Apocalyptische klassieker du jour: Five Years

De openingstrack van Bowie’s beste album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Van het concept achter Ziggy Stardust heb ik nooit veel begrepen, maar het is een magnifieke verzameling songs. Five Years beschrijft een mensheid die net te horen heeft gekregen dat ze nog vijf jaar te gaan heeft tot Het Einde Van Alles. De geschokte hoofdpersoon verlaat zijn woning, zwerft over straat en registreert de reacties van zijn stadgenoten. Bowie’s beschrijving van die reacties is weergaloos: pure poëzie.

Pushing through the market square, so many mothers sighing
News had just come over, we had five years left to cry in
News guy wept and told us, earth was really dying
Cried so much his face was wet, then I knew he was not lying
I heard telephones, opera house, favorite melodies
I saw boys, toys electric irons and T.V.’s
My brain hurt like a warehouse, it had no room to spare
I had to cram so many things to store everything in there
And all the fat-skinny people, and all the tall-short people
And all the nobody people, and all the somebody people
I never thought I’d need so many people

A girl my age went off her head, hit some tiny children
If the black hadn’t a-pulled her off, I think she would have killed them
A soldier with a broken arm, fixed his stare to the wheels of a Cadillac
A cop knelt and kissed the feet of a priest, and a queer
Threw up at the sight of that
I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlor, drinking milk shakes cold and long
Smiling and waving and looking so fine, don’t think
You knew you were in this song
And it was cold and it rained so I felt like an actor
And I thought of Ma and I wanted to get back there
Your face, your race, the way that you talk
I kiss you, you’re beautiful, I want you to walk

We’ve got five years, stuck on my eyes
We’ve got five years, what a surprise
We’ve got five years, my brain hurts a lot
We’ve got five years, that’s all we’ve got