David Bowie – My Top 100 Favorite Songs: 85

85 I Would Be Your Slave david bowie top 100 songs vinyl junkies vj

I recently witnessed the biggest David Bowie fan I know count down his top 100 favorite songs. These were private posts, meant solely for his Facebook family and friends. Something really cool happened over those 100 days.

I’d like to share that countdown with you. Read along, embark upon Niall Colgan’s personal journey while he narrates some of the most intimate aspects of his life with his undying passion for the art of David Bowie. The vid below is a short intro, scroll directly beneath to read the countdown.

Number 85: I Would Be Your Slave

Taken From: Heathen (2002)

Open up your heart to me
And I would be your slave

By 2002 David circled back to the themes explored on Station To Station; his search for a higher power continued. I Would Be Your Slave is Bowie’s most heartfelt plea. He wants to bear witness to whatever manifestation this power reveals itself as. Funny how in my last entry (Seven Years in Tibet), David also sings of snow and drifting in his quest for inner peace and forgiveness. I Would Be Your Slave was one of the first tracks Bowie ever performed from Heathen, for the Tibet House Benefit in February 2002. While Seven Years In Tibet can be heard as a prayer, this song focuses more on his search for spiritual enlightenment. It would be easy to conclude that Bowie’s idea of God dismissed any dogma associated with organized religion, he’d already made clear his disdain for man’s doctrines on the subject. By 2002, Bowie’s search continued unabated but he was comfortable admitting that he, in effect, was a Heathen. Religion had shown him nothing he could place hope upon. It is also important to note that David is not only indicating his wish to serve, but his willingness to become a slave to such a higher power; he clearly expresses his willingness to submit to it completely.

The song begins with the sound of a man breathing through a life support system and continues throughout.  Does Bowie feel like he’s on life support without a God to commit his life to? He seeks the opportunity to finally live happily, through a God he’s not yet found but desperately needs. If God would grant him this last chance at life, he would swear fealty and complete obedience. I personally find this incredibly powerful!! Are these the last words of the character represented in the song? A beg for their life?

Within that time span of 4 albums, the chronology of David’s lyrical themes are worth noting. 1.Outside began with murder and the soul searching which results from the convicted killer having his freedom taken away. Earthling plants the Starman’s feet firmly on the ground, allowing him to experience life from a more human perspective. Hours has David reflecting deeply upon his life, finally coming to terms with his own frail mortality.  Finally, Heathen finds redemption, causing Bowie to begin searching for a higher cause. When you listen to these albums with this in mind, it really speaks volumes to David’s personal growth.

Walking… drifting and stumbling… searching… his pleas falling on deaf ears  

If God is listening, why is the world so fucked and why is he suffering for it?  This causes him to doubt. Anyone who’s experienced the black hole of addiction or been crippled by fear and self loathing will be able to relate to David’s lyrics. While listening, close your eyes and imagine yourself on that life machine, let it transport you into a place of peace. Is music the higher power?

I think so.

READ 100, 99, 98… 90, 89, 88, 87, 86


I Would Be Your Slave

Walking in the snowy street
Let me understand
Drifting down a silent park
Stumbling over land
Open up your heart to me
Show me who you are
And I would be your slave

Do you sleep in quietude?
Do you walk in peace?
Do you laugh out loud at me?
No one else that is free
Open up your heart to me
Show me all you are
And I would be your slave

I don’t sit around and wait
I don’t give a damn
I don’t see the point at all
No footprints in the sand

I bet you laugh out loud at me
A chance to strike me down
Give me peace of mind at last
Show me all you are
Open up your heart to me
And I would be your slave

I don’t sit and wait
I don’t give a damn
I don’t see the point at all
No footprints in the sand
I would give you all my love
Nothing else is free
Open up your heart to me
And I would be your slave