Sex and Candy

Album: Marcy Playground (1997)
Charted: 29 8
Play Video


  • With images of "disco lemonade" and "double cherry pie," this is one of the more puzzling songs of the '90s, and according to Marcy Playground songwriter/lead singer John Wozniak, the song pulls many things from many places. In a Songfacts interview with John Wozniak, he explained: "Where did I get the 'sex and candy' part from? Well, I was dating a girl and she was going to Bryn Mawr College and it's where my dad teaches. And I was probably 17 or something like that and she was like 18. I always liked the older girls. (laughs) But we were in her dorm room, and her roommate came in and she saw us there, and she was like, 'Oh, it smells like sex and candy in here.' And I always remembered that. And that was back in the late '80s.

    And then when I was writing the song and I was coming up with all these weird disco-era references that I was making up, 'platform double suede' and all that business, I was like, hey, let's just throw in that phrase that's been sticking in my head for the last 5 years or whatever. So I wrote that song in '92, '93, somewhere around there. And it didn't really come out until '97. That song had been at least in my consciousness since the late '80s. At least with the concepts behind it.

    But it's just about seeing some sexy girl and then falling in love, and then asking a dumb question to yourself… well, it's not even asking a question. It's just – I don't know!! I don't know. (laughing) I'm just gonna be straight up honest. I don't know. I'm telling you, when I was very young I experimented with drugs, but when I was writing these songs, I wasn't high. But it sounds like I was high."
  • According to Wozniak, even though there's a lot going on in this song, it took him only an hour to write.
  • The trippy video for this song was created by Jamie Caliri, whose work includes the United Airlines "Dragon" commercial and the opening sequence of the TV show United States of Tara. His brother is Mario Calire, a drummer that has played in The Wallflowers and Ozomatli. John Wozniak told us: "He's got a really unique artsy sensibility that is very surreal. The imagery of it is really random. I mean, it's art. What we do is art. In the stuff I've done in the past there's not always a direct meaning, and I think that's the same with his video. He had a lot of very hidden subtexts in the video. Nowadays my songs are much simpler. They're about relationships, they're about my wife, they're about much simpler concepts."
  • Cassie Steele, who acted on the TV shows Degrassi: The Next Generation and The L.A. Complex, covered this song in 2014.
  • Maroon 5 covered this on the deluxe version of their 2014 album, V. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Eli San - Australia

Comments: 5

  • Marvin Ellis from Point Place , OhioPedo Pedo Pedo....Sex and Candy ...any one familiar with Prostitution would get it....not that I am......
  • Steve from Chino HillsDisco Lemonade is now a cocktail. Not certain if it existed before the song.
  • Megan from Stevenson, AlOne of the best songs ever! This is so good! My ringtone!
  • Nancy from Baltimore, Mdone of the best song of the nineties
  • Joe from Grants Pass, Orone of the best songs ever
see more comments

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