03/10/2019: “Lazarus” by David Bowie

David Bowie’s last album is one of the greatest and most poignant explorations of mortality in music, on a par with Freddie Mercury’s last songs.

Bowie actually found out that his illness was terminal during filming of the video, which is a slightly terrifying vision of a man on his death bed. Bowie is still energetic and enigmatic, even though he was seriously ill at that point.

“Lazarus” is the name of the name who Jesus resurrected. From even the name, you can tell the song deals with death. Not all of the album does, but there’s no mistaking this. It’s also the name of a musical Bowie wrote in 2015,

The song is quietly majestic, using slow and regal horns to great effect. The singing is impassioned, and seems to indicate Bowie’s acceptance of death as a natural part of life.

The song came out on the 17th December 2015, and was released again on Blackstar, Bowie’s final album – released on the 8th January 2016.