The Daily Bowie #21 - "Pallas Athena"
In a sense, 1993's Black Tie White Noise was a wedding gift to Iman. The album is great with many wonderful songs that were a return to rich creative founts of energy after Bowie flogged around in the muck a bit. But of all the songs on the album, I found the greatest connection to "Pallas Athena."
PUSHING AHEAD OF THE DAME - "Pallas Athena"
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FROM PUSHING AHEAD OF THE DAME: Over this are the chanted refrains: “God is on top of it all,” “that’s all,” and “we are, we are.” The initial run of “God is on top of it all” sounds definitive, striking, even reassuring; God is in control, relax. But as the chant goes on, the message becomes vaguer, more disturbing: is just a map reference, with God simply located at the top level, far removed from us, indifferent to our pleas? The vocal lines start to bleed together. At times the sequence is “that’s all that’s all we are,” other times “we are praying,” (or is it “ready“?), other times, it’s “we are we are God.” The title adds another element: Pallas Athena was hatched from the head of a god (“from the brow of the super-brain,” see “Song for Bob Dylan”). It gives weight to the vague Gnosticism implied here, that God may be at the top of it all, but we may also be above him. Or it could be a reference to the temple of Athena Nike at the top of the Akropolis, which, if so, then God is an empty ruin standing above a city that no longer worships her.
from 1993's BLACK TIE WHITE NOISE
Rest in peace, David. We miss you.
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