Title: I'm Waiting for the Man
Artist: The Velvet Underground
Album: The Velvet Underground and Nico (1967)

Lyrics removed due to the new copyright policy. Sorry kids, blame The Man.

The song is actually a very succinct description of buying drugs in New York City (where The Velvet Underground is from). In the first stanza, "Lexington 125" refers to Lexington Avenue and 125th St., an intersection which would be right in the middle of East Harlem in Manhattan. This explains the second stanza, where he's being hassled by some natives ("Hey white boy, what you doing uptown? / Hey white boy, you chasing our women around? / Pardon me sir, it's farthest from my mind"). He passes off his reason for being there as looking for a "dear dear friend" of his -- a nice euphemism for his drug dealer. The 26 dollars would be the money for the drugs. "Feel sick and dirty more dead than alive" refers to the feeling of withdrawal one experiences before getting a fix.

The "man" he's waiting for is his drug dealer, who is late as drug dealers are wont to be. The description of the dealer in the third stanza is very apt, dressed in black with a big straw hat. Of course. It should be noted that Lexington and 125th is close to Spanish Harlem, even, so the vaguely Spanish nature of the dealer's dress might indicate that the song was based on a real encouter uptown.

In the fourth stanza: You find Brownstones in Brooklyn, and some of them feasibly would be drop points for drug dealers. "The works" refers to a dealer who sells all the paraphernalia along with product itself - needles, droppers, etc. In the final stanza there is a conflict between the addict and his significant other. "Gonna work it all out" and so on would be the characteristic euphoric, delusional attitude of addicts in assuming their problem is merely transient. Remember, all the Velvet Underground's songs are about sex, drugs (or drug addiction), and rock 'n roll. They're the originals.

Spasemunki points out that "waiting for the man" and "the man is always late" could be an allusion to William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch.

Here's something for you guitar enthusiasts out there:

D   G   D   G

D   G               D   G
I'm waitin'...

D   G               D   G
26 dollars...

D                F#    G                        A
Up to Lexington...

D   G               D   G
I'm waitin'...

(repeat for each successive verse)

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