Growing Up in Public Album

Artist(s): Lou Reed

Cover Art

Lou Reed Growing Up in Public Cover Art

Tracklist

How Do You Speak to an Angel

length: 4:10
composer: Michael Fonfara, Lou Reed

A son who is cursed with a harridan mother
Or a weak simpering father at best
Is raised to play out the timeless classical motives
Of filial love and incest

How does he speak to a
How does he speak to the prettiest girl
How does he talk to her
What does he say for an opening line
What does he say if he's shy

What do you do with your pragmatic passions
With your classically neurotic style
How do you deal with your vague self-comprehension's
What do you do when you lie

How do you speak to a
How do you speak to the prettiest girl
How do you speak to her
How do you dance on the head of a pin
When you're on the outside looking in

How do you speak to a
How do you speak to the prettiest girl
How do you speak to a
How do you speak to the prettiest girl
How do you speak to a
How do you speak to the prettiest girl
How do you speak to a
How do you speak to the prettiest girl

How do you speak to a
How do you speak to the prettiest girl
How do you speak to a
How do you speak to the prettiest girl
You just say, hello, (hello) baby (hello)

Baby, angel, how do you talk to the prettiest girl, you say
Hello baby, hello baby, angel, angel, pretty little girl
Angel, angel

My Old Man

length: 3:15
composer: Michael Fonfara, Lou Reed
When I was a young boy in brooklyn
Going to public school
During recess in the concrete playground
They lined us up by twos
In alphabetical order, reagan, reed and russo
I still remember the names
And stickball and stoopball were the only games
That we played

And I wanted to be like my old man
I, I wanted to grow up just like my old man
I wanted to be like my old man

I wanted to dress like, I wanted to be just like
I wanted to act like my old man
I wanted to be like, I wanted to act like
I wanted to be just like my old man

And then like everyone else I started to grow
And I didn't want to be like my father anymore
I was sick of his bullying
And having to hide under a desk on the floor
And when he beat my mother
It made me so mad I could choke

And I didn't want to be like my old man
I, I didn't even want to look like my old man
I didn't even want to seem like my old man

A son watches his father, being cruel to his mother
And makes a vow to return only when
He is so much richer, in every way so much bigger that -
- the old man will never hit anyone again

Like my old man (just like my old man)
Like my old man
Like my old man (just like my old man)
Like my old man
And can you believe what he said to me
He said, "lou, act like a man" (walk like a man)
Why don't you act just like a man
Act like your daddy, act like a man (just like my old man)
Oh, why don't you act just like a man
Like your old man (walk like a man)
(just like my old man)
(just like my old man)

Keep Away

length: 3:33
composer: Michael Fonfara, Lou Reed
You keep your jealousy and your snide remarks to yourself
You know that I'm not seeing anyone else
You just keep your ear down to the ground
Yell your head off if you hear a sound
Here's a whistle, a badge and a phone
You can arrest me if I'm not at home
And if I don't keep my word I swear
I'll keep away

Here's some books and a puzzle by Escher
Here's Shakespeare's "Measure For Measure"
Here's a balloon, a rubber band and a bag
Why don't you blow them up if you think you've been had
Here's a castle, a paper dragon and a moat
An earring, a toothbrush and a cloak
And if I don't keep my word I swear
I'll keep away

I swear I'll keep away

Growing Up in Public

length: 3:03
composer: Michael Fonfara, Lou Reed
Some people are into the power of power
The absolute corrupting power, that makes great men insane
While some people find their refreshment in action
The manipulation, encroachment and destruction of their inferiors

Growing up in public, growing up in public
Growing up in public, growing up in public with your pants down

Some people are into sadistic pleasures
They whet their desires and drool in your ears
They’re quasi-effeminate characters in love with oral gratification
They edify your integrities, so they can play on your fears

They’re gonna do you in public, ’cause you’re growing up in public
They’re gonna do it to you in public,
’cause you’re growing up in public with your pants down

Some people think being a man is unmanly
Some people think that the whole concept’s a joke
But some people think being a man is the whole point
And then some people wish they’d never awoke

Up from a dream of nightmarish proportions
Down to a size neither regal nor calm
A prince hamlet caught the middle between reason and instinct
Caught in the middle with your pants down again

Caught in the middle, I’m really caught in the middle
I’m caught in the middle, caught in the middle deciding about you

Standing on Ceremony

length: 3:32
composer: Michael Fonfara, Lou Reed
Remember your manners
Will you please take your hat off
Your mother is dying
Listen to her cough

We were always standing on ceremony
We were always standing on ceremony

Can't you show some respect please
Although you didn't in real life
Your mother is dying
And I God damn well hope you're satisfied

We were always standing on ceremony
We were always standing on ceremony

So please play another song on that juke box
Please play another pretty sad song for me
And if that phone rings, tell them that you haven't seen me
If that last phone rings
Tell them that you haven't seen me for weeks
And this one here's on me

Standing on ceremony, standing on ceremony
Standing on ceremony, standing on ceremony
Standing on ceremony, you were always standing on ceremony
(standing, on ceremony)
(standing, on ceremony)
(standing, on ceremony)
(standing, on ceremony)
(standing, on ceremony)
(standing, on ceremony)
...

So Alone

length: 4:11
composer: Michael Fonfara, Lou Reed
She calls on the phone
She says she doesn't want to be alone
She says it's making her neurotic
But please don't mistake it for being erotic

So alone, so all alone
She says let's go for a walk
We'll have a drink and maybe we will talk
And he thinks she has possibilities
If she could just put away her rosary

So alone, nobody wants to be alone
But I just didn't know
I swear to you, I just didn't know
I would never make you sad
If I had known I never would have
Said those things to you
You have to be crazy to say those things to you

Let's face it I made a mistake
Well you know, fools rush in where angels take a break
I can't be smart all of the time
And anyway I didn't know you were making time over him

To tell you the truth, I forget all about him
And you know, I don't think it's nice
Asking one man about another man's vice
I don't care if you pick my head
As long as we end up in bed

Alone, just the two of us alone
I just didn't know
I swear to God, I just didn't know
Can't you understand that it's frightening
When you hear women talking about castrating and hating men
Who wants to know about how you hate men

Well, you said now you wanted to dance
So now we're going to dance
You said that you weren't complete
But we're going to put you on your feet
You said that you were very vexed
You told me to forget about sex
You said you liked me for my mind
Well, I really love your behind

Oh, get up and boogie, oh baby, get up and dance
Oh, get, get, get, get up and boogie, baby, oh, get up and dance
Shake your booty, mama, oh, get up and dance

Your points very clear
You're not one to cry into your beer
Why don't we go to my place
Believe me, I'm very chaste
And I'm so alone, ao all alone

Sure all men are beasts
Hey, look, I'll sit here quietly and I'll stare at my feet
I don't blame you for taking umbrage
With animals staring at your cleavage
So alone, we're so all alone

Hey, do you mind if I turn out the light
Don't take offense, but why don't you spend the night
I know your passions run very deep
But at this point we both need sleep
So alone, and who wants to be alone

Love Is Here to Stay

length: 3:12
composer: Michael Fonfara, Lou Reed
Love is here, here to stay
Love is here, here to stay
It gets proven every day
Love is here, here to stay

They both love Chinese food, he hates to dress
He loves to play pinball, she wants to play next
She likes her novels long, he's into comic books
They're gilt-edged polymorphous urban but somehow it works

'cause love is here, here to stay
Love is here, here to stay
It gets proven every day
Love is here, here to stay

She likes Truman Capote, he likes gore Vidal
He likes Edgar Allan Poe, she's into mean Joe Greene
She thinks eating meat's disgusting, he likes hot dogs
She's into gestalt therapy
While est and the vest just make him ill
But love is here to stay

Love is here, here to stay
Love is here, here to stay
It gets proven every day
Love is here, here to stay
Love is here, here to stay
Love is here, here to stay
It gets proven every day
Love is here, here to stay

The Power of Positive Drinking

length: 2:15
composer: Michael Fonfara, Lou Reed
Some like wine and some like hops
But what I really love is my scotch
It's the power, the power of positive drinking

Some people ruin their drinks with ice
And then they, they ask you for advice
They tell you, I've never told anyone else before

They say, candy is dandy but liquor makes quipsters
And I don't like mixers, or sippers or sob sisters
You know, you have to be real careful where you sit down
In a bar these days

And then some people drink to unleash their libidos
And other people drink to prop up their egos
It's my burdon, man, people say
I have the kind of face you can trust

The pow-pow-pow-pow-power of positive drinking
The pow-pow-pow-pow-power of positive
The pow-pow-pow-pow-power of positive
The pow-pow-pow-pow-power of positive
The pow-pow-pow-pow-power of positive drinking

Some people say, alcohol makes you less lucid
And think that's true if you're kind of stupid
I'm not that kind that get's himself burned twice

And some say liquor kills the cells in your head
And for that matter so does getting out of bed
When I exit, I'll go out gracefully, shot in my hand

The pow-pow-pow-pow-power of positive drinking
The pow-pow-pow-pow-power of positive
The pow-pow-pow-pow-power of positive
The pow-pow-pow-pow-power of positive
The pow-pow-pow-pow-power of positive drinking

Smiles

length: 2:45
composer: Michael Fonfara, Lou Reed
Smiles, I was taught never to smile
I was told the stylish smiles of buffoonery
Chicanery and larceny abound

My mom said unless someone sticks you right in front of a camera
A smile is the last thing that you wanna do
Those smiles, those mirthless toothy smiles

Smiles, they all smile on tv
The quizmaster with his withered crones
The talkshow hosting movie stars, the politician licking feet

The mugger, the rapist, the arsonic lover
All smile out from the news, at one time or another
Those smiles, those garish sickly smiles

When I was young my mother said to me
Never, ever, let anyone see that you're happy

Smiles, never, ever let them see you smile
They'll always put you down
With those smiles, never, ever let them see you smile
They'll always put you down
With your smiles, never, ever let them see you smile
Don't you know they'll make you go

Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo
Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo
Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo
Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo
(doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo
Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo)
(doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo
Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo)

Think It Over

length: 3:25
composer: Michael Fonfara, Lou Reed
Walking, he stared raptly at her face
On his lips, her smell, her taste
Black hair framing her perfect face
With her wonderful mind and her incredible grace

And so, he woke, he woke her with a start
To offer her his heart
For once and for all, forever to keep
And the words, that she first heard him speak
Were really very sweet
He was asking her to marry him, and to

Think it over
Baby, think it over
Think it over
Baby, why don't you think it over

She said, "Somewhere, there's a faraway place
Where all is ordered and all is grace
No one there is ever disgraced
And everyone there is wise
And everyone has taste,"

And then she sighed, well La Dee Dah Dee Dah
You and I have come quite far
And we really must watch what we say
Because when you ask for someone's heart
You must know that you're smart
Smart enough to care for it, so I'm gonna

Think it over
Baby, think it over
Think it over
Baby, I'm gonna think it over

Teach the Gifted Children

length: 3:26
composer: Michael Fonfara, Lou Reed
Teach the gifted children
Teach them to have mercy
Teach them about sunsets
Teach them about moonrise
Teach them about anger
The sin that comes with dawning
Teach them about flowers
And the beauty of forgetfulness

Then take me to the river (take me to the river)
And put me in the water (and put me in the water)
Bless them and forgive them (take me to the river)
Father cause they just don't know (take me to the river)

All the gifted children
Teach the gifted children
The way of men and animals
Teach them about cities
The history of the mysteries
Their vice and their virtues
About branches that blow in the wind
On the wages of their sins
Teach them of forgiveness
Teach them about mercy
Teach them about music
And the cool and cleansing waters

What do they say, take me to the river (take me to the river)
Take me to the river (take me to the river)
Put me in the water (take me to the river)
And teach the gifted children (take me to the river)
All the gifted children (take me to the river)
(Take me to the river)
(Take me to the river)