Many of us at some stage will have had that hypothetical question about if you were stuck on a desert island what would you take with you. In a similar vein I will be sharing all the songs that I would put in my own personal jukebox, not necessarily to take to a desert island, you understand, but just the many songs that would make me sad should I never hear them again. In order to make things a little interesting I’m going to permit myself just one song from each group or singer, which will be something of a test but one I’ll embrace. I hope you enjoy some of my choices and would be intrigued to hear selections from your own personal jukebox, these days MP3s or Ipods, but I’m sure you’ll forgive me on this occasion.
David Bowie – Let’s Dance (1983)
The title track from Bowie’s Let’s Dance album (1983), this wonderful eighties song topped both the UK and US charts and has not lost any of its appeal amidst the relentless passing of time, so unforgiving to a lot of music. The music video to Let’s Dance has become as memorable as the song itself with its setting in Australia and the focal point being an Aborigine couple.
I love many of David Bowie’s songs but aside from his fine collection in Labyrinth I can safely say Let’s Dance is my favourite. The lyrics are excellent particularly, “Because my love for you would break my heart in two, if you should fall into my arms, and tremble like a flower.” It’s clearly a romantic song and obviously about dancing but the music video may shed some light on a much deeper meaning.
In the video an Aborigine couple happen upon some red shoes in the wilderness, away from the bustling cities. The girl tries them on and begins dancing before we see the couple trying a new life in the city but despite some highlights it is something of a struggle. In the end, the girl removes her shoes and stamps on them before embracing a return to the wild where the cities are prominent in the distance but being among nature is far more appealing. In Bowie’s song there is a heavy emphasis on the enjoyment of dancing but with some hesitation. The couple in the song seem to run away to be alone, whether this is purely for romance or to flee from a world they feel uncomfortable with is open to debate. Whatever the reason this is one of Bowie’s finest.
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