Most of the songs on Blackstar were labored over — demoed, rehearsed, recorded, re-recorded. But apparently Bowie wrote “Dollar Days” one morning, played it for the band on acoustic guitar, and tracked it that afternoon. “I can’t even recall in my head what song that is,” one of the musicians later said.

It feels important though. Maybe it’s the line about “the English evergreens,” which conjures a bit of nostalgia for Dave’s native land that seems out of character. Maybe it’s the way he says

I’m dying to push their backs against the grain
And fool them all again and again

This is Bowie the magician, the one who in the next song — the last one on the album — will tell us that he intends to take his secrets to the grave.

Or maybe it’s those three words, “I’m dying to.” When he repeats them out of context, they become “I’m dying, too.” So I guess he did tell us.

And when he says, “Don’t believe for just one second I’m forgetting you,” we all think he’s talking to us. That’s a magic trick, too.

We’re not forgetting you either, you freaky old bastard.