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   >> Interpretation
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JarethsGirl
(electric tomato)
06/07/03 04:47 PM
Sweet Thing: About Prostitution?  

This is a little debate going on in the David Bowie Love Song thread. What is Sweet Thing about? (I'm sure this has been done before... so sue me.) Revidescent says it's about rape. T.J.Newton says it's about love (creepoid). I say it's about prostitution. Why, you ask?


It's safe in the city, to love in a doorway (a typical setting for prostitution)
To wrangle some screams from the dawn (to muffle someones cries -- this line sounds more like rape, but it's common for prostitutes to be raped, it doesn't necessarily mean it's the character in the song doing it)
And isn't it me, putting pain in a stranger? (pretty literal -- this one could go for rape or prostitution -- could be comparing himself to aforementioned rapist(s) or could be rapist, going with revidescent's interpretation)
Like a portrait in flesh (attractive person),
who trails on a leash (a slave to their trade or to their pimp)

Will you see that I'm scared and I'm lonely?
So I'll break up my room, and yawn and I
Run to the centre of things
(gives me the impression of a troubled teenage boy looking for comfort and attention from a prostitute.)
Where the knowing one says (pimp or hooker advertising sex)

CHORUS
Boys, boys, its a sweet thing
Boys, boys, its a sweet thing, sweet thing
(sex)
If you want it, boys, get it here, thing
'Cause hope, boys, is a cheap thing, cheap thing
(cheap referring to money for sex)

I'm glad that you're older than me
Makes me feel important and free
Does that make you smile, isn't that me?
I'm in your way, and I'll steal every moment
If this trade is a curse, then I'll bless you
(trade referring to prostitution)
And turn to the crossroads of Hamburg

CHORUS


So what do you think?

My grandmother once told me, "Good things come to those who wait." ...That lyin' old bag!

revidescent
(crash course raver)
06/07/03 04:56 PM
Re: Sweet Thing: About Prostitution? new [re: JarethsGirl]  

I see your point, and I have to agree. My interpretation made more sense with only the first lines of the song, but yours covers the whole thing. Good job.

Andrée-Anne

Living is easy with eyes closed.

T.J. Newton
(acolyte)
06/08/03 10:09 AM
A portrait in flesh new [re: JarethsGirl]  

In reply to:

T.J.Newton says it's about love (creepoid).


I don't recall myself calling it a love song. Just because I added it on my list of favourite Bowie love songs doesn't mean it's really a love song. You know what I mean, don't you?
Besides, prostitution is a kind of love

I must admit that your interpretation makes sense, especially when I think about Winston from Orwell's 1984 and his memories about renting an old, neglected hooker...

Hell is round the corner where I shelter

revidescent
(crash course raver)
06/08/03 12:10 PM
Re: A portrait in flesh new [re: T.J. Newton]  

En réponse à:

You know what I mean, don't you?


I'm afraid I don't...

Andrée-Anne

Living is easy with eyes closed.

JarethsGirl
(electric tomato)
06/08/03 01:59 PM
Re: A portrait in flesh new [re: T.J. Newton]  

I wouldn't exactly call it a kind of love, but a kind of comfort, maybe even hope -- like the song says, ("hope is a cheap thing.")

In reply to:

renting an old, neglected hooker



"I'm glad that you're older than me.." Also, the Sweet Thing reprise goes along with this. "Do you think that your face looks the same" -- someone who was once beautiful but is now aged and weathered, perhaps.

My grandmother once told me, "Good things come to those who wait." ...That lyin' old bag!

AdamModerator
(crash course raver)
06/08/03 02:34 PM
Re: A portrait in flesh new [re: JarethsGirl]  

A very good interpretation. To add to this:

In reply to:

Like a portrait in flesh (attractive person),
who trails on a leash (a slave to their trade or to their pimp)



A "portrait" is usually a photo or painting, something that is exhibited. Flesh or 'meat' is a slang term referring to the human body as an object of sexual desire. This is a perfect description of a prostitute.


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HelenaOfGale
(kook)
06/08/03 03:32 PM
Re: Sweet Thing: About Prostitution? new [re: JarethsGirl]  

While I agree with most things, I always felt that the narrator of the song was the prostitute rather than the customer. But I also think that the point of view shifts within the song.

On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.

T.J. Newton
(acolyte)
06/08/03 04:26 PM
It's got me, it's got you new [re: revidescent]  

In reply to:

I'm afraid I don't...


I'll explain it to you with pleasure.
I added Sweet Thing and Sweet Thing (Reprise) (and probably Candidate, too) on a lists of love song in a thread started in Coffee Shop not a long time ago. But I stated that I don't treat those tracks as love songs, although they are very romantic and can be perfect background for a rendez-vous. That's what I thought

Hell is round the corner where I shelter

revidescent
(crash course raver)
06/08/03 04:32 PM
Re: It's got me, it's got you new [re: T.J. Newton]  

Oh, I see. It makes sense now.

Andrée-Anne

Living is easy with eyes closed.

FritzFassbender
(wild eyed peoploid)
06/08/03 05:27 PM
Re: Sweet Thing: About Prostitution? new [re: JarethsGirl]  

I've always seen this about being prostitution, as well. It goes with the "1984" theme that Diamond Dogs was originally supposed to be.
Hunger City is a decadent place where prostitution is commonplace. Sex has become simply a tradable commodity, like drugs ("If you want it, boys, get it here"). All pleasure has gone out of it. ("putting pain in a stranger").




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