SONG - Space Oddity (Ground Control to Major Tom) by David Bowie.....I could really use some help  

girltech47 60F
552 posts
8/23/2005 2:46 am

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

SONG - Space Oddity (Ground Control to Major Tom) by David Bowie.....I could really use some help

You know how you hear a song and it takes you back in time? For instance, Jefferson Airplane's song "White Rabbit" always makes me think of Vietnam and my dad being stationed over there. I can clearly feel the uneasiness I felt back then.

All day long, David Bowie's song "Space Oddity" has been on my mind. I hate this because it makes the hairs on the back of my neck literally stand straight up. I don't even have to listen to the words. I can't figure out what I am associating it with to cause this and it's driving me freakin' nuts!


Any ideas?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
SPACE ODDITY
Lyrics and music by David Bowie


Ground control to Major Tom
Ground control to Major Tom
Take your protein pills and put your helmet on

Ground control to Major Tom
Commencing countdown, engines on
Check ignition and may God's love be with you

(spoken)
Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, liftoff

This is ground control to Major Tom
You've really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirt you wear
Now it's time to leave the capsule if you dare

This is Major Tom to ground control
I'm stepping through the door
And I'm floating in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today

For here
Am I sitting in a tin can
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there's nothing I can do

Though I'm past one hundred thousand miles
I'm feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I love her very much she knows

Ground control to Major Tom
Your circuit's dead, there's something wrong
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you...

Here am I floating round my tin can
Far above the Moon
Planet Earth is blue
And there's nothing I can do


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Space Oddity" was David Bowie's first hit single. It is about the launch of Major Tom, a fictional astronaut who mysteriously becomes lost in Outer Space. Released in 1969 to coincide with the Apollo 11 moon landing, it appears on the album of the same title. The BBC featured the song in its television coverage of the lunar landing.

It is also a powerful narrative, echoing Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, released in 1968. The similarity in titles may suggest that film was on Bowie's mind when he wrote it.

The song was awarded the 1969 Ivor Novello Award, together with Peter Sarstedt's "Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)".

The song is often interpreted to be about self-destruction and estrangement from humanity. Major Tom's cryptic last message, "Though I'm past one hundred thousand miles / I'm feeling very still / And I think my spaceship knows which way to go / Tell my wife I love her very much", suggests that he is still alive and well and chooses to kill his circuit to ground control.

Bowie seems to confirm this interpretation with his 1980 follow up to "Space Oddity", "Ashes to Ashes", where Ground control eventually receives a message from Major Tom: "I'm happy, hope you're happy too". The people back on Earth, however, think that he is a "junkie, strung out in heaven's high", but hitting "an all-time low". The song comes after Bowie's battle with drugs in the 1970s. In "Ashes to Ashes", Major Tom's communication failure could be reinterpreted as losing human contact due to drugs.

This narrative continues in rock music throughout the late 20th century, both in Bowie's own work and that of others. As well as the aforementioned "Ashes to Ashes", Elton John's "Rocketman" seems to allude to Major Tom, though not by name. It tells of an unnamed astronaut who is lonely in space, who's "not the man they think I am at home". Bowie alludes to this analogy a live performance of "Space Oddity" released on the David Bowie BBC Sessions 1969-1972, in which he sings, "Oh Rocketman!" In 1983, the German pop singer Peter Schilling released his own take on the story, entitled "Major Tom".


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