It seems those who tell you what to do
Have already done it, before they do
But it don’t even matter — uh, if’n it’s true
Because you know — damn well, you know
You’re gonna do the same thing, too
Here we get the moral of the story: Don’t trust anybody, not even yourself. It’s not what you’d call an uplifting message, but it’s an honest one. And very New York City. Remember what Lou wrote to Delmore Schwartz:
If you’re weak NY has many outlets. I can’t resist peering, probing, sometimes participating, other times going right to the edge before sidestepping.
The singer of this song keeps telling himself not to get involved, while all the time knowing that he’s going to, eventually. And then he’ll write a song about it, and the cycle will continue.
And that brings us to the end, finally, of this little threadlet, which has now absorbed more than two months of blog time. One last note on “Buttercup”: If you listen closely, after the last chord had been strummed, you’ll hear Lou tell John:
Get close to the mic
Reed needed Cale to help him realize his visions; theirs was the right partnership at the right time. Before we get to the full flowering of that partnership, the miracle we call the Velvet Underground, we have four more songs to cover; I promise not to get so carried away with them.