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The song tells the story of how the author meets himself otherwise. In this work, Bowie talks about the long road of dis-identification with itself and further reconciliation.
Bowie said: "I wrote this song when I was looking for the other side. Maybe now I feel more comfortable in psychological and spiritual terms, I feel that there is already a certain unity. This song is a description of how you feel when you're young, when you know that there is another part of you that you are not actually together. This search, in which there is a great need to find out who you really are".
Regarding the origin of the name of the song, immediately necessary in the opinion of a sci-Fi novel by Robert Heinlein "The Man Who Sold The Moon". They say that Bowie read it. It is possible that the coincidence is accidental and the name of this literary work has nothing to do with "The Man Who Sold the World".
More obvious borrowing from a poem by Hughes Mirna of "The Psychoed" ("Antigonish"), where part of the text is used almost verbatim. Bowie himself never mentioned such a source of inspiration, and this fact has no documentary evidence, but the lyrics openly echoes the content of the poem.
The history of modern music complete examples of a good cover song is becoming much popular original, and most listeners can't remember the author and first performer. Something similar happened with the song "The Man Who Sold The World" which most modern music fans see this as a song of the grunge band Nirvana. Kurt Cobain covered it very well in the Unplugged concert released a few months before the death of Cobain. Bowie himself admitted that he hates when after the concert suited the teenagers and say, "How nice of you to sing a song of Nirvana". And I think "fuck you, wank young!".
This song can be related to surrealism. Of all the songs of our upcoming album it is the most complicated.