Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member


(495 posts)
Fri Sep 8, 2023, 07:20 PM Sep 8

Five years - That's all we've got (David Bowie)

I was just reading a very depressing thread about the current climate collapse and how we have now passed the point of no return. And then, I thought of this song that was one of my favorites and anthems, fifty years ago.

Please take the time to listen to the lyrics and see how well they fit our current situation.

Five years - That's all we've got (David Bowie) (Original Post) Otto_Harper Sep 8 OP
Same with.... Tree-Hugger Sep 8 #1
1972 so 50+ years. I guess he was before his time. Great song. bullimiami Sep 8 #2
Twenty-five years ago I was playing this song at the office and a young female co-worked said spike jones Sep 8 #3
Bowie on the BBC's Old Grey Whistle Test, 1972: highplainsdem Sep 8 #4
From The Bowie Bible quaint Sep 8 #5


(3,304 posts)
1. Same with....
Fri Sep 8, 2023, 07:24 PM
Sep 8

....his entire Diamond Dogs album, but especially We Are The Dead.

Bowie was absolutely convinced he would die within 5 years of writing that song. He had a dream where his dad told him so. Thankfully, he was wrong, but the lyrics do eerily fit the age we are in. The Diamond Dogs album is very nihilistic, but many of the lyrics fit so well now.

spike jones

(1,574 posts)
3. Twenty-five years ago I was playing this song at the office and a young female co-worked said
Fri Sep 8, 2023, 07:40 PM
Sep 8

that she once had a crush on David Bowie. I, a then fifty-three old male, turned to her and said, "Hell Linda who didn't?"

Regarding living longer than you think you would. When I was a young teenager, I was so reckless with my outdoor activities( hiking, caving, mountain climbing and rock climbing, always alone), that my peers said I would not live to be twenty-four. I did all that all my life. I am 78 now. When I was 24 in 1969 after the army I solo climbed the East Buttress of Mount Whitney.


(2,242 posts)
5. From The Bowie Bible
Fri Sep 8, 2023, 09:14 PM
Sep 8

The setting of ‘Five Years’ is panoramic, beginning with the micro – the quaint market square (speculated to be Aylesbury’s, where the first Ziggy show took place) filled with the comically mild spectacle of sighing mothers – to the macro – the woman hitting small children, the vomiting “queer”, a policeman genuflecting at a priest’s feet. The Americanisms (the cop, the Cadillac) show that Bowie was finally setting his sights on a global audience in his all-out bid for fame.

Bowie also breaks the fourth wall, addressing a figure contentedly sipping milkshakes while the world ends around them, “Smiling and waving and looking so fine/Don’t think you knew you were in this song”.

Okay, well if this is going to be an inevitable situation with the chronicles of rock, and one must presume that it will be, then I would strive to use that position to promote some feeling of optimism in the future, which might seem very hypocritical related to ‘Five Years’. There the whole thing was to try and get a mocking angle at the future. If I can mock something and deride it, one isn’t so scared of it. People are so incredibly serious and scared of the future that I would wish to turn the feeling the other way, into a wave of optimism. If one can take the micky out of the future, and what it is going to be like… Its going to be unbelievably technological. There isn’t gong to be a triangle system, we aren’t gong to revert back to the real way of life. That’s not going to happen. It’s certainly not a new thing, my God I haven’t got any new concept. I juggle with them, but what I’m saying, I think, has been said a million times before. I’m just saying again that we’ve gotta have some optimism in the future.
David Bowie
NME, July 1972

Latest Discussions»Culture Forums»Music Appreciation»Five years - That's all w...