Pale Blue Eyes

The Velvet Underground

About Pale Blue Eyes

"Pale Blue Eyes" is a song written and sung by Lou Reed and performed by The Velvet Underground. It was included on the band's 1969 album The Velvet Underground. Despite the name, "Pale Blue Eyes" was written about someone whose eyes were hazel, as Reed notes in his book Between Thought and Expression. The song is said to have been inspired by Shelley Albin, Reed's first love, who at the time was married to another man. Lou Reed initially wanted to play "Pale Blue Eyes" for the Velvet Underground's first reunion at the Fondation Cartier in 1990. When someone reminded him that he'd written the song after John Cale's departure from the band, Reed said, "Then it will have to be 'Heroin'". 


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Sometimes I feel so happy
Sometimes I feel so sad
Sometimes I feel so happy
But mostly you just make me mad
Baby, you just make me mad

Linger on your pale blue eyes
Linger on your pale blue eyes

Thought of you as my mountaintop
Thought of you as my peak
Thought of you as everything
I've had, but couldn't keep
I've had, but couldn't keep

Linger on your pale blue eyes
Linger on your pale blue eyes

If I could make the world as pure
And strange as what I see
I'd put you in a mirror
I put in front of me
I put in front of me

Linger on your pale blue eyes
Linger on your pale blue eyes

Skip a life completely
Stuff it in a cup
She said "money is like us in time
It lies, but can't stand up"
Down for you is up

Linger on your pale blue eyes
Linger on your pale blue eyes

It was good what we did yesterday
And I'd do it once again
The fact that you are married
Only proves you're my best friend
But it's truly, truly a sin

Linger on your pale blue eyes
Linger on your pale blue eyes

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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

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

10 facts about this song

Album Classification
"Pale Blue Eyes" is a song by "The Velvet Underground", featuring Lou Reed as the lead vocalist, included in their album "The Velvet Underground" released in March 1969.
Lyrics Origin
The lyrics of "Pale Blue Eyes" were penned down by Lou Reed. He was known for producing works coming right from his heart, and it is speculated that this song was written about his first love, Shelley Albin, who indeed had pale blue eyes.
Non-single Track
Despite being one of the most renowned songs by the band, "Pale Blue Eyes" was never released as a single. Its popularity has been majorly through the album and not as an individual titled track.
Cover Creations
Many artists have covered "Pale Blue Eyes". From R.E.M in 1983 to Patti Smith in 2002 and even The Kills in 2009, the song's emotional appeal continues to inspire musicians.
Cinematic Inclusion
In the movie 'Adventureland', "Pale Blue Eyes" serves as an integral part of the plot. The protagonist often plays it on repeat, as it reminds him of his love interest who has blue eyes.
Musical Genre
"Pale Blue Eyes" belongs to the genre of experimental rock, art rock, and protopunk, making it classic Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground.
Emotional Depth
Among many fans and critics, "Pale Blue Eyes" is noted as having one of the most emotionally poignant tune and lyrics. This Ian MacDonald, in his book Revolution, thought of as Reed’s gift of expressing complicated human situations with simple yet arresting words.
Band Speculations
It was speculated that the song was an elegy about Reed's romantic relationship with a trans woman, Rachel. However, this was just speculation as the song's lyrics reflect an older, past love.
Song Length
It's worth noting that "Pale Blue Eyes" is one of the longer tracks on the band’s self titled album ‘The Velvet Underground’, almost reaching the six minutes mark.
Ongoing Popularity
Despite being over 50 years old, the song's popularity hasn't waned. It regularly features on best-of lists compiled by music publications and is still frequently played on rock/alternative radio stations.

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    Pale Blue Eyes

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