Album: Tinderbox (1986)
Charted: 34
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Contrary to popular belief, this song is not about a drug dealer; it is about child molestation. Growing up in Chislehurst, England, Siouxsie and the Banshees frontwoman Siouxsie Sioux was sexually abused by a neighbor at a sweet shop (candy store) when she was nine years old.
  • "It's not anti-drug, it's anti-incest," Siouxsie Sioux told Creem regarding this song. "We actually issued a press release statement thinking, if they're going to think that, we might as well say what the song is really about. We're also trying to be very careful not to sensationalize or trivialize it, because it's something that's frustrating to talk about without doing one of those two things. I suppose that's always a reason why you write, because of your inability to express it.

    There's a radio show in London which is purely a news and chat show, and one morning they were dealing with the subject of incest. Something to do with a book someone had released and this one thing almost made me cry: there was a woman that rang up who was about 48, and she said this was the first time she had been able to get this weight off her chest about what happened to her when she was nine years old. That really brought it home, because it's certainly not a conversation piece, and really, the culprit's armor is this sense of guilt, sense of shame that it's the victim's fault, and the power they can rear over an innocent because that person is trusting. And of course the Candy Man is a lure, not just presents or candy."

Comments: 2

  • Nina H from Nyc Yes. This was also bad American crime history as well.
  • Don from San Antonio, TxReally? I thought it was about a certain historical killer. You know, "Flash of the guillotine, a smile". He lures them in with candy & kills 'em.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

00s Music Quiz 1

00s Music Quiz 1Music Quiz

Do you know the girl singer on Eminem's "Stan"? If so, this quiz is for you.

Peter Lord

Peter LordSongwriter Interviews

You may not recognize his name, but you will certainly recognize Peter Lord's songs. He wrote the bevy of hits from Paula Abdul's second album, Spellbound.

Grammar In Lyrics

Grammar In LyricsMusic Quiz

Lyrics don't always follow the rules of grammar. Can you spot the ones that don't?

Rush: Album by Album - A Conversation With Martin Popoff

Rush: Album by Album - A Conversation With Martin PopoffSong Writing

A talk with Martin Popoff about his latest book on Rush and how he assessed the thousands of albums he reviewed.

John Waite

John WaiteSongwriter Interviews

"Missing You" was a spontaneous outpouring of emotion triggered by a phone call. John tells that story and explains what MTV meant to his career.

Taylor Dayne

Taylor DayneSongwriter Interviews

Taylor talks about "The Machine" - the hits, the videos and Clive Davis.