Fate and The Gods - Our Custody Calls

     You're released but your custody calls
     And I want to be free
     Don't you want to be free?
     Bye bye love
     Yeah bye bye love

     I should live my life on bended knee
     If I can't control my destiny
     If I can't control the web we weave
     My life will be lost in the fallen leaves

     I don't want knowledge, I want certainty

     The gods forgot they made me
     So I forget them too

     We can't avoid the clash, the big mistake
     Now we're going to pay and pay
     The sentence of our lives

     This is our number
     All my trials
     Lord, will be remembered

     I bet you laugh out loud at me
     A chance to strike me down
     I don't sit and wait
     I don't give a damn
     I don't see the point at all

     I will give you all my love
     Nothing else is free
     Open up your heart to me
     I would be your slave

The tutelary gods or tutelary deity(s) (Angels Have Gone, New Angels Of Promise, The Angel-Men) have forsaken the earthlings, the outsiders, the heathens, the hell-bound pretty things, and the dreamers!

Bowie insinuates that to fall prey to the gods is to become a mere machine, a puppet, a toy, a slave of Fate (a poor soul, a dunce or fool - all bruised passivity). Perhaps even a "prisoner of love". In this world love and loyalty subjugate and lead one into captivity.

The protagonist of "Slip Away" is a clown/joker doing time: "Oogie knew there's never ever time. Some of us will always stay behind. Once a time they nearly might have been, Bones and Oogie on a silver screen." The song itself is a profound lamentation, a dirge. The loss of opportunity and the failure of expectation it portrays are overwhelmingly sad.

This same loss of opportunity and failure of expectation also emerge in "Something In The Air" from the 'hours...' album:

     Lived with the best times
     Left with the worst
     Danced with you too long
     Nothing left to save
     We've raged for the last time
     A place of no return

Time, Fate, Destiny are controlled by the gods and angels and Bowie warns in "No Control" from the Outside album: "Don´t Tell God Your Plans..."

The protagonist of "Oxford Town" confesses: "I fear my days are numbered. Lord get me out of here. If I had not ripped the fabric (of fate or time?) If time had not stood still..." Perhaps then the tentacles of Destiny would not have such a strong hold over him...?

In "Survive" the "fate-bound puppet" asks "Who said 'time is on my side'? I've got ears and eyes and nothing in my life..."

In "The Motel," the main character is entombed. In ¨Battle for Britain¨ he is a ¨beggarman¨ on the shelf and in ¨Afraid¨ he is lost on the shore not at sea, the ultimate estrangement...!

Nevada Kerr
4th November 2002.

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