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The Velvet Underground Songs - Heroin Lyrics

Heroin Lyrics By The Velvet Underground Songs Album: The Velvet Underground & Nico Year: 1967 I don't know just where I'm going But I'm gonna try for the

The Velvet Underground - Heroin
The Velvet Underground - Heroin

The Velvet Underground - Heroin Lyrics and Youtube Music Videos

Album: The Velvet Underground & Nico
Released: 1967

Heroin Lyrics

I don't know just where I'm going
But I'm gonna try for the kingdom, if I can
'Cause it makes me feel like I'm a man
When I put a spike into my vein
And I tell you things aren't quite the same

When I'm rushing on my run
And I feel just like Jesus' son
And I guess that I just don't know
And I guess that I just don't know

I have made big decision
I'm gonna try to nullify my life
'Cause when the blood begins to flow
When it shoots up the dropper's neck
When I'm closing in on death

You can't help me now, you guys
And all you sweet girls with all your sweet talk
You can all go take a walk
And I guess I just don't know
And I guess that I just don't know

I wish that I was born a thousand years ago
I wish that I'd sailed the darkened seas
On a great big clipper ship
Going from this land here to that
On a sailor's suit and cap

Away from the big city
Where a man cannot be free
Of all the evils of this town
And of himself and those around
Oh, and I guess that I just don't know
Oh, and I guess that I just don't know

Heroin, be the death of me
Heroin, it's my wife and it's my life
Because a mainline into my vein
Leads to a center in my head
And then I'm better off than dead

Because when the smack begins to flow
I really don't care anymore
About all the Jim-Jims in this town
And all the politicians making crazy sounds
And everybody putting everybody else down
And all the dead bodies piled up in mounds

'Cause when the smack begins to flow
And I really don't care anymore
Ah, when that heroin is in my blood
And that blood is in my head
Then thank God that I'm as good as dead
And thank your God that I'm not aware
And thank God that I just don't care
And I guess I just don't know
Oh, and I guess I just don't know

Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

  • While there are many alternative interpretations of this song, it seems to be the case that Lou Reed was merely describing the effects of the drug, while neither condemning it nor condoning it. It might have been done merely for shock value, or because Reed liked gritty subjects, or as a dark poem of addiction; the beauty of this song is that it works on all of these levels, and many more, at the same time. In many of his songs, we have cases where Lou Reed kept the focus on providing an objective description of the topic without taking a moral stance on the matter.
    For the record, Lou Reed spoke of the meaning of some of his songs in a 1971 interview with creem magazine: "I meant those songs to sort of exorcise the darkness, or the self-destructive element in me, and hoped other people would take them the same way. But when I saw how people were responding to them, it was disturbing. Because, like, people would come up and say, 'I shot up to 'Heroin,' things like that. For a while, I was even thinking that some of my songs might have contributed formatively to the consciousness of all these addictions and things going down with the kids today. But I don't think that anymore; it's really too awful a thing to consider."
  • Lou Reed wrote "Heroin" while attending Syracuse University - he would have been close to the age of 18. During his attendance, he also played guitar with several bar bands and hosted his own radio show on campus, in which he featured the works of various jazz and R&B legends. According to The Velvet Underground: An Illustrated History of a Walk on the Wild Side , Reed would amuse himself by using his electric guitar to blast screeches at the marching ROTC cadets on the green outside his dorm window, an act that impressed his new friend Sterling Morrison.
  • Also according to the above-mentioned biography, an original acetate recording of The Velvet Underground & Nico, including this song, was discovered at a yard sale in 2006. One Warren Hill, street-shopping along Chelsea Street in New York City, spotted the find. It was later verified to be the recording made at their first session at Scepter Studios under producer Norman Dolph. Hill bought the acetate for seventy-five cents. He later sold it on eBay for $25,000.
  • The unique screeching, droning viola sound in this and other early Velvet Underground songs was produced by bassist John Cale, a classically trained violist, playing an electric viola with 3 guitar strings, a cello bow and plenty of feedback. This preceded The Creation, who were the first to play a guitar with a cello bow in 1966. Few other bands exploited feedback and noise to the same degree as the Velvet Underground until the noise-rock scene developed in the 1980s.
  • The line, "And I feel just like Jesus' son" provided the title for Denis Johnson's short story collection Jesus' Son , which was made into a movie in 1999.
  • The song appears in the Oliver Stone movie The Doors.
  • Weezer's Brian Bell and Patrick Wilson covered this when they portrayed Lou Reed and John Cale, respectively, in the Edie Sedgwick biopic Factory Girl (2006).

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