Song Of The Day 9/16/2015: David Bowie – “God Knows I’m Good”

Let's Go Do Some Crimes – Today in misdemeanors we have a very touching real-life portrait from the time before David Bowie's expense account had line items for greasepaint and disco flairs. "God Knows I'm Good," from the David Bowie album if you were in England or the Space Oddity album if you were from the U.S., is an uncommonly tender and sympathetic sketch about an older woman's profound moral crisis while shoplifting "a tin of stewing steak" at a local grocer. It's like Les Misérables without Hugo's philosophical detours or Hugh Jackman. Swoon. In all seriousness before I land some cracks, this is one of my favorite early Bowie songs. His observation of the woman's movements swiftly connects, and he steeps her with the same kind of active introspection that Bowie happily avoided with himself until... Brenda, you got some time to look in the filing cabinet?

But that's the not real issue for us Americans. No, for us, as we stand at the rim of our continent waving a hearty hello to the absolving morning sun, our question is: "What the hell is stewing steak?" First, I think the more common term is stewed steak. All the tins I saw pictures of read "Stewed Steak," which indicates to me that it's pre-stewed. You don't buy stewed steak with the purpose of re-stewing it. Unless... maybe it actually stews in the can. Is that what he meant? No, that's ridiculous. Bowie's talking about stewed steak, clearly.

From what I could tell in the pictures it kind of looks like Dinty Moore Beef Stew. Is it worth stealing? Probably not. But conversely, is shoplifting stewed steak a crime worth prosecuting? The lady in "God Knows I'm Good" is really in a bad way, and to make matters even worse she's about to eat stewed steak. Unless it's for her cat. Ah, well, what the hell. She dreamed a dream.

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