The Velvet Underground Lady Godiva’s Operation with Lyrics in Description

Track 3 from their second album “White Light/White Heat” released in 1968 copyright Verve Records. The band had toured most of the previous year in support of their debut album, but sales were poor. They fired Andy Warhol as their manager and cut ties with Nico, who had been a featured vocalist on the previous album. Their music was still experimental and alternative, and this album showed a more intense, aggressive sound, developed from their live performances. The album was recorded in two days. It sold a little over 100,000 copies in the U.S. Written by Lou Reed and produced by Tom Wilson. RIP Tom Wilson, Sterling Morrison & Lou Reed. Featuring:

Lou Reed – Lead vocals & lead & rhythm guitars
John Cale – Electric viola, organ, piano, bass, background vocals & sound effects. Lead vocals on “Lady Godiva’s Operation”
Sterling Morrison – Lead & rhythm guitars, bass, background vocals & sound effects
Maureen Tucker – Drums & percussion

Lady Godiva, dressed so demurely
Pats the head of another curly-haired boy
Just another toy
Sick with silence, she weeps sincerely
Saying words 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 found out how
Dressed in silk, latin lace and envy
Pride and joy of the latest penny fare
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 must now be cut away
Now comes 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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