"Romeo Had Juliette" as written by and Lou Reed....
Caught between the twisted stars the plotted lines the faulty map
that brought Columbus to New York
Betwixt between the East and west he calls on her wearing a leather vest
the earth squeals and shudders to a halt
A diamond crucifix in his ear is used to help ward off the Fear
that he has left his soul in someone's rented car
Inside his pants he hides a mop to clean the mess that he has dropped
into the life of lithesome Juliette Bell
And Romeo wanted Juliette
And Juliette wanted Romeo
Romeo Rodriguez squares his shoulders and curses Jesus
runs a comb through his black pony-tail
He's thinking of his lonely room
the sink that by his bed gives off a stink
Then smells her perfume in his eyes
and her voice was like a bell
Outside the streets were steaming the crack dealers were dreaming
of an Uzi someone had just scored
I betcha I could hit that light with my one good arm behind my back
says little Joey Diaz
Brother give me another tote those downtown hoods are no damn good
those Italians need a lesson to be taught
This cop who died in Harlem you think they'd get the warnin'
I was dancing when his brains ran out on the street
And Romeo had Juliette
And Juliette had her Romeo
I'll take Manhattan in a garbage bag with Latin written on it that says
"It's hard to give a shit these days"
Manhattan's sinking like a rock, into the filthy Hudson what a shock
they wrote a book about it, they said it was like ancient Rome
The perfume burned his eyes holding tightly to her thighs
and something flickered for a minute and then it vanished and was gone



Lyrics submitted by barfolimew

"Romeo Had Juliette" as written by Lou Reed

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Romeo Had Juliette song meanings
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  • +2
    General Commenti see the idea of pure, real emotion mixed in all the hopeless filth and violence, but also the fact that it can't survive for long. romeo and juliet. something flickered for a minute - and then it vanished and was gone.
    jalopyon May 16, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it's more like:
    Caught between the twisted stars, the plotted lines, the faulty map that brought Columbus to New York - betwixt between the East and West, he comes to her with leather vest - the earth screams and shudders to a halt: A diamond crucifix in his ear he used to help ward off the fear that he has left his soul in someone's...rented car. Inside his pants he hides a mop to clean the mess that he has dropped into the life of lithesome Juliette Bell. Romeo had Juliette. Juliette had her Romeo. Romeo Rodriguez squares his shoulders and curses "Jesus," runs his hands through his black pony-tail. He's thinking of his lonely room, the sink that by his bed gives off a stink, and he smells the perfume in her hair and her voice was like a bell. Outside the streets are steaming. Crack dealers are dreaming of an Uzi someone had scored. "I betcha I could hit that light with my one good arm behind my back," says little Joey Diaz, "brother give me another tote those downtown hoods are no damn good those I-talians need a lesson to be taught." This cop who died in Harlem, you'd think they'd get the warnin' - I was dancing when his brains run out on the street. And Romeo had Juliette. And Juliette had her Romeo. You can take Manhattan in a garbage bag with Latin written on it that says, "it's hard to give a shit these days." Manhattan's sinking like a rock into the filthy Hudson what a shock. They wrote a book about it, they said it was like ancient Rome. The perfume burned his eyes holding tightly to her thighs and then something flickered for a minute and then it vanished and was gone.
    PatrickMagnificoon May 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentRomeo and Juliet...New York style. A perfect opening for the album New York, Lou Reed's letter to his degrading home city.
    BrainDamageon July 06, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA more realistic view on teenage romance.
    abby crawfordon October 03, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think that this is at least one of Lou Reed's best songs, if not his best. Even though he only says a few lines about a person you get a complete picture of what they're like from it. Amazing
    lessthan3ualwayson February 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song. A poem to the dirty, wrecked, beautiful town he adores. And the people in it - the hopeless, the hopeful, the innocent, the violent and the greedy. I like the the idea New York is sinking into the Hudson - like ancient Rome it's too big for its own good. - I think that bit is about Gore Vidal and his book Empire (1987) which compares the empire of Rome to the Empire of America - no offence but power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. (And remember it's pre 9/11 so it's about a big town not an icon). But even then within the big town there is personal hope and love. That's the message I get from the song. Amidst the toughness there are real people doing and feeling real, honest things. And her voice was like a bell.


    uffyon December 29, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationRomeo Rodriguez is giving Juliette a DIY abortion, just in case it's not clear.

    "Inside his pants he hides a mop to clean the mess that he has dropped into the life of lithesome Juliette Bell."

    "The perfume burned his eyes holding tightly to her thighs and then something flickered for a minute and then it vanished and was gone."

    This, against the backdrop of the steaming pile of shit New York was in the 80s during the crack epidemic.

    And:

    "Brother give me another tote those downtown hoods are no damn good
    those Italians need a lesson to be taught"

    And it is "tote," not "toke." - The "tote" is a gun, as in "gun-toting."
    kate933312on May 15, 2017   Link

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