Are you a David Bowie fan? Since his passing last week, rock bands all over the world have paid tribute to him, including our local psych-pop band S.M. Wolf from Indianapolis, Indiana. Whether or not you liked this fascinating star’s music and over-the-top showmanship, you might like the featured blog today. Prompted by Bowie’s recent passing, my colleague, Tony Lobl, writing for the January 18, 2016 edition of HuffPost Entertainment UK, shows us the more spiritual side of this iconic artist. Here’s Tony:
“Lord, Lord, my prayer flies, Like a word on a wing.”
You could be forgiven for thinking this is a sentence from a Sunday morning sermon. Or perhaps the lyrics of a venerable Gospel song.
Instead, it was penned by one of the most creative singer songwriters of the 20th and 21st centuries, and was just one of the many prayerful lyrics filling “Word on a Wing” – classed by many as David Bowie’s “most underrated” song.
So was Bowie less “The Man Who Sold the World” and more a man of God?
Not exactly. But he was a spiritual seeker and like the Old Testament Psalmists he embedded this prayer in lyrics that creatively expressed his yearnings for God’s comfort and aid.
In a New Musical Express interview he recalled how he penned those heartfelt words during a period of “psychological terror” while filming “The Man Who Fell To Earth”.
“It was the first time I’d really seriously thought about Christ and God in any depth, and ‘Word on a Wing’ was a protection,” he said.
This was not your average Sunday morning holiness. For in typically frank fashion, Bowie went on to admit the prayer was written under a coke-fuelled cloud of spiritual despair.
It is clear that despite being a pop icon and travelling the highways and byways where hedonism thrived, his spiritual journey continued.
Years later, at a time when many religious leaders were condemning AIDS sufferers, Bowie actually prayed for them – openly! Following a Queen-backed rendition of “Heroes” at the 1992 Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, he dropped to his knees in prayer for those lost to AIDS or battling with it….