“Beauty and the Beast“ is a song by David Bowie, the first track on his 1977 album “Heroes”. It was issued as the second single from the album in January 1978, becoming a minor UK hit, peaking at No. 39 on the UK Singles Chart.
The song features Robert Fripp on lead guitar, with treatments and synthesizer work by Brian Eno. Fripp has stated that his guitar work on the track is a first take made straight upon arrival at the studio.
The lyrics have been interpreted as a look back at Bowie’s severe mood swings during his cocaine addiction from 1975 to 1976, with the line “Thank God Heaven left us standing on our feet” suggesting the singer’s gratitude for making it through that period. The phrase “someone fetch a priest” alludes to Tony Visconti’s frequent expletive during the recording sessions for “Heroes”, “someone fuck a priest”.
In another interpretation..
“Beauty and the Beast” is one of those David Bowie songs with lyrics that can leave the listener scratching his or her head and wondering just what they mean. Bowie establishes a basic of feeling of evil in the air through his impressionistic and non-linear lyrics. Bowie’s references allow the listener to read the Beauty and the Beast characters two possible ways. Either they are two entities, or perhaps, two sides of a single entity. In either case, the fact remains that the dark side—which Bowie paints as unavoidable—rules the situation he constructs. The listener must keep in mind that Bowie has created images based on the good-evil dialectic throughout his career: it is not unique to “Beauty and the Beast”. However, it is interesting to consider the possible influence of Berlin on Bowie at this point in his career. Certainly, the East Berlin–West Berlin, Communism–Democracy dialectics fit conveniently in the listener’s possible understanding of the song.”