"After Hours" as written by and Lou Reed....
One, two, three
If you close the door
The night could last forever
Leave the sunshine out
And say hello to never

All the people are dancing
And they're having such fun
I wish it could happen to me

But if you close the door
I'd never have to see the day again

If you close the door
The night could last forever
Leave the wine-glass out
And drink a toast to never

Oh, someday I know
Someone will look into my eyes
And say hello
You're my very special one

But if you close the door
I'd never have to see the day again

Dark party bars, shiny Cadillac cars
And the people on subways and trains
Looking gray in the rain,
As they stand disarrayed
Oh, but people look well in the dark

And if you close the door
The night could last forever
Leave the sunshine out
And say hello to never

All the people are dancing
And they're having such fun
I wish it could happen to me

Cause if you close the door
I'd never have to see the day again
I'd never have to see the day again,
Once more
I'd never have to see the day again


Lyrics submitted by capitol76

"Afterhours" as written by

Lyrics © SONY ATV MUSIC PUB LLC

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After Hours song meanings
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44 Comments

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  • +7
    General CommentI love the Velvet Underground, and I love this song.
    This song has always spoken to me.
    The reason this is so is because this song has a feeling of isolation attached to it, and that feeling has plagued me for much of my life.
    Also, to me this song means almost choosing whether or not to be isolated.
    "Oh, someday I know someone will look into my eyes
    and say hello -- you're my very special one--
    but if you close the door, I'd never have to see the day again."

    It's as if someone's saying, "While waiting for someone to find me and love me, it's hard to not just close the door, not let anyone in, and just descend into a state of isolation."

    That's what it's always meant to me, and even if it's not the intended meaning, it'll always hold that meaning for me.


    Great band; great song. Love it!
    emilieloveon March 03, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentY'know, I've never heard so much of the dispair and melancholy in this song that you guys seem to be. I think there's an element of it, but the way I hear it- helped by the upbeat and relaxed music it's set to- is that it's about comfort in solitude, about idly wishing she could be the kind of person who is always out having crazy nights out but really just being happy in the quiet life she has instead.
    Appers66on June 19, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe 2nd comment for this song shouldve been the last. I see some 'escapist' and 'suicide' interpretations here and I don't really like the negativity in them. I guess having to say that makes me seem like a douche, but I had to say it

    my interpretation might be a little long but whatever. also, when I refer to 'Moe', I know she didn't write the lyrics, but its more suitable than referring to 'Lou', really

    anyway, to me the song sounds really really melancholy for sure, but at the same time, the sweetness of Moe's voice gives this heartbreaking yet adorable hopefulness. the situation in the lyrics seems like she's found someone (who may or may not be present at the party she's at) she can't have for whatever reason, and is just daydreaming, singing these words in her head. like she's mocking her own childish longing by using such romantic yet straight-forward language, all the while acknowledging how futile her hopes and fantasies are. this aspect of the song is one way I can sort of agree with the presence of any 'suicide' here; Moe is at the end of a prolonged bout of unrequited love and as she sings these words, she laughs at the realization that this can never be. hence the weary, jaded and playful sound of it all

    the whole "if you close the door" deal feels like she's fantasizing about having the guy all to herself and that he obliges to join her and make the "night" "last forever". I don't take "night" to refer to an 'emotional' night (depression) exclusively, but rather "the night could last forever" is Moe wishing to be with the object of her desire forever, enveloped in the comfort and intimacy that night time often implies

    the whole 'shutting out' the sun and the day is symbolic of how nothing else would matter if she could only be with this one guy, and it's apt symbolism since she's obviously feeling very gloomy, and in such a state you are basically nocturnal; depression/loneliness can really mess with your sleep cycle, leading depressives to champion night time, when they can be alone and 'at peace'

    when she talks about "the people are dancing and having such fun", she's observing her immediate surroundings, which are more or less the catalyst of all her longing. anyone who's been there knows that it sucks being in happy, jubilant crowds when there's someone on your mind and you don't have them with you, wishing badly you did and drifting off in thoughts of how great it would be if they were there

    the song basically says "I wish I could be alone with you instead of here," in a way, and at the same time "I wish I could share all of this with you."


    when she says "dark party bars, etc.", it makes me think of a girl in the couple days before new year's, walking big city streets feeling lonely as all hell, observing all the other people and the things they do with the people they love, feeling that she has none herself. that's not really an image in the lyrics themselves, but a background to all the longing she's experiencing in the midst of this big new year's celebration or whatever. the mentioning of parties and shiny Cadillac cars etc. also serves as a contrast to the feelings of isolation at hand, representing a bustling social world that she may never be part of, and also suggesting a big factor in said isolation

    the "toast to never" just seems like Lou adding terms that fit in with the themes of partying and loneliness/depression. I take the song's title itself to be more symbolic than literal. I mean the party in question could definitely take place at an after hours bar, but to me it just seems like the concept of 'after hours' is another symbol, adding to the whole night-time loneliness feel. kind of how the painting "Nighthawks" isn't just a superficial renderring of people out at night, but speaks volumes about the kind of lives the subjects lead. nahmean?

    After Hours is such a bYOOtiful way to end the album, seriously
    beardrivingon January 21, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about isolation and being by yourself while everyone else is having fun and hoping someday you could be having that fun someday and you will find that person that makes you complete.
    KILBYon March 11, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentshe's already found that person. the party is still going on, he walked her to her room. she invited him in and asked her to close the door, but he won't. if he stays, they'll be together forever in the night and she won't have to deal with the daylight anymore. but she knows he won't stay.
    swallowedtheflyon July 02, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti'd have to agree with kilby, i translate it as isolation, and waiting to find that person.
    keyboardon December 23, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentshe sounds so sad, jaded even, by the situation whatever situation that may be that she just wants to fall in love with someone like she sees people arond her, maybe even a one night stand where she can just pretend its love.

    i've always wanted somebody as in somebody very special to me to say "Hello -- you're my very special one".
    venus in furs 28on February 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song. To me, though, it’s kind of sad. I think this song is a woman’s proposition to someone to come inside for a one night stand coupled with a suicide. She wants them to close the door and “drink a toast to never,” which basically means drink poison and “say hello to never.” Then “the night could last forever,” meaning that they would sleep together forever. When she says that she knows that one day someone will tell her “you’re my very special one,” I think she could be talking about God. I'm not sure, though. Its just a thought I had.
    xsiliumon March 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentoh, can't get enough of this song....and i don't want to sound ignorant...'cos i love this band and don't think i'm totally ignorant, but does Nico sing this one? i just can't be sure.
    lost_in_twlighton April 16, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlost_in_twilight, this song is sung by Maureen "Moe" Tucker, the percusianist in the VU. She also does co-vocals with Yule on the murder mystery on the same album.
    lou_reedon July 17, 2005   Link

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