Candy Says

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"Candy Says" is a song written by Lou Reed. It is one of four songs Lou Reed explicitly wrote in the voice of a female character, in the case of "Candy Says", a transsexual, telling her experiences. Each would begin with the woman's name and then be followed by the verb "says." "Stephanie Says" was the first - later adapted into "Caroline Says" on his solo album Berlin.

The song is the first on the third album of The Velvet Underground.[1]

The song addresses Candy Darling's desire to escape her birth gender. Lou Reed insisted that Doug Yule take the lead vocal on the song.

Lou Reed said the song was also, "about something more profound and universal, a universal feeling I think all of us have at some point. We look in the mirror and we don't like what we see...I don't know a person alive who doesn't feel that way."[2]

In 2005, Lou Reed joined Antony and the Johnsons for a rendition of "Candy Says" on stage at Antony’s Carnegie Hall show that year.

Just seven months before Reed died in October 2013, he joined Antony and the Johnsons again onstage at a Paris gig to sing "Candy Says." It wound up being his final public performance. "I'm going to watch the blue birds fly," Reed sang. "Over my shoulder/I’m going to watch them pass me by/Maybe when I'm older/What do you think I'd see/If I could walk away from me."[3]


  1. ^ The Guardian, December 7 2015, [1]
  2. ^ 'Lou Reed, a Life', Antony DeCurtis, p.121
  3. ^ rolling [2]