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Rock - David Bowie – The Man Who Sold The World - David Bowie


David Bowie – The Man Who Sold The World - Meaning of the song


This song is about a man who no longer recognizes himself and feels awful about it. For years, Bowie struggled with his identity and expressed himself through his songs, often creating characters to perform them. On the album cover, Bowie is wearing a dress.

Some of the lyrics are based on a poem by Hugh Mearns called The Psychoed: As I was going up the stair I met a man who was not there He wasn't there again today I wish that man would go away

Some lyrical analysis: "We passed upon the stair" is a figurative representation of a crossroads in Bowie's life, where Ziggy Stardust catches a glimpse of his former self, (being David Bowie) which he thought had died a long time ago. Then he (the old David Bowie) says: "Oh no, not me. I never lost control." This indicates that Bowie never really lost sight of who he was, but he Sold The World (made them believe) that he had become Ziggy, and he thought it was funny (I laughed and shook his hand). He goes on to state, "For years and years I roamed," which could refer to touring. "Gaze a gazely stare at all the millions here" are the fans at concerts.


The Man Who Sold The World - Lyrics


We passed upon the stair

We spoke of was and when

Although I wasn't there

He said I was his friend

Which came as some surprise

I spoke into his eyes, "I thought you died alone

A long long time ago"


Oh no, not me

I never lost control

You're face to face

With the man who sold the world


I laughed and shook his hand

And made my way back home

I searched for form and land

For years and years I roamed

I gazed a gazeless stare

At all the millions here

We must have died alone

A long long time ago


Who knows? Not me

We never lost control

You're face to face

With the man who sold the world

Who knows? Not me

We never lost control

You're face to face

With the man who sold the world

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