From The YouTube Music Archives: Street Hassle by Lou Reed

Here’s some music that is – despite erroneous commentary – about as unoperatic as it comes. Nothing classical about the singing whatsoever … not depressing at all.

Waltzing Matilda whipped out her wallet / The sexy boy smiled in dismay / She took out four twenties ’cause she liked round / figures / Everybody’s queen for a day / Oh, babe, I’m on fire and you know I admire your – body why don’t we slip away / Although I’m sure you’re certain, it’s a rarity me flirtin’ / Sha-la-la-la, this way / Oh, sha-la-la-la-la, sha-la-la-la-la / Hey, baby, come on, let’s slip away / Luscious and gorgeous, oh what a humpin’ muscle / Call out the national guard / She creamed in her jeans as he picked up her knees / From off of the formica topped bar / And cascading slowly, he lifted her wholly / And boldly out of this world / And despite people’s derision / Proved to be more than diversion / Sha-la-la-la, later on / And then sha-la-la-la-la, he entered her slowly / And showed her where he was coming from / And then sha-la-la-la / la, he made love / to her gentle It was like she’d never ever come / And then sha-la-la-la-la, sha-la-la-la-la / When the sun rose and he made to leave / You know, sha-la-la-la-la, sha-la-la-la-la / Neither one regretted a thing

Hey, that cunt’s not breathing / I think she’s had too much / Of something or other, hey, man, you know what I mean? / I don’t mean to scare you / But you’re the one who came here / And you’re the one who’s gotta take her when you leave / I’m not being smart / Or trying to be cold on my part / And I’m not gonna wear my heart on my sleeve / But you know people get all emotional / And sometimes, man, they just don’t act rational you know, / They think they’re just on TV / Sha-la-la-la, man / Why don’t you just slip her away / You know, I’m glad that we met man / It really was nice talking / And I really wish that there was a little more time to speak / But you know it could be a hassle / Trying to explain this all to a police officer / About how it was that your old lady got herself stiffed / And it’s not like we could help / But there wasn’t nothing no one could do / And if there was, man, you know I would have been the first / But when someone turns that blue / Well, it’s a universal truth / And then you just know that bitch will never fuck again / By the way, that’s really some bad shit / That you came to our place with / But you ought to be more careful around the little girls / It’s either the best or it’s the worst / And since I don’t have to choose / I guess I won’t and I know this ain’t no way to treat a guest / But why don’t you grab your old lady by the feet / And just lay her out in the darkest street / And by morning, she’s just another hit and run. / You know, some people got no choice / And they can never find a voice / To talk with that they can even call their own / So the first thing that they see / That allows them the right to be / Why they follow it, you know, it’s called bad luck.

Well hey (man), that’s just a lie, / It’s a lie she tells her friends. / ’cause the real song, the real song / Where she won’t even admit to herself / The beatin’ in her heart. / It’s a song lots of people know. / It’s a painful song / A little sad truth / But life full of sad songs / Penny for a wish / But wishin’ won’t make you a soldier. / With a pretty kiss for a pretty face / Can’t have it’s way / Y’know tramps like us, we were born to pay. / Love has gone away / And there’s no one here now / And there’s nothing / left to say / But, oh, how I miss him, baby / Oh, baby, come on and slip away / Come on, baby, why don’t you slip away / Love is gone away / Took the rings off my fingers / And there’s nothing left to say / But, oh how, oh how I need him, babyCome on, baby, I need you baby / Oh, please don’t slip away / I need your loving so bad, babe / Please don’t slip away


  1. Anonymous says

    I didn't watch the video and, until the end, tried to avoid listening to the words because it's a sunny morning here. I liked it, made me see sailing ships.

  2. Jonathan Webb says

    Springsteen is a day tripper. He doesn't really know the street hustle life like Lou and I. I remember once having to put on a Little Dutch Boy outfit…but I digress.

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