The David Bowie hit Life On Mars is getting a slight posthumous makeover, it would appear.
In response to NASA’s announcement about the possibility of life on one of Saturn’s moons, the Bowie estate have decided to acknowledge this with his song, and have asked for anyone covering “Life On Mars” to sing the chorus as “is there life on Titan?” instead.
“We have decided the song should be made as scientifically accurate as possible in future versions,” Bowie’s son Duncan Jones told a press conference yesterday. “Back when the song was recorded, the concept of Men From Mars was still appealing, although of course we now know there is no life on that planet. But if there’s life on some other body in the solar system, then we’d like the song to be an up-to-date reflection of that from now on.”
The original recording, however, is not going to be adjusted to apply the change. “It’s reflective of the times,” Mr Jones added. “He didn’t know then what we know now, and it would be unfair to mess around with a classic recording. I’m sure if he were still alive he’d do an up-to-date version, but it’s not our place to touch that recording.”
This move is not without precedent, Katie Melua performed a revised version of her song “Nine Million Bicycles” after it was pointed out to her that the universe was known to be 13.7 billion years old, and the line “we are 12 billion light years from the edge, that’s a guess, no one can ever say it’s true” was inaccurate.
What Mr Bowie himself would make of all this, well, I guess that’s one thing we’ll never know. Not in this lifetime anyway.