The earliest track recorded for The Next Day, this Trad-Rock stormer has nothing to do with February 14th, but instead namechecks the 1929 Saint Valentine's Day Massacre where seven mob associates were murdered as part of a Prohibition-era conflict between two powerful criminal gangs in Chicago. Producer Tony Visconti told NME that "the subject matter is pretty scary." He explained: "It's related to people who go postal, about people who acquire a gun and do awful things with it."
Visconti told NME the song has a "Kinks influence." Certainly the Teddy and June in the song echo the Terry and Julie of The Kinks' hit tune "Waterloo Sunset."
Bowie pays homage to the New York band Television by borrowing a piece of the riff from their track, "See No Evil." Television frontman Tom Verlaine's solo track "Kingdom Come" was covered by Bowie on Scary Monsters.
The song's music video was directed by photographers Indrani and Markus Klinko, who are known for their highly stylized shots of the famous. They previously collaborated with Bowie on the artwork for his 2002 album Heathen. We see the British singer performing the song in an old abandoned building.
Speaking with The London Times, Visconti confirmed the song is about a shooting, before adding, "the issue for him isn't so much guns but the mental health of the shooter."
Stockhoven from The NetherlandsWell, actually I think the song is about Adolph Hitler. On the 14th of Febrary 1926 the Nazi's held a meeting in Bamberg, Bavaria, where they declared that -should they win the elections- democracy would end and Hitler would be the great dictator. So, it was his day. A painful contradiction between a day of hatred that would later become the day of love.If you look at it this way, the lyrics of the song are unambiguous.