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The Darcys - "Life On Mars"

by Wes Marskell

Listening to “Life on Mars?” in 2022 feels a bit like being sucked into a black hole. From what I understand, the song was originally written about a young person’s fascination with Hollywood and how that obsession led to disappointment with reality. Sounds vaguely familiar, no? Aren’t we all just living an existence augmented by social media that may very well lead to the entire world having one simultaneous mental breakdown? Okay, maybe I’m projecting, but at the very least it will contribute to mine.

Anyway, what’s most impressive about “Life on Mars?” is that 50 years after its release the lyrics still read like a commentary on contemporary society. Lawmen are still beating up on the wrong people and we’re still lusting for a version of reality that doesn’t exist. Look at us cavemen go! The only real difference is that we’re no longer hooked solely on the silver screen, we’ve evolved to become the architects of the very content we feel disillusioned by (you’re following us on TikTok, right?).

No one was better at curating their own avatar than Bowie. He was many things, including a glam-rock oracle and a future knowing starman who beamed down in an effort to veer us off our crash course. Bowie, being Bowie, was at least kind enough to dress up his prophecy in a catchy-yet-tragic sci-fi fantasy in the key of A major.