"Diamond Dogs" as written by and David / Bowie....
This ain't rock'n'roll, this is genocide

As they pulled you out of the oxygen tent
You asked for the latest party
With your silicone hump and your ten inch stump
Dressed like a priest you was
Todd Browning's freak you was

Crawling down the alley on your hands and knee
I'm sure you're not protected, for it's plain to see
The diamond dogs are poachers and they hide behind trees
Hunt you to the ground they will, mannequins with kill appeal

(Will they come?)
I'll keep a friend serene
(Will they come?)
Oh baby, come unto me
(Will they come?)
Well, she's come, been and gone
Come out of the garden, baby
You'll catch your death in the fog
Young girl, they call them the Diamond Dogs
Young girl, they call them the Diamond Dogs

The Halloween Jack is a real cool cat
And he lives on top of Manhattan Chase
The elevator's broke, so he slides down a rope
Onto the street below, oh Tarzie, go man go

Meet his little hussy with his ghost town approach
Her face is sans feature, but she wears a Dali brooch
Sweetly reminiscent, something mother used to bake
Wrecked up and paralyzed, Diamond Dogs are stabilized

(Will they come?)
I'll keep a friend serene
(Will they come?)
Oh baby, come unto me
(Will they come?)
Well, she's come, been and gone
Come out of the garden, baby
You'll catch your death in the fog
Young girl, they call them the Diamond Dogs
Young girl, they call them the Diamond Dogs
Oo-oo-ooh, call them the Diamond Dogs
Oo-oo-ooh, call them the Diamond Dogs

In the year of the scavenger, the season of the bitch
Sashay on the boardwalk, scurry to the ditch
Just another future song, lonely little kitsch
(There's gonna be sorrow) try and wake up tomorrow

(Will they come?)
I'll keep a friend serene
(Will they come?)
Oh baby, come unto me
(Will they come?)
Well, she's come, been and gone
Come out of the garden, baby
You'll catch your death in the fog
Young girl, they call them the Diamond Dogs
Young girl, they call them the Diamond Dogs
Oo-oo-ooh, call them the Diamond Dogs
Oo-oo-ooh, call them the Diamond Dogs

Bow-wow, woof woof, bow-wow, wow
Call them the Diamond Dogs
Dogs
Call them the Diamond Dogs, call them, call them
Call them the Diamond Dogs, call them, call them, ooo
Call them the Diamond Dogs

Keep cool
Diamond Dogs rule, ok
Hey-hey-hey-hey
Beware of the Diamond Dogs
Beware of the Diamond Dogs
Beware of the Diamond Dogs


Lyrics submitted by typo

"Diamond Dogs" as written by David Bowie

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, TINTORETTO MUSIC, BMG Rights Management

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Diamond Dogs song meanings
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27 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentI'm surprised that no one's mentioned something fairly obvious about the title of this song/album:

    Diamonds are a girl's best friend.
    Dogs are a man's best friend.
    PtolemyKittyon December 18, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis song sets up the whole post-apocalyptic theme of the album perfectly.

    I also say that "Ziggy Stardust," "Aladdin Sane" and "Diamond Dogs" form a glam-rock trilogy and the theme kinda' progresses from album to album. "Ziggy" was sort of all about a rock and roll messiah bringing peace and love to the world but being consumed by his own excess in the end. "Aladdin Sane" is sort of Ziggy's evil twin. Like it's risen from the ashes but instead of representing all the wonderful positive stuff about rock it sort of represents all the nasty stuff, the drugs and sex and fury. And then Diamond Dogs is the aftermath. A world completely consumed by such vices. Whoo, such much thinking...
    Bonehead XLon June 02, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentJust another future song, lonely little kitsch
    (There's gonna be sorrow) try and wake up tomorrow

    The Diamond Dogs album is all future armageddon post nuculear holocaust imagery.

    The elevator's broke, so he slides down a rope.

    Where've you ever seen a broke down elevator in Manhattan? I see Omega Man reference.

    I love the word art.

    Mannequins with kill appeal!

    Beautiful.
    coo2kachooon April 01, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"Future Legend" is an intro to the song Diamond Dogs:

    And in the death
    As the last few corpses lay rotting on the slimy thoroughfare
    The shutters lifted in inches in Temperance Building
    High on Poacher's Hill
    And red mutant eyes gaze down on Hunger City
    No more big wheels

    Fleas the size of rats sucked on rats the size of cats
    And ten thousand peoploids split into small tribes
    Coveting the highest of the sterile skyscrapers
    Like packs of dogs assaulting the glass fronts of Love-Me Avenue
    Ripping and rewrapping mink and shiny silver fox, now legwarmers
    Family badge of sapphire and cracked emerald
    Any day now

    The Year of the Diamond Dogs


    There's the clue to a Diamond Dog, what it is - I guess it's like the album cover picture, a dog person, some bizzaro future creature:

    "peoploids split into small tribes
    Coveting the highest of the sterile skyscrapers
    Like packs of dogs"

    but since it's David Bowie talking the peoploid probably not literally a half-dog half-person, but what can become of a person in post nuclear holocaust - stripped of all the techne from centuries of industry - we become dogs.

    I remember a diamond collar on the cover picture too and this quote:

    "Ripping and rewrapping mink and shiny silver fox, now legwarmers
    Family badge of sapphire and cracked emerald "

    gives me the picture of people scavenging store fronts, turning fancy furs into clothing and toidy jewlery of the dead wealthy into the decoration of the mutant survivors.

    IMAGERY ORGY
    coo2kachooon April 05, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIf you don't like this song then you don't like bowie because this is a great bowie song.
    qdbacon September 24, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think david bowie wrote this song using his old trick of cutting up bits of paper with random words on them and picking them up in a random order as he has done many times.
    i think you are all reading just a little too much into this song.
    attila_carnakion March 15, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI always just assumed this song was about kind of decrepit young girls who will do anything for glamour, even though they're desperate and depecable.
    Let_it_Rockon July 01, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is the 1984 imagery taken to its logical end. The world has gone to the dogs - and this fits in well with the whole imagery and dirty guitar (Bowie playing) in the album. Almost every song on the album (Sweet Thing/Candidate, Rebel Rebel, We Are the Dead, Big Brother, 1984 etc.) carry on this imagery of the Future Legend. Bowie tried to buy the rights to make this an official 1984 album, but was unable to swing the deal. What a great use of sax and guitar to enhance this image of the world gone to the dogs. Love the "mannequins with kill appeal" line. What artist today would make an album like this? No one.
    Motown1on September 06, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningY'know, years ago I read what somebody on a "decipher the lyrics" page (possibly You!) had written saying that "Diamond Dogs" had Dhalgren references/comparisons within it or that Bowie had read it and included imagery from it. I searched out the book, slogged my way through it (It's HOOJ and pretty Horrible, IMHO!) and saw what could be construed as references with the woman turning into a tree, etc. However, TODAY, year after doing this backasswards research, I just looked up the fact that Bowie had written/released the tune in 1974; Samuel Delaney, author of Dhalgren, published the book in 1975!!! I think that this would ensure that "Diamond Dogs" had nothing to do with Dhalgren!
    Looks like I read the book for nothing, but time spent reading books cannot be argued with, even lame ones...
    aiiiieeon October 23, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI had been listening to and enjoying this song for quite some time without really noticing any significance of the words--until recently reading someone else's take on the similarities between the lyrics of "Diamond Dogs" and Samuel R. Delany's novel, "Dhalgren."

    (In other words, I've read these references elsewhere and are not mine, except for the possibility of the "Halloween Jack" part referencing two characters instead of one. That one's my own speculation.)

    The first similarity would be the "ten inch stump" line at the beginning of the song. At the beginning of the book, the main character ("Kid") sleeps with a woman he has just met. Shortly after, she turns into a tree.

    "Dressed like a priest you was" could be a reference to Reverand Amy Taylor, who, while she isn't a priest, dresses in Catholic priest robes.

    "Halloween Jack", who "lives on top of Manhattan Chase", could reference Tak Loufer, a man that lives on top of a highrise, much like Manhattan Chase. One could arguably say that it only references Tak, since Tak and Jack are rhyming names, but it's also possible that it references both Tak and a man Tak attempts to get into his bed, Jack.

    There are probably many more references scattered throughout the novel, but I'm only about a hundred pages into it so far.
    crimeofpassionon March 27, 2005   Link

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