Last Great American Whale

Lou ReedBuy this song

Lou Reed

Lewis Allan "Lou" Reed (born March 2, 1942) is an American rock musician, songwriter, and photographer. He is best known as guitarist, vocalist, and principal songwriter of The Velvet Underground, and for his solo career, which has spanned several decades. Though the Velvet Underground were a comme… more »

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 half a 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
Some say they saw him at the Great Lakes
Some say they saw him off the coast 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 are 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 and the great whale sprang full up
and caused a huge 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 sights 
blew the whale's brains out with a lead harpoon 
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 much 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 a lot like what my painter friend Donald said to me
"Stick a fork in their ass and turn them over, they're done"

Written by: LOU REED


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Last Great American Whale