Sunday, October 18, 2009
David Bowie: This is not America
This song comes from the soundtrack of the film The Falcon and the Snowman. It reached no. 14 in the British charts in the spring of 1985, which explains why it reminds me so strongly of sitting around in pubs during my activist days.
Like a lot of Bowie, it is more about mood or atmosphere than the melody of the meaning of the lyrics. And very atmospheric it is.
At the time I took it as Bowie's regret that he would always be exiled from the heart of popular culture in the US. Reading about it now, in the context of the film it has more to do with a regret from the passing of a more moral America or the danger of being subject to foreign regimes.