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The song dealt with Bowie’s feelings for his schizophrenic half-brother Terry, who had committed suicide on 16 January 1985. The lyrics tell of a man pushed to utter desperation by the pressure put on him. Bowie has also cited his own feelings about jumping into the unknown metaphysically. Musically, the influence of Nile Rodgers led to a funk-based sound, though the track was also influenced by contemporary jazz, with a solo from avant-jazz trumpeter Lester Bowie.

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When comes the shaking man
A nation in his eyes
Striped with blood and emblazed tattoo
Streaking cathedral spire

They say
He has no brain
They…

David Bowie - Jump They Say Lyrics

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