Cuddly Toy

Album: The Monkees Greatest Hits (1969)
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Songfacts®:

  • Written by Harry Nilsson, this song is about a girl who apparently enjoys promiscuous sex, but hides it well because of her "innocent" looks. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Tanya - Los Angeles, CA
  • Nilsson received a $40,000 publishing royalty for The Monkees recording of this song.

Comments: 21

  • Jooooooooooooo from UkYeah this is a s--tty song that really shows the double standard - girls a slut, boys a stud - thats existed for centuries about sex - 'gave up without a fight' implying shes supposed to have resisted, pretended she was 'not that kind of girl' etc etc, before 'giving up', in order to save face, & show shes a good girl that didnt give up too easily & eventually got worn down by his advances.
    its that whole idea that women dont like sex & they just get sex 'done to them' by men as part of their 'duties' or something. its such a bizarre way to think.
    cuddly toy implying shes nothing more than play thing, like many other women, to be discarded when the next toy comes along.
    in those days a girl didnt even need to be promiscuous for her to get that rep, often it was just a few times but that was enough to label her.

    there are a few songs with this type of dynamic in the monkees catalogue, like 'star collector'
    its not their own writing, but you'd think, given it was literally the summer of free love etc that they'd have objected to this kind of message - particularly peter. Maybe they did, who knows, ive never seen any of them comment on this issue.
  • Wolkenlaufer from Georgia, UsaI used to make up lyrics because I couldn't remember the originals, but remembered the meter. So "You're not the only twig on the tree, who ever broke free and wound up in the sea." ---- I admit it: banal, but it sure led me here!
  • Paul from Albany, NyInitially, I too preferred the Monkees version over Nilsson's but while the Nilsson version can be read as tongue-in-cheek, the Monkees version feels, at best, callous and dismissive.
  • Charles Dello Russo from Lynn Ma.I think everyone is reading way to much about cuddley toy. The part where Santa came just means Santa picked up the cudly toy. Don't read to much about this song.
  • Fran from AustraliaWhen you listen to these lyrics they are awful.
    So derogatory to women.
  • Jim from Minneapolis, MnI agree totally with Miguel from Chico, Ca. It’s how I always took it too. Besides, if she was promiscuous, then it wouldn’t have been a “cherry delight”, if you take that to be a reference to lost virginity. And they’re saying: YOU’RE not the only cuddly toy (implying that she’s not anything special), not: I’M not the only boy toy you’ve had (which would imply promiscuity). Certainly this girl hangs with people (in particular, men, I assume) who are not the kind she wants to advertise to her family. But the rest of the lyric says that she thinks she’s something special and is hurt that he doesn’t recognize that and doesn’t want her anymore. Yes, a one night stand is inferred by the “...the day after Santa came” line. (Would I be reading too much into it if I dwelled on the word “came”??) So at face value, she was a virgin who had a one night fling with this insensitive guy, and assumed that it meant that they’d be together for a while (“...to love no other”), but he’s telling her, “You know, this happens all the time; why would you think you’re impervious to this kind of treatment? You’re not that special. The kind of company you keep proves it.” Pretty cruel, actually!
    But it’s a really well-constructed song from writing to performance to production. And I enjoy it tremendously.
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxAccording the CD's liner notes, this song was about "a Hell's Angels gang-bang" and the Screen Gems execs were livid when they learned, belatedly, that the group had put one over on them. It's not like the lyrics didn't point that way, though.
  • Mamie from Cleveland, Ohuntil now i was clueless as to what the song was about. as often as i heard it, i had no clue. amazing what you learn on this site.
  • Lisa B from St. Petersburg, FlI must say Davy sure sold this song and made it a delight, but until I got older and really thought of the lyrics, what Davy did by putting joy and dance to these miserable, insulting, disrespectful lyrics is his gift of showmanship. These lyrics are God awful and I truly feel like smacking the man who wrote them. RIP Davy Jones
  • Miguel from Chico, CaAlways just took this as a slightly heartless, "That was fun, but see ya later" sort of song. The choo choo train left out in the rain/the day after Santa came" is simply the dynamic of a little boy moving on from one "toy" to the next when something better (or at least newer) comes along (on Christmas morning, in this case). The whole lyric is about the speaker justifying his right to move on after (apparently) having slept with the girl (the "cherry delight" reference seems too obvious a reference to lost virginity to ignore...surely Nilsson knew what he was doing there.) He's saying, "You were great, but I've got no plans to keep you around." I know the whole "You're not the kind of girl to tell your mother/the kind of company you keep" makes the girl sound deceptive, or like she's up to something Mom wouldn't be happy about, but I always sensed that the speaker was mocking the girl's naivety... she thought she was a naughty little girl, and he's called her bluff and is explaining the way things really are ("You're not the only cuddly toy/who was ever enjoyed/by any boy"--"Look babe, you're not the first girl who's been 'enjoyed'" and then dumped by a boy. So get over yourself."

    Brilliant sung by Davy...who seems like such a NICE boy (the kind who a girl might mistakenly trust).... I mean, imagine it sung by the wily Micky, and the whole effect changes.
  • Budd from Rutland, VtThis is one of my favorite monkees/davy jones/harry nilsson songs.The fact that nilsson's impish humor is interpreted by an innocent pop star like jones is rather interesting to me.I also enjoyed daddy's song too.It was featured in the film,head,which was done in a better musical dance number than cuddly toy in the series.It tells a good story as well.
  • Sam from Hipsville, CaI actually like this version better than the original by Nilsson. Monkees did a great cover of this.
  • Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, MiI don't get the video,they are in striped jackets,and Peter's playing the piano.I don't get the choo choo train left out in rain,the day after santa came,or Cherry Delight left in the night and gave up without a fight.
  • Linc from Beaumont, TxThe Monkee's often performed songs that were in response to popular Beatle's hits - I think this is their response to Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite...but for the reason's I like that song, I like this one. It's campy, it's humorous and fun.
  • Linc from Beaumont, TxDavy Jones' claim to fame before becoming a Monkee was playing Oliver in the Dickens play in England before coming to the US and pursing a musical career.
  • Bmn from Hisuan, ArgentinaLiked the Monkees.
    *Hated* this song.
    Hated the "video" that went with it, too.
    Davy Jones and some foolish girl grinning like mad and dancing around on stage, while he sings lyrics about a woman as if she's a piece of dirt.
    And from the lyrics, the guy in the song doesn't exactly sound as if he's pure as the driven snow himself.
    Folks in glass houses...
  • Pmcountry from Small Town, PaOne of my favorite Monkees songs and I used to make my mom play it over and over as a kid. It wasn't until I was an adult I realized what the lyrics so I doubt many 12 years in the 1960's did either. I have to admit it was one of the more "racy" songs but the Monkees had a few zingers.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyMicky Dolenz wanted to sing lead on this song - he was an early big Nilsson fan - but the rest of the group thought it fit Davy Jones' "vaudeville/music hall" style better.
  • Jerry from Nashville, TnBright bouncy song about a deceptively dark situation. The lyrics seem to indicate a group encounter, or at least multiple partners, possibly not completely voluntary on the part of the girl. "enjoyed / by any boy" ... "choo choo train / that was left out in the rain" "cherry delight / that was left in the night / and gave up without a fight". Subversive stuff for the 12-year-old audience of the Monkees in the late 1960s.
  • John from San Antonio, TxI agree with Tanya, but apparently she has met an equally promiscuous partner, fallen in love, and wants to stay. ("I never told you that I'd love no other; you must have dreamed it in your sleep.")
  • Ken from Louisville, KyOn their television show, The Monkees performed this song in an English music hall style, complete with striped jackets and straw hats. Peter Tork played an upright piano.
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