"Prominent Men" as written by and John Cale Lou Reed....
Candy says, "I've come to hate my body
And all that it requires in this world"
Candy says, "I'd like to know completely
What others so discretely talk about"

I'm gonna watch the blue birds fly
Over my shoulder
I'm gonna watch them pass me by
Maybe when I'm older

What do you think I'd see
If I could walk away from me?

Candy says, "I hate the quiet places
That cause the smallest taste of what will be"
Candy says, "I hate the big decisions
That cause endless revisions in my mind"

I'm gonna watch the blue birds fly
Over my shoulder
I'm gonna watch them pass me by
Maybe when I'm older

What do you think I'd see
If I could walk away from me?




Lyrics submitted by Dasch

"Prominent Men" as written by Lou A. Reed John Davies Cale

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

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Prominent Men song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentIs it just me or does this song sound VERY Dylan-inspired?
    jackrabbit37on January 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentjackrabbit37, this song probably is, in more ways than one. This song dates from 1965, when Dylan & the Velvets were hanging out w/ Andy Warhol. Google 'Velvet Underground', 'Bob Dylan', 'Edie Sedgwick', and 'Warhol' and you do the math.
    elephant_rangeon March 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhat elephant said. haha.
    noyeson July 14, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is just about 'prominent men' i.e. the social elite who dominate all areas of society, some examples being literature ("Prominent men tell prominent stories") and politics and public life ("Prominent men tell prominent lies"). They are characterised primarily by their viciousness and ruthlessness, this is what is meant by the line "tear out your eyes".

    There are various references to typical upper class behaviours such as the mention of having an heir, the beautiful princess-like daughters et cetera. Indeed, there are many references to progeny throughout the song, foreshadowing the verse before the last chorus. Reed is discussing the destructive effect these people have on society without any repercussions: "The child of the agent walks barefoot upon grass / He screams with a power that terror's green eyes / His knife harshly glistening, stabs noways and always / But those prominent men in nowhere in sight." The child of the agent represents not necessarily the young working working class, but any social stratum subservient to the "prominent", incl. the middle class. I think this is especially alluded to in the mention of "green eyes", as the middle class are only one step away from riches and prominency, and hence provokes jealousy and fear in the person discussed. The child of the agent goes on a killing spree with a knife, but his victims are not the prominent men who started the cycle, and they go on unpunished.

    For further reading on this subject I would recommend the Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald which in a big way concerns itself with the lives of the rich. In that book, Tom and Daisy are described as "careless people" who break other people's lives and escape into their riches.
    lollig382on February 13, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYes, I would say this is very influenced by Dylan - down to the harmonica. I would also say that a number of the songs on the first album have a vocal delivery not dissimilar to Dylan.
    MamboManon April 18, 2012   Link

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