The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967) is one of the most influential albums ever released. It initially sold a handful of copies but, according to Brian Eno, every single buyer started a band himself. Contrary to popular belief it is not that difficult to listen to, at least not by today’s standards. Some of its songs sound distorted and dissonant, many others deal with topics such as drug (ab)use prostitution and sadomasochism under the umbrella of relatively straightforward rock music.
Sunday Morning is even a deceptively romantic song. I remember the first time I heard it. A friend gave it to me on cassette. I must have been 17 or 18. I played it over and over again on my first generation Sony Walkman. In all my innocence I couldn’t imagine Lou Reed singing it; the song simply sounded too sweet for a Rock ‘n Roll junkie. Not knowing a lot about John Cale at the time, I actually thought he sang Sunday Morning. As for its sweetness, Sunday Morning is not. It was written by John Cale and Lou Reed on a Sunday morning, supposedly after Andy Warhol suggested to write a song about paranoia. The sound is sweet, the singing sounds harmless, the lyrics are grim.
Sunday Morning could well be the perfect breakup song. A song for abandoned lovers, fearing the world they have to face again, at the same time nurturing the hope that what seems lost will magically come back. All in vain, of course.Tweet