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David Bowie - Space Oddity - Lyrics Meaning



"Space Oddity," released in the UK in 1969 to coincide with the moon landing, appeared on David Bowie's self-titled album. The track features a character named Major Tom, an astronaut who travels into space and becomes lost during the journey. At the outset of the song, Major Tom dons his helmet and prepares for liftoff. The moment he is launched into space, the man becomes a hero and the subject of a flurry of media attention. He ventures out of his spaceship and radios back to Ground Control to chronicle his experience. As he describes the wonders of space, disaster befalls the astronaut - he loses his connection with Ground Control, and is lost forever.

At this time in his life David Bowie was a heavy drug user, a fact that is clearly illustrated in this song. The tale of Major Tom is a metaphor for drug use and overdose. An addict takes some kind of pill ("protein pills") and prepares himself for liftoff. As Major Tom steps through the door of his ship and enters the unknown, the addict embarks on the journey of his high. Then tragedy strikes: Major Tom becomes lost in space, and the addict suffers an overdose. Neither survives the experience.

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