Candy Everybody Wants

Album: Our Time in Eden (1992)
Charted: 47 67
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This song is about how the media - specifically television - panders to our base instincts by supplying a constant stream of sex and violence:

    If lust and hate is the candy
    If blood and love tastes so sweet
    Then we give 'em what they want

    The "candy" is the images that keep us watching - it's not good for us, but hard to resist.

    The lyric was written by lead singer Natalie Merchant, and it's particularly incisive:

    So their eyes are growing hazy
    'Cause they want to turn it on
    So their minds are soft and lazy
    Well, hey, give 'em what they want
  • The music was written by 10,000 Maniacs keyboard player Dennis Drew. The group would often come up with chipper tunes to go with Merchant's cogent lyrics, wrapping her message in a sweet (like candy?) melody.

    Merchant was particularly amused when this song started climbing the charts, as it is a song about media manipulation with a message that clearly wasn't getting through to many listeners.

    "The song is complete satire," she told Rolling Stone. "They're not typical pop lyrics, and it's very subversive."
  • When 10,000 Maniacs recorded the Our Time in Eden album, they knew Merchant was leaving the band. Not wanting to leave them in the lurch, she stayed on for a year, keeping the news quiet so there wouldn't be any sort of farewell tour or formal sendoff.

    In our interview with their bass player Steven Gustafson, he said: "We all knew Natalie was leaving during the recording of Our Time In Eden, and in some respects, it made for quite an enjoyable experience for all of us. It was freeing in a good way. Producer Paul Fox had a lot to do with that as well.

    I think this song was about the state of pop culture and how we were becoming part of it.?We made quite a climb from being thrown out of our first gig to playing Madison Square Garden, our final performance with her as our lead singer."
  • The music video was directed by Jeffrey Plansker, a fitting choice because he worked in advertising. The clip is filled with a barrage of images in the style of manipulative ad campaigns. As is the case for most of the band's videos, Merchant is smiling throughout her performance.
  • Natalie Merchant steadfastly refused to market her sexuality, despite pleas from the band's record company for her to wear more form-fitting outfits. She refused to give them what they want.
Please sign in or register to post comments.


Be the first to comment...

Rock Revenge SongsMusic Quiz

John Lennon, Paul Simon and Lynyrd Skynyrd are some of the artists who have written revenge songs. Do you know who they wrote them about?

Weird Al YankovicFact or Fiction

Did Al play on a Beach Boys record? Did he have beef with George Lucas and Coolio? See if you can spot weird but true stories.

Amy Lee of EvanescenceSongwriter Interviews

The Evanescence frontwoman on the songs that have shifted meaning and her foray into kids' music.

How The Beatles Crafted Killer ChorusesSong Writing

The author of Help! 100 Songwriting, Recording And Career Tips Used By The Beatles, explains how the group crafted their choruses so effectively.

Steven Tyler of AerosmithSongwriter Interviews

Tyler talks about his true love: songwriting. How he identifies the beauty in a melody and turns sorrow into art.

Director Nick Morris ("The Final Countdown")Song Writing

Nick made some of the biggest videos on MTV, including "The Final Countdown," "Heaven" and "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)."