Every Song About Candy Is Super Creepy
Everyone loves candy, and we're no different. So this week, Cracked is giving in to our sweet tooth and talking about all things candy.
Candy is great. It's usually part of a surprise, there's a little part of your brain that knows it's bad for you, so that's fun, and there are so many kinds to engorge yourself with that to choose just one seems nigh impossible.
The world knows this, and so do music artists. To compare love and affection to candy is obvious, so why not put it into song? "Girl, I love you as much as I love Kit-Kat." It's simple and to the point. So why do so many artists have trouble with analogies? Seriously, some musicians toe the line between "metaphor" and "sexual predator" so deftly they could make an Olympic sport out of it ...
Madonna - “Candy Shop” (2008) And 50 Cent - “Candy Shop” (2003)
Yum! A twofer that no one asked for! Yes, within a scant five years, both Madonna and 50 Cent both released unrelated songs called "Candy Shop," and both were clunky, limp, and kinda gross. 50 jumped right to the point in his song, stating that he would "take you to the candy shop, I'll let you lick the lollipop," and man alive, he sure ain't talkin' about a Dum Dum. But as the song progresses, he seems to veer off-track, adding references to tea kettles and champagne, which are definitely not candy.
He does find his way back to the trail later, sharing that he will "melt in your mouth girl, not in your hands." Which … hmm. Does that mean his body parts disintegrate once they reach the ambient temperature of a human mouth? And what does that mean for the lady in the situation? Is she warned beforehand that she's going to be partly responsible for the rendering of another person's appendages?
Madonna doesn't fare much better in her song. It's off an album called Hard Candy, so we know going in that she's going to be up to some freaky business. But if we're going by the first verse, it looks like Madonna might actually be the proprietor of a boutique that specializes in chocolate treats:
"See which flavor you like and I'll have it for you
Come on into my store, I've got candy galore
Don't pretend you're not hungry, I've seen it before
I've got Turkish delight baby and so much more"
She's literally laying out the items that she keeps on hand! Madonna, so long associated with sex, is now in the business of offering confections bound by starch, sugar, and gel that originated in Turkey in the late 1700s. It's amazing how a pop star can reshape their persona to—-
"All the suckers are not what we sell in the store
Chocolate kisses so good
You'll be beggin' for more
Don't pretend you're not hungry
There's plenty to eat
Come on in to my store
'Cause my sugar is sweet!"
Oh, Madonna! We really thought you had changed.
Led Zeppelin - “Candy Store Rock” (1976)
Don't everyone clutch your pearls at once. We know Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page once basically kidnapped a 14-year-old whilst on tour, so you shouldn't be aghast that they were more than a little hamfisted at penning a song about their true feelings. The song starts off with some ticklish bluesy guitar licks before the band comes in with a groove that's as predatory and creepy as the words that would follow. Robert Plant, Led Zep lead singer, fires off a stream of euphemisms that would announce a call to arms to every wannabe Chris Hansen of the world.
Plant sets the bait first. He says you totally want a man like him because he's super sweet (like CANDY! *swoon* *knees go weak planet-wide*). But inside this delectable chocolate treat is a filling made of pure, gooey, nougat-y menace.
"Oh baby baby, well you lookin' good enough to eat
Oh baby baby, I don't believe I've tasted this before
Oh baby baby, I want it now
And every mouthful more of you"
Robert, we've talked about this before. You can't just gallivant around eating women. Mouthfuls of people is literally the worst sequence of words the human ears can hear that doesn't contain "cheese" and "fist'. But he's not done! By the fourth verse, he's got his spoon in her jar. Which, by the way, is the worst way to fetch candy from a container. Unless the candy is liquid? Or marshmallow fluff? Is that candy? I need a shower.
Christina Aguilera - “Candyman” (2006)
If you approached this entry expecting to read about an inner-city Chicago demon that vomits bees, we are sorry to disappoint you. Instead, we are discussing Ms. Aguilera, who, in the prime of her powers, opted to take inspiration from old-timey swing music and put out "Candyman," which has nary a mention of Junior Mints or Dots anywhere in its ribald lyrics. No, it's about sex because people ruin everything.
She doesn't even get through the first verse before mentioning that this fella she's on a date with is a "one-stop shop" who "makes the panties drop." Candy enthusiasts let out a collective exasperated sigh powerful enough to be detected on Saffir-Simpson scales. She goes on to describe her guy as a "sweet talkin' sugar-coated candyman." Do we even need to go into detail as to how uncomfortable and physically abrasive a human man rolled in granulated sugar would be? The sheer number of tiny cuts your body would sustain would only compete with the amount you'd get after borrowing your girlfriend's busted iPhone. "He had lips like sugar cane." Oh? Did he? He had lips that resembled the bamboo-like, fibrous stalks of sugar cane?
I don't think this song has a single solitary thing to do with candy. Xtina instead just wants to talk about having relations.
Bow Wow Wow - “I Want Candy” (1982)
We can excuse so many things with a quick "Well, it was the 1980s," but at some point, you have to start holding people responsible for their actions. English New-Wavers Bow Wow Wow had themselves a hit in 1982 with a cover of The Strangeloves' 1965 song "I Want Candy." So technically, the Strangeloves are to blame for the creepiness, but they didn't have a music video on MTV so that we could put a face to the madness, so they're off the hook.
The song starts off fairly tame: the female singer has met a guy who's "tough but sweet," and apparently he's really cute, as he "sets the summer on fire." A quick chorus states that she, in fact, does want candy. Weird association, but alright. The next verse tells of her going to see him when the sun goes down, and wouldn't you know it, he's so sweet he makes her mouth water (FINALLY a candy connection!).
But then things get straight-up weird. She sings that candy on the beach is the best, but she really likes her candy "wrapped in a sweater." Have you seen what an unwrapped Reese's cup does to the intricate knitting on a sweater?
Teen heartthrob Aaron Carter also did a take on this song in 2000. All he did was add the fact that the girl herself was named Candy. Way to update a classic, bud.
BLACKPINK, Lady Gaga - “Sour Candy” (2020)
What do South Korean girl group BLACKPINK and Lady Gaga have in common? Sinning! That's right, the two joined forces for what they thought would be an honest-to-goodness summer hit in 2020, but what they ended up creating is an aimless and nonsensical thumpfest of creeps. The songwriters wanted to embody what it was like to eat a Sour Patch Kid: the initial sassy taste of sour, followed by the gooey sweetness contained within, but you know, in audio form.
Lyrically they start off fine. They sing of being so sweet but then a little angry. That would be the exact opposite of a Sour Patch Kid, though, right? Whatever, forget it. We're not even here. They then go on to say that they're "super psycho" and they'll "make you crazy" when they turn the lights down low. We can't speak for everyone, but a lightless room that's shared with a super psycho is not only a bummer to think about but completely Devoid Of Candy.
Oh, here's another rando statement:
"I'm hard on the outside but if you give me time
Then I could make time for your love
I'm hard on the outside but if you see inside, inside, inside"
"Hard on the outside." Good. That's quality metaphor work there. It implies they have a gruff exterior, much like the first impression of a Sour Patch Kid. Good! We're getting somewhere in this desire to equate love with sweet treats. But then, instead of suggesting that after the hard outside, there's sweetness inside, the narrator simply says that they could "make time for your love," as if you're putting them out.
Justin writes more here!
Top image: RCA