Jump They Say

Album: Black Tie White Noise (1993)
Charted: 9


  • Bowie's half-brother Terry Burns was institutionalized in a mental hospital when he attempted suicide by jumping out of a window. After this failed attempt, Bowie visited his half-brother in the institution, but a few years later in 1985 Terry succeeded in killing himself by escaping the grounds and getting hit by a train. This song deals with Bowie's feelings about his brother and the factors that lead to insanity.
  • Bowie's track, All The Madmen, is also about Terry Burns.
  • The song also features a large dose of self. Speaking in a 1993 interview, Bowie said it related in part to his artistic leaps that almost destroyed him, for which he was still looking for some sort of emotional support. "It's also connected to my feeling that sometimes I've jumped metaphysically into the unknown and wondering whether I really believed there was something out there to support me," he explained, "whether you wanna call it, a God or a life-force?"

Comments: 2

  • Alexander from Krasnoyarsk, OtherGreat song, awesome video.
  • Kenny from Clydebank, ScotlandPowerful video, the be-suited bowie in the tower elevator, a man among businessmen, a corporate giant, but things falling apart, suicidal brother. Break your heart. Jump they Say. Walk don't walk.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Best Band LogosSong Writing

Queen, Phish and The Stones are among our picks for the best band logos. Here are their histories and a design analysis from an expert.

Graham ParkerSongwriter Interviews

When Judd Apatow needed under-appreciated rockers for his Knocked Up sequel, he immediately thought of Parker, who just happened to be getting his band The Rumour back together.

Sam PhillipsSongwriter Interviews

Collaborating with T Bone Burnett, Leslie Phillips changed her name and left her Christian label behind - Robert Plant, who recorded one of her songs on Raising Sand, is a fan.

Adam Young of Owl CitySongwriter Interviews

Is Owl City on a quest for another hit like "Fireflies?" Adam answers that question and explains the influences behind many others.

WeezerFact or Fiction

Did Rivers Cuomo grow up on a commune? Why did they name their albums after colors? See how well you know your Weezer in this Fact or Fiction.

Chris ReaSongwriter Interviews

It took him seven years to recover from his American hit "Fool (If You Think It's Over)," but Chris Rea became one of the top singer-songwriters in his native UK.