Music The only David Bowie album I ever owned, or certainly owned on vinyl though I'm pretty certain I don't own any others is his soundtrack album to Labyrinth, bought from the Liverpool Central Library when it was having a clear out (having borrowed the same copy myself earlier).
The key track, or at least the track most people seem to remember most, is Magic Dance. It was parodied recently in the "outtakes" at end of the second episode of the brilliant BBC Four comedy, "The Life of Rock with Brian Pern".
Here's the scene from the film in which it appears:
Mainly people seem to remember it for the opening dialogue:
Bowie: You remind me of the babe.
Goblin: What babe?
Bowie: The babe with the power.
Goblin: What power?
Bowie: The power of voodoo.
Goblin: Who do?
Bowie: You do.
Goblin: Do what?
Bowie: Remind me of the babe.
Having listened to this blessed album incessantly as a child years before I realised (a) that Bowie was quite a famous musician and that (b) he'd done a few other things on top of playing the Goblin King, it's imprinted on my brain.
Shift forward to this evening during which I was entertained by Bachelor Knight (or The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer as it was called in the US), 1947 romantic screwball comedy starring Myrna Loy, Cary Grant and Shirley Temple (RIP) which is currently available on the BBC iPlayer after its broadcast on Sunday morning. For reason too complicated to explain here, Grant has been forced to date the much younger (and underaged) Temple and this scene in an attempt to overplay his hand in order to end his purgatory he's playing Jack the lad:
At which point I jumped out my chair as the years drifted away. There it is again. Slightly different but nevertheless:
Grant: You remind me of the man.
Temple: What man?
Grant: The man with the power.
Temple: What power?
Grant: The power of hoodoo.
Temple: Who do?
Grant: You do.
Temple: Do what?
Grant: Remind me of the man.
It's repeated in various ways across the film and colour me amazed as we find David Bowie influenced by this relatively forgotten Cary Grant film (though it's worth noting the screenplay written by Sidney Sheldon won an Academy Award). Hoodoo incidentally is "folk magic".
How did this happen?
Magic Dance's Wikipedia page merely acknowledges the reference as does the one for Bachelor Knight (or The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer as it was called in the US).
Google otherwise only turns up this Yahoo Answers conversation from eight years ago in which, as ever, no one has the faintest idea what they're talking about.
Clearly the answer is somewhere along the lines of "David Bowie was watching television one night saw the quote and thought "I'll have that." " Or was simply familiar with the dialogue from a familiarity with old Hollywood which also led to this. Or that they're both referencing a different literary source which I've entirely missed.
I can't think of there being any particular thematic connection other than that Temple and Loy's besottedness with Grant is signalled in hallucinatory sequences in which Cary is shown dressed as a knight in full armour obscured by soft focus and that like Labyrinth its about a young girl ambiguously obsessed with an older man.
Either way, my goodness. Any Bowie scholars out there who'd like to hazard a guess?
[Note: This was originally posted in February 2014 which is why some of you'll remember it, especially since I tweeted it a few times on the occasion of Bowie's passing. But it does feel like a proto-type for where this weekly column is heading and The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer or whatever it's called in your territory is my favourite film of that year - at least because the repetition rule dismisses The Lady from Shanghai for obvious reasons.]