Produced by

Eat to the Beat: I Want Candy

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

In song lyrics, food can serve as a metaphor for everything from gluttony to spiritual enlightenment. But when you sing about candy, you’re singing about something very specific. Journalist and author Steve Almond, whose books include “Candyfreak: A Journey Into the Chocolate Underbelly of America,” joins us for a salute to sugary, sexy songs.

Steve Almond will read from his latest book, "God Bless America" on Tuesday, November 22nd at 7pm, at McNally Jackson. More information here.


Steve Almond

Comments [45]

Lissnah from NJ

Surprised no one mentioned the 1944 classic, Candy written by Alex Kramer, Mack David and Joan Whitney. Especially versions by Ester Phillips and Big Maybelle (not to mention Nat Cole)

I call my sugar Candy
Because I'm sweet on Candy
and Candy's sweet on me

Nov. 22 2011 03:00 PM
Joe Corrao


Nov. 22 2011 02:50 PM
Alexandre from New Jersey

@Phillipe...Don't forget that Sheena Easton's "Sugar Walls" was written by the Prince of double entendres and suggestive sexual songs.

Nov. 22 2011 02:44 PM
Rose from Brooklyn

Don't forget Fats Waller's "All that meat and no potatoes"

Nov. 22 2011 02:40 PM

How about, from my parents' generation, "Makin' Whoppy?" I was around 5 and I remember asking my father, "Dad, what's making whoppy?" Can't remember who sang the song, but it was a hit.

Nov. 22 2011 02:39 PM
Dave Soldier from New York City

Here are real candy songs, no double entrendes, from Da Hiphop Raskalz, 5-10 year old kids in East Harlem who play and write their own hiphop. They really want candy!

I want candy
by the Muffletoes

to download mp3: I Want Candy.mp3

Do the lollipop
by Sweetness

download mp3: Do The Lollipop.mp3

John, congratulations on 30 years!!!

Nov. 22 2011 02:37 PM
Phillipe from Brooklyn

How about Cameo's "Candy" and Sheena Easton's " My Sugar Walls"? We should just admit that we love them all and relish the word games/double entendres...pure fun...pura vida!

Nov. 22 2011 02:33 PM
John O'Toole

Serge Gainsbourg struck a blow for sugary sexual freedom with Les Sucettes (1966), for a very young Lolita-like and saccharine France Gall. Deliciously heavy-handed lyric, in which he rhymes, say, "anis" and "quelques pennies" (for those who read French):

Annie aime les sucettes,
Les sucettes à l'anis.
Les sucettes à l'anis
Donnent à ses baisers
Un goût ani-
Sé. Lorsque le sucre d'orge
Parfumé à l'anis
Coule dans la gorge d'Annie,
Elle est au paradis...

Nov. 22 2011 02:32 PM
Old Rockin' Dave from Long Island

The really funny part about "Savoy Truffle" is that George Harrison was watching Clapton working his way through a Cadbury Good News assortment ("You know it's good news"), where all these different chocolates are found, while complaining about the state of his teeth ("You'll have to have them all pulled out after the Savoy Truffle.").

Nov. 22 2011 02:31 PM

Thank you for infuriating me with the "do no wrong" Rolling Stones bastards...does anyone listen to lyrics?? "hear him whip the women just around midnight!!! how come you dance so good. just like a black girl should." They should be eviscerated not celebrated...

Nov. 22 2011 02:30 PM

Check out the alt country/rock "honeyed out" by kris delmhorst. So hot.

Nov. 22 2011 02:28 PM
Claudio from St Augustine FL

Celia Cruz famous word was: AZUUUCAAAAR!

Nov. 22 2011 02:27 PM
matt from brooklyn

craig weirden's contemporaries the nation of ulysses had a few of sweet inspired songs like diptheria:

The road to hell is paved with chocolate treats
And candy corn is sown at the side of the streets
Every morsel promises to make you satisfied
But every wrapper carries another lie
The road to hell winds through a gingerbread town
It looks real good, tastes real good
But truth be told, it leads straight down

Nov. 22 2011 02:27 PM
Vicki from Chappaqua

Candy's room by springsteen

Nov. 22 2011 02:26 PM

i might get killed for this,but "sugar sugar", was not bad from a pre-pubescent vantage point. at least you could wiggle to it, with a modicum of pseudo-wholesomeness.

Nov. 22 2011 02:26 PM
Jesper from Brooklyn

John Grant - I Wanna Go to Marz

"Bittersweet strawberry marshmallow butterscotch
Polarbear cashew dixieland phosphate chocolate
My tutti frutti special raspberry, leave it to me
Three grace scotch lassie cherry smash lemon free"

Nov. 22 2011 02:25 PM
Andy from NJ

How about the song by Marcy Playground called "Sex and Candy"?

It came out in 1997 and I believe it spent a then-record 15 weeks at number one on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.

Nov. 22 2011 02:23 PM
Jimmy G from NYC

Oscar Brown Jr - Watermelon Man

Nov. 22 2011 02:22 PM

john--i detest sugar sugar as much as you but hearing it just now--hey, it's a great track! good groove! solid hook!!

Nov. 22 2011 02:21 PM
gene from nyc

Bill Solly's "Cookies"

Crumbs in my bed

I'd sooner have you but instead

I've just got crumbs in my bed.

Nov. 22 2011 02:21 PM

porcupine pie by neil diamond

Nov. 22 2011 02:20 PM
Jan Huling from Hoboken

Suzanne Vegs's song Caramel talks about all kinds of sweets EXCEPT chocolate. Always makes me crave some cocoa.

Nov. 22 2011 02:20 PM
KP from NJ

As a 10 year old I didn't realize that when Sammy Davis Jr. was singing 'the Candy Man can cause he mixes it with love...." I was actually receiving the 1970's equivalent of the message 'save yourself for marriage'...

Nov. 22 2011 02:20 PM
Peter from Brooklyn

Candy by Illinois Jacquette

Nov. 22 2011 02:19 PM
David from Queens

I think R&B/Gospel singer Marvin Sease's Candy Licker is the most obvious of this genre. I can't even get into the lyrics here but thought I would share it.

Nov. 22 2011 02:19 PM
Ken Braun from Nutley, NJ

"Hokey Pokey" by Richard & Linda Thompson (of all people). Hokey Pokey is British for Popsicle.

"Mr. Softee" by Kid Creole & the Coconuts isn't so much a sexual metaphor as a sexual dysfunction metaphor.

Want a more palatable "Sugar Sugar"? Wilson Pickett's version!

Nov. 22 2011 02:19 PM
eric from manhattan

Most unlikely metal break scream ever: "ONE LUMP OR TWO?!?!?!"

Nov. 22 2011 02:19 PM
Luke from Detroit

I have to mention Candy Man by the Mary Jane girls! That song is dripping in sex, in a happy, Rick James sort of way.

Nov. 22 2011 02:18 PM
John from NJ

Favorite candy reference song -- and it'd be awesome if you played a little --

The B-52's "Give Me Back My Man"
-- the refrain is "I'll give you fish, I'll give you candy..." Beautiful.

Nov. 22 2011 02:18 PM
A. from LIC

candy by Cameo

Nov. 22 2011 02:18 PM

Who can forget "Cherry Pie" by Warrant!! My father bared me from owning that album. Made me want it a young teenage girl that song and video was my first exposure to blatant sexuality.

Nov. 22 2011 02:17 PM
Anaïs from Brooklyn

She wants a hot dog for her roll? Oh my! And we insist on explicit lyrics warning labels now?

Nov. 22 2011 02:17 PM
Rob Jacklosky from Bronx

Hi Steve.
I think "Sugar Kisses" by Echo and the Bunnymen, might be too close to "Sugar, Sugar" for Steve, but I'm curious what you think.

Nov. 22 2011 02:17 PM

case of you by Joni Mitchell

soooooo painfully sweet

Nov. 22 2011 02:17 PM
Alvin from Manhattan

Do I have a dirty mind, or was "Lollipop" by the Chordettes in the 1950's full of sexual inuendo? It was a very mainstream hit.

Nov. 22 2011 02:16 PM
Annie from Manhattan

Sugar on my tongue- Talking Heads

Nov. 22 2011 02:16 PM
m from Harlem

Brown Sugar - the Stones
I know it's not candy per se but it is sweet!

Nov. 22 2011 02:15 PM
Joe Cristando from Brooklyn

Im throwing "Just Like Honey" by Jesus and Mary Chain in the running as well as "Candy Man Blues" by Mississippi John Hurt.

Nov. 22 2011 02:14 PM
Gio from Brooklyn

I really think Lou Reed's "Egg Cream" is about egg creams.

Nov. 22 2011 02:14 PM
Benjy Fox-Rosen from Brooklyn

I recorded an old Yiddish Theater tune by Aaron Lebedeff, Hudl Mitn Strudl, Hudl with Strudl.
First song on this page:

And here is a translation:
Hudl mitn Strudel by Aaron Lebedeff

Oh, Hudl, Hudl, Hudl,
What's with your strudel?
It is tasty, I love it very much.
I need no meat or tsimes,
For everything else bores me.
Oh, Hudl, Hudl, Give the strudel,
Give it!

I have a countryman his name is Dudl,
He has a little wife, her name is Hudl,
Hudl and Dudl are so in love.
And his lovely wife Hudl,
Bakes an outstanding strudel,
It is a delight baby, and should go straight into the mouth.
Every friday when Dudl has the time,
He comes home and he yells:

Oh, Hudl, Hudl, Hudl,
What's with your strudel?
It is tasty, I love it very much.
I need no meat or tsimes,
For everything else bores me.
Oh, Hudl, Hudl, Give the strudel,
Give it!

My countryman Dudl has a border,
Who is very much in love with his Hudl,
Because she cooks his supper very well.
And the border, how he is smitten,
And the supper refreshes him,
And he devours Hudl with his eyes.
And when she, Hudl, bring the tea to the table,
He smiles and say to her the following:

Oh, Hudl, Hudl, Hudl, your tea with your Strudel,
It is delicious, I love it very much.
It is so delightful, and it just melts in the belly,
Oh Hudl, Give the strudel,
Give it!

Nov. 22 2011 02:13 PM
siouxan from Bronx yo

Another fave: "Tootsie Roll" by Morris Day and The Time.

Nov. 22 2011 02:12 PM

I have to say, I did always like Shudder to Think's "Chocolate," off of Funeral at the Movies. Though, I think it's pretty clear HE'S not singing about candy....

Nov. 22 2011 02:11 PM

not one more pop song with honey,sweetie,or sugar. there were some good and even great songs, with those saccharine lolly-pop morsels. but, that is of another time.

Nov. 22 2011 02:08 PM

sonic insulin shock

Nov. 22 2011 02:01 PM
siouxan from Bronx

My rather ancient suggestions offer excellent metaphors re candy/food/sex:

Syd Barrett/The Floyd - "Candy and a Currant Bun." or

Beatles - "Savoy Truffle"

These songs make perfect 60's pop bookends IMO.

Nov. 22 2011 01:51 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.