Cow bell strikes another night
Your eyes are heavy and your limbs all ache
You've bought some coffee, butter and bread
You can't make a thing cause the meter's dead
You moved away
Hold your folks you're gonna stay away

Bright lights, Soho, Wardour street
You hope you make friends with the guys that you meet
Somebody shows you round
Now you've met the London boys
Things seem good again, someone cares about you

Oh, the first time that you tried a pill
You feel a little queasy, decidedly ill
You're gonna be sick, but you mustn't lose faith
To let yourself down would be a big disgrace
With the London boys, with the London boys

You're only seventeen, but you think you've grown
In the month you've been away from your parents' home
You take the pills too much
You don't give a damn about that jobs you've got
So long as you're with the London boys

A London boy, oh a London boy
Your flashy clothes are your pride and joy
A London boy, a London boy
You're crying out loud that you're a London boy
You think you've had a lot of fun
But you ain't got nothing, you're on the run
It's too late now, cause you're out there boy
You've got it made with the rest of the toys
Now you wish you'd never left your home
You've got what you wanted but you're on your own
With the London boys
Now you've met the London boys (3 times)

Lyrics submitted by plastiksjael

The London Boys song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentWonderful song, recently covered by Marc Almond. It was part of my internal soundtrack when I first moved to London in the mid 80s. I too wanted "Bright lights, Soho, Wardour street" and
    hoped to "make friends with the guys that" I met.
    London disapointed. but I got over it, and I'm still here.
    vittoriovampireon June 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this song
    Cure.on February 18, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm pretty sure the lyric starts 'Bow bell strikes'. Traditionally, a true Cockney Londoner must be born within hearing distance of 'Bow bells' - the bells of the Church of St Mary-le-Bow.

    Later on in the lyrics, it is 'mustn't lose face' not 'lose faith'.

    It has been suggested that the song alludes to the world of 'rent boys' - male prostitutes - who did their business around Soho in the 60s.
    DavidBon January 22, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"You're gonna be sick, but you mustn't lose face"
    Gerymanon September 03, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAn awesome song, to me it's just another one about falling into the wrong crowd, but Bowie does it so beautifully that it's one of my favourites by him.
    IZFERNORon September 23, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment Well, methinks that Mr. Bowie, The Gentleman, the Thin White Emperor (he's higher than a duke, higher even than a king. Bowie is the EMPEROR of all rock stars) is singing about teenage runaways, regardless of whether they're prostitutes or not, and teens who go to any length to gain standing in the social hierarchy, even if it means running the risk of destroying themselves
    CuteSparkinaon March 26, 2011   Link

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