I've got a sweet tooth
for licorice drops and jelly roll,
Hey sugar daddy, Hansel needs some sugar in his bowl...
In my opinion, this number is by far the catchiest song in the 2001 movie musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. It's an upbeat rag- or maybe country-style tune, with mostly electronic keyboard accompaniment, and so a lot less of the undisputably kickass wailing guitar that characterize Hedwig and her band's other best performances. The lyrics are a witty combination of flirtatiousness and materialism:
you're my orange blossom honey bear.
Bring me Versace blue jeans
and black designer underwear.
We'll dress up like the disco-dancing jet set in Milan and Rome.
--- with the sugar/candy metaphor stretched as far as it can go, perhaps a little further, even to the point of being, well, obscene:
When honey bees go shopping
it's something to be seen.
They swarm to wild flowers
to get nectar for the queen.
Everything you bring me got me dripping like a honeycomb
Although Hedwig often sings about her botched sex change operation which made it possible to escape Communist East Berlin for the United States, "Sugar Daddy" is the only song in the movie that alludes to her former life as Hansel, the East German girly boy who falls in love with Luther, a black United States Army serviceman with a taste for androgynous young men, and then only obliquely:
So you think only a woman
can truly love a man?
Well, you buy me the dress
I'll be more woman
than a man like you can stand.
I'll be your Venus on a chocolate clam shell
rising on a sea of marshmallow foam
The movie version of "Sugar Daddy" is slightly abridged compared to the original off-Broadway musical version of the song, which contained snippets of dialog between Hedwig/Hansel and Luther (the latter's lines are performed by the actress playing Hedwig's ex-drag queen husband Yitzhak, which probably makes no sense if you aren't familiar with the play).
If you've got some sugar for me,
Sugar Daddy, bring it home!
A few last, somewhat random notes: "Sugar Daddy" is especially noteworthy in stage productions of Hedwig because it's the song that requires the performer playing Hedwig to go beyond addressing the audience (which he or she has been doing throughout the show) and actually physically cross over into the crowd, shattering the so-called "fourth wall", to hilarious effect. ("Look, ladies and gentlemen, it's a car wash!") And finally, although this song appears fairly early on in both the movie and play versions of Hedwig, the movie soundtrack album rearranges tracks so "Sugar Daddy" is one of the last tunes. My best guess as to the reason behind this re-ordering --- which is extremely disconcerting if you first listen to the album expecting to hear an abridged version of the film or play --- is that it's supposed to give the album more of a rock album pacing, instead of a movie soundtrack's, but again, that's just a guess, and I couldn't find a good way of working it into the rest of my writeup, which is why it's hidden all the way down here.
My transcription of the lyrics excerpted above is based on many listenings to the Hedwig movie soundtrack CD, with a little help from the Hedwig in a Box website (http://hedwigandtheangryinch.netfirms.com; thanks go to Phyllis Stein for pointing me its way). The words and music to Sugar Daddy are by Stephen Trask, and are reproduced here without permission.
CST Approved: many thanks go to dannye, Chiisuta, Chris-O, and any other Copyright Salvage types who nagged me into bringing this up to speed.
2004.05.06 at 13:30 Chris-O says re Sugar daddy: fabulous. 137/588; go ahead and stamp it. thanks for taking the time! -->