Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 018
Sun, Feb 3, 2013

David Bowie


“♫ And
has changed/
everything has

In honor of one of my favorite days of the week, “Sunday,” is this reflective jewel from 2002’s Heathen. “Sunday,” as a song, haunted Bowie for some time. ““Sunday” and “Heathen” were two pieces I didn’t want to write but this place was just dragging the lyrics out of me.” He told Nicholas Pegg in The Complete David Bowie, “Strangely enough, you don’t always write what you want to write.”

Bowie’s right, when you hear the muse of inspiration you can’t think and contemplate you need to let those lyrical voices out; let them live and breathe on the page. There will be time for reflection later. Luckily, Bowie followed this advice as he explained to Interview Magazine, “I would get up very early in the morning, about six, and work in the studio before anybody else got there, assembling what I wanted to do as that day’s work. And often the lyrics would come as I was sort of putting the music together. It was absolutely terrific.”

I follow Bowie’s writing regimen. You have to, like any craft; writing takes work, hard work. You have to put in the time like working at the coal mine. The pen and the keyboard are my pickaxes. And every day I chisel words, trying to sculpt meaning from my world I am attempting to carve out on my canvas page. Just like attempting to grow anything from the ground, writing takes time; Writing is the Seed. If you write every day, without distractions or excuses, you will experience magnificent breakthroughs in your writing just like Bowie did when he penned “Sunday.”

And the words to “Sunday” were tumbling out, the song came out almost written as I was playing it through, and there were two deer grazing down in the grounds below and there was a car passing very slowly on the other side of the reservoir. This was very early in the morning, and these was something still primal about what I was looking at outside that there were tears just running down my face as I was writing this thing [called “Sunday”]. It was just extraordinary.

The saga of how “Sunday” came to light is a lesson for any writer who’s seeking enlightenment in their writing. You have to be there in the moment. Give all your attention, energies, emotions and focus and, believe me, you will create master-pièces without résistance. Listening to our voices is the most intimate thing we can do as writers. Don’t neglect, awaken your writer’s voice. Take it from David Bowie, the greatest artists take time and care with their craft of writing and creating. For writers everywhere, I dedicate the legend of “Sunday;” The Thin White Duke knows his own creative voice? Do you?

The original LP version of “Sunday” from Heathen:

And here’s an unforgettable live version of Sunday from Bowie’s Reality tour: