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Black Star (Song Lyric Sunday)

I’ve been threatening to load some of Bowie’s later music and today’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt yelled out BlackStar.  IMO this video is such a stunning piece of visual art, I felt compelled to share.  Although … I have spent a good couple of hours debating whether to post Elvis Presley’s tune with the same title.  Finally, I decided to go with both.  

Firstly, Black Star by Elvis really needs no explanation, a simple story with a beginning a middle and an end. Other than the fact that, the title of the film it was written for, was changed to Flaming Star and so was the song.

Every man has a black star
A black star over his shoulder
And when a man sees his black star
He knows his time, his time has come

Black star don’t shine on me, black star
Black star keep behind me, black star
There’s a lot of livin’ I gotta do
Give me time to make a few dreams come true
Black star

When I ride I feel that black star
That black star over my shoulder
So I ride in front of that black star
Never lookin’ around, never lookin’ around

Black star don’t shine on me, black star
Black star keep behind me, black star
There’s a lot of livin’ I gotta do
Give me time to make a few dreams come true
Black star

One fine day I’ll see that black star
That black star over my shoulder
And when I see that old black star
I’ll know my time, my time has come

Black star don’t shine on me, black star
Black star keep behind me, black star
There’s a lot of livin’ I gotta do
Give me time to make a few dreams come true

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Sherman Edwards / Sid Wayne

Black Star lyrics © Raleigh Music Publishing

Now to Bowie’s epic music video for “Blackstar”.   A surreal ten-minute short film directed by Johan Renck (the director of The Last Panthers, the show for which the song was composed). It depicts a woman with a tail, played by Elisa Lasowski, discovering a dead astronaut and taking his jewel-encrusted skull to an ancient, otherworldly town. The astronaut’s bones float toward a solar eclipse, while a circle of women perform a ritual with the skull in the town’s centre.

The film was shot in September 2015 in a studio in Brooklyn. The filmmaking process was highly collaborative, with Bowie making many suggestions and sending Renck sketches of ideas he wanted incorporated. It was Bowie who requested that the woman have a tail, his only explanation being “it’s kind of sexual”. 

While both men agreed to leave the video open to interpretation (Renck initially refused to confirm or deny that the astronaut in the video was Major Tom), but later said on a BBC documentary “to me, it was 100% Major Tom.” 

Renck speculated that Bowie may have been contemplating his own mortality and relevance to history while developing the video, he stated that Bowie portrays three distinct characters in the video: the introverted, tormented, blind “Button Eyes”; the “flamboyant trickster” in the song’s middle section; and the “priest guy” holding the book embossed with the “★” symbol. He said that the crucified scarecrows were not intended as a messianic symbol.

The choreography, notably that of the three dancers featured in an attic sequence, was drawn from other media, including Max Fleischer’s Popeye the Sailor cartoons. “[Bowie] sent me this old Popeye clip on YouTube and said, ‘Look at these guys.’ When a character is not active, when they’re inactive in these cartoons, they’re sort of created by these two or three frames that are loops so it looks like they’re just standing there, wobbling. It’s typical in those days of animation and stop-motion, you would do that to create life in something that was inactive. So we wanted to see if we could do something like this in the form of dance, we had to do that.”

The official video for “Blackstar” won the Best Art Direction award at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards

Source: Wikipedia

In the Villa of Ormen
In the Villa of Ormen
Stands a solitary candle
At the centre of it all
At the centre of it all
Your eyes

On the day of execution
On the day of execution
Only women kneel and smile

At the centre of it all
At the centre of it all
Your eyes
Your eyes

In the Villa of Ormen
In the Villa of Ormen
Stands a solitary candle
At the centre of it all
At the centre of it all
Your eyes
Your eyes

Something happened on the day he died
Spirit rose a metre and stepped aside
Somebody else took his place, and bravely cried
I’m a Blackstar
I’m a Blackstar

How many times does an angel fall?
How many people lie instead of talking tall?
He trod on sacred ground
He cried loud into the crowd
I’m a Blackstar
I’m a Blackstar
I’m not a gangster

I can’t answer why
I’m a Blackstar
Just go with me
I’m not a filmstar
I’m-a take you home
I’m a Blackstar
Take your passport and shoes
I’m not a popstar
And your sedatives, too
I’m a Blackstar
You’re a flash in the pan
I’m not a marvel star
I’m the great I am
I’m a blackstar

I’m a blackstar, way up, oh honey, I’ve got game
I see right so white, so open-heart it’s pain
I want eagles in my daydreams, diamonds in my eyes
I’m a Blackstar
I’m a Blackstar

Something happened on the day he died
Spirit rose a metre and stepped aside
Somebody else took his place, and bravely cried
I’m a Blackstar
I’m a star star
I’m a Blackstar

I can’t answer why
I’m not a gangster
But I can tell you how
I’m not a flim star
We were born upside-down
I’m a star star
Born the wrong way ’round
I’m not a white star
I’m a Blackstar
I’m not a gangster
I’m a Blackstar
I’m a Blackstar
I’m not a pornstar
I’m not a wandering star
I’m a Blackstar
I’m a Blackstar

In the Villa of Ormen
Stands a solitary candle
At the centre of it all
Your eyes

On the day of execution
Only women kneel and smile
At the centre of it all
Your eyes

Your eyes

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: David Bowie★

lyrics © Nipple Music

Post inspired by Jim’s Song Lyric Sunday – This week’s theme is songs that feature the lyrics of either Past, Present, or Future.  Click through for the rules if you too would like to join in …

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is song-lyric-sunday-1.png
Photo by Felix Mittermeier from Pexels

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