I'm Waiting for the Man

Lou Reed, The Velvet Underground Buy

About I'm Waiting for the Man

"I'm Waiting for the Man" (sometimes titled "I'm Waiting for My Man") is a song by the American rock band the Velvet Underground, written by Lou Reed. It was first released on their 1967 debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico. The song is about waiting on a streetcorner in Harlem, near the intersection of Lexington Avenue and 125th Street, in New York City and purchasing $26 worth of heroin (equivalent to $211 in 2019), sung from the point of view of the purchaser, who has presumably traveled to Harlem from another part of the city; the "man" in the title is a drug dealer. Along with traditional guitars, bass, and drums, the song also features pounding, percussive rock-and-roll barrelhouse-style piano. It is one of the band's more popular songs, and one of their many compositions featuring drugs as subject matter. After leaving the band in 1970, Lou Reed continued to incorporate it into his solo live performances. It was released as a single in October 1971 (with "There She Goes Again" on the B-side) credited to "Andy Warhol's Velvet Underground" on MGM Records. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked it #159 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The song would go on to influence David Bowie in the writing of his 1977 song "'Heroes'". 


Year:
1980
60 Views

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I'm waiting for my man
Twenty-six dollars in my hand
Up to Lexington, 125
Feel sick and dirty, more dead than alive
I'm waiting for my man

Hey, white boy, what you doin' uptown?
Hey, white boy, you chasin' our women around?
Oh pardon me sir, it's the furthest from my mind
I'm just lookin' for a dear, dear friend of mine
I'm waiting for my man

Here he comes, he's all dressed in black
PR shoes and a big straw hat
He's never early, he's always late
First thing you learn is you always gotta wait
I'm waiting for my man

Up to a Brownstone, up three flights of stairs
Everybody's pinned you, but nobody cares
He's got the works, gives you sweet taste
Ah then you gotta split because you got no time to waste
I'm waiting for my man

Baby don't you holler, darlin' don't you bawl and shout
I'm feeling good, you know I'm gonna work it on out
I'm feeling good, I'm feeling oh so fine
Until tomorrow, but that's just some other time
I'm waiting for my man

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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 commercial failure in the late 1960s, the group has gained a considerable cult following in the years since its demise and has gone on to become one of the most widely cited and influential bands of the era. As the Velvet Underground's principal songwriter, Reed wrote about subjects of personal experience that rarely had been examined so openly in rock and roll, including sexuality and drug culture. more »

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Written by: LOU REED

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