David Bowie moved to the US in 1974 from England, initially staying in New York City before settling in Los Angeles. He returned to New York after the 1992 LA riots and has lived there ever since.
On this ballad, Bowie appears to be commenting on his self-imposed exile from Britain. "If I never see the English evergreens I'm running to," he sings, "It's nothing to me." The London-born-and-raised star is dismissing any regrets about being away from his home country for so long.
Bowie wrote the song in the studio. "One day, David just picked up a guitar," saxophonist Donny McCaslin recalled to Rolling Stone. "He had this little idea, and we just learned it right there in the studio. I didn't even remember it until months later when someone told me it was on the album."
Country star Slim Whitman's version of the 1920s song "Rose Marie" spent 11 consecutive weeks at #1 in the UK in 1955, a record until 1991 when Bryan Adams’ "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" spent 16 weeks at the top.