Magic and Loss Album

Artist(s): Lou Reed

Cover Art

Lou Reed Magic and Loss Cover Art

Tracklist

Dorita (The Spirit)

length: 1:08
producer: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
guitar: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
percussion: Michael Blair
electric upright bass: Rob Wasserman
composer: Lou Reed

[Instrumental]

What's Good (The Thesis)

length: 3:23
producer: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
lead vocals: Lou Reed
guitar: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
percussion: Michael Blair
electric upright bass: Rob Wasserman
composer: Lou Reed
lyricist: Lou Reed
Life's like a mayonnaise soda
And life's like space without room
And life's like bacon and ice cream
That's what life's like without you

Life's like forever becoming
But life's forever dealing in hurt
Now life's like death without living
That's what life's like without you

Life's like Sanskrit read to a pony
I see you in my mind's eye strangling on your tongue
What good is knowing such devotion
I've been around, I know what makes things run

What good is seeing eye chocolate
What good's a computerized nose
And what good was cancer in April
Why no good, no good at all

What good's a war without killing
What good is rain that falls up
What good's a disease that won't hurt you
Why no good, I guess, no good at all

What good are these thoughts that I'm thinking
It must be better, huh not to be thinking at all
A styrofoam lover with emotions of concrete
No not much, not much at all

What's good is life without living
What good's this lion that barks
You loved a life others throw away nightly
It's not fair, not fair at all

What's good?
Oh baby, what's good?
What's good?
What's good?
Not much at all

Hey baby, what's good?
What's good? Life's good
But not fair at all

Power and Glory (The Situation)

length: 4:24
producer: Lou Reed and Mike Rathke
lead vocals: Lou Reed
guitar: Lou Reed and Mike Rathke
percussion: Michael Blair
electric upright bass: Rob Wasserman
composer: Mike Rathke, Lou Reed
lyricist: Lou Reed
I was visited by the power and the glory
I was visited by a majestic hymn
Great bolts of lightning
Lighting up the sky
Electricity flowing through my veins
I was captured by a larger moment
I was seized by divinity's hot breath
Gorged like a lion on experience
Powerful from life
I wanted all of it
Not some of it
I saw a man turn into a bird
I saw a bird turn into a tiger
I saw a man hang from a cliff by the tips of his toes
In the jungles of the Amazon
I saw a man put a red hot needle through his eye
Turn into a crow, and fly through the trees
Swallow hot coals, and breathe out flames
And I wanted this to happen to me
We saw the moon vanish into his pocket
We saw the stars disappear from sight
We saw him walk across water into the sun
While bathed in eternal light
We spewed out questions, waiting for answers
Creating legends, religions, and myths
Books, stories, movies, and plays
All trying to explain this
I saw a great man turn into a little child
The cancer reduced him to dust
His voice growing weak as he fought for his life
With a bravery few men know
I saw isotopes introduced into his lungs
Trying to stop the cancerous spread
And it made me think of Leda and The Swan
And gold being made from lead
The same power that burned Hiroshima
Causing three-legged babies and death
Shrunk to the size of a nickel
To help him regain his breath
And I was struck by the power and the glory
I was visited by a majestic Him
Great bolts of lightning, lighting up the sky
As the radiation flowed through him
He wanted all of it
Not some of it

Magician (Internally)

length: 6:24
producer: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
lead vocals: Lou Reed
guitar: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
percussion: Michael Blair
electric upright bass: Rob Wasserman
composer: Lou Reed
lyricist: Lou Reed
Magician, magician take me upon your wings
And gently roll the clouds away
I'm sorry, so sorry; I have no incantations
Only words to help sweep me away

I want some magic to sweep me away
I want some magic to sweep me away
I want to count to five
Turn around and find myself gone
Fly through the storm
And wake up in the calm

Release me from the body
From this bulk that moves beside me
Let me leave this body far away
I'm sick of looking at me
I hate this painful body
That disease has slowly worn away

Magician, take my spirit
Inside I'm young and vital
Inside I'm alive; please take me away
So many things to do; it's too early
For my life to be ending
For this body to simply rot away

I want some magic to keep me alive
I want a miracle; I don't want to die
I'm afraid that if I go to sleep I'll never wake
I'll no longer exist
I'll close my eyes and disappear
And float into the mist

Somebody, please hear me
My hand can't hold a cup of coffee
My fingers are weak, things just fall away
Inside I'm young and pretty
Too many things unfinished
My very breath taken away

Doctor, you're no magician, and I am no believer
I need more than faith can give me now
I want to believe in miracles, not just belief in numbers
I need some magic to take me away

I want some magic to sweep me away
Visit on this starlit night
Replace the stars, the moon, the light; the sun's gone
Fly me through this storm
And wake up in the calm
I fly right through this storm
And I wake up in the calm

Sword of Damocles (Externally)

length: 3:43
producer: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
lead vocals: Lou Reed
guitar: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
percussion: Michael Blair
electric upright bass: Rob Wasserman
composer: Lou Reed
lyricist: Lou Reed
I see the sword of Damocles is right above your head
They're trying a new treatment to get you out of bed
But radiation kills both bad and good
It can not differentiate
So to cure you they must kill you
The sword of Damocles hangs above your head

Now I have seen lots of peoples die
From car crashes or drugs
Last night on 33rd street, I saw a kid get hit by a bus
Bus this drawn out torture over which part of you lives
Is very hard to take
To cure you, they must kill you
The sword of Damocles above your head

That mix of morphine and Dexedrine
We use it on the street
It kills the pain and keeps you up
Your very soul to keep
But this guessing game has its own rules
The good don't always win
And might makes right
The sword of Damocles
Is hanging above your head

It seems everything's done that must be done
From over here, though things don't seem fair
But there are things that we can't know
Maybe there's something over there
Some other world that we don't know about
I know you hate that mystic ****
It's just another way of seeing
The sword of Damocles above your head

Goodby Mass (In a Chapel Bodily Termination)

length: 4:26
producer: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
lead vocals: Lou Reed
guitar: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
percussion: Michael Blair
electric upright bass: Rob Wasserman
composer: Lou Reed
lyricist: Lou Reed
Sitting on a hard chair, try to sit straight
Sitting on a hard chair, this moment won't wait
Listening to the speakers; they're talking about you
Look at all the people, all the people you know

Sitting with my back straight, it becomes hard to hear
Some people are crying; it becomes hard to hear
I don't think you'd have liked it; you would have made a joke
You would have made it easier; you'd say "tomorrow, I'm smoke."

Sitting on a hard chair, how far we have come
Trying hard to listen to your friends who have come
Some of them are famous, and some are just like me
Trying hard to listen, trying hard to see

Sitting in a hard chair; it's over, time to stand
Some people are crying; I turn to grab your hand
It's your daughter, saying thank you
You, you would have made a joke
"Isn't this something," you say, "tomorrow, I'm smoke."

Cremation (Ashes to Ashes)

length: 2:55
producer: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
lead vocals: Lou Reed
guitar: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
percussion: Michael Blair
electric upright bass: Rob Wasserman
composer: Lou Reed
lyricist: Lou Reed
Well, the coal black sea waits for me, me, me
The coal black sea waits forever
The waves hit the shore
Crying more, more, more
But the coal black sea waits forever

The tornados come up the coast; they run
Hurricanes rip the sky forever
Though the weathers change
The sea remains the same
The coal black sea waits forever

There are ashes split through collective guilt
People rest at sea forever
Since they burnt you up
Collect you in a cup
For you the coal black sea has no terror

Will your ashes float like some foreign boat
Or will they sink absorbed forever?
Will the Atlantic coast
Have its final boast?
Nothing else contained you ever

Now the coal black sea waits for me, me, me
The coal black sea waits forever
When I leave this joint
At some further point
The same coal black sea will it be waiting

Dreamin' (Escape)

length: 5:10
producer: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
lead vocals: Lou Reed
guitar: Lou Reed and Mike Rathke
percussion: Michael Blair
electric upright bass: Rob Wasserman
composer: Mike Rathke, Lou Reed
lyricist: Lou Reed
If I close my eyes, I see your face, and I'm not without you
If I try hard and concentrate, I can still hear you speak
I picture myself in your room by the chair
You're smoking a cigarette
If I close my eyes, I can see your face; you're saying: "I missed you."
Dreamin', I'm always dreamin'

If I close my eyes, I can smell your perfume; you look and say: "hi, baby."
If I close my eyes, pictures from China still hang from the wall
I hear the dog bark; I turned and say: "what were you saying?"
I pictured you in the red chair inside the pale room

You sat in your chair with a tube in your arm; you were so skinny
You were still making jokes; I don't know what drugs they had you on
You said: "I guess this is not the time for long term investments."
You were always laughing, but you never laughed at me

They say in the end the pain was so bad that you were screaming
Now, you were no saint, but you deserved better than that
From the corner I watch them moving things from your apartment
But I can picture your red chair and pale room inside my head

If I close my eyes, I see your face, and I'm not without you
If I try hard and concentrate, I can hear your voice saying:
"Who's better than you?"
If I close my eyes, I can't believe that I'm here without you
Inside your pale room, your empty red chair, and my head
Dreamin', I'm always dreamin'

No Chance (Regret)

length: 3:16
producer: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
lead vocals: Lou Reed
guitar: Lou Reed and Mike Rathke
percussion: Michael Blair
electric upright bass: Rob Wasserman
composer: Lou Reed
lyricist: Lou Reed
It must be nice to be steady; it must be nice to be firm
It must be nice never to move off the mark
It must be nice to be dependable and never let anyone down
It must be great to be all the things you're not
It must be great to be all the things that I'm not

I see you in the hospital; your humor is intact
I'm embarrassed by the strength I seem to lack
If I was in your shoes
So strange that I'm not
I'd fold up in a minute and a half
And I didn't get a chance to say goodbye

It must be nice to be normal; it must be nice to be cold
It must be nice not to have to go, oh, up or down
But me, I'm all emotional no matter how I try
You're gone, and I'm still here alive
And I didn't get a chance to say goodbye
No, I didn't get a chance to say goodbye

There are things we say we wish we knew, and in fact we never do
But I'd wish I'd known that you were going to die
Then I wouldn't feel so stupid; such a fool that I didn't call
And I didn't get a chance to say goodbye
I didn't get a chance to say goodbye

No, there's no logic to this - who's picked to stay or go
If you think too hard, it only makes you mad
But your optimism made me think you really had it beat
So I didn't get a chance to say goodbye
I didn't get a chance to say goodbye

Warrior King (Revenge)

length: 4:28
producer: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
lead vocals: Lou Reed
guitar: Lou Reed and Mike Rathke
percussion: Michael Blair
electric upright bass: Rob Wasserman
composer: Lou Reed
lyricist: Lou Reed
I wish I was the warrior king in every language that I speak
Lord over all that I survey, and all that I see I keep
Power omnipresent, undiminished, uncontrolled
With a message; violent fury at the center of my soul
I wish I was a warrior king; inscrutable, benign
With a faceless charging power always at my command
Footsteps so heavy that the world shakes
My rage instilling fear
Yet cautious firm but fair and good
The perfect warrior king
I wish I installed angles in every subject's house
Agents of my goodness no one would be without
A steak on every plate, a car for every house
And if you ever crossed me
I'd have your eyes put out
You don't exist without me; without me you don't exist
And if logic won't convince you then there's always this:
I'm bigger, smarter, stronger, tougher
Yet sensitive and kind
And though I could crush you like a bug
It will never cross my mind
It wouldn't cross my mind to your neck
Or rip out your vicious tongue
It wouldn't cross my mind to snap your leg like a twig
Or squash you like some slug
You are a violent messenger
And I'm not above your taunts
And if you hit me you know I'll kill you
Because I'm the warrior king

Harry's Circumcision (Reverie Gone Astray)

length: 5:30
producer: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
lead vocals: Lou Reed
guitar: Lou Reed and Mike Rathke
percussion: Michael Blair
electric upright bass: Rob Wasserman
composer: Lou Reed
lyricist: Lou Reed
Looking in the mirror, Harry didn't like what he saw
The cheeks of his mother, the eyes of his father
As each day crashed around him, the future stood revealed
He was turning into his parents
The final disappointment

Stepping out of the shower, Harry stared at himself
His hairline receding, the slight overbite
He picked up the razor to begin his shaving
And thought: "oh, I wish I was different."

I wish I was stronger; I wish I was thinner
I wish I didn't have this nose
These ears that stick out remind me of my father
And I don't want to be reminded at all
The final disappointment

Harry looked into the mirror, thinking of Vincent Van Gogh
And with a quick swipe lopped off his nose
And happy with that he made a slice where his chin was
He's always wanted a dimple
The end of all illusion
Then peering down straight between his legs
Harry thought of the range of possibilities
A new face, a new life, no memories of the past
And slit his throat from ear to ear

Harry woke up with a cough; the stitches made his wince
A doctor smiled at him from somewhere across the room
Son, we saved your life, but you'll never look the same
And when he heard that, Harry had to laugh
Although it hurt, Harry had to laugh
The final disappointment

Gassed and Stoked (Loss)

length: 4:19
producer: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
lead vocals: Lou Reed
guitar: Lou Reed and Mike Rathke
percussion: Michael Blair
electric upright bass: Rob Wasserman
composer: Mike Rathke, Lou Reed
lyricist: Lou Reed
Well, you covered your tracks
And now I can't see you
You had your ashes scattered at sea
There's no grave to visit, no tombstone to look at
You were in the New York Times obituary
There's no record, no tape, no book, no movie
Some photographs and some memories
Sometimes I dial your phone number by mistake
And this is what I hear:
This is no longer a working number, baby
Please redial your call
This is no longer a working number
Your party doesn't live here anymore
This is no longer a working number
If you still require help
Stay on the line, and an operator
Will try to bail you out
I knew I should have seen you that Thursday
I knew I shouldn't have left
But you sounded so good, your spirits so up
I thought I'd see you next week
I say over and over if I had half a brain
If I had half a brain in my head
I wouldn't sit here, dialing a wrong number
And listening to what some recording said
I knew I should have written, written things down
I always say I'll never forget
Who can forget a one-eyed pilot?
Who's a concert pianist?
A painter, a poet, songwriter supreme
My friends are blending in my head
They're melting into one great spirit
And that spirit isn't dead
Now, I may not remember everything that you said
But I remember all the sings you've done
And not a day goes by, not an hour
When I don't try to be like you
You were gassed, stoked, and rarin' to go
And you were that way all the time
So I guess you know why I'm laughing at myselves
Every time I dial the wrong line
This is no longer a working number, baby

Power and Glory, Part II (Magic - Transformation)

length: 2:58
producer: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
lead vocals: Lou Reed
guitar: Lou Reed and Mike Rathke
percussion: Michael Blair
electric upright bass: Rob Wasserman
composer: Mike Rathke, Lou Reed
lyricist: Lou Reed
I was visited by the power and the glory
I was visited by a majestic hymn
Great bolts of lightning lighting up the sky
Electricity flowing through my veins

I was captured by a larger moment
I was seized by divinity's hot breath
Gorged like a lion on experience
Powerful from life

I wanted all of it, all of it
All of it, not some of it
All of it, all of it
Not just some of it, but all of it

I saw a man turn into a bird
I saw a bird turn into a tiger
I saw a man hang from a cliff by the tips of his toes
In the jungles of the amazon

I saw a man put a redhot needle through his eye
Turn into a crow and fly through the trees
Swallow hot coals and breathe out flames
And I wanted this to happen to me
Oh, I wanted this to happen to me

I wanted all of it, all of it
All of it, not some of it
All of it, all of it
Not just some of it, but all of it

Cancer reduce him to dust

We saw the moon vanish into his pocket
We saw the stars disappear from sight
We saw him walk across water into the sun
While bathed in eternal light

We spewed out questions, waiting for answers
Creating legends, religions and myths
Books, stories, movies and plays
All trying to explain this

I wanted all of it, all of it
All of it, not some of it
All of it, all of it
Not just some of it, but all of it

I saw a great man turn into a little child
The cancer reduce him to dust
His voice growing weak as he fought for his life
With a bravery stronger than lust

I saw isotopes introduced into his lungs
Trying to stop the cancerous spread
And it made me think of Leda and The Swan
And gold being made from lead

The same power that burned hiroshima
Causing three legged babies and death
Shrunk to the size of a nickel
To help him regain his breath

And I was struck by the power and the glory
And I was visited by a majestic him
Great bolts of lightning shooting up his veins
As the radiation flowed through him

He wanted all of it, all of it
All of it, not just some of it
All of it, all of it
Not some of it, but all of it

Magic and Loss (The Summation)

length: 6:40
producer: Lou Reed and Mike Rathke
lead vocals: Lou Reed
guitar: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
percussion: Michael Blair
electric upright bass: Rob Wasserman
composer: Mike Rathke, Lou Reed
lyricist: Lou Reed
When you pass through the fire
You pass through humble
You pass through a maze of self doubt
When you pass through humble
The lights can blind you
Some people never figure that out
You pass through arrogance, you pass through hurt
You pass through an ever-present past
And it's best not to wait for luck to save you
Pass through the fire to the light
As you pass through the fire
Your right hand waving
There are things you have to throw out
That caustic dread inside your head
Will never help you out
You have to be very strong
'Cause you'll start from zero
Over and over again
And as the smoke clears
There's an all-consuming fire
Lying straight ahead
They say no one person can do it all
But you want to in your head
But you can't be Joyce
So what is left instead?
You're stuck with yourself
And a rage that can hurt you
You have to start at the beginning again
And just this moment
This wonderful fire started up again
When you pass through humble
When you pass through sickly
When you pass through
I'm better than you all
When you pass through
Anger and self deprecation
And have the strength to acknowledge it all
When the past makes you laugh
And you can savor the magic
That let you survive your own war
You find that that fire is passion
And there's a door up ahead; not a wall
As you pass through fire, as you pass through fire
Trying to remember its name
When you pass through fire, licking at your lips
You cannot remain the same
And if the building's burning
Move towards that door
But don't put the flames out
There's a bit of magic in everything
And then some loss to even things out