I just read the terrible news that David Bowie passed away. This one hit really hard, unlike many other pop stars that died during my lifetime, Bowie’s work had real meaning for me. I’m at a loss for words, which is why I’m reposting a piece I published on my old blog on October 26th, 2014:
Thursday’s Child – A Declaration of Love
For some reason the year 1999 popped into my head yesterday and my immediate thought was, “Wasn’t David Bowie’s Thursday’s Child released 15 years ago?”(Disclaimer: Yes, I am a music geek). And wouldn’t you know it, indeed it was released on September 20th, 1999. Thus, I thought it’s time to look back and wanted to share my feelings about this song.
Ever since I first heard the song, it stuck with me. It’s one of Bowie’s more random songs and I’m pretty sure no one remembers it. The reason why it stuck with me in the first place was the very odd video that came with it. MTV played it a lot back then and every time I stumbled upon it I tried to figure out what it’s about. And during that process, the song grew on me. I was 15 back then.
Because I liked the vibe so much, the song became a staple in my playlists for the next decade. The older I got, the more I could relate to what Bowie was actually trying to convey in his song. Looking back now, the lyrics make so much more sense to me. So to celebrate the 15th anniversary of “Thursday’s Child”, I listened closely to the words and it’s almost creeping me out to see how accurate the piece summarizes the past 15 years of my life.
All of my life I’ve tried so hard
Doing my best with what I had
Nothing much happened all the same
This brings me back to my teenage years, when I really felt I was trying so hard but nothing ever changed.
Maybe I’m born right out of my time
Breaking my life in two
A 15-year-old who likes 1999 David Bowie is clearly born out of her time. Also, 9 years later a doctor confirmed this feeling.
Everything’s falling into place
Seeing my past to let it go
During my time in San Francisco, I dealt a lot with my past to let it go, and interestingly, a lot has fallen into place since then.
Only for you I don’t regret
I’ve always related this verse to all the loved ones that followed me through my journey.
And I was Thursday’s child
I only recently found out what Bowie might referred to in his chorus. Apparently there’s an old rhyme with the line “Thursday’s child has far to go”. Given my past, I always was one to go the extra mile to achieve goals.
Relating the lyrics of this song to my life might be like reading yesterday’s horoscope, but I’m certainly appreciating Thursday’s Child even more now. Having this song accompany for the next 15 years of my life feels comforting. And I’ll probably do a recap in 2029, too.
As far as I know, Bowie hasn’t really played the song since the “Hours” era. Here’s a great live version with him talking about the origin of the title (but not the meaning).
ETA: This was one of my most played songs of 2015: