Warszawa

Album: Low (1977)
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Songfacts®:

  • Bowie crossed through Warsaw (the capital of Poland) twice - first, in 1973, whilst traveling from Moscow to West Berlin (Bowie reportedly told his wife, Angie, that he had "never been so damned scared in my life"), and secondly in 1976, whilst traveling from Zurich to Moscow (this time alongside Iggy Pop). Inspired by the desolation that he saw, Bowie wrote "Warszawa."
  • This song was first formed when Bowie's producer Tony Visconti's son was playing the notes A-B-C repeatedly on the piano. Brian Eno, who collaborated on the song with Bowie, sat next to him and finished the sequence of notes that would form the intro to the song. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Charlie - Stittstown, Canada
  • The lyrics in the middle part of this are based upon a song by the Polish folk choir, Slask.
  • This song supplied the influential Manchester alternative rock band Joy Division's original name, Warsaw. Front man, Ian Curtis, was reportedly obsessed with the track.
  • Bowie played this as the opening number on his 1978 and 2002 tours.

Comments: 7

  • Jose from ColombiaThis songs is a good match with "Crystal Japan". Listening both songs back to back gives a scent of a strange brotherhood between them.
  • Zoozka from BratislavaYes! This is SO MUCH communist Warsaw! It must have been so awful in the 70's there. And well, David, it may remind you of mountains, as this is a folk song, with lyrics trying to sound Slavic - it seems pretty much to be gorals' song. They are people living in high Tatras. Fascinating talent for observation and mimicry He had.
  • Karol from Pori, FinlandThis track fits perfect to comunism, propaganda with it's monumental begining...working class heroes, totalitarianism...Then subtle change to polish folk inspired haunting melody...So sad in the meaning.

    And it's perfectly gray, as Warsaw was by that time.
  • Derek from Glasgow, United KingdomThe lyrics don't mean anything David - they were just made up by Bowie, so they aren't in another language or anything.

    Derek, Glasgow
  • David from Chicago, IlIn Warszawa, What do the words actually mean?
  • Joanna from KielceI'm just after listening to "Warszawa", and....well... in my opinion Bowie has got quite annoying voice, but that song is...good. I might like it.
    P.S. to be honest, that song don't fit to Warsaw: it rather "describe" Andes or some other mountains. But, in those times, Warsaw may had such a melancholious character( if a city may have a character...)
  • Brian from Fullerton (the Paris Of Oc), CaThe hugely influential English band Joy Division did their first recordings under the name Warsaw, a slightly abbreviated spelling of Warszawa (Ian Curtis was a huge Bowie fan, but did prefer Iggy Pop when it came down to the crunch). They later changed their name to avoid any confusion with a London based act named Warsaw Pakt. Or so the legend goes...
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