“Sugar, We’re Goin Down” by Fall Out Boy
Perhaps it’ll be best if we start with the title of the song (“Sugar, We’re Goin Down”), since the entire affair is largely metaphorical anyway. And what it is actually derived from is athletic jargon, more specifically, in which the context it is used, as related to sports like boxing.
Also, as utilized in the chorus, the title in full actually reads, “sugar, we’re going down swinging”. That “sugar” would be the vocalist’s romantic interest, i.e. the addressee of the song. And what the term “we’re going down swinging” means is that whereas they may be losing at whatever goal it is they’re trying to accomplish, they are not doing so without putting up an admirable resistance.
So what is this goal? Well from the vocalist’s standpoint, it would be embarking on a committed romantic relationship with the addressee. Now since the feelings of the latter are never really relayed, we don’t know if she feels the same about him. But the implication would be, since she’s sexually active with another man to the vocalist’s dismay, that she does not.
So reading in between the lines, the sentiments expressed in reality feel like they’re being relayed by a man who has slept with a lady one time and, excuse our frankness, got p–sywhipped.
So now that she has moved on, it’s like he’s doing his best to adopt a similar disposition of disassociation. But at the same time, the vocalist also appears as someone who may be extremely or even overly confident. As such, it may be a long time coming before he is able to fully accept that this love he has for the addressee is not reciprocal.
Fall Out Boy
Fall Out Boy may not be a band we have covered regularly on this blog, considering that they’ve been sort of inactive in terms of dropping new songs for the past couple of years. That reality may have partially been due to COVID-19 restrictions.
But either way the band, which hails from Wilmette, a suburb of Chicago, has perhaps one of the most loyal fandoms in American pop. And accordingly the following last three studio albums of theirs have all been Billboard 200 chart toppers:
- 2013’s “Save Rock and Roll”
- 2015’s “American Beauty / American Psycho”
- 2018’s “Maria”
Furthermore, the aforementioned albums reached second place on the UK Albums Chart. But an earlier effort, 2007’s “Infinity on High”, on top of performing comparably well on charts was also perhaps their most-notable commercial success.
“Sugar, We’re Goin Down”
This particular song we’re covering today, dates back to the band’s second album, “From Under the Cork Tree”. This is actually the Fall Out Boy album which to date has sold the most copies stateside, being certified double-platinum by the RIAA.
And “Sugar, We’re Goin Down”, which was the lead single from the project, had a lot to do with that showing, as it is also one of the group’s best received tracks. For instance, on top of making it onto the top 10 of both the Billboard Hot 100 and UK Singles Chart, it has been certified quadruple-platinum by the RIAA.
In fact in terms of its performance in the United States, this song appeared on seven different Billboard charts. And all of this for a track which some of the executives behind Fall Out Boy were not confident would succeed as a single.
To note this was also Fall Out Boy’s breakthrough hit. It was the first of their songs to truly boast a noteworthy chart history or apparently any type of certification history whatsoever. That is to say that none of the three singles they had released prior, from their debut album “Take This to Your Grave” (2003), were truly hits.
The membership of Fall Out Boy has remained consistent throughout most of the band’s existence. The quartet made up of the following names are the official credited writers of “Sugar, We’re Goin Down”:
- Patrick Stump
- Andy Hurley
- Joe Trohman
- Pete Wentz
And those four individuals have been together more or less since 2003.
Moreover, the four of them as a unit are formally recognized as the track’s producer. However, they accomplished that goal in conjunction with Neal Avron.
Notable Appearances of “Sugar, We’re Goin Down”
“Sugar, We’re Goin Down” also made its way onto a couple of videogames, such as Band Hero (2009) and the Karaoke Revolution franchise. It was also featured on the 2005 remake of the classic horror movie “The Fog”. It has also shown its face on a handful of TV shows.
Additionally, interesting to note is that Taylor Swift covered this tune during one of her 2011 stops (in Fall Out Boy’s hometown of Chicago) on the Speak Now Tour. And Tay-Tay, who has publicly stated her adoration for Fall Out Boy, has alluded to this song being one of her favorites.
The music video to this track, which Matt Lenski directed and filmed in Upstate New York, earned him and the band a distinction known as the MTV2 Award during the 2005 MTV VMAs. And to note the clip, which is based on a very unique narrative, featured another musician, Donald Cumming, in the lead role.
Some of the lyrics of this song may be misheard as opposed to how they are actually written. This was more or less by design of the vocalist, Pat Stump, intentionally slurred them.
This track experienced a moment of TikTok virality in late 2020 due to some listeners – for whatever reasons – interpreting the song as gay. Yet by the looks of things both the individual who wrote the lyrics, Pete Wentz and the vocalist, Patrick Stump, are in fact heterosexual. Indeed Wentz actually conceptualized the lyrics while chillin’ with his dad.