Lady Godiva's Operation

The Velvet Underground Buy

About Lady Godiva's Operation

"Lady Godiva's Operation" is a song by American avant-garde rock band the Velvet Underground, appearing on their second album, White Light/White Heat (1968). The lyrics of the first half of the song (sung by John Cale) describe Lady Godiva. The lyrics of the second half (sung by Cale alternating with Lou Reed) are full of oblique, deadpan black humor and describe a botched surgical procedure. Cale plays electric viola while lead guitarist Sterling Morrison plays bass, an instrument that he disliked, despite his competent abilities. The person's name is taken from the British legend of Lady Godiva, a noble English lady who rode naked through the streets of Coventry. The song was covered by the Fatima Mansions as a single. 


Year:
2005
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Lady Godiva here dressed so demurely
Pats the head of another curly haired boy, just another toy
Sick with silence she weeps sincerely
Saying word that have oh so clearly been said
So long ago
Draperies wrapped gently 'round her shoulder
Life has made her that much bolder now
That she's found out how
Dressed in silk, Latin lace and envy
Pride and joy of the latest penny faire
Pretty passing care
Hair today now dipped in the water
Making love to every poor daughter's son
Isn't it fun
Now today propping grace with envy
Lady Godiva peers to see if anyone's there
And hasn't a care
Doctor is coming the nurse thinks sweetly
Turning on the machines that neatly pump air
The body lies bare
Shaved and hairless what once was screaming
Now lies silent and almost sleeping
The brain must have gone away
Strapped securely to the white table
Ether caused the body to wither and writhe
Underneath the white light
Doctor arrives with knife and baggage
Sees the growth as just so much cabbage
That now
Must be cut away
Now come the moment of Great! Great! Decision!
The doctor is making his first incision
One goes here - one goes there
The ether tube's leaking says someone who's sloppy
The patient it seems is not so well sleeping
The screams echo up the hall
Don't panic someone give him pentathol instantly
Doctor removes his blade
Cagily slow from the brain
By my count of ten
The head won't move

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The Velvet Underground

The Velvet Underground was an American rock band formed in New York City. First active from 1964 to 1973, their best-known members were Lou Reed and John Cale, who both went on to find success as solo artists. Although experiencing little commercial success while together, the band is often cited by many critics as one of the most important and influential groups of the 1960s. An often-repeated statement, made by Brian Eno in a 1982 interview, is that while the first Velvet Underground album may have sold only 30,000 copies in its early years, "everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band." more »

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Written by: LOU REED

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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