Sunday, February 11, 2024

Kings and queens in David Bowie’s “Heroes” (1977) and Taylor Swift’s “Long Live” (2010)

David Bowie's "Heroes" (the title song of his 1977 album) begins with a figure for the desire to experience power: "I, I will be king, / And you, you will be queen." But in this vision of a possible future, the power of romance is temporary: "We can be heroes, just for one day." Taylor Swift's "Long Live", from "Speak Now" (2010), which she has said she wrote for her band, turns to the same figure to capture an experience: "We are the kings and the queens." And again, that experience is fleeting: "'Cause for a moment, a band of thieves in ripped up jeans / Got to rule the world." (Andrew Shields, #111Words, 11 February 2024)

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