Young Americans Lyrics - David Bowie

Review The Song (22)

They pulled in just behind the bridge
He lays her down, he frowns
"Gee my life's a funny thing, am I still too young?"
He kissed her then and there
She took his ring, took his babies
It took him minutes, took her nowhere
Heaven knows, she'd have taken anything, but

All night
She wants the young American
Young American, young American, she wants the young American
All right
She wants the young American

Scanning life through the picture windows
She finds the slinky vagabond
He coughs as he passes her Ford Mustang, but
Heaven forbid, she'll take anything
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But the freak, and his type, all for nothing
He misses a step and cuts his hand, but
Showing nothing, he swoops like a song
She cries "Where have all Papa's heroes gone?"

All night
She wants the young American
Young American, young American, she wants the young American
All right
She wants the young American

All the way from Washington
Her bread-winner begs off the bathroom floor
"We live for just these twenty years
Do we have to die for the fifty more?"

All night
He wants the young American
Young American, young American, he wants the young American
All right
He wants the young American

Do you remember, your President Nixon?
Do you remember, the bills you have to pay
Or even yesterday?

Have you been an un-American?
Just you and your idol singing falsetto 'bout
Leather, leather everywhere, and
Not a myth left from the ghetto
Well, well, well, would you carry a razor
In case, just in case of depression
Sit on your hands on a bus of survivors
Blushing at all the Afro-Sheeners
Ain't that close to love?
Well, ain't that poster love?
Well, it ain't that Barbie doll
Her heart's been broken just like you have

All night
You want the young American
Young American, young American, you want the young American
All right
You want the young American

You ain't a pimp and you ain't a hustler
A pimp's got a Cadi and a lady’s got a Chrysler
Black's got respect, and white's got his soul train
Mama's got cramps, and look at your hands shake
I heard the news today, oh boy
I got a suite and you got defeat
Ain't there a man you can say no more?
And, ain't there a woman I can sock on the jaw?
And, ain't there a child I can hold without judging?
Ain't there a pen that will write before they die?
Ain't you proud that you struck our faces?
Ain't there one damn song that can make me
break down and cry?

All night
I want the young American
Young American, young American, I want the young American
All right
I want the young American
Young American
Young American, young American, I want the young American
(I want with you, I want with you want)
All right
(You want it, I want you you, you want I, I want you want)
Young American, young American, I want the young American
(I want to want, to want, to want , to want I, I want you)
All right
(Lord I wanted the young American)
(young American)
Young American, Young American
I want the young American

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Thanks to Davie K for submitting Young Americans Lyrics.
Drugs? Yes! Sincere? Yes! | Reviewer: Al Arch | 1/25/14

The frantic delivery sounds like coke and booze are present, but does he mean what he sings? Absolutely!

The song is a trip even if you are not taking drugs - it fascinated me as a kid, and I still listen to it. I am a Brit, as is DB, and I had never been to the USA when I first heard it.

I have been since, many times, and I love the country and the people I've met. But I still feel that many Americans are scared to confront their past. In the UK, the same stage of racism was in the 1950s, when the country needed cheep workers to rebuild the UK after the war. But by the 70s, racism still existed, but the TV could at least joke about it, so it couldn't simple be pushed under the carpet.

Middle-class white people in white-collars jobs could joke about it , but they couldn't deny or avoid it. Racism, even subtle racism, became nasty. It still happened, and it's still here, but at least the mainstream of educated people are less likely to feel true racism. My father used to talk about black and brown people with horrible names that made me shake my head and protest. Of course, he would never have burnt down a "wrong church" - it wasn't what he had been brought up to do.

Now he has Alzheimer's disease, and what surprises me is that he no longer makes offish jokes about race with black and brown nurses who help him. That tells me his former racism was learned rather than innate.

I am actually closer to him now than before.

I don't expect intelligent people in the UK below a certain age to express racism out-loud. That's a good start, at least.

I have met educated people in the USA recently, not only in the deep South, who have said nasty things about people of another colour to them, and it does seem to be a discussible subject as far as they are concerned, and that shocks me.

disguested!! | Reviewer: Aira | 12/13/13

..this site and the people that made comments are sooooo misinformed that it is beyond ignorance. the lyrics are not correct nor do any of the comments have any validity what so ever.. I actually am hoping this is a joke site of some sort and shame on all of you!!! joke or not!!! wow!!!.

bolderdash | Reviewer: Anonymous | 3/11/13

now i know why i never bought one of his records!~ it would be nice if it had been recorded in a way that the lyrics could be understood. American Bandstand would rate this at about 2!

Bowie ruled the '70s | Reviewer: Dave | 7/22/12

This is a great Bowie song. Not the greatest Bowie song but still a great song.

It echoes the better days of the '70s and the influence of young Americans throughout the world turning traditional values on their ear. There's a nod to John Lennon and A Day In The Life (I heard the news today, Oh boy).

I suppose it stands up pretty well but it was definitely a period piece. "do you remember...your President Nixon"

If you grew up in the '70s with all this great music it was pretty special.

Of course, his struggle with drugs is well documented and the song Ashes To Ashes is a beautiful if not somewhat melancholy song that looks back at A Space Oddity. It's most likely about his struggle with drug abuse among other things.

Ashes to ashes, funk to funky
We know Major Tom's a junkie
Strung out in heaven's high
Hitting an all-time low

More relevance when you're older. | Reviewer: Jazzer | 1/2/12

I'm a bit of an oddity. Sure, I'm a teenaged (16) girl Bowie fan, which is actually pretty common, but unlike most of my peers, I didn't find him due to the anime adaption of the Labyrinth. I've been a huge fan ever since I can remember, ever since I asked for the Best of Bowie CD for my eighth birthday. This song was the sort of song I was bound to skip over as a child.
I was a brit, not a young american, even if I did live here. It didn't make any sense to me. I think now, I can see some of the points of this song.
I might be reading this incorrectly, but it seems to be talking about the hypocrisy in the US; hypocrisy which is still clearly present today. Sure, it's the land of the free and the home of the brave; if the free agree with you, and the brave are killing who you want them to. The same prejudices and issues still exist.
To somebody without any racial or sexist bias, these lyrics would not be offensive at all. "Blacks got respect and whites got a soul train." If you don't know the bias, there is nothing wrong with that.
The song catches you up on yourself. If you see this song as offensive or hypocritical, you might want to look at how you view life.
The United states of America is a country much like any other. However, it is unwilling to admit it. It clings to its false ideas of freedom and acceptance, but rarely delivers.
I'm definitely reading too much into it now, but the girl in the song seems to look for the old protections whilst wanting to be treated by the new standards. How often have we all seen it? The woman who expects for the men to hold the door for her, but doesn't do the same for the person behind her, then goes on about equality and fair rights? That defines the 'american' culture on a whole. It has to be free and fair, but only for me.
The culture of London in the 1980's was slightly more open. Just look at pop stars such as Boy George and Tom Robinson. Open about who they were, from the star. Now, as Tom Robinson mentions in his song Glad to be Gay, the british were also adversed, and ended up being hypocritical, but they were slightly more open about it; as far as the pop culture goes.
"Older and American" you don't really have a point. He was comparing the US to itself. The ideals of the '80's and the actuality.

Older and American | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/26/11

When I was young and American, I heard this song and thought it was about freedom and American patriotism. In the 1980's, neither young nor American were such a bad thing. And at that time, who cared about delving into what a song really meant. Lyrics were relevant to the listener in the 80's, even if you only gathered the highlights of British vocals. As far as musical value, this song is like listening to a Casio keyboard composition with a gospel trio in the background.

Now in 2011, I still hear this tune from time to time and decided to check out the lyrics. And basically, it is completely hypocritical of young American culture. What culture is Bowie comparing the U.S. with other than that of London in the 1980's? Give me a break...and spill your babies all over yourself.

Cracked actor | Reviewer: Anonymous | 2/13/11

When Bowie send out his wonderful Let's dance in 1983, I immediately jumped from my mother's knees and started a wild and interesting journey into alternative rock and other forms of art. 28 years later I'm confused to find out that of all the artists I've discovered he is still the most impressive and influential, even if he's "just" into rock. It's so true that I even had to back off a bit from Bowie-mania. Facing so much talent and beauty (I'm far from gay but the man has the right looks :-)) is sometimes hard when your own life is much more down to common reality. To quote Lou Reed: I'm just your average guy. Identification to someone so gifted, with so much guts, feeling and vision can become a bit too confrontational in the end :-)
Young Americans is top of the top league and the documentary Cracked Actor in giving a unique insight in those moments. It made me realize even more that getting too close to the man must have been a dangerous experience. Talent is not for sale obviously. Recognizing it is nice but doesn't bring you any closer to "enlightment". Bowie is similar to the drugs he took himself: very addictive and bloody hard to kick off from.

Best Song Ever | Reviewer: Wendy | 10/27/10

This is my favorite song's of all song's in the world.... I absolutely love David Bowie and I so wish I was born back in the late 40's so I could have seen him live at the same age and met him maybe. I did see him in 2002 but my favorite is when he is/was Ziggy Stardust! David Bowie is the sexiest man alive today!

the drug story | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/26/10

Bowie was a drug user from the early 70s to about the end of the berlin period/beginning of the scary monsters sessions. His drug use did influence this album heavily, as his highest period of use was from the end of 74 to the beginning of 77. This album was recorded in one long and tiring session when Bowie was strung out.

The Drug Usage | Reviewer: Jane Silkwood | 4/24/10

Any true Bowie fans KNOWS he was heavily into drugs -- it's like common knowledge. That was the era, granted not EVERYONE did drugs. Do some research before you criticize, folks! Look at Frank Zappa, a drug addict AND an IQ of 175...

huh? | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/10/09

could someone who really understood the lyrics explain it to me? i love this song especially since i've heard it on the soundtrack to "dogville" but i'm not an english native speaker and can't get a message or sense to this phrases... thx!

Classic | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/19/09

I met my first boyfriend at 17 in 1978 and this was 'our' song. If there's one 'damn song that can make me break down and cry' its this one. I didn't know any of the words till I read this today, just made up what I thought it was. Now, I see how meaningful it is.

great lyrics | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/31/09

I must admit, I didn't know what I was listenung to all these years. I only decided to find the lyrics here after listening to it in my car tonight. The song is amazing, though it paints a pretty grim picture. How couls anyone think this was a drug-induced rambling. It's totally clear thinking that wrote this

yeah | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/29/08

The lyrics for Young Americans are very meaningful and not the least bit convoluted. Although Bowie may have performed while useing various drugs, I would bet that while writing these particular lyrics and others that he was stone sober. Hes a genius. I get tired of people relating great works of any kind all to was the 70's and 80's what musician didn't use drugs? And many drug useing musicians of this time had no talent no matter the amount of mind altering chemicals they ingested. David Bowie is someone to be admired end of sentence.

Huh? | Reviewer: Anonymous | 6/29/08

I dont understand why everyone has to put drugs into play... Most amazing songs have lyrics that make no damn sense. Bowie was amazing back then and he STILL IS NOW! He basically created his own genre and broke the molds of singers before him.. He is one of the BEST musicians of all time.

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------ Performed by David Bowie

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------ 10/20/2014

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