"Lowdown" as written by and Boz Scaggs David Paich....
Baby's into running around
Hanging with the crowd
Putting your business in the street
Talking out loud
Saying you bought her this and that
And how much you done spent
I swear she must believe it's all heaven sent

Hey boy you better bring the chick around
To the sad, sad truth the dirty lowdown

(Ooh I wonder, wonder, wonder, wonder who)
Taught her how to talk like that
(Ooh I wonder, wonder, wonder, wonder who)
Gave her that big idea

Nothin' you can't handle
Nothin' you ain't got
Put your money on the table
And drive it off the lot
Turn on that old love light
And turn a "maybe" to a "yes"
Same old schoolboy game got you into this mess

Hey son, better get back on to town
Face the sad old truth, the dirty lowdown

(Ooh I wonder, wonder, wonder, wonder who)
Put those ideas in your head
(Ooh I wonder, wonder, wonder, wonder who)

Yeah

Come on back down, little son
Dig the low, low, low, low, lowdown!

You ain't got to be so bad, got to be so cold
This dog eat dog existence sure is getting old
Got to have a Jones for this
Jones for that
This runnin' with the Joneses, boy, just ain't where it's at, no, no

You gonna come back around
To the sad, sad truth, the dirty lowdown

(Ooh I wonder, wonder, wonder, wonder who)
Got you thinking like that, boy
(Ooh I wonder, wonder, wonder, wonder who)

I wonder, wonder, wonder, wonder who
Said I wonder, wonder, wonder, I wonder who
Oh, look out for that lowdown (ohh, I wonder, wonder, wonder, wonder who)
That dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty lowdown

Ooh I wonder, wonder, wonder, wonder who
Ooh I wonder, wonder, wonder, wonder who

Got you thinkin' like that
Got you thinkin' just like that
(Ooh I wonder, wonder, wonder, wonder who)
Lookin' that girl in the face is so sad
I'm ashamed of you

I wonder, wonder, wonder, wonder who


Lyrics submitted by BluesRaven

"Lowdown" as written by Boz Scaggs David Paich

Lyrics © Spirit Music Group

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Lowdown song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI can't believe there aren't more comments on this song. Is it really that forgotten?

    I couldn't pinpoint one thing and say that's what it's "about," but it's sort of based on the pun that "lowdown" can mean both an unsavory person and the real scoop. For me though, I just I like the urban imagery and Scaggs's cool, suave delivery.
    law4on February 22, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe "lowdown" is the practice of currying favor by spending money on someone. Boz's character has a girl whom he has bought things for in order to get sex (the old schoolboy game) and the (sad truth behind the gifts). She, however, is running around telling people what's going on, and it's embarassing to him that she is exposing his mode of operation. "who gave her the big idea" that she should go around and tell everyone his business.

    Boz tells the guy "there's nothing you can't handle, nothing you ain't got" so as to encourage him not to play this game but just to "turn on the love light" so that her "maybe" will turn into a "yes." But since he's been playing this "schoolboy game" he's in a "mess."

    He tells the man further that "he doesn;t have to be so bad, or so cold"; that he could just use an approach that isn't a dirty secret. Boz wonders, "who taught him how to think like that" and he tells everyone "watch out for that dirty lowdown."
    palominpon April 25, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentHard to believe that he and Steve Miller not only went to high school together but
    actually played music together back in the '60's...
    I wonder,I wonder,I wonder...
    Thia007on December 05, 2011   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationA groupie gal is running around telling everyone she's Boz's girlfriend. She has no tact, and takes the gifts for granted – as if they will be getting married. “Hey boy”, is his rational-self saying that he really should tell her the sad truth, that she is just a fling.

    He's rich and on top of the world – can pay cash. Can turn on the charm and get what he wants with ease.
    But doing that gets him at odds with the girl, and life. But like the groupie girl, he too is taking his success for granted, and needs better grounding.

    Get on back to town – means stop traveling the world (London, Sweden, etc.) and get back closer to his more humble roots back in his hometown. It's figurative and literal. Enjoy normal life.

    Being a highfalutin rock star (or joining the rat-race in general) vs. being a relatively normal person – the latter being preferable. Who gave him that idea? Rhetorical question – can't be answered.

    At first glance I assumed lightly that it was a white boy more or less critiquing from afar obscure pimp hooker dynamics in an urban blight ridden city – but reading the lyrics carefully and knowing a scant bit about Scaggs, I think it was simply about his own situation at the time. (He and David Paich actually.) Lowdown was the band's favorite song of that breakout album, but no one ever thought it would become a single, much less win the Grammy for best song in 1976.

    I'd like to think Joe Walsh's, Life's Been Good (1978), was inspired a bit by the lyrics.
    MarshalStackon February 06, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSuch a cool song
    OscarIsaiahon January 12, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThis CD is my car and I play it over and over, ad infinitum. Boz Scaggs' songs never get old. I love them all.

    I think this song is about a man who is in some type of shady racket. He bought gifts for his girlfriend; and instead of keeping it on the "Lowdown," she's telling everyone she knows that her boyfriend "bought her this and that." The girl's continuous talking may put the boyfriend in jeopardy. If word got back to the unscrupulous people he works with/for, they could kill him.

    She thinks this guy is the answer to a prayer "...she must believe it's all heaven sent." His friend wonders how this girl knew to talk about the man's business, "Putting your business in the street" implying that he had been lying to her about how he came by his ill-gotten gains. The man's friend tells him to make his girlfriend stop talking: "Better bring the chick around" and give her "the sad, sad truth, the dirty lowdown." He's saying to tell the girl the truth: the money for the gifts was not made honestly.

    It seems like these two men go way back. One seems to be older, calling him "son" and referring to the apparent charm this guy has that can make a girl change her mind: "Turn on that ole love light and turn a maybe to a yes. Same old schoolboy game got you into this mess."

    He is advising this younger man to live a better, more decent life. "Come on back down to earth, son." He doesn't need Everything that Everyone else has: "...Jones for this Jones for that..." He wonders who is responsible for the way this young man is living his life. "Who got you thinking like that boy." Living life in the fast lane is going to take its toll. The dirty lowdown is just truth, plain and simple.
    Haygurlon August 26, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationHere is my take and hopefully makes sense.
    Lowdown meaning by all, point taken. Next listen to Bozz's succeeding songs after Lowdown. such as "Love Look What You've Done To Me", "This Heart Mine". hey seem to be sequel of Lowdown of the character's in the lyrics. Lyrics of most of his songs send strong message and possibly could have happen to anyone. Remember, before songs were made, there were poems and stories made. " Listen, Understand then Love Music and Life" T
    listengoodon September 21, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me the lowdown is the fact that money can not buy you happiness. That's the sad, sad, lowdown.
    walketimon December 06, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI relate this to Do It Again by Steely Dan. Three separate stories, three guys ignoring reality (the "lowdown"), which is that they're wasting their time with:

    a) a gal who only cares about gifts.
    b) prostitutes
    c) drugs.
    Guitarearlon January 19, 2017   Link

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