Life on Mars: Bowie sings about public involvement in research?

This is for person who I recently met and said doing public involvement in research was like being on Mars: a set of specially commissioned lyrics I have written to the tune of David Bowie’s ‘Life on Mars.’

It’s a god-awful research idea
To the patient with the lousy deal
But the scientist is saying ‘Yes’
And the funders are paying for the rest
And the public are nowhere to be seen
As our friend walks
through the oak panelled room
To the seat with the clearest view
And they are drawn to the PPT screen
But the project remains a saddening bore
For they’ve seen it
ten times or more
Even the doctors beside her whisper it so
As they ask her to focus on

[CHORUS]
Molecules dancing on the microscope slide
Oh man!
Look at this team go
It’s the freakiest show
Take a look at this poor guy
Beating up the wrong path
Oh man! Wonder if he’ll ever know
He’s missing the best selling show
Is there life on Mars?

It’s on the panel’s tortured brow
That this project
has turned into a cow
Now they have a shot
To strike it lucky
At what’s on sale again
But instead they ask the million hordes
From Ibeza to the Norfolk Broads
Rule Britannia is even in bounds
What they need, what they want, and care about
For this project is a saddening bore
It’s been written
ten times or more
But it won’t be writ again
Now we’ve asked you to focus.

[CHORUS]
Dring-dring-dring……
[Mind the phone]

Last time I saw David he did confess that Life on Mars is actually about public involvement in research but that he couldn’t get the lyrics to work. 🙂

I’m off to the recording studio….

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