The Jean Genie

Album: Aladdin Sane (1972)
Charted: 2 71
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  • Lyrics
  • A small Jean Genie snuck off to the city
    Strung out on lasers and slash-back blazers
    Ate all your razors while pulling the waiters
    Talking 'bout Monroe and walking on Snow White
    New York's a go-go, and everything tastes right
    Poor little Greenie, ooh-ooh

    Keep her comin'
    The Jean Genie lives on his back
    The Jean Genie loves chimney stacks
    He's outrageous, he screams and he bawls (Jean Genie)
    Jean Genie, let yourself go, whoah

    Sits like a man but he smiles like a reptile
    She love him, she love him but just for a short while
    She'll scratch in the sand, won't let go his hand
    He says he's a beautician and sells you nutrition
    And keeps all your dead hair for making up underwear
    Poor little Greenie, ooh-ooh

    The Jean Genie lives on his back
    The Jean Genie loves chimney stacks
    He's outrageous, he screams and he bawls (Jean Genie)
    Jean Genie, let yourself go, whoah

    He's so simple-minded, he can't drive his module
    He bites on the neon and sleeps in a capsule
    Loves to be loved, loves to be loved

    Oh, Jean Genie lives on his back
    The Jean Genie loves chimney stacks
    He's outrageous, he screams and he bawls (Jean Genie)
    Jean Genie, let yourself go, whoah

    Go!
    Go!

    The Jean Genie lives on his back
    The Jean Genie loves chimney stacks
    He's outrageous, he screams and he bawls (Jean Genie)
    Jean Genie, let yourself go, whoah

    Go, go go!Writer/s: DAVID BOWIE
    Publisher: BMG Rights Management, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, TINTORETTO MUSIC
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind
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Comments: 16

  • David G from EnglandBit surprised with the speculation about the influences and mistakes. Trevor Bolder offered explanation for both. Also take a listen to Blockbuster by Sweet and then follow the story through. Trevor Bolder the quiet man with many years with Uriah Heep offers that he made the mistakes noted and that Bowie not only commented on them with "Get back on it" but also decided to leave it in. The Riff comes from I'm a Man by Bo Diddley who also lent from Mannish boy.
  • Tim from FlaDavid Bowie certainly borrowed the beat from the doors' "WASP (Texas radio and the big beat)" please listen to both and see if you agree.
  • Jim from Enid, OkEvery time I hear this song I'm possessed! Whilst listening to it after not hearing it for years I went absolutely insane! This song is one kick-ass song! David's voice is very unique and the rhythm of this song drives me nuts. And the way David wrote the vocals where he sings and the other vocals meld magnificently while diverging in their own directions. Incredible.
  • Daniel from London, United KingdomJust before the first chorus, you can hear Bowie saying 'get back one'. This is because Mick Ronson (the guitarist) starts a bar early into the chorus. (Another poster said this was the bassist's mistake but it sounds like the guitar starts too early, not the bass).
  • Lisa from Baltimore, MdThe band Simple Minds got their name from the line in the last verse, "So simple minded"
  • Osma from Kazool, AfghanistanThe line is "keeps all your dead hair from making a bugbear." A bugbear is a Brit folkloric elf/goblin that causes irritating things to happen. "making a bugbear" is simlar to saying making a nuiscance

    Long live Hamid!
  • Reuben from Amsterdam, NetherlandsBowie recorded a worth while live version of this song with Jeff Beck on guitar.
  • Amy from Nashville, TnI read in some Bowie biography that this song was written in Nashville and not New York, as somebody here has claimed. Or maybe I'm confused; which song did he write in Nashville? I know it was one of the hits.
  • Drew from Mount Laurel, NjI think this is a great song, but it appears that the usually rock steady bassist Trevor Bolder makes 3 mistakes in this song. One in the beginning right before the 1st chorus(very obvious - he changes too soon), and then 2 at the end. With the large budget they had for this album, it amazes me they left this in.
  • Jeremy from Warren, RiThe line in the song where Bowie says "keeps all your dead hair for making up underwear", is a reference to Englands "Devils advocate" Allister Crowley. Bowie believed that hair clippings and nail clippings should be disposed of immediatley to avoid spells cast on him!
  • Alan from London, EnglandI thought the song was about Jean Genet, the French writer who can be read about here http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/jgenet.htm
  • Jeremy from Warren , RiThis song was actually written about Iggy Pop, it's not about Cyrinda Fox! "The Gene Jeanie lives on "HIS" back, not "HER" back! I have to agree with Anita as well.
  • Anita from Nyc, NyI knew Cyrinda Fox appeared in the VIDEO of "Jean Genie," but I had always heard that the song was about Iggy Pop. Can we really say of a FEMALE Jean Genie that "HE screams and he balls"? And, since Bowie frequently refers to "balling" in his early lyrics, I don't think in this song he meant "bawling"! And I do like to think Bowie might have been making a parallel between Iggy Pop and Jean Genet as Pequenity suggests!
  • Pequenita from Washington, DcI thought this song had to do with playwright Jean Genet.
  • Sam from Barrington, RiWhen writing Alladin Sane, Bowie toggled with the idea of Alladin Vein which almost did become the name of the album. Alladin Sane was also another counter-personallity to Bowie as was Ziggy Stardust.
  • Tara from London, AzDavid Bowie's brother was Schizophrenic.
    The term A Lad Insane refers to his brother.
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