Ziggy really sang
Whose song is this? And in whose voice could it be
sung? The song Ziggy Stardust was never sung in the
first person. There was always a persona, an
impression of an impossible character, conflating drag
with rock and roll cliché. But even this signature
song does not speak in the voice of Ziggy himself, but
through other people.
And what could it mean to sing it again? Without
disguise? Now a woman’s voice, not so much playing
the part, but claiming the song quietly, momentarily,
as her own. No performance, as such, but to herself.
This has something to do with nostalgia. It is always
a case of nostalgia. Instant nostalgia for the moment
we first or last heard. And we repeat it to
ourselves, as best we can. Inadequately. That
inability to conjure that moment past contributes to
the nostalgic present.
Whose song, then? To have sung it again is to lay
some small claim to it. It is to change the song. It
never forgets its original form we rely upon our
memory of it even as we hear it sung again. We stand
in one place, but recall another at the same time. In
this one quiet voice we hear several voices at once.
– Andrew Renton, London, February 2002