Song of the Day #1,043: ‘Pale Blue Eyes’ – The Velvet Underground

While choosing songs for two straight weeks of covers, I reflected back on R.E.M.’s version of this Velvet Underground classic. But rather than post their version, I’m reaching back to the original.

I didn’t know anything at all about The Velvet Underground before I heard R.E.M.’s ‘Pale Blue Eyes,’ released on their album of B-sides and outtakes, Dead Letter Office. If you’d asked me, I would have predicted they had more of a hard rock sound.

And they did, at times, but when I tracked down their self-titled album I discovered that they also could be incredibly tender.

The Velvet Underground feels like a debut, but it was actually the band’s third full-length album. Almost every song on it sounds like it’s being whispered in a hallway. There is a sameness to some of the tracks (understated acoustic guitar, delicate verses, yearning choruses) that turns the whole affair into a beautifully mellow suite.

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 mountain top,
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 the 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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2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,043: ‘Pale Blue Eyes’ – The Velvet Underground

  1. Dana says:

    I haven’t heard much from Velvet Underground, and, like, you, I expected a harder edged sound. This is nice.

  2. Amy says:

    Ditto. But I’d still rather hear Michael Stipe :)

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