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When in Sydney … (Song Lyric Sunday)

It was on our bucket list, not just to visit Sydney Opera House, but to enjoy an opera whilst there. So lucky for us – it was La Traviata performing. It is currently the most watched opera in the world, and the role of Violetta is a favourite for many star sopranos. It was however, performed in Italian and if I am honest, I’m not sure how readable opera lyrics are in English, let alone Italian?

Photo by David Jia on

Instead I have chosen Life On Mars by David Bowie …

The song appears in the 2015 musical Lazarus, written by Bowie and playwright Enda Walsh near the end of Bowie’s life. It is sung by the character of ‘Girl’, played by Sophia Anne Caruso in the New York and London productions.

I am gutted that I didn’t get to see Lazarus. At the time, I thought pah! Not Bowie singing. But now, I think I would have loved the theatre of it. I loved the “Man Who Fell to Earth”; both the book and the movie and … I love all the tracks on the score, without exception.

BBC Radio has described “Life on Mars?” as having “one of the strangest lyrics ever” consisting of a “slew of surreal images” like a Salvador Dalí painting. Bowie, at the time of Hunky Dory’s release in 1971, summed up the song as “A sensitive young girl’s reaction to the media.” In 1997, he added: “I think she finds herself disappointed with reality… that although she’s living in the doldrums of reality, she’s being told that there’s a far greater life somewhere, and she’s bitterly disappointed that she doesn’t have access to it.” – Wikipedia

I think at her age, most of us are a tad disappointed with reality … (to be discussed?)

Life On Mars

It’s a God-awful small affair
To the girl with the mousy hair
But her mummy is yelling no
And her daddy has told her to go

But her friend is nowhere to be seen
Now she walks through her sunken dream
To the seat with the clearest view
And she’s hooked to the silver screen

But the film is a saddening bore
For she’s lived it ten times or more
She could spit in the eyes of fools
As they ask her to focus on

Sailors fighting in the dance hall
Oh man, look at those cavemen go
It’s the freakiest show

Take a look at the lawman
Beating up the wrong guy
Oh man, wonder if he’ll ever know
He’s in the best selling show

Is there life on Mars?

It’s on America’s tortured brow
That Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow
Now the workers have struck for fame
‘Cause Lennon’s on sale again…

Source: LyricFind

Life on Mars from Lazarus Musical (Sophia Anne Caruso) live at the King’s Cross Theatre London

You may of course prefer a Bowie version …

Delighted to write my first Song Lyric Sunday blog post, look forward to reading what others in the community have come up with …


  1. Ok! Step-D has Netflix – (she’s living her at the mo) … sounds like a cadge is needed, if you recommend? 🤣


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