Bowie's song

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Giorgii

New Member
Italian - Switzerland
Hi guys. Yesterday I listened to David Bowie's song "Rebel Rebel" and I heard "you can't get enough but enough ain't the test". Could anyone tell me what it means please? Thanks xx
 
  • goldenband

    Senior Member
    English - American
    "You can't get enough" = you have a limitless appetite for something (life, love, sex, alcohol, drugs, partying, etc.). This is a standard phrase in English.

    "but enough ain't the test" = this is harder to understand, even somewhat cryptic, but I'd parse it as "but enough isn't the goal anyway".

    In other words: you can't get enough, but you never wanted "enough" anyway, you wanted excess.

    It's sort of a play on words, focusing on a single word ("enough") in a hackneyed phrase and taking it literally.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Hi, Giorgii and welcome to WRF. You are allowed to give a link to the words of the song and allowed to quote up to 4 lines, and you can always give context.

    The context is that a boy is speaking to a girl who he likes. She is a girl who is untidy and likes rock music. The boy says that not everyone likes her - a lot of people think she is a mess.
    The lyrics are:

    We like dancing and we look divine
    You love bands when they're playing hard
    You want more and you want it fast
    [...]
    You can't get enough, but enough ain't the test

    You can't get enough of hard rock music, but even if you could, having enough hard rock music is irrelevant [probably, "to your attractiveness"].

    (Crosspost with goldenband - we agree.)
     

    goldenband

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Paul, I think interpreting it as just rock music may be too narrow, given the explicit drug and implicit sexual references in the next lines:

    You've got your transmission and your live wire
    You got your cue line and a handful of ludes
    You wanna be there when they count up the dudes
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Possibly.
    lude
    Abbreviation for the pharmeceutical named Quaalude. It was used in the 1960s and 1970s as an anxiolytic, for the treatment of insomnia, and as a sedative. It became highly popular for recreational use in the 1980's, particularly in California. The active ingredient is Methaqualone, a depressant which is now a schedule 1 substance in the United States. It is still available for prescription in Canada.
    Urban Dictionary: lude Defintion 2
     
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