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Artist: David Bowie
I still don't know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
Every time I thought I'd got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I've never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I'm much too fast to take that test
(Turn and face the strain)
Don't want to be a richer man
(Turn and face the strain)
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can't trace time
I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence and
So the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware of what they're going through
(Turn and face the strain)
Don't tell t hem to grow up and out of it
(Turn and face the strain)
Where's your shame
You've left us up to our necks in it
Time may change me
But you can't trace time
Strange fascination, fascinating me
Changes are taking the pace I'm going through
(Turn and face the strain)
Oh, look out you rock 'n rollers
(Turn and face the strain)
Pretty soon you're gonna get a little older
Time may change me
But I can't trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can't trace time
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I'm pretty positive that it's not turn and face the strain, but turn and face the STRANGE insead.
i love dis song
Yeah, I agree with this Dayne guy. It is strange because that would be stupid if it was strain, why would it be strain??Exactly our point.
This sounds like the Beatles.
Yeah, it kind of does sound like the Beatles. I think it's a really good song. David Bowie's got a fabulous voice.
You should give some evidence, rather than just say: Period. Idiot. It kind of sounds like strange.. hard ot tell
what would be strange, is if you guys actually got a life!
It´s "turn and face the stranger"
ROFL you guys are retarded. it's strain. and it's very clear that it's strain. whether that makes sense to you or not. if you actually think about it the entire song isn't completely clear on what it's talking about. [and of course i'm referring to those who don't believe it's 'strain' as retarded.]
I have the Hunky Dorey lyric booklet. It's strain.
How can you say it's "strain" if you can CLEARLY hear the "g" at the end every time he sings it? You can hear it. And it's not "turn and face the strain --- Changes"; it's "turn and face the strange changes". It's an actual sentence, which is what makes Bowie's songs so wonderful: he actually uses sentences instead of random exclamations and words.
of course its 'strain ive listned to this song loads of times its not hard to hear that its 'strain'. Its really not that difficult.............
fuck you, my brain hurts!
I can't believe you guys are arguing over Bowie Lyrics. HE doesn't even know what half his songs are about.
it is strain. it kinda sounds like strange because the next syllaball is ch
actually, you guys, its turn and face the stranger. i just went on 10 different lyric websites and they all say "turn and face the stranger"
which totally makes sense because he's talking about how time changes himself over time. he views himself as the stranger.
No, it is TURN AND FACE THE STRANGE!!!
In an interview from Musician magazine in 1990 Bowie himself confirmed this.
As in strange fascination.....
it's kind of Syd Barrett-esque.
sorry to piss anyone off but pam is right- i have the cd
No "right" answer here. A good song means different things to different people. Many song writer/singers will change songs when done live or later in their careers. It is fun to read each of your thoughts. It says more about each of you than it does about the song.....
omg you guys are so sad
it sounds like strange because of the chh that comes next and how they have mixed it
i have the sheet music
its not stange or stanger
its stain get over it lmao
Turn and face the stain? Wtf? Srsly? What stain?
YOu guys are fucking dumb.. the song is about The strain of getting older, and going through changes in your life... of course it's fucking strain.
Ch ch ch changes is the hook, the words that come before it don't correlate..
Using Prettymaryk's logic, Bowie's next lyric would be:
"Don't want to be a richer man changes...
What is a richer man changes?
I don't want to be one.
That STRAIN's logic...
well i tell you what i have just called David and he confirms it is strain! these comments are very amusing.
Tim: I don't really see how that's my logic, since I was only talking about the strain/strange issue - and that's the beginning of the chorus, so it doesn't have to tie in to the previous phrase.
cheftz, the amusing one is definitely yours.
look at it without changes in the chorus
Turn and face the strain
Just gonna have to be a different man
(Turn and face the strain)
Don't tell t hem to grow up and out of it
Turn and face the strain
Where's your shame
You've left us up to our necks in it
Turn and face the strain
Pretty soon you're gonna get a little older
these things seem like they might be strenuous
It is 'straight'
'Turn and face the straight changes'
I heard it in slow motion.
"another point of veiw" makes alot of sense. but really, why argue, if you wanna sing it how you want go for it, David knows wut it is and he doesnt need anyone to remind him, OR correct his fans. im sure hes happy even if someoen messes up one word.
coz he is my dad and he told me
yer its me again its true add me on email@example.com
Arseholes. It's "Turn and take the train." Obviously. Think about it - "Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes?" David's going on a train journey and has to change at different stations on his route. Wankers.
its strain and add me firstname.lastname@example.org
It's true. It's a train journey;
Ch ch ch ch changes,
(Turn and face the train)
Pretty soon you're gonna get off in Dover.
oh my lord you people are pathetic, it is what ever you think it is, stop arguing its just a song, but an amazing song at that :)
so many people arguing for lyrics , this reading it´s been really funny , keep the hard work!! guys , I´ll check later ..
amazing song, i dont think one word makes that much of a diference, think what you want so it means what you want :) (its strange =p)
The cover by bananarama is much better!
I thought it was turn and face the strange. I checked out a bunch of lyric finder web sites and they say turn and face the stranger which makes sense in the context of the song. I have no vested interest one way or another, just reporting what I found.
Actually, the line is "Churn your face in Spain." Bowie told me so himself when we were snorting coke with Marc Bolan in Ibiza in 1974.
guys, you realize that whatever word you fight for, they can all make sense in their own way. its a beautiful song, nonetheless.
All sad.... Bananarama...i ask you....it's got to be 'strain', think about it in the context of the song......how do they teach A level English!
For those of you arguing if it's "strain" or "strange", here's an excerpt from 'Station to Station', a book written by Geoff MaCormack (a.k.a Warren Peace), Bowie's backup singer in the mid-seventies. This will resolve the argument:
"On another occasion, again towards the end of the tour, we were singing 'Changes' for the purposes of a sound-check. When we reached the chorus David stopped the band, walked over to Gui and me, and asked us to sing our part. We duly obliged. David doubled up with laughter. For two-and-a-half months we had been singing 'turn and face the strain' instead of 'turn and face the strange'. From then on, every time we performed that song David would stick his arse out towards us and make like he was trying to squeeze one out, which would make us both laugh and fluff the line even worse."
its funny because someone said it sounds like the beatles (i wish it was) but its notbecause i own every beatle album.....im a freak arent I?
Yes, but don't beat yourself up about it x
I've always sung it pronouncing 'strange'.
Love that fact about him making fun about their mistake. God how I love that man x
Changes is the definetaly most requested song when I`m around spinning records in Norway. And I Like it:)
wow i'm glad i stopped to read these! haha it's definitely strange cause strain does not fit at all
on the L word, Billy Blakie sings "turn and face the strange" but that may be just due to the situation =P
strange sounds funkier though :D
I hope mr Bowie is reading and enjoying this. If you care to peruse the entire thread, it's clear we should split into two religious factions, adopt separate and distinct flags, the 'strain' & the 'strange' and start blowing each other up. These last few minutes have provided a sobering snap of how much emotional e energy is available to be harnessed to nothing at all. Am I on the fence? Naaah. How the F can you 'face a strain' ?. PS I am a big fan of words meaning something
I've talked to david bowie several times and its obvious that he's saying turn and face the struggle, i can't believe you guys didnt know that and you call yourselves fans please you guys make me sick
It's "turn and take this train." And the train y'all should be taking is to Dumbsville. Oh wait ... y'all's already there. Lordy, I'm da bess.
i have frome the 70's an original bootleg copy of this album ...hmm maybe i should sell it??
...Ground control to Major Tom...
...Ground control to Major Tom...
...Take your lyricosis...
...put it in your song....
I wonder what David Bowie thinks about having all you morons as fan, that must make him turn and "face the strain."
Strange. Obviously. Although it might be Stranger. Both make sense. Strain doesn't. Having said that we are talking about a songwriter whose lyrics include "the Jean Genie loves chimney stacks" so logical narrative might not be top of his agenda.
Thank you all, this is one hilarious thread
i just wanted to check the lyrics 'cause i though Obama should have sung it last night in his acceptance speach - but what do i find? a discussion of the lyrics that sound like the whole 2 year election campaign all over again... and then if you think of it in light of Mr Obama's next four years; strain OR strange will fit nicely...
LOL! This is the best one I've read so far!! I've always said "strange". Changes bring strange (new, different, foreign) circumstances and surroundings. I've never once thought it might say STRAIN. Changes aren't a strain unless you view life like that. I guess some people are opposed to changes... CHANGE IS GOOD. STRANGE IS GOOD... :)
my brother is david and he says its STRANGER but because the back up singers sing it,he cuts in when they say the ER IN strangER.
Okay. I just assumed it was strain. As some people fear changes, and some changes are negative but the outcome hopefully positive, and so he could be saying to face the strain of the thing before the change. However, does it actually matter?
Oh, get off it -- let's not drag politics into this too... if you've made B.H. Obama your savior, it's a losing prospect in the end.
Bowie clearly sings "strain," and to me the song speaks of personal identity and generational issues. And btw, it sounds Beatlesque because John Lennon sings back-up: the "turn and face the strain," parts.
Unbelievable. Are you all deaf? You're all thrashing it out: strain, strange, stranger. When it's clearly 'train'. He's talking about suicide, man, throwing himself under the 6.03 from Birmingham to avoid the babble of you psycho afficionados...
it's strange... i dont know how anyone got train. but thats what i hear so im stickin with strange. get a life and stop screaming at each other.
this has been quite entertaining though.
It's "turn and chase the grain". Bowie drinks whiskey with a beer chaser. After a few "bats and balls", he's a little hard to "unnerstan". I can't believe you morons didn't know that!
The first one is "Strange"
The second is "Strain"
Then "Strange" again
Why is it like this? Who really gives a crap. Im making you all happy. Stop bitching and moaning over it.
Bowie doesn't need to sing about facing the strange - his whole artistic life is about facing the strange. And that's what makes him fantastic. He obviously sings about facing the strain, as that is what would be the troubling (straining!) aspect for him.
the way he sings fascinating is pretty fascinating. maybe th real issue here is whether you "can" or "can't" trace time......
is that true about lennon singing on this record? it's such a great song. thanks to everyone xx
As Bowie gets older it will be '"Turn and get my cane." We got to wondering about the lyrics because my son suggested ChChChChanges as a name for a new kitty (not under serious consideration as a name!).
wat kind of name is amazing or hmmmmm?
Woah!!! man u all need to get a life! i just stumbled across this website coz i wanted to sing the right words when my mum plays her bowie cds... oh and i agree with zac bowie. it is so strain
Oh my God, you made my day. I'll never tell you if it's strange, strain, train-because this is all too entertaining. Why ruin everyone's fun?
love the song... love the strain strange kkkkkkkkkkk
Its definetely strange
"Pretty soon now you're gonna get older"... don't know if that one was fielded.
wow this gets funnier everytime i go on!!! u guys are hilarious! what does feilded mean tho....?
and its is not ripples is nipples :O
I can't believe none of you picked up on the other meanings of "strain," which is music. A strain is a section of a piece of music, more or less complete in itself.
Bowie is saying to turn and face the music, and accept the changes.
I like the "Churn your face in Spain on a train" idea.... This is getting to be like a Dr. Seuss story.
this was one of the most entertaining things i've ever read. thank you all for your passion. it created good humor. :)
this song is cool but what i dont get is that it saids ch-ch-ch
It is strange!! Simply because Strange, rhymes with Change!! I have a GED.
How about all of you shut the fuck up and enjoy the music?
Christ you're like a bunch of fucking politicians.
Fantastic song, so try enjoying it.
the most convincing argument here was from the bloke who placed a quote from a book written by the fella who did back up vocals- which revealed it to be 'strange'. if it is 'strange', and, obviously, david bowie is sure of it; why does the hunky dorey album booklet (as previously mentioned) say that it is 'strain'? were the lyrics not confirmed with david before they were published?
The real lyrics are "Turn and face the strange bloggers who, for some reason, feel a strong need to edit my original song lyrics with their own Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes." The reason you don't hear the last part is that Bowie sings over it.
guys... just enjoy the bloody song!!! everytime i sing to it i dont know whether to sing strain or strange wheras i used to just sing strain and that was all goods but u guys have made me all confused. i think we need to put it to a vote aye.
i vote strain
That makes it Strain 1. Strange 0
It is strain-I'm 47, been a Bowie fan for years, think about what 'Changes' do to us!!!
Definitely strain noobs. and lol, closet heterosexual, what a guy!
but slamed on ur face
Wow, I was just looking up the lyrics when I saw this thread of hilarious comments. Awesome! Keep up the entertainment. We've only got a couple million people to call onto the battle field. I'm not taking any sides, but I've always sung strange. Let the battle sommence once more!!!
is it strange? is it strain? is it rain? is it train? is it stain? who am i? where am i? what year is this?
WHHIICKKAAAAA WHHICKKAAAAA FRESSSHHHHH
does the space cold make you nipples go pointy bowie?
haha i love FOTC.
and im pretty sure its strange, not strain!
and what about the last line of the chorus - clearly its i can't change time
You're all wrong - he's not even singing 'Changes" it's actually "Strangers", Bowie stutters a bit during the lead in due to his coke habit at the time of recording this album. Buddah bless the thin white duke. BTW, his other hit song from this time with John Lennon - "Dame" totally rocks, "Dame, what you need is her number . . . "
Anyone who isn't deaf could clearly hear that it is strain. Pretty simple don't need any evidence other than simply listening to the song.
Just got off the phone with David Bowie. It's STRANGE.
wow we've spent almost a year arguing about it, yet i have the CD and it says strain in the strain in the lyrics that comee with it
The strain refers to the strain of age (getting old).Once you start getting a little older you will know exactly what he is referring to.
im singing this in school with my friends
cool or what
haha great thread.
Everyone round me sings 'turn and face the change. changes'
It does my head in. I've always alternated between strain and strange. I think I now opt for strange on the rhyming basis.
um i think its turn and face the strained
I have truly enjoyed this debate! Funny Stuff! I have always said "strange", however, the argument that I am Nomad had is a good one; I didn't think of that! It's definitely not "stranger", that's too many syllables to fit! This and Ziggy Stardust are 2 of my fav songs of all time! David's voice can make me melt!!!
I'M A HORSE!
IM A HORSE!
Sadly, I am too familiar with all of Bowie's songs and covers. The word in Changes is "strain".
Check out BowieWonderWorld.com and see lyrics.
I love David Bowie and I really love this song. It's the second best song on the CD "Hunky Dory". The best for me is "Life On Mars?"!!!!!!!!!:):):)
haha just to wade into this debate...
i always said strain
i just watched an episode of Heroes called 'Turn and Face the Strange' and on the HeroesWiki thing it said this is a line from the Bowie song, which led me here to check if it was true. Just listened to a live version of Changes, and a cover version, they both sound like STRAIN.
I´ve bin a Bowie-fan since -71 and I use to sing "strange". It makes sence.
So I go for the Chizzle-vote and vote for strange.
That makes Strain 1, Strange 1.
This battle must continue a while yet
I couldnt care less about any of this crap, but im usin it for an English project xD
I'M A LION!!
I've always thought it was "strange" but what do I know? Who cares, really--I LOVE this song.
ch-changes turn and face the STRAING
at first i thought it was strain and when i put my ear directly to my speaker i heard a very faint "g" at the end of strain as the CH-CH started.
very split decision here, everyone else listening to the song, put ur ear close and tell me if you hear the ''g'' at the end of strain. strain/strange.. hmm
I vote strange. Rhymes the best with change and makes the most sense.
Years ago, my now wife made me a cup of tea, which so happened to have coffee in as well, only my wife could do this, shes special like that. Anyhow I sat there almost to the end of the cup of tea/coffee and everytime I drank some my brain said it was Tea because I could taste tea then it would say NO its coffee and on it went.
It has just occurred to me that maybe that Bowie being Bowie as created a cup of tea/coffee and sings ch...ch...ch changes, turn and face the strain
and then sings ch... ch... ch... changes turn and face the strange.
Typical Bowie creating a Labyrinth.
I put my ear next to the speaker (had to climb on a la-la-ladder) and n-n-now I c-c-can't hear a th-th-thing. You all have made me howl! If you play it backwards (vinyl only!), I think it sounds like "regnarts eht ecaf dna nruT". D-D-Done deal.
I can't believe no one has mentioned listening to Changes while watching On Golden Pond with Jane and Henry Fonda. The part in question here (strain, strange, stranger, train, et.al.) falls right into place when Henry's character (suffering from Alzheimers) turns around to face Jane (playing his daughter); Henry doesn't recognize her at all. Therefore, it HAS to be "Stranger".
It's turn and face the STRANGE - check the album lyrics or cduniverse.
If its when he faces Jane maybe its "turn and face the Jane"
yeah or maybe its, turn and face loraine, in reference to the morning after we slept together, and in bed he turned and faced me. Maybe hes saying its something we should all experience.
Its strain i have best of bowie
I'M A COCKEREL!
Erm unless you're an American reading this, in which case I'm a ROOSTER!
i'm pretty sure it's "learn to place the blame." no matter how shitty your situation is, you should never take the blame. never.
funny to read the whole thing, then look back at the first and third comments which are so simple, and yet started this huge debate. i think it says strange. someone tally all the different votes and we will decide a year from now. because in the book 1984 it says the truth is whatever people believe it is. even though that idea is meant to be satirical, we will use it. so everyone get online at 4 a.m. mountain time on june 20, 2010, and we will have a party. we will also purge the people who were decided to be wrong.
I think it might be 'turn and face sit trane' referring to jazz saxophone great John Coltrane because bowie sucked at the instrument and now unconciously wants to sexually control the mighty Trane.
Everyone sux. It says "Time to eat chow maine (sic)". I wrote it. I should know.
If you lifeless peeps actually listen to the song itself, you can hear he sez strain, but if you listen carefully he sez a quite ge on the end of strain, so it is strainge (strange)
its not that hard
Bowie was secretly aware of alien plots to release deadly viruses on earth. Therefore it is "turn and face the strain...changes". Look up the movie Andromeda Strain that came out earlier the same year. Bowie, an alien himself, wanted people to passively accept their alien fate. Not sure how earth escaped certain disaster, but now we are all free to argue about song lyrics instead of worrying about aliens.
This song is a reference to Strange Days by the Doors, one of Bowie's favorite song. The whole idea of this song comes from there, according to an a interview on one of Bowie's back up singer published in Rock & Folk. It therefore cannot be anything else than "Strange".
It could be "stain". There's a stain on his pants and he cannot for the life of him remember how it got there.
"Turn and face the strain" refers to straining against the will of the older generation who resist change. The whole song is about society accepting change as well as accepting the change in yourself... At least that's what my cat Scout told me...
Thank you all for several of the most satisfying guffaws I've had the pleasure to loose in months.
I would echo the sentiment of "ahaha wow" on 7/17/08, "A" on 7/30/08, and "oh dear" on 8/20/08 in saying that regardless of what particular word Bowie used in writing the song, what he or his bandmates may or may not have sung at any given point or on any particular recording... no matter what any published biography or internet lyrics site or David Bowie fan page and shrine may confirm or deny... if you enjoy the song, then enjoy it! Sing whatever the hell you want to sing, as long as you're singing with your own real emotion. If you can't sing it without someone else deciding for you how you should feel and the exact words to quote, perhaps you should find another song to which you *can* just rock out and enjoy life?
It's strange. There's no question in my mind.
It's actually "turn and face the lame", which is actually all of the 'affirmations' above.
And for the ones suggesting Bowie would read this... sweet Jesus, I sure hope you get some serious ch-ch-ch-changes.
its not strain/strange/train/lame/cain/insane/macarane or juvinile its bababoooosk
LOL! It's "strain". Honestly, don't depend on the internet for everything, get the cd (or the vinyl like us old peeps have) and read the lyrics.
its strain. the song is about changes and lots of changes are a strain on life. it would be silly for it to be strange and all that other rubbish you keep saying.
It's strange. Just listen.
You guys make way too big a deal about this. It should sound like strange, because of how he sang it, but he says strain. it doesn't matter though because he says strain because it is about him making a comeback and facing the strain in his life. Therefore "look out you rock-n-rollers" and how he talks about past failures in the past verse and CHANGE throughout the song
oh and SpaceOddity, rolling stone says otherwise...
Emme, what are you talking about? What is strange?
Time may change me, but I can't RACE time. Come on, people!!
I'm David mum.
I'm sorry but I just can't get past this now and enjoy the song like I always have before reading all this. Can anyone please contact someone in authority and get a definite resolution to this.
Bowie is a shrieking hag.
fuck u aaaaaalll
You guyz are all wankers, It's strange, read the words to the rest of the song and it leads to that. There was a period when David's Backup singers were singing it wrong at rehearsals for the 78 world tour and he started making fun of it but it's strang, Now go on with your lives and quit quipping over bloody stupid things. PS David and I had spoke about this song on numerous occasions. Watch the ripple change it's course but never leave the stream
dayne is right its strange no strain.
I've listened to this song so many times and even watching the videos of him singing it, also the comical quoted evidence, it is strange! Turn and face the strange, in otherwords move out and face the unknown, that my opinion. But it is obviously face the strange, also I've seen lyrics written wrong before in places and many times people mishear lyrics. Still it's strange.
its strange, nuff said....♥
It is "strange". Check out the lyrics on Bowie's website.
I wish I had a rocket lawn chair...
I am David Bowie and I say it is Turn and face the strain.I also say all you fans of mine out there are cool!
I'd say Bowie is right, but I also think it sounds like turn and chase the train!
I think its really amusing this argument has gone on for more than a year.."pretty soon your going to get older"
BAHAHAHAHA you sorta just made my day.
Just rehearsed this song with my covers band. I sang "strain", for all the reasons above. When we next play this live, do you really think anybody will give a f*#%?
Stop ur petty bickering! It's been a year and a half!!! LOL!!
I can't believe I just read all of that.... I must be really bored.
Check out Opeth - Blackwater Park and get sucked into another world.
Haha,this is fabulous.
I thought maybe it was 'too tired to face the strain'....
ihate you get life itbs been two years
It is not "turn and face the stain", as this was a full 17 years before the Bill Clinton incident.
You fucking time vampires just wasted 20 minutes of my life that I'll never get back. The song is fucking good! Who gives a fuck about one word? That said, I think the evidence pretty strongly favors "strange"...if I were David Bowie I'd give two seperate interviews and "clarify" the lyric as "strange" in one and "strain" in the other just to fuck with people. Jesus, I'm gunna try to forget about what I've seen here tonight.
Triffic, I've just realized that it is supposed to be 'strange' and 'race time' at a time of life when I'm so old I might as well not bother and just go la la la like my gran always did. I blame Bowie and he ought to clarify this - in big print - now he's as old as Terry Wogan and eligible for a bus pass. He should write one about stairlifts and step-in baths for his loyal fans, we've been singing it wrong since before they invented mobile phones.
this song makes me far to happy!!!!
I seriously laughed my ass off the entire time I read this thread. I'm laughing still as I write this. You internet ragers are truly something else. I'm going to cast my vote with no explanation whatsoever. "strange"
Cheers to everyone and keep this spirit alive! Please try not to call each other names, you're just degrading yourself, since no one cares what they're called on the internet.
oh yeah and Iona, Bowie is 9 years younger then Wogan, and has been since he was born... just a thought.
You are all quite wrong. I just had lunch with David Bowie and he told me that it is actually:
"TURD FLUSHED DOWN THE DRAIN"
Bowie is a poet. Change and strange rhyme. Case closed.
I bet Bowie doesnt even know which word it is anymore.
David Bowie to David Bowie: Bowie I just listened to that song again and I believe whole heartedly that I sang "strange".
David Bowie to David Bowie: Bowie my good man I believe you're right.
You are all wrong. I have the original lyrics by David Bowie and it is "Turn and face the "stranger" changes
The Song Makes Me Feel Free To Change! And Be Me! An Excellent Song! Thanks for giving my emotions back!
Change-Makes Me Feel ALive! Open To New Ideas and growth!
I still don't know that I was late before,
and my time was running while a million deaf end peeps were
Every time I thought I got it made
It seemed the taste was hot so sweet,
So I turd myself to makepeace
Butt I never caught the rim
How the smother was seen as faker
How much two arses take that test
Ch ch ch ch ch changes and face thes train
J J Janes says
Don't want to be a rich Erman
Ch ch ch ch Urn and face the same Ch chc changes
Just gonna have two bees a different, man
Time may change me
but I can't change. Time.
Suppose it is "turn and face the strain" : what does it mean??
Betta get me one a dem hotdogs.
He's giving instructions for fixing a leaky tub:
"Turn and glaze the drain..."
Just gotta nu massage from the action man, and he says this strange discussion is a strain in the neck region...
@ everyone at the top:
IT'S *~*STRANGE*~*!!!! You can definitely hear the "g" sound. and there is NOT an "r" sound at the end either, so it's not stranger either.
It's turn and face the TRAIN. Geez guys.
Actually, I used to think it was "strange," but if Jemaine says it's "strain" it has to be "strain" because nobody knows more about David Bowie than the Flight of the Conchords who are even better.
Wow! what a deep thread lol, Well I always thought it was "STRAIN" and still think it's "STRAIN" as I have listened to "Changes - David Bowie" about 5 times in the past 20 minutes and it is DEFINITELY "STRAIN" because it is a STRAIN in growing older and changing, it is not "Turn and face the strange ... Ch Ch Changes" as that is just ridiculous and people are only thinking it is strange as you hear the "ch" sound at the end of "STRAIN". As for "Stranger" that is even more ridiculous as there is not "r" sound. as for the "Stain" and "Train" theories they can all go take a hike because they are way off!!
it's "turn and face the strange" straight from the horses mouth
my fsvorites been the "Churn your face in spain" one
Stranger... Any songwriters out there would understand the play on phonics within songwriting... And lyrically would make sense..as in changed so much you don't recognise yourself...
Wow. Just stumbled in here to clarify some other lines of the lyrics i realized i never had been sure of. I always thought it was "strange fascinations are telling me…." As for the long, long discussion above, i never had any doubt that it was "strange" and never even considered it could be "strain."
Unbelievably, one thing i don't think anyone has mentioned yet is that it's obvious (to me, anyways) that, musically, the lines run together, so the whole line is actually, "Turn and face the strange ch-ch-changes." Looking at it that way, it can't possibly be "strain."
420 bowie was talking about facing the strain of weed... stream, floating come one its all about weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed
i luv david bowie
I have the original vinyl and the CD. I have the lyrics booklet. It is "turn and face the strain". I am OLD. I know what I am talking about. Do not argue with my wisdom. Some of you could do with spelling and grammar lessons too. I am sure David would be pleased to advise you 'though the strain may be too much for him these days. Peace and love.
"Turn to take the train Ch- Ch- Ch- Ch- Changes" clearly he is looking for change in his pocket to take the train, it just makes sense
omg guys are u seriously that retarted its just a fuckin song sing it the way u want instead of arguing jeeze everyone has their own opinion but their is lots of people that dnt really give a fuck!!
what eva u think the lyrics are keep it to urself no one is really agreeing here so shut up ur hurting my head i can't think anymore its goin to explode
love ya's xo
It is in fact "turn and face the strange." I bought a music book made by a company that made albums for him and it says strange.
not sure what you're all going on about. why wouldn't strain make sense? if you're over 30 you would know that a lot of thing in life pose a strain.Getting older, trying to make a difference, etc. As to what is written on lyric pages and song books, there are a lot of misprints in them so do place your faith in that.
This thread has me laughing so hard I almost peed in my pants. I always thought it was "strange" but does it really matter? All I can say is that I was listening to the song in my dorm room at college in June of 1973 as I was getting ready to graduate, so if you hear it in a movie, say, three or four years from now, you can tell your friends you heard it here first!
every one i don't know what it is and also they delay strain till they say ch-ch-changes
Hahahaha do you guys realise that this argument has been going on for over 2 years!?
I read the first 20 or so comments then thought id scroll down till the whinging stopped. I ended up having to scroll right to the bottom and SURPRISE you are all still arguing about it haha it made me laugh :D
I'll just jump on the band wagon here though. I always thought it was strange. One of the more obvious reasons for that is that it rhymes with change! Also "strange fascination" and I think its a complete sentence as in "Turn and face the strange changes" not "Turn and face the strain, changes" I dunno, it just flows better.
People behind "strain" are making some good points though.
Either way, its not worth arguing about over the world wide web :P
Rock and Roller, my learned friend, I concur, its "strange" not "strain". It's about growing up... turn around and confront the stuff you are thus far unfamiliar with, ie turn and face the strange...
I didn't read all the comments either. but those that I did read quite amusing.
That having been said, Thank you very much "bowie" for having posted these lyrics. Much appreciated, it's a beautiful song.
Either way, this song was playing when Judy let me go where I had never been before. I have always loved the song since, and it took 34 years for me to get curious enough to see what the lyrics actual (?????) are.
"turn and face the stranger ch ch ch ch changes" it's clear reference to both strain and strange, telling us to big up even to the point when changes get so far out they're stranger than ever, and possibly not even real. He says earlier he's a faker but too fast to be tested out. Are the changes real? or a strange strain dramatised by a fake?
What a great thread. My arbitrary vote is on strain.
I can't even be bothered to read all these comments any more.
It's strain 100%
If you don't understand "turn and face the strain" as a sentence you need to re-learn English.
Although I'm going to come down on the side of "strange" (I suspect the quality of your copy of the music has something to do with your choice; I hear a "G" sound at the end of a drawn-out "strane," all but mixed-in with the "ch" in "Changes") may I suggest that Bowie would laugh to read this thread?
Like all great art, it's not only what the artist expresses, but how the observer interprets it, and clearly many of us interpret this song in different ways.
However, "face the strain. Changes" and "face the strange changes" are not all that different in meaning.
Next question: In "Purple Haze," does Hendrix sing. "'Scuse me while I kiss the sky," or "'Scuse me, while I kiss this guy?"
Who Cares What It Is?
Just Enjoy The Song And The Genius Of Bowie! :)
wow can't believe this argument has gone on for TWO YEARS! Come on people any .com source is NOT RELIABLE and btw sing it whatever way you want or email bowie himself and settle it cause really..... TWO YEARS!
yea, def. strain.
Uh, It's "turn and face Lestrange" as in Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter. Bowie was a massive fan at the time. I should know, I'm his pet frog. Ribbit.
....either way, david bowie is god
ITS STRANGE...YOU CAN HEAR THE SOFT 'G' SOUND BETWEEN THE CH-CH-CH-'S
and David is proclaiming Christ's message: Repent!
It always sounded like "strain" to me, but it would be kind of cool if it was "stranger" and "strange" would make sense, too.
Now isn't it
"Pretty soon now you're gonna get older"
"Pretty soon you're gonna get a little older"?
The funny thing is, Bowie has the talent to take a mouthful of words and make them sound as smooth as something much simpler, and it really gives him a freedom of expression. A great song n omatter the lyric details...
Then the booklet is wrong. It IS "STRANGE". If not, then BOWIE was wrong, or under it.
S T R A N G E
actually, there is an alternance of strain and strange that make the song. For Bowie, facing the strain was like facing the strange -actually, maybe it is still so, like for most of us-. Also, don't forget he was under drugs when he wrote this, and maybe when he sang this, so... who cares !
ANYWAY, IT'S MOSTLY "strange", DARLINGS...
Ok, guys, there is another one :
I wish from times to times, Bowie sang :
CH-CH-CH-CH-CHANCE IS ! instead of "CHANGES".
And also, it's not "I can't trace time" BUT "I CAN TRACE TIME" !!!!
That's great, I love this song.
Question of Culture. I mean Your parents taught You to face the strain, then You cannot hear You have to face the strange, in no effort, other than opening Your ownself. This is what the guy at the type-machine did. He thought Bowie had just wrote it wrong, and changed "Strange" into "Strain". And this mistake is still here, but "WE CAN TRACE TIME".
Anyway, brothers, how can You seriously think it is "strain" ?!?
It is so obviously "Strange".
Just listen to it !
This feed is good, because I have good reasons to keep playing the song.
I turn and face the strange
and I can trace down
You scary monsters ! Super-creeps !
You've heard about having to "face the music"...'Strain' is an old word for a snippet of music. My take is that to "face the strain" is to face the music, ie...take responsibility for your life and decisions.
I'm just glad I'm not this Analytical...or Anal..... :v)
It's Strain, as in Strained Peas and all that......
its Strain, not strange
turnip less the sage play seeds
its strain, you FOOLS
it's STRANGE. how is it not obvious?!
you are a couple of idiots,all you have too do is look at the album:turn and face the strain !!! David should know ,dont you think,and please stop looking for logic in hes lyrics,because then you are just too dum to listen to any Bowie song !!!!!!!!!!!!!
If Mr. Bowie is out there, I would like to ask him if he had read Nietzsche's "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" when he wrote "Changes". It hear the lyrics as a beautiful interpretation of Nietzsche's works.
Wow, music was a little different back then. I mean, it had such a laid back "production ethic" you might say. That really wasn't very clean compared with professionally produced stuff I hear now. Not really my thing, though it has that nice catchy refrain. And of course, there's the genuine feeling of artistic integrity in it.
I can't seem to find the lyrics to that Bowie song about changes. Can anyone here help me out with this one? Any version that is even close would be fine...
At least he got "but I can't trace time" correct. People often mis sing "but I can't change time". Anyway, it's "turn and face the drain", refering to life being washed away, I met Bowie in Tesco's yesterday, and he told me that himself
having just listened to the song backwards, it says Paul is dead.
In the official music for this song, it says "stranger." however, if you pan your recording to one speaker, you can isolate the voice that sings it and they leave off the "er". it is clearly not strain.
And the verdict is in!! After almost three years of watching this ridiculous debate, I have tallied the votes and I am here to advise you of the winner. STRANGE wins with a vote of 54! STRAIN was a close second with an even 50. STRANGER was a distant third with 10 votes. However, all other combinations such as train, chow mein, stain and Lorraine, combined made 17 votes.
We want to thank all who came out to vote, Now please, go get a life.
PS The pole is now closed no other votes will be accepted at this time.
Check out the book BROKEN OPEN by Elizabeth Lesser on Google Books. She talks about the problems of growing older, using her confusion over the lyrics of "Changes" to make her point. For 30 years she thought it was "changes" until she read the album lyrics. Of course, lyrics can change. (See: BEP's "Let's Get Retarded")
all this crap about a bowie lyric when you should all be listening to Robert Johnson
album:"hunky dory" I bought it, the lyrics are inside and it's TURN AND FACE THE STRAIN !!!!!!!!!!
He clearly says Spain. Trust me I´ve got the original LP in Spanish
omg you are all so fucking annoying who cares it sounds good both ways you all are fucking dumb fucks
and the song he did with lennon wasn't Dame fucking ass it's Fame fucking losers
My favourite part of this was the trolls. :)
It is freakingly wierd you guy are argueing over this!!!
Just did an office poll. Got 1 vote for Strain, 3 for Strange and 12 votes for "Who's David Bowie?"
sorry to interrupt, but ... people who cares !!! what i am trying to say is isn't this one of the best song ever ??!! Because no matter if it's strain, strange, or even stranger ... you can still get good meaning out of the song :D so get a life ... seriously.
but i'm definite that if Bowie came across this ... he would really be rolling on the floor laughing his arse off :DDDDD
I have read in the booklet "strain" BUT I still sing it strange, and even tattooed it on my body as strange because I have a childhood memory of singing it with my grandfather and we sang it Strange, so really, everyone, stop with the arguing and insulting, it's pointless and mean.
NO ONE CARES!
It's, "Turd, your face is strange!"
I just checked with Shelly Marsh from South Park Colorado. She said, emphatically, it is "Turd, your face is strange!" When I asked her about Major Tom, you know, if she knew Major Tom's a junkie. She just yelled, "Leave me alone, turd!"
It is, "Turd, your face is strange." I should know. David Bowie is my boyfriend and we wrote that song together. The song is about my turd-of-a-brother, Stan. He is SO STRANGE.
Shelly, I've told you before, I am not your boyfriend. I chose to work with you on that song because you had something substantial to contribute. Most specifically, the line "Turd, your face is strange." Now, I wish I would have gone with my original idea (as I still sometimes sing it), "Burn the lace, it's plain, ch-ch-change it."
God you guys, I can't believe you're still fighting about this. You wrote a great song together and it has CHANGED a lot of people's lives. You should be happy. Grow up Shelly, you're such a douche! Mr. Jones, I apologize for my sister's behavior. Sometimes, she has a hard time letting go. P.S. I love you. And that's not gay, I'm just a little bi-curious.
"trying to face the strange changes"
Still don't know what I was painting for
But my crime was being wild
On pillion riding the streets
Just when I thought that I had got it made
I met that copper on his beat
Then he turned to me and chased me
As I rode past all the scummy pimps
A pregnant mother was in the bakers
When I crashed into the sunblest
ch ch ch ch changes
(Learn to race again)
ch ch changes
Don't wanna be a prisoner man
ch ch ch ch changes
(Learn to race again)
ch ch changes
First, it's "Change", not trace. You can "trace" time. What you can't do is change it. We are all subject to the effects of time ("Time may change me"). You can't change time ("but I can't change time") because time will pass and work it's changes no matter what you do. And for god's sake, It's turn and face the "STRAIN". It's about the existential angst of being in transition. Both young and old must turn from the past and face the "strain" of the unknown future.
damn. one word change caused all this commotion? Get lives people. Its just a damn song. and one word.
I don't hear what you people are hearing. I SWEAR he's singing, "Churn and pace yer brains..."
It's strange. I'm listenin to the song right now =)
I've always thought it was strain because strain is similar to stress, and when you are stressed it's usually as a result of bottling things up, not confronting the thing that is causing you stress. Sometimes we even walk away and ignore these stresses, or even run away. But by turning to face them and confront them, we can change things. By turning to face the strain we can makes changes, and become less stressed. Also, when you think about it, music artists have to move with the times and come up with new material if they are going to keep themselves popular. The genius's like Bowie, and Neil Young continually reinvent themselves and experiment and create new works. But this having to reinvent yourself all the time I am sure could be a strain. There is pressure to write good songs, even though it may be what they were born to do and they love it, there is still pressure or a strain to meet the demand of their public. Anyway, that's my take on it.
...also, when you think about it, making a change can be a strain because some people can't face change. Change means "variation" or "alteration" which is what Bowie is singing about (if indeed he is singing about changing his musical or personal direction in life). It can be a strain to make such changes.
There should be no doubt about that it says "STRAIN", it says so in the Hunky Dory-booklet and it is to be found many places on the internet.
I had a great laugh reading all the posts
I thought it was "turn and face the strength".. i guess i really got it wrong! lol
It's 'strange' - each chorus starts with a sentence, then there's a 'beat' before going into a different verse I guess you'd call it. Listen closely to the band sing the chorus and you can hear them say 'strange' as Bowe starts right at the end with 'ch-ch...'.
(Turn and face the strange)
Don't tell t hem to grow up and out of it.
(Turn and face the strange)
Where's your shame?
You've left us up to our necks in it.
Time may change me,
But you can't trace time.
This may be a better way to look at it - sing it with the punctuation and it's no doubt in my mind how it goes, but what the fuck do I know lol?
Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes (Turn and face the strange) Ch-ch-Changes, don't want to be a richer man.
Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes (Turn and face the strange) Ch-ch-Changes, just gonna have to be a different man.
Time may change me, but I can't trace time.
No, it is obviously "turn and face Mark Twain." Everybody knows that Mark Twain and David Bowie were very close and wrote several songs together. If you took the time to listen to the song you would realize this. I have read several biographies about Bowie and his relationship with Twain is referenced multiple times.
time may change me but I cant CHANGE time
It's Strain as he's singing it about me.
Good god! No, no, NO!
The title of the song is NOT "Changes" it's "Chains"...... "Turn and face the Chains"..... Duh! .........
It's about the chains of life that strain when we try to catch trains with no change in our pocket, which is strange.
Originally written by Mark Twain.
I think that sums it up.
Wow! One hell of an argument going on here.
Bowie sings Strain or Strange, it's not 100% clear as the Ch-Ch overlaps.
Butterfly Boucher sung STRANGE on the cover for Shrek 2.
Lindsay Lohan sings Strain quite clearly (however the youtube vid with lyrics shows it as CHANGE).
Fact is, nobody knows. Sing whatever you want, you wont get caught out. It makes no difference really does it?
Everyone wish for the Goblin King to appear and we'll ask him for certain.
It's my song.... and its:
Turn and face the strange!
Time may change me, but i can't trace time!
It's strain. But since strain is a response to stress, it really doesn't make sense. Turn and face the stress, I think, is what makes the most sense. Actually, I take that back, it would make just as much sense as saying "so I turn myself to face me" as it would to say "turn and ace the strain." Never know never know-
this has got to be the most random popular, longest running thread on this site. and we all have one thing in common, we like this song and cant understand some parts of it! and only people like us will discover and be surprisingly entertained by this thread. anyway, my version goes like,
ch ch changes, gotta face the strange chchchanges..
time may change me, but I cant change time. :))
This is funny as hell; I come hear to double-check on some of the lyrics for this song, and discover a discussion thread that has been going on for very nearly 3 years!
That has got to be some kind of record; if Bowie has seen this lately he must take some pleasure in knowing that one of his songs is worth discussing for 3 years straight...
"We poets do crave our immortality, after all..."
Lt. Harry 'Breaker' Morant, 'Breaker Morant', 1980
I'm an armadillo
How about just choosing whatever you prefer? I strain. Makes it a bit eastern philosophy-ish.
How about just choosing whatever you prefer? I prefer strain. Makes it a bit eastern philosophy-ish.
I'm leaving this site more confused than ever. agggghhh
listen to it on youtube. then listen to it really slowly. u will probably notice a change if u listen to it really slowly.
it's strain. it only sounds like "strange" because of how quickly they say face the strain then ch-ch-ch-changes. idiots.
it's strain. it only sounds like "strange" because of how quickly they say face the strain then ch-ch-ch-changes. idiots. just accept it.
also it relates to problems we had in the past and they were still having at the time that it came out.
It's not the "G" you hear after strain. Your hearing th "CH" in changes. It's STRAIN because the literal meaning of the song is about a changing river, the sybolic/metaphoric is comparing where a river use to be to the changes of life as we get older. No joke Bowie says this in an interview with, unless he doesn't know about the songs he wrote?
I always thought it was "Damn...yo face is strange...ch-ch-change it."
Listen to the Live Album David Bowie Live in Santa Monica '72. You will clearly hear STRAIN.
It can be strange to go through changes, as well as as a strain. Take from that what you will.
It can be strange to go through changes, as well as a strain. Take from that what you will.
i reckon its the 'tsch' from the drummer that makes it sound like 'strange'..listen to it to see what i mean..the beat lands on the end of 'strain'
Wow. How amazing is it that this argument has lasted over three years?
change singer face
My perception is 'Turn and face the AIDS." Especially all the young dudes. It's common sense.
it clearly sounds "strain", followed by ch-ch-changes. that make it sound like strange
You guys are stupid! You can clearly hear him singing "turn and face the ELEPHANT" not "strain", "strange", "Mark Twain", "stranger", or any of that crap!
"Turn your face deranged" !
I always sung it as "strain", but when I NOW listen carefully, he sings "strain" AND THEN puts a "G" carefully and masterfully in there. Lovely play on words :)
I was 13 years old when I bought Hunky Dory two days after it was released, yes aren't I old?. I still have the original vinyl album and play it a few times a year because it sounds as fresh today as it did when I was blown away by it back then. The lyric was strain then and it's still strain now. Bowie was such a good singer that the vocal tracks on that album were all done in one or two takes - one of the reasons it sounds so dynamic. Ken Scott's production was awesome.
But, that said, It's the wonderful chord progressions and piano chops that make the song and the album. Rick Wakeman played the Bowie-created piano parts to perfection.
Interesting that printed "lyrics" are used to interpret the singer's words in a song. Printed lyric sheets are not always accurate. For example: on the Rolling Stones "Goat's Head Soup" cd, the printed lyrics use the word "starbucker." But the singer (Mick) clearly sings it with an "f" letter (replacing the "b") which shows that printed lyrics are not always trustworthy. Carry on!
Absolutely agree Cavanaugh. There are many examples of this. Talking Heads were a great example of it, David Byrne messed with his own lyrics so many times - I couldn't begin to list them here.
This is all very interesting but irrelavent, here's why... On both the lyric sheet provided with the original vynil album and the lyric insert provided with the later CD, the "Turn and face the...." phrase is not written. In both instances it reads..
Ch ch ch ch changes
Ch ch changes
The discussed phrase is not even included in the print. This is fact and is non - arguable.
Later bootlegs and copies may have included it and, of course, it's all over the internet in various forms. By the way, there is no "Live in Santa Monica" album "from '72". This is Rick's idea of irony. He's right about strain though.
No no no! You're wrong mate, the Santa Monica album was a bootleg and wasn't legally available 'til 1994. I bought an illegal bootleg of it at Knebworth festival in 1978 and some fucker swiped it later that day! Not only that, the headline act - Genesis - were shite and so were Devo. Tom Petty was great though. Anyway, back to the subject in hand....Rick is right - they sang "strain" ( of course ).
This whole thread is amusing as hell lmao. Music is interpretive.
Anyhow, the lyrics are:
'shred and taste the brain'
since we all know the entire song is about zombies. Changes as in turning into one. D'oh.
I like strawberries.
I'm wondering if that twat who stole my Bowie album is still alive or died of some very slow, excruciatingly painful, wasting disease. One can only live in hope.......
i definatly think that its, "burn and face the pain." its obvious. God, you guys are all retarded idiots.... I have heard this song like a whole 3 times! I would fricking know! And if its not, "burn and face the pain", then i totally agree with icky thump on this, he know what the heck hes talking about!!! NICE!
you guys are all retarded. he clears say, "learn to rape the crane"
I'm pretty sure it's turn and face the strange. Because he's calling said changes strange.
I turned it up really loud and put my ear up to the speaker and now i am deaf so it doesn't matter if it is strain or strange because i can't hear. I am considering litigation against Bowie.
Yes, it's official, I am retarded. I have a rare condition related to Autism, which means I have the mathematic capability of a 4 year old and am useless in the company of other human beings. There is, however, one beneficial side-effect, which is an encylopedic knowledge of music. I remember, note perfect, every song I've ever heard in my entire life, and lyric-perfect too. On hearing a song I can work it out, usually, on my guitar and play and sing it within 4 minutes. Then i remember it forever. I know seven versions of Bowie's 'Changes' and they all go 'turn and face the strain'.
I turned it up really loud, played it backwards and put my ear to the speaker. It just played backwards, that's all.
[warm 'impermanence'] leads me to relate 'strain' to suffering and understanding it. The ripples change yet cannot escape the stream. Impermanence is a river that runs through life not a rock that stands in the way. [Strange fascination] also leads to 'strain' as David is a wordsmith & it would be overly repetitive in chorus and profound line. Strain indicates effort which is necessary when seeking change. Lastly, 'strange' is just too easy.
*~*~*~ omg guyz its obz train, lyk he is guna cach de train he is american so he cachz the subawai all the tyme hehe u r rong ~*~*~*
David Jones, American? I think not young lady. He's a cockney and proud of it. ....niartS, sorry, still listening to it backwards.
wow this has been priceless lmfao love it keep up the great debate lol
The correct answer is "Yearn to make the stain"
Growing up I always thought it was 'Turn and face the strange changes"
David never sang "turn and face the ______ Ch Ch changes" all at the same time.
It's multi tracked and the track with "Turn and face the strange" was sung at a different time and on a different track than "ch ch changes" and "ch ch changes" overlaps "strange".
So the argument that "it sounds like strange because the next word is "ch" does not hold water because it's not the next word. It's happens at the same time.
My advice is to get a good stereo and listen again.
Tre', Professional recording engineer.
Its turn and face the Drain like right after you use the can you turn and face the drain
absolutely correct Tre', the lyrics do overlap because they were multi - tracked. "turn and face the strain...""ch ch changes..." in fact!
most people wouldn't have heard a hi - fidelity recording of the song, only mp3 or some other compressed format. a trained purist with superb equipment ( such as myself ) can distinctly hear each lyric part, despite the overlap. i would suggest the same as you did, get some serious hi-fi equipment, but not everyone has a few grand to spare.
I've known bits and pieces of this song from before I can remember but it wasn't until recently that I found this again. Love it. Thanks for posting.
I just wanted to get in on this post. Go Tigers!
Hey, major tom reporting in.
Just wanted to say im very amused by this conversation, could only get half way before feeling the need to post.
Contrary to popular belief, he actually said nothing, your all just subconsciously placing the words you want in that empty slot between face the and Ch Ch Changes.
The song is about changes people...
"Turn and face the strange changes!"
End of story...
Now don't be silly, Chris. You know it's not as simple as that. Get rid of that crappy mp3 player and listen to it properly. You'll find that it's 'strain'. The track I find this most clearly on is the live version on 'David Live' where the backing part is only sung by the backing singers. This makes it easy because Bowie only sings 'ch ch changes'. It's an excellent album, by the way, recorded live at The Tower, Philadelphia in about 1975.
I'd never heard of the Lennon connection, but now it all makes sense. Sometimes it clearly sounds like "strain" and other times it clearly sounds like "strange." But if you play them backwards, all the versions say the same thing: "Paul is dead."
way-aye man, ya divvant na what ya takkin aboot! if paul was dead i wouldnt've been able to rip him off for millions of poonds!
...eheheh...today is my birthday and...ch ch ch changes!!!...ooops,I don't remember if the original version is with strain or strange and 3 or 5 ch ch ch?!?anyone?
happy birthday! All versions by Bowie are with strain. there are 4 ch's before changes in the first part, and 2 ch's in the second part, of every chorus...
Never mind the strain/strange debate, why has no one commented on the incorrect "Strange fascination, fascinating me". It's "Strange fascination, fascinate me". So there!
Of course it's "strange" not "strain". The "'tsch' from the drummer makes it sound like 'strange'", my @rse.
This song isnt a beatles rip off. The reason it sounds like the beatles is because John Lennon was originally the back up singer on this song. David Bowie had many different people play with him through out time. He does under pressure with queen as well. It's a good song. not a rip off people
Actually Bowie, Ronson and a few others who contributed to the music on the album did all the vocals. Lennon was nowhere to be seen. It sounds fuck-all like the Beatles. It's strain.
In 1971, when Bowie was writing and recording this song at Trident studios, Lennon was writing and recording the 'Imagine' album. A million miles away, wouldn't you agree?
It doesn't sound like the Beatles, but it has Lennon's confidence, a huge Beatles influence, some songs just come out like that.
It's turn and face the "strange", as in strange poon. Strange is always the best.
after reading this debate the following night I had a dream and Bowie came to me and told me its "Strange people who will never know what I'm singing" we just dont hear the rest of the line as he put the next chorus line over it trying to be all arty farty and he sung it so high that only dogs can hear it, maybe we need to ask a dog
i just asked my dog, Zowie, and he said "don't fuckin' ask me, i'm just a dog er... woof"
Learn to take the train . . . .
Yearn to clean the drain . . .
Burn your face with flames . . . .
Ferns can harm your brain . . . .
. . . . Watch the river change in size but never leave the stream of one permananet size . . . .
. . . . Crime may change me, but I can't face time
It says strain on the album liner where the lyrics appear
It says "Turn right down the Drain".
this thread is very funny.
bowie is 65 today.
happiest of birthday greetings. warmest wishes for your future, and thanks for the tunes.
Hi, I like the song of time to change
when ever I wacth the BRADY BUNCH
and when they sang time to change I would always sing to it.
new music just doesn't get as good as this
Hahaha!! This is hilarious! Well done everybody! Sometimes I say strain and sometimes strange.. ;)
@those you think the word is "strange".....You probably also think CCR is singing "There's a bathroom on the right" :|
bowie used to cut phrases and words from random newspapers and magazines, throw them up in the air and then sit and arrange them into lyrics .. it could be strange but its not
I just read all of this and guys im sorry to cut in but its turn and face the strange. I used to always sing it as strain but after reading his bandmates mag comment about how he sang it wrong and how Dave then Dave had his joke with them from then on me and my sister who has completed at the highest level her university course on music technology we took the song appear so u could hear all the different vocals and it is 100% clear he says strange... try it yourself <3
Ps. Ta guys for ruining the song foreveryone ;)
We always did the backing vocal the way ol ziggy said. ya know, strange. Strain i guess would be more poetic and all that rubbish. Americans are quite naive to manipulation, a bloody four years for a word no less
Agreed from above. The reason it comes across as "strange" vs "strain", is because of the "ch" sound in the following ch-ch-ch-changes. The lyric strain is correct.
My brain is strained.
Quite a few of you suffer from Chronic Lyricosis.
Sophia Loren told Bono that E.C loves Robert Johnson, but THANK YOU Warren Peace who should have just sang STRANGE, but happily didn't, else there'd be nothing more entertaining than LMFAO to argue on about. We believe in you...Soon you'll grow...Isn't it And these children that you shit on...Not the censored spit on...BOWIE SHOULD READ THIS-Whatta great conversation! hallo db
I always thought it was "Time may change me, but I can't CHANGE time"
Many good alternatives indeed, but what he really sings is "Turningface- this train changes" and it is about the train being re-assigned a new locomotive after reaching the Turningface station. Duh.
you guys should listen to the people who know what their talking about, for instance, i see davids brother has commented, im pretty sure he knows what hes talking about.
harri, they haven't ruined the song, you and your sister have. you're only jealous because you didn't do the degree. bowiefreak, yeah, on the 'David Live' album he sang 'shit on' not 'spit on'. chris, you are absolutely correct, it's strain. there.
David's brother!! Well, I am David's left hemisphere. So I REALLY know what I'm on about.
It's definitely "burn and scrape the stain".
He's talking about the difficulty of shifting stubborn food residue from cooking pans.
Mmmm, that sounds more like after a night out in Bradford, followed by a Vindaloo....
It is strange not strain, strange rhymes with change. This makes the most sense from a musical aspect.
The song is about not being able to see yourself as others see you. "I" can never see "I". Plus it's about being young and affirming being young. Praise the Lord, Bowie still helps keep us young, with this song. Oh and of course it's "face the strain" - kind of like "take the strain". What would "face the strange" mean, unless you were off your face on unknown drugs?
Stop trying to explain song lyrics, guys. Great songs have different meanings to different people.
LOL! This argument started more than FOUR YEARS AGO! Oh and just for the record, I am entirely sure that the lyrics are meant to be saying STRANGER, because I listened to this song many times on my iPod and the backing singers always dragged it on to say STRANGER even though Bowie did not.
Forgetting the entire argument that I had to scroll through, this song is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So what's the consensus - is it " turn and face the strain" or "strange" or "stain" or "stranger"? I swear i hear Ziggy pronounce clearly "churnin' space refrain, Ga ga ga gauges".
Chris was the only person that is correct here. The line is "Turn and face the strange changes." There is no ch..ch.. At all in the line. Don't trust what you think you hear on an mp3 because at best you're only getting 20 percent of the information of a cd let alone vinyl, and unless you have a really high end turntable you're only getting a fraction of the information off the Lp. I do admire you all for keeping this going for over 3 years.
It's potato. It clearly says potato. Now stop.
GD: 20%? Really? That's amazing. I know MP3 is a lossy compression algorithm, but I didn't know that even at its best, only 20% of the information from the original is encoded.
Is that figure unaffected by the bit rate, the choice of encoder, and the complexity of the incoming signal?
I eat vinyl for breakfast and it taste like strange to me
When I'm married to Bowie, I'll ask him and let you all know whether it's 'Strain' or 'Strange' or 'Potato', or whatever. Until then, just chill. :)
"Turn turn from Hope and Change,
He's got us up to our necks in shit
Clearly he's singing about Obama. There...that'll keep this thread going for a few more months.
Love the length of time this goes on. I know it is ground control to major tim . If that helps
Listen properly and you will find that it is indeed: Turn and face the hobbit
ha ha ha - this has been going on for 4 years!
The lyric is "hang your head in shame" because Bowie knew that decades later, lame-o's would be arguing over it instead of doing something worthwhile like just enjoying it.
I woke up obscenely early today and spent half an hour reading a four-year-long (so far) debate on the lyrics of Changes. Thank you all. For my part, I've always thought it was "turn and face the strange," but I'm no longer certain.
Like Beth I had a good laugh reading this entire sordid history. I never considered that he was singing anything but "strain" but I always took that as meaning music, as in "face the music", as in "you're changing, you're getting older, deal with it." After this discussion I'm pretty convinced it's "strange."
Its turn and face the stranger I have the fucking songbook faggots
Fuck off it's turn and face the Cane
I have the cd and on the lyrics with the cd says
(Turn and face the strange)
Don't tell them to grow up and out of it
(Turn and face the strange)
Where's your shame
You've left us up to our necks in it
Time may change me
But you can't trace time
Thats just one of the verses from the cd Hope this helps :)
Can't someone just phone his agent and get them to ask him? If you can't be arsed doing this, just know.. it's definitely STRAIN!!
don't call his agent Mosh. He is sleeping. Bowie as well. Men that age like a kip. Even if you asked them they would not remember.
Poetry gets it's own intrepretation according to the design of each time.
The poet himself changes the rhyme if given a sign.
I have three ORIGINAL albums, youngsters...and it's what he, (Bowie), initially penned: straing
To settle this once and for all I was there when Bowie wrote this!
The song wasn't originally called "Changes", it was "Chain-Jizz". The song is actually about David's love of auto-erotic strangulation using a dog's choke chain.
So yes, the line is turn and face the strain (the strain on his windpipe).
I toured with Bowie as a roadie in the 80s. It's STRAIN. I have a hand-written cheat-sheet on eBay to prove it. It's facing the "strain" of life - the changes in life, blah blah blah... .STRAIN. Not "Strange" not "Stranger". Also it's "Time may change me... but I can't CHANGE TIME" The title is "Changes" -it's about changes. You can't change history... the passage of time.. etc. GET IT? Where "Trace Time" came from I have no idea but it is WRONG WRONG WRONG.
its strain because it makes more sense
Ha ha ha he he he
Dumb cunts. The word is STRANGE. Because that's what things become if you make a change. Suck it!
It's both I reckon. I'm definitely in the strange gang. Strange and change rhyme ffs
The lyrics ARE:"TURN AND FACE THE STRANGE." Here's a little history about the song: The lyrics focused on the compulsive nature of artistic reinvention ("Strange fascination, fascinating me / Changes are taking the pace I'm going through") and distancing oneself from the rock mainstream ("Look out, you rock 'n' rollers").
(Turn and face the strain)
Don't want to be a richer man
Oh my....this is truly unbelievable !
Hey! Mr Hey. You only go to prove that you are the ladies genitalia with lesser intelligence by your use of unneccessary profanity. We could all call each other childish, naughty school-boy, names but choose not to. Either way the lyric was 'strain' when it was written and is still 'strain' to this day. BloughMee is 100% accurate, I was there on a tour with him in the 80's. If I revealed my real name, he would remember me and the fun we had. Unless all that coke has taken it's toll, of course.
Who cares whether it's "strain" or "strange". Can't we all just agree that this is a spectacular song without calling each other terrible names and insulting each other? It's very sad to think that we can all be torn apart by something like this.
we do. these things have to be correct. i doubt if people will be debating the lyrics of bowie's latest offering, the first for a decade,called 'where are we now' in 40 years' time. as good as it is, it will never be the classic "spectacular" song that 'changes' is.
how the feck can you mistake.. strange for strain. turn and face the strange.. it is.. not effin strain.
It's STRANGE. Evidence: 1) You can hear the "ge" sound (barely), but it is there, and it is distinct from the "ch" initial sound of the following word. 2) The quote from bandmate above where Bowie himself (supposedly) says it is indeed "strange" not "strain" 3) Bowie uses the word "strange" later in the song and 4) "strange" goes with the following lyric "changes" as in "strange changes"; strange also makes sense on its own, which I am sure Bowie was aware of. Artists like to play with words, you see.
It's strange. my mommy told me so. She is smart so shut up and listen!!!
Huh? Oh it's strange so listen for gosh sake yo! :0 peace out
Wow- I've always thought this song was by the Beatles!! Shows how much I know... :D
This is a great song, a favorite. But I didn't expect David Bowie.... Hm. Well, nice job, Mr. Bowie!
Running Tree's got the right idea. This argument has been going on for pushing five years. Can't you people just get a life? Or is that too big of a CHANGE for you?
I love et
I got it!! Its "churn and chase the change"!
Where are we now? Five years, what a surprise...
it sounds nothing like the beatles
STRANGE RHYMES WITH CHANGE
And sun rhymes with fun, but that doesn't make it "Here comes the sun and I say it's all fun."
Of course it's STRANGE, there can be no peace until everyone sees this fundamental truth!
I have a solution to this problem! Those of you who are displeased with the lyric being "Turn and face the strain," just go to a different site. About half of them say "strange" instead!
"Looks like Naruto is going through some... ch-ch-ch-CHANGES!!"
I actually watched a David Bowie performance, read their lips, and yes. They are saying "strain"
Maybe he said strain in one line and strange in another. Maybe he did it knowing full well that we would be having this gigantic argument years from when he wrote the song... Maybe he did it just to make us all argue! But on the up side... Everyone would be right! :)
He says turn and face the DUCK.
Ok I made that up
get a real hi fi and listen to it properly in it's original vinyl glory, or on the digitally remastered CD. not some downloaded, compressed mp3. you will hear,assuming your ears are good enough, that it is - quite clearly- strain. it's 'squishy', compressed mp3's and bad stereo that makes you, mistakenly, hear strange gel into ch ch changes. quality equipment will make it obvious to you.
What I want to know is can ANYBODY figure out what Elton John's lyrics are in ANY of his songs??!!! :-)
You guys have made me smile BIG TIME!!! Cant believe that this debate has been going on since 2008. Would like to know what other sites you have made comments on (reading your comments is better than reading a book)
I would just like to point out, in reply to posts made four years ago, that if you are facing the strange, you are also facing the nipples.
It is clearly strain/g in the song.
Don't be fooled bye your brain mixing up the lyrics. It is sung stain and also strange in repetition so clearly I can hear it then I can't.
No serious listening wil help.....
I'm f****** foreigner and hear things that your dumb ears cannot hear. It's clearly "face the strange".
Use cotton buds, guys.
Time may change me, but I can't race time. In other words, I can't get ahead of my own timeline to alter it. Just another interesting play with word connections?
Guys, it is Strangle NOT strange or strain. Idiots.
Always liked the song but never understood the meaning of "I can't trace time"? Does he mean like trace it with a pencil...or trace it's origin? It doesn't make much sense as far as the theme "changes" is concerned!
It was written like this: Turn and face the stranger, I don't want to be a richer man, turn and face the stranger, just going to have to be a different man, time may change me but I can't trace time.
David it writing about the changes time makes in a persons life and saying not to run from those changes or be afraid of them, but face them down. Time and change are inevitable, even our very selves are being changed with time.
The reason it sounds like strain is because David it cutting the word off singing Ch ch ch changes. But the word is stranger not strain. Turn and face the stranger, that is your changed self.
"Always liked the song but never understood the meaning of "I can't trace time"? Does he mean like trace it with a pencil...or trace it's origin? It doesn't make much sense as far as the theme "changes" is concerned!"
How about this? Instead of trace he is singing change. Time may change me, but I can't change time. Make more sense that way?
Okay, I am up early with a clear head, a warm cup of tea, and rested ears. I've ch ch ch changed my mind on this and now understand they're singing "turn and face the strange changes".
But as far as can't "trace time" I am unmoved. The word is change not trace. The reason it sounds like trace in the first chorus is because David was getting ahead of himself a little bit as he was singing and sort of mixed the words change and time, hence it came out trace. But in the last part of the song when he repeats those words it clearly says change.
One more thing and I am done, unless of course someone dares to challenge my humble opinion on any of this :)
It is not the Beatles that have influenced David in this song, it is Bob Dylan. The Beatles never sang anything like this, nor did their singing sound like this. But I do get a clear Dylan vibe.
To me, it sort of sounds like "chase" time, which doesn't make any more sense but whatever.
It's clearly face the rain, because the weather is always ch-ch-ch-changin'...
Its strain this song is talking about facing change and the struggle you have to go through "face the strain"
This is [name redacted], the son of Bowie's producer, and after [redacted by government] in the [redacted for national security], dad [redacted by Bowie's family] with Bowie himself! Why, dad himself even told me all about the writing process, and how he rhymed all the lyrics with the Chorus of "Changes". So it is turn and face the strange, ch ch ch changes yeah! And also 'Time may change me, but I can't change time.' I remember that one specifically, cause when I was little Mr. Bowie used to come visit our family every so often to [redacted by Bowie family] with my dad (unconfirmed), and sometimes they had a great time going off to [redacted by US NSA, CIA, the UN, UK's parliament, etc.,]! Hahaha, I almost got a hernia laughing when they came back from [redacted] and told me their story. Well, anyway, hope that clears up the argument!
i just called david bowie himself and he said it's actually STRAIT. IT'S STRAIT, PEOPLE!
Why so black and white? It's both. 'Strain' changing into 'Strange'. A clever linguistic trick!
Stranger. It's stranger.
IT'S DEFINITELY BRAINS
Let's face it, the lyrics aren't exactly clear, in meaning OR in pronunciation. I always thought that the one line was, "So I turned myself to face masks" (?????) :P
Awesome song :)
Wally's mate is right from 8/4/2011. The "strain" line is missing entirely from the Changes lyrics on the "SIDE ONE" face of the Hunky Dory Album cover. However, on the official David Bowie website "Turn and face the strain" appears after the first occurence of "Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes" but not the other two.
(For the record it's "strange" :-p)
It doesn't matter what it Bowie intended it to be. It's what the backing singers think it is. If Bowie performed Changes with different backing singers over the years, then it's what they're singing. As such it all depends on who the backing singers were on the version you're listening to. Bowie may well have corrected one lot but that's no guarantee he managed to every time. He may not even have been in studio when they sang their layer. You could all be right and wrong. Personally I like 'Stranger' as in 'turn and face the strange' cut in by the backing as 'ger, ch, changes' but then I didn't write it so choose your own. I like 'train' for it's bizarre-ness even though it so clearly not.
It doesn't matter what Bowie intended it to be. It's what the backing singers think it is. If Bowie performed Changes with different backing singers over the years, then it's what they're singing. As such it all depends on who the backing singers were on the version you're listening to. Bowie may well have corrected one lot but that's no guarantee he managed to every time. He may not even have been in studio when they sang their layer. You could all be right and wrong. Personally I like 'Stranger' as in 'turn and face the strange' cut in by the backing as 'ger, ch, changes' but then I didn't write it so choose your own. I like 'train' for it's bizarre-ness even though it so clearly not.
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Captain kirk again, with quick follow up on impermanence. - It is one of the essential doctrines, and part of three marks of existance in Buddhism. The doctorine asserts that all of conditioned existance, without exception is " transient, evanescent, and inconstant".
( ya, it Changes ! )
.. As "strange" as that may sound to some, lol
Gotta run... Hope that helps !
.. Have a great day to all, and may you live long, & prosper.
... Kirk out.
( now beam me up scotty... seriously, got a gig to get to... Warp factor what ever you can muster, mister. )
tuuuuuuuurn and face the strange