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    Lou Reed / Lyrics

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    "The raven" Lyrics

    Lou Reed

    track 5 on disc 2
    Animal Serenade [1974]
    track 9
    The Raven [2003]
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    [Spoken Track]


    Once upon a midnight dreary
    as I pondered, weak and weary
    over many a quaint and curious
    volume of forgotten lore
    while I nodded, nearly napping
    suddenly there came a tapping
    as of some one gently rapping
    rapping at my chamber door
    "'Tis some visitor," I muttered
    "tapping at my chamber door
    only this and nothing more."

    Muttering I got up weakly
    always I've had trouble sleeping
    stumbling upright my mind racing
    furtive thoughts flowing once more
    I, there hoping for some sunrise
    happiness would be a surprise
    loneliness no longer a prize
    rapping at my chamber door
    seeking out the clever bore
    lost in dreams forever more
    only this and nothing more

    Hovering my pulse was racing
    stale tobacco my lips tasting
    scotch sitting upon my basin
    remnants of the night before
    came again
    infernal tapping on the door
    in my mind jabbing
    is it in or outside rapping
    calling out to me once more
    the fit and fury of Lenore
    nameless here forever more

    And the silken sad uncertain
    rustling of the purple curtain
    thrilled me, filled me
    with fantastic terrors never felt before
    so that now, oh wind, stood breathing
    hoping yet to calm my breathing
    "'Tis some visitor entreating
    entrance at my chamber door
    some lost visitor entreating
    entrance at my chamber door
    this it is, and nothing more."

    Deep into the darkness peering
    long I stood there
    wondering fearing
    doubting dreaming fantasies
    no mortal dared to dream before
    but the silence was unbroken
    and the stillness gave no token
    and the only word there spoken
    was the whispered name, "Lenore."
    this I thought
    and out loud whispered from my lips
    the foul name festered
    echoing itself
    merely this, and nothing more

    Back into my chamber turning
    every nerve within me burning
    when once again I heard a tapping
    somewhat louder than before
    "surely," said I
    surely that is something at my iron staircase
    open the door to see what threat is
    open the window, free the shutters
    let us this mystery explore
    oh, bursting heart be still this once
    and let this mystery explore
    it is the wind and nothing more

    Just one epithet I muttered as inside
    I gagged and shuddered
    when with manly flirt and flutter
    in there flew a stately raven
    sleek and ravenous as any foe
    not the least obeisance made he
    not a minutes gesture towards me
    of recognition or politeness
    but perched above my chamber door
    this fowl and salivating visage
    insinuating with its knowledge
    perched above my chamber door
    silent sat and staring
    nothing more

    Askance, askew
    the self's sad fancy smiles at you I swear
    at this savage viscous countenance it wears
    Though you show here shorn and shaven
    and I admit myself forlorn and craven
    ghastly grim and ancient raven
    wandering from the opiate shores
    tell me what thy lordly name is
    that you are not nightmare sewage
    some dire powder drink or inhalation
    framed from flames of downtown lore
    quotes the raven, "nevermore."

    And the raven sitting lonely
    staring sickly at my male sex only
    that one word
    as if his soul in that one word
    he did outpour, "pathetic."
    nothing farther than he uttered
    not a feather then he fluttered
    till finally was I that muttered as I stared
    dully at the floor
    "other friends have flown and left me
    flown as each and every hope has flown before
    as you no doubt will fore the morrow."
    but the bird said, "never, more."

    Then I felt the air grow denser
    perfumed from some unseen incense
    as though accepting angelic intrusion
    when in fact I felt collusion
    before the guise of false memories respite
    respite through the haze of cocaine's glory
    I smoke and smoke the blue vial's glory
    to forget
    at once
    the base Lenore
    quoth the raven, "nevermore."

    "Prophet," said I, "thing of evil
    prophet still, if bird or devil
    by that heaven that bend above us
    by that God we both ignore
    tell this soul with sorrow laden
    willful and destructive intent
    how had lapsed a pure heart lady
    to the greediest of needs
    sweaty arrogant dickless liar
    who ascribed to nothing higher
    than a jab from prick to needle
    straight to betrayal and disgrace
    the conscience showing not a trace."
    quoth the raven, "nevermore."

    "Be that word our sign of parting
    bird or fiend," I yelled upstarting
    "get thee back into the tempest
    into the smoke filled bottle's shore
    leave no black plume as a token
    of the slime thy soul hath spoken
    leave my loneliness unbroken
    quit as those have quit before
    take the talon from my heart
    and see that I can care no more
    whatever mattered came before
    I vanish with the dead Lenore."
    quoth the raven, "nevermore."

    But the raven, never flitting
    still is sitting silent sitting
    above a painting silent painting
    of the forever silenced whore
    and his eyes have all the seeming
    of a demon's that is dreaming
    and the lamplight over him
    streaming throws his shadow to the floor
    I love she who hates me more
    I love she who hates me more
    and my soul shall not be lifted from that shadow
    This song was submitted on June 26th, 2008 and last modified on November 28th, 2016.
    Copyright with Lyrics © SONY ATV MUSIC PUB LLC.
    Written by Lou Reed.
    Lyrics licensed by LyricFind.

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