He’s 14.

You’re feeling nervous, aren’t you, boy?
With your quiet voice and impeccable style
Don’t ever let them steal your joy
And your gentle ways, to keep ’em from running wild
They can kick dirt in your face
Dress you down, and tell you that your place
Is in the middle, when they hate the way you shine
I see you tugging on your shirt
Trying to hide inside of it and hide how much it hurts
Let ’em laugh while they can
Let ’em spin, let ’em scatter in the wind
I have been to the movies, I’ve seen how it ends
And the joke’s on them

Here we go: 



When I first heard Blackstar.

I just shook my head.

Then I saw the video to Lazarus.

And I shook my head again.


Lazarus is such a smart, neat piece of music.

A poem.

Set to – just – the coolest music.

Against the backdrop of such a beautifully weird and theatrical little film.

Look up here, I’m in heaven
I’ve got scars that can’t be seen
I’ve got drama, can’t be stolen
Everybody knows me now



Here is Part 1:

And here below is The Lyrics Game Part 2.

Don’t cheat.

10 lyrics this time.

From songs you’ve heard.

See how many you get.

Answers below.

(Scroll down.

But not until you’ve done your best, OK?

If you get 10 you’re pretty cool).

  1. Look at your children. See their faces in golden rays. Don’t kid yourself they belong to you. They’re the start of a coming race.
  2. We lived in the shadows and we had the chance and threw it away. And it’s never gonna be the same, ‘cause the years are falling by like the rain.
  3. What have I become? My sweetest friend. Everyone I know. Goes away in the end.
  4. 57 Mount Pleasant Street.
  5. Sleep, pretty darling. Do not cry. And I will sing a lullaby.
  6. Well it’s been building up inside of me for oh I don’t know how long. I don’t know why but I keep thinking something’s bound to go wrong.
  7. We’re no strangers to love. You know the rules and so do I.
  8. The gods may throw a dice. Their minds as cold as ice. And someone way down here. Loses someone dear.
  9. Shooting stars never stop. Even when they reach the top. Shooting stars never stop. Even when they reach the top. There goes a supernova. What a pushover-yeah. There goes a supernova. What a pushover.
  10. If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me?

Answers below.














  1. Oh! You Pretty Things. David Bowie.
  2. Hello. Oasis.
  3. Hurt. Johnny Cash/Nine Inch Nails.
  4. Weather With You. Crowded House.
  5. Golden Slumbers. The Beatles.
  6. Don’t Worry Baby. The Beach Boys.
  7. Never Gonna Give You Up. Rick Astley.
  8. The Winner Takes It All. ABBA.
  9. Welcome To The Pleasuredome. Frankie Goes To Hollywood.
  10. Free Bird. Lynyrd Skynyrd.

YES! A must listen:

One Christmas Day.

In my early 20s.

My ‘early grown up’ years, if you like.

I found myself sat around a strange table.

In a strange house.

With strange people.

Pushing turkey around a plate.


A couple of half-mouthfuls into the meal.

I sensed myself floating.

Well, it felt like floating.

Because as the conversation ricocheted around me.

And across me.

I became aware that I hadn’t looked up from my plate for a good two minutes.

I became aware that I was pushing food around my plate.

I became aware that I felt alone.


And it was part way through one of these plate-stares that I felt the stinging in my eyes.

And the warm tears rolling down my face.

Just a couple of them.

And I remember thinking:

I hope no one noticed that.

And I also remember thinking:


I hope they did.


My new girlfriend was sat to my right.

But I didn’t know her, of course.

She was new.

We were new.

And the beautiful, perfectly Christmassy room.

Packed with her uncles, aunts, mum and dad, sisters and brothers was all new too.

And I remember thinking.

That it’s funny how you can feel so alone.

When you’re not alone.

The Invitation.

It had seemed like a good idea at the time.

A new girlfriend inviting me to her place.

For Christmas Day.

Especially because the house I shared with my friends in Newcastle was empty over the Christmas period.

And especially as my mum’s house contained my drunk, bullying coward of a stepdad.

So when the invitation came.

I went.

Grown ups.

I want to go home.

I thought.

I didn’t say it out loud of course.

Grown ups can’t say things like that out loud.

Can they?

But then I thought to myself that.


I didn’t actually want to go home.

What I actually wanted.

Was a home.


On Christmas Day in 2019.

I was sat in my home.

In an imperfectly Christmassy room.

With all the right people.

And my mind floated back 29 years.

To a 22 year old me.

A teary me.

A lonely me.

Sat in a perfectly Christmassy room.

With all the wrong people.

I thought about my journey.

From there.

To here.

I thought about the people I’d known that would make my homes over the years.

And I thought about the people I’d known that would break my homes over the years.

I tried to dilute the bitterness I can still taste so vividly.

With the pockets of happiness I remember so warmly.

During my teenage years.

And during every decade since.

And naturally.

I thought about The Smiths too.

Singing this:


I love this song because of how the lead singer looks.

What a fine looking chap!


I also love this song because of how he sings it.

And because of the way the keyboard brings the tune to life.

And that short saxophone solo.


But most of all I love this song because of these two lines:

‘Cause we all have wings.

But some of us don’t know why.

And because of how he sings these two lines.

Here it is:


Have a great 2020.

I hope you fly.