March 11th, 2013 3:13am
They Can’t Get Enough Of That Doomsday Song
“The Next Day” isn’t a song about death, it’s a song about survival. But survival in this song isn’t a matter of staying alive, but narrowly escaping death at seemingly ever turn. It’s about coming so close to the end that you become convinced that your luck will run out at any moment, and that the world is conspiring to snuff you out. Listen to how easily this song tips from gallows humor to hysteria, with Bowie kinda losing it on the first verse before going back into a defiant, proud chorus where the most triumphant thing he can say is that he’s “not quite dying.” It’s grim, but he sounds so determined to live that ever “next day, and the next, and another day” is a joy, if just to spite the reaper.
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