"Boys Keep Swinging" as written by Brian Eno and David Bowie....
Heaven loves ya
The clouds part for ya
Nothing stands in your way
When you're a boy
Clothes always fit ya
Life is a pop of the cherry
When you're a boy
When you're a boy
You can wear a uniform
When you're a boy
Other boys check you out
You get a girl
These are your favorite things
When you're a boy
Boys
Boys
Boys keep swinging
Boys always work it out
Uncage the colors
Unfurl the flag
Luck just kissed you hello
When you're a boy
They'll never clone ya
You're always first on the line
When you're a boy
When you're a boy
You can buy a home of your own
When you're a boy
Learn to drive and everything
You'll get your share
When you're a boy
Boys
Boys
Boys keep swinging
Boys always work it out


Lyrics submitted by saturnine

"Boys Keep Swinging" as written by Brian Eno David Bowie

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, TINTORETTO MUSIC

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Boys Keep Swinging song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentTo teakettle - it probably was a nod to bisexalism or simply being curious. Since he immediatly says after "other boys can check you out. you get a girl." It's a pretty cool way of admitting we all notice when someone is attractive, regardless of gender.

    Read the book Bowie In Berlin. It explains this song, among others.
    right2interpreton July 07, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentDefinitely a tongue-in-cheek song. Many cultures systematically tilt the power structure to men. (Some may opine "all" cultures do, but that's a different forum.) Hence the reference to "you can buy a home of your own" and how you can "learn to drive and everything" if your a boy, as these are privileges for men only in these cultures. But note how the song comes across like a sales pitch for boyhood? Like a guy needs to be convinced that being a guy is great? It seems almost like Bowie's addressing guys who over-compensate because they actually have some deep insecurities about their masculinity. The video seems to hint at this: Bowie dresses as three different drag queens, two of whom walk down the runway then suddenly rip of their wigs and smear their lipstick revealing that they are really guys. Oddly enough, the third drag queen stays in drag as an elderly old woman. Is that a commentary on how, with the effects of age, men and women just kind of end up gender neuter? Or was Bowie just having too much of a laugh as that last character to cast it off?
    logistical24on August 04, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think the song is indeed tongue-in-cheek, in the following way: 'Boys' are praised over the top in this song, at the point it gets ridiculous. I guess Bowie doesn't really like the idea of a superior man.

    I like the line:
    When you're a boy
    You can wear a uniform

    I'm not that happy that I have to be in the army.
    Reinton August 15, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"When you're a boy, you can wear a uniform"

    The other day, I was watching an interview excerpt from UKDK on YouTube. The subject of the interview was a young Italian guy in England, who earned his living making beds in a hotel. He had left his home country due to conscription. In England, his individualism appeared to be limited to peroxide hair and a leather jacket. If he'd been a girl, it is doubtful whether he would have had to face that catch twenty-two.

    Sexism is a two way street. If girls are made to seem weak, stupid or unworthy, then men instinctually distance themselves from their female counterparts. Sensitivity and other typically feminine qualities lose their place in humanity, because men have been imprinted with the idea that girly equals devolution. So the suppression of the feminine is ultimately as oppressive to men as it is to women.



    NellieWhiskeyon June 19, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTHIS SONG IS SO FUCKING GREAT!!!!
    JoeTheLionon August 27, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's a great song, but it always makes me feel slightly depressed -- it's all true and makes me feel hard-done-by to be a girl. I like the "other boys can check you out" bit -- gay reference?
    Teakettleon May 22, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMy thoughts is he's making funn of the preferance of male superiority, and the male dominated position in society.
    starfaeryon October 20, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMaybe it's about how young boys, once they first get out there in the world, feel like they are in control of everything. That the world belongs to them. I love the guitar riff on this one.
    Bonehead XLon June 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBowie at his best, always reminds me of messing around with mates and just generally being boys.
    violet skyon May 31, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHe wrote this song for Duncan. Very nice, very dedicated. I just hope to God that the kid didn't see the video until he was at least 15. this is definitely on my top 10 favs.
    davidbowiefan1on October 01, 2007   Link

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