forum an interpretation saying it's about someone that died.

I find the line "Didn't know the right thing to say" heartbreaking. And "Hope the weather's good... and it's not too hot"... well, that's comedy.

Mxy's Bizarre Webcomic. Updated daily.

Kdog
(absolute beginner )
05/24/05 09:31 AM
Re: Everyone Says 'Hi' new [re: Mxy]  

I think that's right...you nailed it. The song seems to be a meeting of comic absurdity (If the money is lousy / You can always come home . . . If the food gets you leery / You can always phone) and sentimentality. Sad and fun at once—hard to pull off in a four minute song. Genius.

Adeone miserum mori est

Edited by kdog on 05/24/05 11:05 AM (server time).



Rocknrollinbitch
(grinning soul)
05/24/05 10:30 AM
Re: Everyone Says 'Hi' new [re: Kdog]  

I agree that it's (one of) the best songs on Heathen, which is largely overrated as an album in my opinion.

I was very disappointed that he didn't do it on the Reality Tour, especially as he did so many songs from the album. Sunday and Heathen were great, but I Would Be Your Slave and Cactus are rubbish, Afraid and Slip Away are OK, 5.15 I don't like anyway. Why did so many get priority over Everyone Says Hi?

Perhaps the song is too personal for him.




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