Meaning of “Candy” by Paolo Nutini

Written By Michael Miller

Michael is a music teacher and professional cellist. He loves uncovering the deeper meaning of popular songs.

“Candy” by Paolo Nutini delves deep into the complexities of love and human relationships. The song portrays a narrative of a man expressing his vulnerability, longing, and sheer desperation to be with the one he loves. He’s willing to go to any lengths, even if it means sailing through a storm, just to be by her side. The metaphorical “candy” symbolizes the moments of sweetness and affection he craves in return. While Nutini paints himself as flawed and imperfect, his raw emotion and genuine intentions shine through. The song serves as a beautiful reminder of the lengths one might go to for love, even when faced with obstacles and self-doubt.

Curious about the deeper layers of this lyrical masterpiece? Dive in!

“Candy” Lyrics Meaning

The song begins with the imagery of being “perched outside in the pouring rain”, setting the tone for a tale of hardship and longing. The protagonist is trying to “make himself a sail”, symbolizing his efforts to navigate through life’s challenges and reach his beloved. The mention of the “evening on my tail” suggests that time might be running out, or that darkness and challenges are looming.

The lines “Although not the most honest means of travel, It gets me there nonetheless” hint at the desperate measures he might be resorting to. His self-awareness is evident in the admission of being “a heartless man at worst” and “a helpless one at best”, reflecting the internal conflict of someone deeply in love.

The chorus, where Nutini sings “Darling, I’ll bathe your skin, I’ll even wash your clothes, Just give me some candy before I go” conveys a deep yearning. He’s willing to do anything for her affection, symbolized by the “candy”. The simple acts of bathing and washing clothes stand for his willingness to care for and nurture the relationship. Yet, all he asks in return is a fleeting moment of affection.

Further in, “I know you got plenty to offer, baby, But I guess I’ve taken quite enough” speaks to a sense of unworthiness or guilt, perhaps feeling he’s been more of a burden than a blessing in her life.

The repeated line “I’ll be there waiting for you” captures the essence of patience and undying hope. It’s a testament to his commitment and the lengths he’s willing to go to be with her.

The mention of “cutthroats”, “cheap and sugary philosophies”, and “angels and their halos” towards the end of the song signifies external judgments and societal perceptions. Yet, amidst all the noise, his unwavering love and determination stand out, waiting patiently for his beloved.

Why Was “Candy” Written?

Paolo Nutini, when penning down “Candy”, seems to have been in a state of introspection and vulnerability. The song’s deeply emotional undertones suggest that he might have been reflecting on personal experiences, capturing moments of longing, self-doubt, and unwavering love. The raw authenticity in the lyrics points to a genuine emotional experience, a snapshot from a chapter of his life where love, with all its complexities, took center stage. It’s a beautiful testament to the highs and lows of human relationships, the sacrifices we make, and the lengths we go to for the ones we love.