LYLE HOPWOOD·TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2016
This song has been around the block a few times and may be too well-known for some people. It wasn't a hit when it was first released, but it had so many versions, and was played live so often, that it became a legend in its own lunchtime. A cult hit by dint of hard work, maybe.
I liked it from the get-go, mainly for its mood. It has some of the elements of Big Melancholy, a type of song that's usually too much for me - makes me feel too sad - but, straining and soaring against the dark ages of rock music ((c) Tony Palmer), it comes to a super positive conclusion. We CAN be heroes, but just for one day.
I guess my thought process was: "Well, that's the best you can expect, innit. Who doesn't want to be Frodo or Paul Muad'dib or the Beastmaster, or whomever, and the time limit is a good thing, because then you can go back to huddling with your friends in solidarity, and not have to die or go to The West or generally become a demi-god, which is let's face it, a lonely profession."
And this is the German version, as played on the titular car radio of "Radio On", a deep film about deep things from a deep era that I also loved back then. German's usually a mild, quiet, sentimental language, but Bowie, god bless him, manages to bring the histrionics to it nevertheless. "Ich, Ich bin ein Konig, und du, du Konigin!" is so filled with hope and longing and anticip...ation and so forth that it completely rules, except the line about dolphins eclipses it in yearning majesty even though, lets face it, when you read it cold on the page, it's just a line about some dolphins.
David Bowie makes it magic.