Pressing On—With LoveNov 30, 2020 12:37AM ● By Shannon Mc Kenzie
My kids recently discovered Queen and David Bowie’s “Under Pressure” and have been playing it over and over. I generally don’t pay much attention to lyrics, but these caught my attention as being very timely in this time of pandemic mixed with political rancor. Inspired to do some digging, I unearthed an interesting article by Jim Beviglia, The True Story Behind Queen with David Bowie, “Under Pressure,” which reveals that the song almost didn’t happen at all.
To summarize, the members of Queen and David Bowie had strong opinions about the song, to the point of threatening its release. They worked out their differences (Freddie Mercury’s improvisations added emotion to Bowie’s more detached style); the song was a hit; and according to Beviglia, it “paved the way for Bowie’s move to more accessible sounds. . . . Maybe he needed Queen to open his ears to the potential in such an approach, and maybe Queen needed Bowie to add a little acidity to their message.” (view on YouTube).
Ultimately, both parties came out of it for the better.
The lyrics begin:
Pressure, pushing down on me,
Pressing down on you, no man ask for.
Under pressure that burns a building down,
Splits a family in two, puts people on streets.
And they end:
Can’t we give ourselves one more chance?
Why can’t we give love that one more chance?
Why can't we give love, give love, give love, give love . . .
‘Cause love’s such an old-fashioned word,
and love dares you to care for the people on the
edge of the night, and love dares you to
change our way of caring about ourselves.
This is our last dance.
This is ourselves.
Under pressure . . .
Wishing you much love. We can come out of this for the better.
p.s. the cover is a tribute to the Rockefeller Owl – click HERE to watch.