Song Lyric Sunday: Judgemental – ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide’


This week Helen at This Thing Called Life One Word At A Time has challenged us to share a song about judgementalism or, as she writes, the opposite – getting rid of judgment and being more accepting.

When David Bowie died earlier this year, it seemed to me that a common theme among the many tributes paid him was that his songs offered consolation to many young people who felt unable or unwilling to conform to established social norms and mores and who felt, with some justification no doubt, that they were being judged – and found wanting – for their appearance or beliefs.

The reassurance that ‘daring to be different’ was okay perhaps reached its apogee during his Ziggy Stardust period and I was reminded of Bowie’s lyrics to ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide’, especially these lines:

No matter what or who you’ve been
No matter when or where you’ve seen
All the knives seem to lacerate your brain
I’ve had my share, I’ll help you with the pain
You’re not alone

Here are the complete lyrics of this, the final track on the seminal The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars’ – of which I certainly had a well-played copy.

Time takes a cigarette, puts it in your mouth
You pull on your finger, then another finger, then your
cigarette
The wall-to-wall is calling, it lingers, then you forget
Ohhh, you’re a rock’n’roll suicide

You’re too old to lose it, too young to choose it
And the clock waits so patiently on your song
You walk past a cafe but you don’t eat when you’ve lived too long
Oh, no, no, no, you’re a rock’n’roll suicide

Chev brakes are snarling as you stumble across the road
But day breaks instead so you hurry home
Don’t let the sun blast your shadow
Don’t let the mild floats ride your mind
You’re so natural- religiously unkind
Oh, no love! you’re not alone
you’re watching yourself but you’re too unfair
You got your head all tangled up but if I could only make you care

Oh no love! you’re not alone
No matter what or who you’ve been
No matter when or where you’re seen
All the knives seem to lacerate your brain
I’ve had my share, I’ll help you with the pain
You’re not alone
Just turn on with me and you’re not alone
Let’s turn on and be not alone
Gimme your hands you’re wonderful
Gimme your hands you’re wonderful
Gimme your hands

(lyrics at davidbowie.com)

Well worth seeing him perform it live too:

Song Lyric Sunday – Judgemental

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3 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday: Judgemental – ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide’

  1. I loved everything about this. It’s a little before my time, but David Bowie was still huge while I was growing up and I feel like I missed out on so much of his music based on pure judgment. Everything I’ve heard of David Bowie recently, though, makes me want to explore his music further. Thanks so much for sharing this! 🙂

  2. Pingback: My Music Lexicon: B is for Beatles (and Beefheart) | the only deadhead in the hameau

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