New York Album

Artist(s): Lou Reed

Cover Art

Lou Reed New York Cover Art

Tracklist

Romeo Had Juliette

length: 3:11
producer: Lou Reed and Fred Maher
lead vocals: Lou Reed
engineer: Fred Maher
electric guitar: Lou Reed and Mike Rathke
bass: Fred Maher
drums (drum set): Fred Maher
assistant engineer: Victor Deyglio
composer: Lou Reed
lyricist: Lou Reed

Caught between the twisted stars
The plotted lines the faulty map
That brought columbus to new york
Betwixt between the east and west
He calls on her wearing a leather vest
The earth squeals and shudders to a halt
A diamond crucifix in his ear
Is used to help ward off the fear
That he has left his soul in someone’s rented car
Inside his pants he hides a mop
To clean the mess that he has dropped
Into the life of lithesome juliette bell

And romeo wanted juliette
And juliette wanted romeo
And romeo wanted juliette
And juliette wanted romeo

Romeo rodriguez squares
His shoulders and curses jesus
Runs a comb through his black pony-tail
He’s thinking of his lonely room
The sink that by his bed gives off a stink
Then smells her perfume in his eyes
And her voice was like a bell

Outside the street were steaming the crack
Dealers were dreaming
Of an uzi someone had just scored
I betcha I could hit that light
With my one good arm behind my back
Says little joey diaz
Brother give me another tote
Those downtown hoods are no damn good
Those italians need a lesson to be taught
This cop who died in harlem
You think they’d get the warnin’
I was dancing when his brains run out on the street

And romeo had juliette
And juliette had her romeo
And romeo had juliette
And juliette had her romeo

I’ll take manhattan in a garbage bag
With latin written on it that says
"it’s hard to give a shit these days"
Manhattan’s sinking like a rock
Into the filthy hudson what a shock
They wrote a book about it
They said it was like ancient rome

The perfume burned his eyes
Holding tightly to her thighs
And something flickered for a minute
And then it vanished and was gone

Halloween Parade

length: 3:34
lead vocals: Lou Reed
double bass: Rob Wasserman
electric guitar: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
recording engineer: Jeffrey Lesser
drums (drum set): Fred Maher
assistant engineer: Victor Deyglio
composer: Lou Reed
lyricist: Lou Reed
There’s a down town fairy singing out "proud mary"
As she cruises christopher street
And some southern queen is acting loud and mean
Where the docks and the badlands meet

This halloween is something to be sure
Especially to be here without you

There’s a greta garbo and an alfred hitchcock
And some black jamaican stud
There’s five cinderellas and some leather drags
I almost fell into my mug

There’s a crawford, davis and a tacky cary grant
And some homeboys lookin’ for trouble down here from the bronx

But there ain’t no hairy and no virgin mary
You won’t hear those voices again
And johnny rio and rotten rita
You’ll never see those faces again

This halloween is something to be sure
Especially to be here without you

There’s the born again losers and the lavender boozers
And some crack team from washington heights
The boys from avenue b and the girls from avenue d
A tinkerbell in tights

This celebration somehow get me down
Especially when I see you’re not around

There’s no peter pedantic saying things romantic
In latin, greek or spic
There’s no three bananas or brandy alexander
Dishing all their tricks

It’s a different feeling that I have today
Especially when I know you’ve gone away

There’s a girl from soho with a teeshirt saying "i blow"
She’s with the "jive five 2 plus 3"
And the girls for pay dates are giving cut rates
Or else doing it for free

The past keeps knock, knock, knocking on my door
And I don’t want to hear it anymore

No consolations please for feelin’ funky
I got to get my head above my knees
But it makes me mad and mad makes me sad
And then I start to freeze

In the back of my mind I was afraid it might be true
In the back of my mind I was afraid that they meant you

The halloween parade
At the halloween parade
At the halloween parade
See you next year, at the halloween parade

Dirty Blvd.

length: 3:30
lead vocals: Lou Reed
double bass: Rob Wasserman
electric guitar: Lou Reed and Mike Rathke
recording engineer: Jeffrey Lesser
background vocals: Dion
drums (drum set): Fred Maher
assistant engineer: Victor Deyglio
composer: Lou Reed
lyricist: Lou Reed
Pedro lives out of the wilshire hotel
He looks out a window without glass
The walls are made of cardboard, newspapers on his feet
His father beats him ’cause he’s too tired to beg

He’s got 9 brothers and sisters
They’re brought up on their knees
It’s hard to run when a coat hanger beats you on the thighs
Pedro dreams of being older and killing the old man
But that’s a slim chance he’s going to the boulevard

He’s going to end up, on the dirty boulevard
He’s going out, to the dirty boulevard
He’s going down, to the dirty boulevard

This room cost 2,000 dollars a month
You can believe it man it’s true
Somewhere a landlord’s laughing till he wets his pants
No one here dreams of being a doctor or a lawyer or anything
They dream of dealing on the dirty boulevard

Give me your hungry, your tired your poor I’ll piss on ’em
That’s what the statue of bigotry says
Your poor huddled masses, let’s club ’em to death
And get it over with and just dump ’em on the boulevard

Get to end up, on the dirty boulevard
Going out, to the dirty boulevard
He’s going down, on the dirty boulevard
Going out

Outside it’s a bright night
There’s an opera at lincoln center
Movie stars arrive by limousine
The klieg lights shoot up over the skyline of manhattan
But the lights are out on the mean streets

A small kid stands by the lincoln tunnel
He’s selling plastic roses for a buck
The traffic’s backed up to 39th street
The tv whores are calling the cops out for a suck

And back at the wilshire, pedro sits there dreaming
He’s found a book on magic in a garbage can
He looks at the pictures and stares at the cracked ceiling
"at the count of 3" he says, "i hope I can disappear"

And fly fly away, from this dirty boulevard
I want to fly, from dirty boulevard
I want to fly, from dirty boulevard
I want to fly-fly-fly-fly, from dirty boulevard

I want to fly away
I want to fly
Fly, fly away
I want to fly
Fly-fly away (fly a-)
Fly-fly-fly (-way, ooohhh...)
Fly-fly away (I want to fly-fly away)
Fly away (I want to fly, wow-woh, no, fly away)

Endless Cycle

length: 4:03
lead vocals: Lou Reed
double bass: Rob Wasserman
electric guitar: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
recording engineer: Jeffrey Lesser
drums (drum set): Fred Maher
assistant engineer: Victor Deyglio
composer: Lou Reed
lyricist: Lou Reed
The bias of the father runs on through the son
And leaves him bothered and bewildered
The drugs in his veins only cause him to spit
At the face staring back in the mirror

How can he tell a good act from the bad
He can’t even remember his name
How can he do what needs to be done
When he’s a follower not a leader

The sickness of the mother runs on through the girl
Leaving her small and helpless
Liquor files through her brain with the force of a gun
Leaving her running in circles

How can she tell a good act from the bad
When she’s flat on her back in her room
How can she do what needs to be done
When she’s a coward and a bleeder

The man if he marries will batter his child
And have endless excuses
The woman sadly will do much the same
Thinking that it’s right and it’s proper

Better than their mommy or their daddy did
Better than the childhood they suffered
The truth is they’re happier when they’re in pain
In fact, that’s why they got married

There Is No Time

length: 3:47
lead vocals: Lou Reed
double bass: Rob Wasserman
electric guitar: Lou Reed and Mike Rathke
recording engineer: Jeffrey Lesser
drums (drum set): Fred Maher
assistant engineer: Victor Deyglio
composer: Lou Reed
lyricist: Lou Reed
This is no time for celebration
This is no time for shaking heads
This is no time for backslapping
This is no time for marching bands

This is no time for optimism
This is no time for endless thought
This is no time for my country right or wrong
Remember what that brought

There is no time
There is no time
There is no time
There is no time

This is no time for congratulations
This is no time to turn your back
This is no time for circumlocution
This is no time for learned speech

This is no time to count your blessings
This is no time for private gain
This is no time to put up or shut up
It won’t no time to come back this way again

There is no time
There is no time
There is no time
There is no time

This is no time to swallow anger
This is no time to ignore hate
This is no time to be acting frivolous
Because the time is getting late

This is no time for private vendettas
This is no time to not know who you are
Self knowledge is a dangerous thing
The freedom of who you are

This is no time to ignore warnings
This is no time to clear the plate
Let’s not be sorry after the fact
And let the past become out fate

There is no time
There is no time
There is no time
There is no time

This is no time to turn away and drink
Or smoke some vials of crack
This is a time to gather force
And take dead aim and attack

This is no time for celebration
This is no time for saluting flags
This is no time for inner searchings
The future is at head

This is no time for phony rhetoric
This is no time for political speech
This is a time for action
Because the future’s within reach

This is the time
This is the time
This is the time
Because there is no time

There is no time
There is no time
There is no time
There is no time

Last Great American Whale

length: 3:43
lead vocals: Lou Reed
double bass: Rob Wasserman
electric guitar: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
recording engineer: Jeffrey Lesser
percussion: Moe Tucker
assistant engineer: Victor Deyglio
composer: Lou Reed
lyricist: Lou Reed
They say he didn’t have an enemy
His was a greatness to behold
He was the last surviving progeny
The last one on this side of the world

He measured a half mile from tip to tail
Silver and black with powerful fins
They say he could split a mountain in two
That’s how we got the grand canyon

Last great american whale
Last great american whale
Last great american whale
Last great american whale

Some say they saw him at the great lakes
Some say they saw him off of florida
My mother said she saw him in chinatown
But you can’t always trust your mother

Off the carolinas the sun shines brightly in the day
The lighthouse glows ghostly there at night
The chief of a local tribe had killed a racist mayor’s son
And he’d been on death row since 1958

The mayor’s kid was a rowdy pig
Spit on indians and lots worse
The old chief buried a hatchet in his head
Life compared to death for him seemed worse

The tribal brothers gathered in the lighthouse to sing
And tried to conjure up a storm or rain
The harbor parted, the great whale sprang full up
And caused a hugh tidal wave

The wave crushed the jail and freed the chief
The tribe let out a roar
The whites were drowned, the browns and reds set free
But sadly one thing more

Some local yokel member of the nra
Kept a bazooka in his living room
And thinking he had the chief in his sight
Blew the whale’s brains out with a lead harpoon

Last great american whale
Last great american whale
Last great american whale
Last great american whale

Well americans don’t care for much of anything
Land and water the least
And animal life is low on the totem pole
With human life not worth more than infected yeast

Americans don’t care too much for beauty
They’ll shit in a river, dump battery acid in a stream
They’ll watch dead rats wash up on the beach
And complain if they can’t swim

They say things are done for the majority
Don’t believe half of what you see and none of what you hear
It’s like what my painter friend donald said to me
"stick a fork in their ass and turn them over, they’re done"

Beginning of a Great Adventure

length: 4:58
lead vocals: Lou Reed
double bass: Rob Wasserman
electric guitar: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
recording engineer: Jeffrey Lesser
drums (drum set): Fred Maher
assistant engineer: Victor Deyglio
writer: Mike Rathke, Lou Reed
It might be fun to have a kid that I could kick around
A little me to fill up with my thoughts
A little me or he or she to fill up with my dreams
A way of saying life is not a loss

I’d keep the tyke away from school and tutor him myself
Keep him from the poison of the crowd
But then again pristine isolation might not be the best idea
It’s not good trying to immortalize yourself

Beginning of a great adventure
Beginning of a great adventure

Why stop at one, I might have ten, a regular tv brood
I’d breed a little liberal army in the wood
Just like these redneck lunatics I see at the local bar
With their tribe of mutant inbred piglets with cloven hooves

I’d teach ’em how to plant a bomb, start a fire, play guitar
And if they catch a hunter, shoot him in the nuts
I’d try to be as progressive as I could possibly be
As long as I don’t have to try too much

Beginning of a great adventure
Beginning of a great adventure

Susie, jesus, bogart, sam, leslie, jill and jeff
Rita, winny, andy, fran and jet
Boris, bono, lucy, ethel, bunny, reg and tom
That’s a lot of names to try not to forget

Carrie, marlon, mo and steve, la rue and jerry lee
Eggplant, rufus, dummy, star and the glob
I’d need a damn computer to keep track of all these names
I hope this baby thing don’t go too far

I hope it’s true what my wife said to me
I hope it’s true what my wife said to me, hey
I hope it’s true what my wife said to me

She says, "baby, it’s the beginning of a great adventure"
"babe, beginning of a great adventure"
Take a look

It might be fun to have a kid that I could kick around
Create in my own image like a god
I’d raise my own pallbearers to carry me to my grave
And keep me company when I’m a wizened toothless clod

Some gibbering old fool sitting all alone drooling on his shirt
Some senile old fart playing in the dirt
It might be fun to have a kid I could pass something on to
Something better than rage, pain, anger and hurt

I hope it’s true what my wife said to me
I hope it’s true what my wife said to me
I hope it’s true what my wife said to me
She says, "lou, it’s the beginning of a great adventure"
"lou, lou, lou, beginning of a great adventure"
She says, "babe, how you call your lover boy"
"sylvia, quite you call your lover man"

Busload of Faith

length: 4:51
lead vocals: Lou Reed
electric guitar: Lou Reed and Mike Rathke
recording engineer: Jeffrey Lesser
bass: Fred Maher
drums (drum set): Fred Maher
assistant engineer: Victor Deyglio
composer: Lou Reed
lyricist: Lou Reed
You can’t depend on your family
You can’t depend on your friends
You can’t depend on a beginning
You can’t depend on an end

You can’t depend on intelligence
Ooohhh, you can’t depend on god
You can only depend on one thing
You need a busload of faith to get by, watch, baby

Busload of faith to get by
Busload of faith to get by
Busload of faith to get by
You need a busload of faith to get by

You can depend on the worst always happening
You can depend on a murderer’s drive
You can bet that if he rapes somebody
There’ll be no trouble having a child

You can bet that if she aborts it
Pro-lifers will attack her with rage
You can depend on the worst always happening
You need a busload of faith to get by, yeah

Busload of faith to get by
Busload of faith to get by
Busload of faith to get by, baby
Busload of faith to get by

You can’t depend on the goodly hearted
The goodly hearted made lamp-shades and soap
You can’t depend on the sacrament
No father, no holy ghost

You can’t depend on any churches
Unless there’s real estate you want to buy
You can’t depend on a lot of things
You need a busload of faith to get by, woh

Busload of faith to get by
Busload of faith to get by
Busload of faith to get by
Busload of faith to get by

You can’t depend on no miracle
You can’t depend on the air
You can’t depend on a wise man
You can’t find ’em because they’re not there

You can depend on cruelty
Crudity of thought and sound
You can depend on the worst always happening
You need a busload of faith to get by, ha

Busload of faith to get by
Busload of faith to get by
Busload of faith to get by
Busload of faith to get by

Sick of You

length: 3:26
lead vocals: Lou Reed
double bass: Rob Wasserman
electric guitar: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
recording engineer: Jeffrey Lesser
drums (drum set): Fred Maher
assistant engineer: Victor Deyglio
composer: Lou Reed
lyricist: Lou Reed
I was up in the morning with the tv blarin’
Brush my teeth sittin’ watchin’ the news
All the beaches were closed the ocean was a red sea
But there was no one there to part in two
There was no fresh salad because there’s hypos in the cabbage
Staten island disappeared at noon
And they say the midwest is in great distress
And nasa blew up the moon

The ozone layer has no ozone anymore
And you’re gonna leave me for the guy next door
I’m sick of you
I’m sick of you

They arrested the mayor for an illegal favor
Sold the empire state to japan
And oliver north married william secord
And gave birth to a little teheran
And the ayatollah bought a nuclear warship
If he dies he wants to go out in style
And there’s nothing to eat that don’t carry the stink
Of some human waste dumped in the nile

We one thing is certainly true
No one here knows what to do
And I’m sick of you
I’m sick of you

The radio said there were 400 dead
In some small town in arkansas
Some whacked out trucker drove into a nuclear reactor
And killed everybody he saw
Now he’s on morton downey and he’s glowing and shining
Doctors say this is a medical advance
They say the bad makes the good and there’s something to be learned
In every human experience

Well I know one thing that really is true
This here’s a zoo and the keeper ain’t you
And I’m sick of it
I’m sick of you

They ordained the trumps and then he got the mumps
And died being treated at mt. sinal
And my best friend bill died from a poison pill
Some wired doctor prescribed for stress
My arms and legs are shrunk the food all has lumps
They discovered some animal no one’s ever seen
It was an inside trader eating a rubber tire
After running over rudy giuliani

They say the president’s dead but no one can find his head
It’s been missing now for weeks
But no one noticed it he had seemed so fit
And I’m sick of it

I’m sick of you
I’m so sick of you, bye, bye, bye

Bye, bye, bye

Hold On

length: 3:25
lead vocals: Lou Reed
double bass: Rob Wasserman
electric guitar: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
recording engineer: Jeffrey Lesser
drums (drum set): Fred Maher
assistant engineer: Victor Deyglio
composer: Lou Reed
lyricist: Lou Reed
There's blacks with knives and whites with guns
fighting in Howard Beach
There's no such thing as human rights
when you walk the N.Y. streets
A cop was shot in the head by a 10 year old kid named Buddah in
Central Park last week
The fathers are lined up by
the coffins by the Statue of Bigotry
You better hold on something's happening here
You better hold on---meet you in Tompkins Square
The dopers sent a message to the cops last weekend
They shot him in the car where he sat
And Eleanor Bumpres and Michael Stewart must have appreciated that
There's a rampaging rage rising up like a plague of bloody vials
washing up on the beach
It'll take more than the Angels or Iron Mike Tyson
to heal this bloody breach
A junkie ran down a lady a pregnant dancer
she'll never dance but the baby was saved
He shot up some China White and nodded out at the wheel
and he doesn't even remember a thing
They shot that old lady
'cause they thought she was a witness
to a crime she didn't even see
Whose home is the home of the brave by the Statue of Bigotry
You got a black .38 and a gravity knife
You still have to ride the train
There's the smelly essence of N.Y. down there
but you ain't no Bernard Goetz
There's no Mafia lawyer
to fight in your corner
for that 15 minutes of fame
The have and the have nots are bleeding in the tub
That's New York's future not mine
Oh you better hold on---something's happening here.

Good Evening Mr. Waldheim

length: 4:37
lead vocals: Lou Reed
double bass: Rob Wasserman
electric guitar: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
recording engineer: Jeffrey Lesser
drums (drum set): Fred Maher
assistant engineer: Victor Deyglio
composer: Lou Reed
lyricist: Lou Reed
Good evening mr.waldheim
And pontiff how are you?
You have so much in common
In the things you do

And here comes jesse jackson
He talks of common ground
Does that common ground include me
Or is it just a sound

A sound that shakes
Oh jesse, you must watch the sounds you make

A sound that quakes
There are fears that still reverberate

Jesse you say common ground
Does that include the plo?
What about people right here right now
Who fought for you not so long ago?

The words that flow so freely
Falling dancing from your lips
I hope that you don’t cheapen them
With a racist slip

Oh common ground
Is common ground a word or just a sound
Common ground
Remember those civil rights workers buried in the ground

If I ran for president
And once was a member of the klan
Wouldn’t you call me on it
The way I call you on farrakhan

And pontiff, pretty pontiff
Can anyone shake your hand ?
Or is it just that you like uniforms
And someone kissing your hand

Or is it true
The common ground for me includes you too

Oh, oh, is it true
The common ground for me includes you too

Good evening mr.waldheim
Pontiff how are you
As you both stroll through the woods at night
I’m thinking thoughts of you

And jesse you’re inside my thoughts
As the rhythmic words subside
My common ground invites you in
Or do you prefer to wait outside

Or is it true
The common ground for me is without you

Or is it true
The common ground for me is without you

Oh is it true
There’s no ground common enough for me and you

Xmas in February

length: 2:58
lead vocals: Lou Reed
double bass: Rob Wasserman
electric guitar: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
recording engineer: Jeffrey Lesser
drums (drum set): Fred Maher
assistant engineer: Victor Deyglio
composer: Lou Reed
lyricist: Lou Reed
Sam was lyin’ in the jungle
Agent orange spread against the sky like marmalade
Hendrix played on some foreign jukebox
They were praying to be saved
Those gooks were fierce and fearless
That’s the price you pay when you invade
Xmas in february

Sam lost his arm in some border town
His fingers are mixed with someone’s crop
If he didn’t have that opium to smoke
The pain would never ever stop
Half his friends are stuffed into black body bags
With their names printed at the top
Xmas in february

Sammy was a short order cook
In a short order black and blue collar town
Everybody worked the steel mill
But the steel mill got closed down
He thought if he joined the army
He’d have a future that was sound
Like no xmas in february

Sam’s staring at the vietnam wall
It’s been a while now that he’s home
His wife and kid have left, he’s unemployed
He’s a reminder of the war that wasn’t won
He’s the guy on the street with the sign that reads
"please help send this vet home"
But he is home
And there’s no xmas in february
No matter how much he saves

Strawman

length: 5:55
lead vocals: Lou Reed
double bass: Rob Wasserman
electric guitar: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
recording engineer: Jeffrey Lesser
drums (drum set): Fred Maher
assistant engineer: Victor Deyglio
composer: Lou Reed
lyricist: Lou Reed
We who have so much to you who have so little
To you who don’t have anything at all
We who have so much more than any one man does need
And you who don’t have anything at all, ah
Does anybody need another million dollar movie
Does anybody need another million dollar star
Does anybody need to be told over and over
Spitting in the wind comes back at you twice as hard

Strawman, going straight to the devil
Strawman, going straight to hell
Strawman, going straight to the devil

Strawman
Strawman
Strawman
Strawman, yes

Does anyone really need a billion dollar rocket
Does anyone need a 60,000 dollars car
Does anyone need another president
Or the sins of swaggart parts 6, 7, 8 and 9, ah
Does anyone need yet another politician
Caught with his pants down and money sticking in his hole
Does anyone need another racist preacher
Spittin’ in the wind can only do you harm, ooohhh

Strawman, going straight to the devil
Strawman, going straight to hell
Strawman, going straight to the devil

Strawman
Strawman
Strawman
Strawman

Does anyone need another faulty shuttle
Blasting off to the moon, venus or mars
Does anybody need another self-righteous rock singer
Whose nose he says has led him straight to god
Does anyone need yet another blank skyscraper
If you’re like me I’m sure a minor miracle will do
A flaming sword or maybe a gold ark floating up the hudson
When you spit in the wind it comes right back at you

Strawman, going straight to the devil
Strawman, going straight to hell
Strawman, going to the devil

Strawman, strawman
Strawman, ...., ah
Strawman
Strawman

Dime Store Mystery

length: 5:04
lead vocals: Lou Reed
double bass: Rob Wasserman
electric guitar: Mike Rathke and Lou Reed
recording engineer: Jeffrey Lesser
percussion: Moe Tucker
assistant engineer: Victor Deyglio
composer: Lou Reed
lyricist: Lou Reed
He was lying banged and battered, skewered and bleeding
Talking crippled on the cross
Was his mind reeling and heaving hallucinating
Fleeing what a loss

The things he hadn’t touched or kissed his senses
Slowly stripped away
Not like buddha not like vishnu
Life wouldn’t rise through him again

I find it easy to believe
That he might question his beliefs
The beginning of the last temptation
Dime story mystery

The duality of nature, godly nature,
Human nature splits the soul
Fully human, fully divine and divided
The great immortal soul

Split into pieces, whirling pieces, opposites
Attract
From the front, the side, the back
The mind itself attacks

I know the feeling, I know it from before
Descartes through hegel belief is never sure
Dime store mystery, last temptation

I was sitting drumming thinking thumping pondering
The mysteries of life
Outside the city shrieking screaming whispering
The mysteries of life

There’s a funeral tomorrow
At st. patrick’s the bells will ring for you
Ah, what must you have been thinking
When you realized the time had come for you

I wish I hadn’t thrown away my time
On so much human and so much less divine
The end of the last temptation
The end of a dime store mystery