The Moon in »Space Oddity« by David Bowie

space-oddity_198x198The song »Space Oddity« by the British musician David Bowie (1947–2016) made history. Bowie’s inspiration for this piece composed in 1968, was the science fiction classic »2001: A Space Odyssey« by Stanley Kubrick.

It tells the fictional story of the astronaut Major Tom, who leaves his spacecraft during a flight through space and says his farewell to the people. The last four lines of the lyrics also mention the Moon:

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

In 2013, »Space Oddity« became popular again with a new cover version by the Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who sang the song in the International Space Station ISS in space and made a video of it, which received over 29 million clicks on youtube. However, he changed the last lines and hence the story line, because he returned to Earth.

»Here am I floating in my tin can
A last glimpse of the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing left to do«

The right of use for this video version runs out in May of 2016, because initially it was granted for one year by David Bowie and the right holder and then two years were added. Let’s hope that the use of right will be extended that we can continue to watch Chris Hadfield singing this song.

Floating through space, detached from the shielding space craft, is a strong artistic motif that has been discussed in movies, for example in »Gravity«, in 2013. It is the melancholy that is reminiscent in the story and the music of »Space Oddity«, which make this song so authentic and simultaneously transcendent.

Column: Worth hearing, Worth reading, Worth seeing | 8 comments | Leave a comment
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Comments

  • Many ❤️Thanks for the David Bowie tribute.

  • Thanks for these videos been a bowie fan most of my life since i was 14 I’m now 57 love you david RIP you will never be forgotten )0(

  • Thank you so much for posting both of these beautiful videos. RIP David Bowie/Major Tom.

  • May you R I P David you were an artist that I enjoyed listening and will never forget your great music I listen growing up. You will not be forgotten.

  • Thank you!

  • Thank you for sharing both videos of the David Bowie song.

  • Thanks for that article and the videos. Very interesting.

  • Thank you for this great blog post! David Bowie sure loved space, and the moon. I miss him a lot, as many do. Thanks again.

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