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The Bewlay Brothers – Song Lyric Sunday

And so the story goes they wore the clothes
They said the things to make it seem improbable
Whale of a lie like they hope it was

And the good men tomorrow had their feet in the wallow
And their heads of brawn were nicer shorn
And how they bought their positions with saccharin and trust
And the world was asleep to our latent fuss
Sighings swirl through the streets like the crust of the sun, the Bewlay Brothers

In our wings that bark
Flashing teeth of brass
Standing tall in the dark
Oh, and we were gone
Hanging out with your dwarf men
We were so turned on
By your lack of conclusions

I was stone and he was wax so he could scream and still relax
And we frightened the small children away
And our talk was old and dust would flow
Through our veins and though it was midnight back at the kitchen door
Like the grim face on the cathedral floor
The solid book we wrote cannot be found today
And it was stalking time for the moon boys, the Bewlay Brothers

With our backs on the arch
And if the Devil may be here
But he can’t sing about that
Oh, and we were gone
Real cool traders
We were so turned on
You thought we were fakers

And now the dress is hung, the ticket pawned
The factor max that proved the fact is melted down
Woven on the edging of my pillow
And my brother lays upon the rocks
He could be dead, he could be not, he could be you
He’s chameleon, comedian, Corinthian and caricature
Shooting up pie in the sky
Bewlay brothers
In the feeble, in the bad
Bewlay brothers

In the blessed and cold
In the crutch-hungry dark
Was where we flayed our mark
Oh, and we were gone
Kings of Oblivion
We were so turned on
In the night walk pavilion

Lay me place and bake me pie I’m starving for me gravy
Leave my shoes, and door unlocked I might just slip away

Just for the day, ay
Please come away, ay
Just for the day, ay
Please come away, ay
Please come away, ay
Just for the day, ay
Please come away, ay
Please come away, ay
Please come away, ay
Please come away, ay

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: David Bowie

The Bewlay Brothers lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Here is an accoustic rendition from the gorgeous Guy Garvey, lead singer of Elbow. Not half bad …

And to be safe with all Bowie fans like me, here is an amazing live version from the maestro himself. Bowie never played the song live until 2002, you’ll hear him joking that the lyrics have more words than War and Peace.

As always Bowie never ever explains the inspiration for his song writing, instead leaves the interpretation to his audience to make of it what they will. Many have suggested that the Bewlay Brothers reflect his relationship with his troubled half-brother Terry. It could be true, it could be not, it could be you.

Personally, I like the theory that, it’s as a critique of the Beatles; arguing that they never produced anything of significance. Not that I am dissing The Fab Four, they are a different genre and I am happy to listen away to their pop as much as I am Bowie’s rock.

However, when you consider other tunes from the album Hunky Dory, then the theory about the Bewley Brothers sits neatly alongside:

Song For Bob Dylan, implying he had lost his lyrical way,

Andy Warhol, a send up the arts culture at the time,

Queen Bitch, a statement of the excesses in sex, drugs and rock and roll, in particular his friends, Mark Bolan, Lindsay Kemp and of course Underground Velvet’s Lou Reed.

With thanks to Jim Adams for his Song Lyric Sunday Prompt. Click through for the rules if you’d like to join in.

Photo by Francesco Ungaro from Pexels

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