Don’t give up. Press on. And you might surprise yourself.
Oh! You Pretty Things
A Guest Post by Paul Andruss
David and Angie with new son Duncan (1971)
Despite the chart success of Space Oddity during the Apollo moon-landing, David Bowie feared he was doomed to remain a one hit wonder. His second song destined for chart success, Oh! You Pretty Things, was ‘covered by the ex-teen-heartthrob Peter Noone. Mercifully, David included his own version on the outstanding Hunky Dory.
Hunky Dory album cover: note David’s jacket
‘Look at your children
See their faces in golden rays
Don’t kid yourself they belong to you
They’re the start of a coming race
The earth is a bitch
We’ve finished our news
Homo Sapiens have outgrown their use’
(Oh! You Pretty Things)
The lyrics tapped into the post-hippy zeitgeist popularised in books such as The Morning of the Magicians (a mystical melange of Theosophy and Nazi occultism) with influences from American comics, such as Marvel’s mutant X-Men, and our home-grown TV show The Tomorrow People.
Bowie said the song came ‘in a flash – all of a sudden’ while he was stuck in traffic on a bus to Bromley. Overwhelmed with inspiration, he jumped off and ran all the way home. Where he spent hours working it out on his new piano; polishing this irresistible gem into his first anthem for a generation no longer content to stay ‘back at home with the Beatles and the Stones’.
Never underestimate the power of inspiration. When it hits… JUMP OFF THAT BUS!
But be warned, inspiration is merely 1% of genius. The other 99% is perspiration.
Bear that in mind while slogging your guts out for weeks, even months, frustrated you will never do justice to your great idea.
And remember, one day someone will read your work; turn green with envy, and wonder how come you write so effortlessly.
David and Angie: the original
‘Pretty Things are going to Hell’
A David Bowie song: not a moral judgement
Don’t forget to check out these:-
Novels & illustrations1: http://www.jackhughesbooks.com/
- Thomas the Rhymer & Finn Mac Cool are available as free e-book downloads on website
- Musings! Honestly! It makes me sound like a consumptive Victorian poetess
THANKS to our guest, Paul Andruss!