[Lou Reed’s writing is spare but powerful.  He obviously chose his words and subject matter carefully.  His public persona is often portrayed as “angry New Yorker” but of course he was much more than that.  Like many great innovative artists, he was a dedicated uncompromising searcher.  I was listening to this song and thought it rather apropos of today’s American scene.  jbm 2/14/2017]

 

“The Day John Kennedy Died”
by Lou Reed

I dreamed I was the president of these united states
I dreamed I replaced ignorance, stupidity and hate
I dreamed the perfect union and a perfect law, undenied
And most of all I dreamed I forgot the day John Kennedy died

I dreamed that I could do the job that others hadn’t done
I dreamed that I was uncorrupt and fair to everyone
I dreamed I wasn’t gross or base, a criminal on the take
And most of all I dreamed I forgot the day John Kennedy died

Oh, the day John Kennedy died
Oh, the day John Kennedy died

I remember where I was that day, I was upstate in a bar
The team from the university was playing football on tv
Then the screen want dead and the announcer said,
There’s been a tragedy
There’s are unconfirmed reports the president’s been shot
And he may be dead or dying

Talking stopped, someone shouted, what
I ran out to the street
People were gathered everywhere saying
Did you hear what they said on TV
And then a guy in a porsche with his radio hit his born
And told us the news
He said, the president’s dead, he was shot twice in the head
In Dallas, and they don’t know by whom

I dreamed I was the president of these United States
I dreamed I was young and smart and it was not a waste
I dreamed that there was a point to life and to the human race
I dreamed that I could somehow comprehend that someone
Shot him in the face

Oh, the day John Kennedy died
Oh, the day John Kennedy died
Oh, the day John Kennedy died
Oh, the day John Kennedy died

 

Songwriters: Lou Reed
The Day John Kennedy Died lyrics © Sony ATV Music Pub LLC

Laurie Anderson’s In Memorium: http://www.loureed.com/inmemoriam/
The song:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFPnGIN6NNw
Recommend veiwing:  PBS American Masters “Lou Reed, Rock and Roll Heart”

Photograph: Carlos Alvarez/Getty

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