Online, we found the following on songfact.com (April 2019): “This song is about a man who no longer recognizes himself and feels awful about it. For years, Bowie struggled with his identity and expressed himself through his songs, often creating characters to perform them.”
For us, the lyrics suggest the person in the song thinks he has an encounter with his double. The song tells the story of a person who sees a man on the stairs. A man who wasn’t there before and wishes he’d go away.
We believe Bowie, the man ‘who sold the world’, who made the world believe in his created characters, is confronted by his former self – his more authentic self – on the stairs.
To us, this story isn’t about becoming somebody, but about realising who you are already.
“Life isn’t about transformation or becoming something or someone. It’s about realising what is already within you. Accepting and embracing your inner self, your intuition, your inner wisdom.”