David Bowie’s new song: ‘Tis A Pity She Was a Whore’ is a bold, chaotic jangle

11.10.14 3 years ago

Columbia Records

Ready to hear what your descent into madness will sound like? David Bowie is back with a brand new song.

Described as a “demo track” on the music icon's official Facebook page, “'Tis A Pity She Was a Whore” is a song that might result “If Vorticists wrote Rock Music” (Bowie's words). Vorticism, of course (!), was a modernist art movement in early 20th century Britain that rejected the stodgy Victorian-style artwork of the period in favor of geometric shapes and bold colors. The movement was cut short by the First World War, a fact also referenced in Bowie's Facebook post along with an explication of the song's title:

“The song acknowledges the shocking rawness of the First World War and the title is a play on ‘Tis Pity She's A Whore” a John Ford Restoration play first performed in 1629 at the Cockpit Theatre in London.”

Now that I know more about Vorticism, I totally kinda get what he means: “'Tis A Pity She Was A Whore” is bold and brassy and jagged and complex and a little bit hard to take in all at once. Also, I feel like enjoying it maybe isn't the point? Oh David Bowie, you challenge us.

“'Tis a Pity She Was a Whore” will be available to buy on Tuesday via digital download and on 10-inch vinyl (as a B-side to “Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)”) on Nov. 28. “Sue” will be included on Bowie's forthcoming box set “Nothing Has Changed”

Check out the song and official artwork (with full lyrics) below.

The artwork and lyrics for David Bowie's 'Tis A Pity She Was A Whore

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