I was listening to music on Friday – something I do less often now that it’s school holidays and I’m not walking home from work every day with my iPod glued in my ears – and ‘Diamond Dogs’ happened to pop up on random play.
As you may or may not know, I am a huge David Bowie fan – up to perhaps 1983 – and ‘Diamond Dogs’ has always been one of my favourite Bowie tunes, not least because I find the equation of rock and roll to genocide hugely (and cynically) amusing.
Hearing the song reminded me of a criticism a friend of mine used to make. When one listens to the chorus casually, Bowie appears to sing, ‘Come out of the garden, baby, you’ll catch your death in the fall.’
My friend found this delightful; he loved the apparent reference to the Garden of Eden and the Christian postlapsarian conception of death.
Unfortunately, as someone eventually pointed out to him, that’s not actually what the words are: rather, Bowie says, ‘you’ll catch your death in the fog.’ My friend found this rather more prosaic and uninspired, and when he pointed his mondegreen out to me, I had to agree with him.
What I’m trying to say is, David Bowie missed an allegorical trick there. I guess he’s not quite as brilliant as I thought he was. *sigh*