Lyrics

On the chorus of ‘All The Young Dudes’ there’s a slight out-of-sync-ness between the chords as they go under the vocal melody. The chords start marching off before the tune comes in, so the word “dudes” is already on the third chord. Then there’s a great catch-up at the end of the chorus where the chords stamp their feet a couple of times waiting for the melody to catch up. Most writers would strum and hum, having the melody and chords coming in at the same time, but Bowie gives the song a great sense of motion. It’s got the immediate appeal of a timeworn folk melody, or one of the better football chants. I think it’s extraordinary and very generous that Bowie chose to give this song away and that his own role in it was so modestly placed.
Robert Wyatt
Uncut, March 2008

Billy rapped all night about his suicide
How he’d kick it in the head when he was twenty-five
Speed jive, don’t want to stay alive
When you’re twenty-five

Wendy’s stealing clothes from unlocked cars
Freddie’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