Candy Says

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"Candy Says"
Song by The Velvet Underground
from the album The Velvet Underground
ReleasedMarch 1969
RecordedNovember – December 1968
T.T.G. Studios,[1] Hollywood
Sunset and Highland Sound, Hollywood
LabelMGM Records
Songwriter(s)Lou Reed
Producer(s)The Velvet Underground

"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 transgender woman, 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 track on the Velvet Underground's self-titled third album.[2]

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."[3]

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. Reed's last public performance, seven months before his death in October 2013, was also "Candy Says" with Antony and the Johnsons, this time in Paris on March 6 of that year.[4]


  1. ^ Discogs - T.T.G. Studios (Hollywood) profile and discography
  2. ^ The Guardian, December 7 2015
  3. ^ 'Lou Reed, a Life', Anthony DeCurtis, p.121
  4. ^ Greene, Andy (27 October 2015). "Flashback: Lou Reed Plays 'Candy Says' At His Final Performance". Rolling Stone.