Things Candy Says (and a Few Notes About It)

Inspired by @TT's list: WHAT JANE SAYS
  1. I've come to hate my body, and all that it requires in this world
  2. I'd like to know completely what others so discreetly talk about
  3. I hate the quiet places that cause the smallest taste of what will be
  4. I hate the big decisions that cause endless revisions in my mind
  5. NOTES: These are lyrics from the 1968 Velvet Underground song, "Candy Says."
  6. It's the opening track on their self-titled LP.
  7. The lyrics, by Lou Reed, are a tribute to Candy Darling, the transgender "Warhol Superstar" and VU contemporary.
  8. "Candy Says" was sung by Doug Yule, who replaced the legendary John Cale. Yule was considered a more "middle of the road"/ conservative musician than the famously experimental Cale.
  9. Yule was not informed that the song was about someone who identified as transgender. He thought it was a sweet, quiet ballad about a cisgender woman.
  10. Lou Reed openly mocked Yule for being so clueless about Candy's identity. The fact that Yule was so "square" as to not realize he was singing about a transgender performer played into a larger narrative about Yule's "traditional" sensibilities.
  11. And yet when I listen to "Candy Says" today, I realize that Yule's "naïveté" undercuts what could have been cynicism in Reed's lyrics. The song becomes an expression of yearning for free expression, regardless of the world's labels.
  12. The lesson to me is: Everybody plays their part in the beautiful bigger picture, no matter how difficult that is to see at the time.