"Rats and Rats and Rats for Candy" as written by and Cody Votolato Whitney Johnny....
Mr. Howell: The dinner was fine until she opened her mouth.
Oh, Candy! Oh, Candy! Behind her teeth 15 rats started screaming and sobbing. Candy girl! Candy girl!

When we were kissing in the car
those rodents smoked cigars in her throat, blowing smoke.
(You turn on the lights and look a bit closer... there's shutters on her eyes, there's a door on her thigh.)

Candy: These rats are not living inside my hotel face.
They're just sick and they need a bed lined with fine lace.

Mr. Howell: You know that pity's got an ugly price tag.

Rats: Our fur feels like it's on fire. There's thorns growing on our bones.
Our hunger is x-rated.
Oh, mother, we love you so!
(Candy invites you upstairs, you say it's getting awfully late, but she yanks your hand through the door. Her clothes fall off and she presses into you. But those rats have chewed a hole straight through her navel and nipple.)
Mr. Howell: Oh, Candy. I've got to go.


Candy: Oh, won't you stay the night with me Mr. Howell!

These rats are not living inside my hotel face.
They're just sick and need a bed lined with fine lace.
Mr. Howell: You know that pity's got an ugly price tag. [x2]

Rats: Our muscles have turned to cement.
We're coughing up needles and nails.
Our veins are flowing barbed wire.
Oh, mother, we are so frail! but wait!
We've got a trick for him.
We twist tears into shit eaten grins.

(When you wake up in the morning you find yourself alone in Candy's bed. And everything is gone: paintings, jewels, songs. Candy's blowing in the breeze; those rats devoured her up in her sleep. Her skin's tied to the bed post like a flag on a ship of ghosts. You read the letter on the dresser; the sick brown sun rubbing in your soul).

Reading letter: Oh, mother, you should have known.
You should have seen through our fake broken bones.
Our tears that we razor-sharpened were calculated to rob you blind.

Mr. Howell: Three weeks later from that day,
I saw those rats on a bicycle.
They crept by me and started balling,
their eyes turned to icicles.
Crying, "We need a vacancy!"


Lyrics submitted by decodethemoans

"Rats and Rats and Rats for Candy" as written by John Whitney Cody Votolato

Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing, MOTHERSHIP MUSIC PUBLISHING

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Rats and Rats and Rats for Candy song meanings
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39 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI think it's interesting that nobody has mentioned the line "you know that pity's got an ugly pricetag."

    Candy is showing pity on the rats, and she pays for this with her life, as well as all of her belongings.

    I don't think this song has anything to do with disease, at least not in the literal sence. I also doubt that Candy is a prostitute, or a slut, or anything other than a kind person who makes the mistake of showing pity on the wrong people (or in this case the wrong rodents).

    After taking all that Candy has to offer them, the rats move on to find a new victim. Mr. Howell sees the rats riding a bicycle (he is not riding it) and they are screaming "we need a vacancy!" They are looking for someone else like Candy who will show pity on them and ultimately be consumed by them.
    sin mi caraon February 06, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti'm thinkin perhaps the rats, since they come from inside her, are a metaphor for her having a bad spirit (being bad on the inside). what do ya'll think?
    punkrockchick217on October 20, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIf I may suggest a radical yet logical point of view?

    I think that most of you guys are right by saying the rats are symbolism for something bad but I have a different point of view.

    I think the rats are desire/bad intentions as a whole and the whining by them and their illnesses ("Our muscles have turned into cement", "Veins are flowing barbed wire" etc) are almost reminders of the ugliness of the desire and when it turns bad. I think that the song's intent was to make the Candy character look like the cause of all this yet the rats remain at the end of the song. To me, this means that the desire and bad intentions of this "Mr. Howell" keep corrupting the willing and follow him over and over again. Like in the opening lines it seems that Mr. Howell was alright until he noticed something in Candy that brought out the "rats behind her teeth" that started "screaming and sobbing", or perhaps a desire for her. When he wakes up in the morning, all the desires/bad intent (the rats) are gone for one reason or another and he can move on again.

    This is what I think. Feel free to criticize.
    kakashi65on December 05, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIf I may suggest a radical yet logical point of view?

    I think that most of you guys are right by saying the rats are symbolism for something bad but I have a different point of view.

    I think the rats are desire/bad intentions as a whole and the whining by them and their illnesses ("Our muscles have turned into cement", "Veins are flowing barbed wire" etc) are almost reminders of the ugliness of the desire and when it turns bad. I think that the song's intent was to make the Candy character look like the cause of all this yet the rats remain at the end of the song. To me, this means that the desire and bad intentions of this "Mr. Howell" keep corrupting the willing and follow him over and over again. Like in the opening lines it seems that Mr. Howell was alright until he noticed something in Candy that brought out the "rats behind her teeth" that started "screaming and sobbing", or perhaps a desire for her. When he wakes up in the morning, all the desires/bad intent (the rats) are gone for one reason or another and he can move on again.

    This is what I think. Feel free to criticize.
    kakashi65on December 05, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti agree with sin mi cara this is about a person who is just to nice to say no to those less fortunet and for this shes taken advantage of and in the end it consumes her and the rats dont even care.
    youranidioton February 14, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think its kind of a story about a guy who takes pity on a girl, who once took pity on a guy, and it's the disease of pity that spreads through them. They keep passing it through to the next one, and it never stops, it just chews through each one. I think the rats are the pathetic aspect of who she is, and he can't stand it, he can't even touch her because all he feels is sorry, and then eventually she leaves him, and all he's left with is pity for himself because he was left by someone he always felt so much better then
    KeenOnJesuson January 15, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWell...I just wanna say to "The Black Eyes" that both lead singers are bisexual...and that neon blonde is johnny whitney's sideproject and head wound city is jordan Blilie's (not billie, although that's the name of the song about him petting the wild horses' mane) but whatever...that shit doesn't really matter.

    I dDO think it's relevant to look at neon blonde, (because johnny's lyrical style is so much more based in storylines, as opposed to jordan's vague, scattered approach,) though, when thinking about the lyrics for "rats."

    They kind of closely ressemble the lyrics for "headlines" (songmeanings.net/…) or "Chandelliers and vines", in that it speaks of tragic social situation sinvolving a promiscuous girls/hookers.

    obviously, the girl's name wasn't necessarily Candy, but she was a "candy girl," beautiful until she opened her mouth. This could either mean that she was ignorant or that mr. howell simply did not appreciate her as an intellectual being.

    I think perhaps mr. howell is disgusted with her lifestyle, and keeps trying to escape her presence. but she's saying that the rats are just sick and needs someone to take pity.

    He's arguing: "pity's got an ugly price tag" and worrying about himself.

    but she convinces him to let her stay.

    The rats are calling Candy "mother" the whole time, biding their time to "rob her blind."

    It's like they're helping her persuade him, "we've got a trick for him."

    in the end, the note left by the rats for candy reveal that their broken bones were faked, that they only wanted to rob her.


    later, mr. howell sees the rats and they're trying to get into him now, needing a "vacancy"

    I think it's likely that Johnny and Jordan had no particular meaning assigned to the rats. They could have been a disease or a state of mind; i think it's just important that we know that the rats are a bad thing. She took pity on them, thinking that all they needed was some loving care. They pretended to love her in return, but instead became her downfall. And in his connection to Candy, the rats set their sights upon Mr. Howell.
    cassettetapeon May 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love their storylines too fucking much.
    badsrx7on October 12, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSeems to be about a heroin addict, or some skanky ho.
    tsucolon October 17, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhile it could very well be about a heroin addict, or a prostitute, my initial thought was that it's just a weird, creepy story.
    I'm not saying I think I'm right or anything, but that's just what I think about it.
    whtlocuston October 18, 2004   Link

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