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2002-11-26 - 12:52 p.m.

My latest musical revelation has been the brilliance of Lou Reed and in particular The Velvet Underground. Think early Rolling Stones meets Bob Dylan meets David Bowie meets early Bad Seeds. Possibly the most famous Velvet Underground song is the brutal "Heroin". It begins in a whisper, with the protagonist telling us that "I don't know just where I'm going", before building into a terrifying crescendo every time he describes a hit, then going back to a whisper as he comes back down. It scares me because even in the music I can almost feel what the junkies must be going through, and in the lyrics it's painfully obvious why they can't stop. They're disillusioned with reality and in their own little world nothing else matters. "I thank God that I'm as good as dead".

I thank God that I have never felt my reality was bad enough to need to escape from it in that way.

_____________________________________________________

HEROIN (from "The Velvet Underground and Nico" 1965)

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'll tell ya, 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 the 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

And 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 that 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 sail the darkened seas

On a great big clipper ship

Going from this land here to that

In a sailor's suit and cap

Away from the big city

Where a man can not be free

Of all of 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 mainer to my vein

Leads to a center in my head

And then I'm better off and dead

Because when the smack begins to flow

I really don't care anymore

About all the Jim-Jim's in this town

And all the politicians makin' crazy sounds

And everybody puttin' everybody else down

And all the dead bodies piled up in mounds

'Cause when the smack begins to flow

Then I really don't care anymore

Ah, when the heroin is in my blood

And that blood is in my head

Then thank God that I'm as good as dead

Then 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

And I guess I just don't know

 

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