Over the course of his life he excited, he electrified, he entertained, and he enriched the world through his gift of creating art and music that instantly struck and stayed in the heart and in the mind of people, like a bolt of lightning from the sky, that made people feel, think, and imagine things that they may never have felt, thought, nor dreamt of before. He had a voice, he had a spirit, he had a charm, a charisma, a presence that could immediately captivate crowds of fans and make them want to sing and dance and lift up their eyes and their hands, because he was able to make people feel as if they could reach out and touch the energy of a star that could inspire them with a purpose that was able to show just how varied and full of colour each of us are - and to this day he and his music makes us consider a variety of possibilities, including whether there really is Life on Mars. He was a man who was not afraid of change, nor of changing his identity and how he was perceived... he was a man who was not afraid of experimentation nor of collaboration with fellow artists who he jived with and felt as if they understood him and also spoke the language of magic, imagination and inspiration that he did. He was a hero, and he still is... he was, he is, and he always will be an icon and a god of music in the eyes of millions of people around the world - and who he was and what he did was all that he ever wanted to be: a man who transcended but who was also connected to the world, a man who left an indelible legacy, a man who gave us all a part of his soul to remember him by, a man who had he not died would today have celebrated turning 75, a man whose face we will forever see, a man whose songs will be listened to by generation after generation on repeat: the man, the legend, the one and the only David Bowie.
As so often happens, I was sitting at my usual table in Starbucks when a song that I had never heard by one of my favourite artists - the one and the only "Man in Black", Johnny Cash - started to play... the song was "I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day" - and as soon as I heard this Christmas carol in its own right that blessed all who heard it "peace on Earth" and "goodwill to men", I started to think about the true meaning of the season and why music has always been an important way for families and individuals to say what they want to say to one another. Music is just as fundamental to some as living is to breathing for others... the voice of a singer can break down barriers and unite people from many countries, with many accents, with many back stories - who can all find times to set aside their differences whenever they come together and stop and listen to someone with a message they felt within their heart as well as within their mind that someone else needed to hear. Christmas songs are only played at this time of the year, and every year new songs are written and recorded by artists that dream of being number one and perhaps remembered as fondly as those that repeatedly return to our ears year after year; however, I would say there are only a handful of Christmas songs that are enjoyed, replayed, and loved by many: John Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over), "Last Christmas" by Wham!, "White Christmas" as sung by Bing Crosby, "Do They Know It's Christmas?" by Band Aid, "Fairytale of New York" by The Pogues, and, of course, "All I Want For Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey - because these songs have over time become quintessential in capturing the Christmas spirit like no others are able to, and personally all these songs always put a smile on my face every time I hear them and make me more and more ready for Christmas and overflowing with Christmas cheer.