"All the Young Dudes" as written by and David / Bowie....
Billy rapped all night 'bout his suicide
How he'd kick it in the head when he was 25
Don't wanna stay alive when you're 25

Wendy's stealing clothes from unlocked cars
Freddy's got spots from ripping off stars from his face
Funky little boat race
The television man is crazy
Saying we're juvenile delinquent wrecks
Man I need a TV when I've got T. Rex
Hey brother you guessed I'm a dude

All the young dudes
Carry the news
Boogaloo dudes
Carry the news

All the young dudes
Carry the news
Boogaloo dudes
Carry the news

Now Jimmy looking sweet though he dresses like a queen
He can kick like a mule
It's a real mean team
We can love
Oh we can love
And my brother's back at home
With his Beatles and his Stones
We never got if off on that revolution stuff
What a drag
Too many snags
Well I drunk a lot of wine
And I'm feeling fine
Gonna race some cat to bed
Is this concrete all around
Or is it in my head
Oh brother you guessed I'm a dude

All the young dudes
Carry the news
Boogaloo dudes
Carry the news

All the young dudes
Carry the news
Boogaloo dudes
Carry the news


Lyrics submitted by typo, edited by ALBRIGHTON, jwdrummer

"All the Young Dudes" as written by David Bowie

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC, TINTORETTO MUSIC

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All the Young Dudes song meanings
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41 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentThis song is not a "gay anthem." Bowie, and Mott the Hoople, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Marc Bolan, etc, et al, were Glam rockers. Glam was neither gay nor straight. It was a refutation of sexual stereotypes. The movement said, "It doesn't matter what I look like. I can wear a dress and be a man, or a suit and be a woman. I don't care what you think of me, and I will wear makeup if I want." Glam rock was an offshoot of the rebelious hippie movement, and paved the way for the metal image in the 80s. 80s bands like Poison, Montley Crue, Guns and Roses --- long haired guys, wearing makeup and possessing a general "F.U." attitude towards the establishment. Some of the Glam rockers were bisexual (though certainly not all of them), and that was yet another way of thumbing their noses at the people in charge. Just like the hippies of the previous decade had done pot and acid, and had "free love," in order to piss off their parents. The glam generation kicked it up a notch. They had "free love," as well -- regardless of gender -- and they graduated to harder drugs - more club-type varieties - speed and amyl nitrate amongst them.

    Anyway, Bowie sings backup on Mott the Hoople's version of this song (you can clearly hear him singing the main hook, "All the young dudes..." etc...)

    I have to agree with others here, who are complimenting Mott the Hoople. It's a shame they were only a one-hit wonder, because so much of their other stuff deserves more credit, too.
    Sir_Larrikinon May 03, 2006   Link
  • +3
    My OpinionMott the Hoople's version of this song came out back in 1972. I was 13 years old, and I remember the first time I heard it on the radio - it sounded so weird and different from everything else on the radio. That strange chord sequence and the odd chorus anthem with those singalong glam vocals. Back then, radio stations had real humans spinning songs, and somehow this song got just enough attention to get played a few times among all the pop star Carpenters, Jim Croce and Harry Chapins of that era. Eventually it became a very minor radio hit here in the US, barely making it into the top 40 for a week or two. But that was enough for the local K-Mart to carry the 45 single, so I used my allowance that week to buy it, so I could listen to it all summer long. I could never really understand the words except "all the young dudes, carry the news" and something about T.Rex (Bang A Gong was my other favorite song that year) and Beatles and Stones, but it didn't matter. It was the sound and the look - I found a Creem magazine with pics of Mott and Bowie and Bolan and all the British glam rock stars splashed everywhere on the pages. I just went nuts over it all.
    zosanon December 04, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentJUst to clue in some American posters to the lyric

    Marks and Sparks - a retail shop ( its actually called Marks and Spencer ) and is a little like a department store.

    Boat race - Rythming slang for 'face'

    I was in the same crowd as Ian Hunter from this period ( and Bowie for that matter ) its really a pastiche of street life.

    Billy talking all night about suicide while being on 'speed'.
    They dont need TV because they have T-Rex - I'm never sure if thats ironic or fandom there.

    Jimmy looks sweet because he's probably male prostitute or effiminate gay but he can fight hard - not all gays have limp wrists and I used to know a few like that in London in the 70s.

    The late 70s turned their backs on stuff like Lennon and the Beatles and talk of revolution and settled down to get stoned and just have fun being weird.

    Concrete all around - its a townpersons view of England in the 70s when there were vast construction projects turning our inner cities into concrete blocks - or it in in my head - because it was ghastly it was hard to believe it was real.
    clairep1962on January 23, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's just a man in his life, out on the tiles trying to escape the rather boring home world with his non revolutionary brother.

    It is really just a rally cry for the youth.
    Koncordeon September 04, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThese are the correct lyrics:
    Well billy rapped all night about his suicide
    How he kick it in the head when he was twenty-five
    Speed jive don’t want to stay alive
    When you’re twenty-five
    And wendy’s stealing clothes from marks and sparks
    And freedy’s got spots from ripping off the stars from his face
    Funky little boat race
    Television man is crazy saying we’re juvenile deliquent wrecks
    Oh man I need tv when I got t rex
    Oh brother you guessed
    I’m a dude dad
    All the young dudes (hey dudes)
    Carry the news (where are ya)
    Boogaloo dudes (stand up come on)
    Carry the news
    All the young dudes (I want to hear you)
    Carry the news (I want to see you)
    Boogaloo dudes (and I want to talk to you all of you)
    Carry the news

    Now lucy looks sweet cause he dresses like a queen
    But he can kick like a mule it’s a real mean team
    But we can love oh yes we can love
    And my brother’s back at home with his beatles and his stones
    We never got it off on that revolution stuff
    What a drag too many snags
    Now I’ve drunk a lot of wine and I’m feeling fine
    Got to race some cat to bed
    Oh is there concrete all around
    Or is it in my head
    Yeah
    I’m a dude dad
    All the young dudes (hey dudes)
    Carry the news (where are ya)
    Boogaloo dudes (stand up)
    Carry the news
    All the young dudes (I want to hear ya)
    Carry the news (I want to see you)
    Boogaloo dudes (and I want to relate to you)
    Carry the news
    All the young dudes (what dudes)

    Carry the news (let’s hear the news come on)
    Boogaloo dudes (I want to kick you)
    Carry the news
    All the young dudes (hey you there with the glasses)
    Carry the news (I want you)
    Boogaloo dudes (I want you at the front)
    Carry the news (now you all his friends)
    All the young dudes (now you bring him down cause I want him)
    Carry the news
    Boogaloo dudes (I want him right here bring him come on)
    Carry the news (bring him here you go)
    All the young dudes (I’ve wanted to do this for years)
    Carry the news (there you go)
    Boogaloo dudes (how do you feel)
    Carry the news
    queenownon January 25, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBowie wrote the song for Mott the Hoople. its originally a part of the Ziggy Stardust story:

    ""The time is five years to go before the end of the earth. It has been announced that the world will end because of lack of natural resources. Ziggy is in a position where all the kids have access to things that they thought they wanted. The older people have lost all touch with reality and the kids are left on their own to plunder anything. Ziggy was in a rock-and-roll band and the kids no longer want rock-and-roll. There's no electricity to play it. Ziggy's adviser tells him to collect news and sing it, 'cause there is no news. So Ziggy does this and there is terrible news. 'All the young dudes' is a song about this news. It's no hymn to the youth as people thought. It is completely the opposite. "
    THe_Atomic_Punkon September 22, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI've heard this is not only an anthem for young gay males, but for old ones......
    lilith2on July 12, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's most likely about the scene that Bowie, Iggy Pop, Brian Eno, Marc Bolan, Ian Hunter (for just a short while), Brian Ferry, Lou Reed were in. They weren't the Beatles, or the Stones that was what the older kids listened to the young dudes were new and different. They wore make-up, dressed like women, and had sex with men. Oh yeah the Mott The Hoople version is by far better.
    allmypulpon January 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti dont think these lyrics are right
    krockon March 28, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe mott the hoople version is better than the bowie version, but the Smashing Pumpkins and David Bowie live one thats around is MUCH MUCH better than both of them.
    sirpsycho85on May 27, 2005   Link

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