I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing will drive them away
We can beat them, just for one day
We can be Heroes, just for one day

And you, you can be mean
And I, I’ll drink all the time
‘Cause we’re lovers, and that is a fact
Yes we’re lovers, and that is that
Though nothing will keep us together
We could steal time, just for one day
We can be Heroes, for ever and ever
What d’you say?

I, I wish you could swim
Like the dolphins, like dolphins can swim
Though nothing, nothing will keep us together
We can beat them, for ever and ever
Oh we can be Heroes, just for one day

I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing will drive them away
We can be Heroes, just for one day
We can be us, just for one day

I, I can remember (I remember)
Standing by the wall (by the wall)
And the guns shot above our heads (over our heads)
And we kissed, as though nothing could fall (nothing could fall)
And the shame was on the other side
Oh we can beat them, for ever and ever
Then we could be Heroes, just for one day

We can be Heroes
We can be Heroes
We can be Heroes
Just for one day
We can be Heroes

We’re nothing, and nothing will help us
Maybe we’re lying, then you better not stay
But we could be safer, just for one day

Oh-oh-oh-ohh, oh-oh-oh-ohh
Just for one day

—————————–
During his Berlin Period, Bowie spied Tony Visconti kissing backing vocalist Antonia Maaß by the Berlin Wall. Their love was doomed, as Visconti was married.

I thought, of all the places to meet in Berlin, why pick a bench underneath a guard turret on the Wall?

Wanting to stop his friend’s affair from coming to his wife’s attention, Bowie anonymised the song, and filled in details from his imagination. As Rolling Stone put it, “Bowie wails with crazed soul about two doomed lovers finding a moment of redemption together — just for one day.”

The song was written with Brian Eno, who plays a droning EMS VCS3. Robert Fripp of King Crimson plays guitar with pitched feedback, whilst Tony Visconti produced Bowie’s finest vocal performance by moving the microphone away from him as the song progressed, forcing him to shout just to be heard.

The song was not initially popular, but is now widely considered one of Bowie’s best. It is frequently played at sporting events and awards ceremonies, and features in many soundtracks in film and television.

It’s believed the track was inspired by German band Neu! who Bowie was a fan of at the time. Neu! guitarist Michael Rother had been in conversation with Bowie a few times during Bowie’s time in Berlin and they had discussed the possibility of Rother playing on the album, but it didn’t happen due to a miscommunication.

Tahsin Ünlü

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