Sweet Thing / Candidate / Sweet Thing (reprise)

Album: Diamond Dogs (1974)
  • It's safe in the city to love in a doorway
    To wrangle some screams from the dawn
    And isn't it me, putting pain in a stranger?
    Like a portrait in flesh, who trails on a leash
    Will you see that I'm scared and I'm lonely?
    So I'll break up my room, and yawn and I
    Run to the center of things
    Where the knowing one says:

    "Boys, Boys, its a sweet thing
    Boys, Boys, its a sweet thing, sweet thing
    If you want it, Boys, get it here, thing
    'Cause hope, Boys, is a cheap thing, cheap thing"

    I'm glad that you're older than me
    Makes me feel important and free
    Does that make you smile, isn't that me?
    I'm in your way, and I'll steal every moment
    If this trade is a curse, then I'll bless you
    And turn to the crossroads of Hamburg, as in

    "Boys, Boys, its a sweet thing
    Boys, Boys, its a sweet thing, sweet thing
    If you want it, Boys, get it here, thing
    'Cause hope, Boys, is a cheap thing, cheap thing"

    [Part Two: Candidate]

    I'll make you a deal, like any other candidate
    We'll pretend we're walking home 'cause your future's at stake
    My set is amazing, it even smells like a street
    There's a bar at the end where I can meet you and your friend
    Someone scrawled on the wall "I smell the blood of Les Tricoteuses"
    Who wrote up scandals in other bars

    I'm having so much fun with the poisonous people
    Spreading rumors and lies and stories they made up
    Some make you sing and some make you scream
    One makes you wish that you'd never been seen
    But there's a shop on the corner that's selling papier mache
    Making bullet-proof faces; Charlie Manson, Cassius Clay
    "If you want it, Boys, get it here, thing"

    So you scream out of line:
    "I want you! I need you! Anyone out there? Any time?"
    Tres butch little number whines "Hey dirty, I want you
    When it's good, it's really good, and when it's bad I go to pieces"
    If you want it, Boys, get it here, thing

    Well, on the street where you live I could not hold up my head
    For I put all I have in another bed
    On another floor, in the back of a car
    In the cellar of a church with the door ajar
    Well, I guess we must be looking for a different kind
    But we can't stop trying 'til we break up our minds
    'Til the sun drips blood on the seedy young knights
    Who press you on the ground while shaking in fright
    I guess we could cruise down one more time
    With you by my side, it should be fine
    We'll buy some drugs and watch a band
    Then jump in the river holding hands

    [Part Three: Sweet Thing (Reprise)]

    "If you want it, boys, get it here, thing
    'Cause hope, boys, is a cheap thing, cheap thing"

    Is it nice in your snow storm, freezing your brain?
    Do you think that your face looks the same?
    Then let it be, it's all I ever wanted
    It's a street with a deal, and a taste
    It's got claws, it's got me, it's got you ...

Comments: 5

  • Jill from EnglandI get goosebumps every single time
  • Clare from AustraliaMy favourite Bowie composition - sheer genius. The desperation in his voice, the dirty guitars of Candidate, and the hopelessness of realisation - "
    Hope, boys, is a cheap thing..."
  • Matt from Victori, TxIf you want to talk about this little medley you are a true Bowie fan. My favorite parts are about the masks of "Papier Mache" and jumping off the bridge holding hands after doing drugs and seeing a band.
  • Steve from Berkeley, CaThere is an earlier version of candidate that has some of the same lines as the Diamond Dogs version. But instead of being about potentially being a "candidate" to be a boy prostitute, it is about being the candidate in boy-girl attraction. But not in a way I can imagine Winston and Julia being a part of.
  • Zabadak from London, EnglandAt the end of "...Reprise", the song disintegrates into a feedback-drenched chug which then flips into Rebel Rebel, probably the rockiest Bowie ever got!
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