"Coney Island Baby" as written by and Lou Reed....
You know, man, when I was a young man in high school
You believe in or not, that I wanted to play football for the coach
And all those older guys
They said that he was mean and cruel but you know
I wanted to play football, for the coach
They said I was a little too lightweight to play lineback and so I'm playing right-end
Wanted to play football for the coach
'Cause, you know some day, man you gotta stand up straight unless you're gonna fall
Then you're going to die
And the straightest dude I ever knew was standing right for me, all the time
So I had to play football for the coach
And I wanted to play football for the coach

When you're all alone and lonely
In your midnight hour
And you find that your soul
It has been up for sale

And you're getting to think about
All the things that you done

And you're getting to hate
Just about everything

But remember the princess who lived on the hill
Who loved you even though she knew you was wrong
And right now she just might come shining through
And the

Glory of love
Glory of love
Glory of love, just might come through

And all your two-bit friends have gone and ripped you off
They're talking behind your back saying "man, you are never going to be no human being"
And you start thinking again about all those things that you've done
And who it was and what it was
And all the different things that made every different scene

Ah, but remember that the city is a funny place
Something like a circus or a sewer

And just remember, different people have peculiar tastes
And the

Glory of love
The glory of love
The glory of love, might see you through
Yeah, but now, now
Glory of love
The glory of love
The glory of love might see you through
Glory of love, uh, huh-huh
The glory of love
Glory of love, glory of love
Glory of love, now, glory of love, now
Glory of love, now, now, now, glory of love
Glory of love, give it to me now, glory of love to see you through, huh

Oh, my Coney Island baby, now
I'm a Coney Island baby, now

I'd like to send this one out to Lou and Rachel
And all the kids at P.S. one-ninety-two (Coney Island baby)
Man, I'd swear, I'd give the whole thing up for you


Lyrics submitted by spliphstar, edited by Ulmanor

"Coney Island Baby" as written by Lou Reed

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

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Coney Island Baby song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentA really great song, and a nice simple sentiment about taking comfort from the people who believe in you (i.e. the coach and the princess) even when you feel worthless.
    ghost_of_freudon May 01, 2008   Link
  • +3
    General CommentDefinetely Lou's finest. I adore this song especially all the 'ah huh huh' bits at the end
    "But remember the princess who lived on the hill
    Who loved you even though she knew you was wrong
    And right now she just might come shining through"
    Greatest three lines ever written! So beautiful to hear!
    Coney_island_babyon December 15, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think ghost nailed it, but I would add that it's about growing up and feeling like you can't rely on anyone anymore. Recounting the things you regret. The production on this song is immaculate. It actually *sounds* like walking around Coney Island at night.
    untrueon August 17, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe guitar licks are out of this world, the whole song is just unimaginable brilliant
    always makes me wish to be in new york city, lookin at it from a distance, by sunset

    one day, one day..
    Kevnon January 02, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commenthow to begin with the moodiest song of all time? even though I didn't even grow up in NYC...

    My impression of Lou in general is of him being the good part of a century ahead of his time. Not a figure of speech, that's how much I'd say he was ahead. Normally for this sort of thing to happen, a person's got to have a kind of whacked up brain (like how so many genius scientists/mathematicians have had, for example), and Lou had one. It seems like he just couldn't relate to anything or anybody, except for the city of New York itself which came the closest. New York, as a menagerie of everything intelligent & unintelligent, a standard of culture and a collapse of culture, I think this is the image Lou started to have of his own brain, leading him on a search (most pronounced in his younger years) for the next buzz, to keep his mind occupied.
    I think later on though (he became big on tai chi, and you can hear this on his song Modern Dance), he started to accept the simple-minded, simple-hearted cravings he'd harbored his entire life for just natural and sane love, and the unironic things. One of my favorite things about his music is its almost-inscrutability in terms of sincerity, since he jumped so much between mocking songwriting and cheesy but sincere songwriting (e.g. Jesus and I Found a Reason). I think Coney Island Baby as an album seems to come in kind of half-way, or a little more, along the way between his eternally-unsatisfied state to where he was by the time of his way-later work (though he was by no means an all-enduring sage by then...)

    Coney Island Baby (the song) shares the same backdrop as the story above.. the lonely and ironic New York which is the same soulful New York that probably everyone who's lived there bears the contradiction of inside of them. And this song is just like, a walk through those streets, it is exactly what it sounds like to walk through the city in the dark hour. I'll venture to say that this might be the soundtrack to other metropolises in the world too, on certain kinds of nights.
    minuetteon July 28, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song has been a re-affirmation of life as long as I can remember. Lou just opening it up. And when this guy opens up the clouds roll, the winds kick up, and the soul is cleared.
    I aklways thought the last line went "here's to all the kids at PS 192."
    Doesn't matter. Rock on.
    septimuson April 05, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNever mind that this song was about Lou's love for a transvestite named Rachel, I still think it was one of the finest love songs he ever wrote.

    And yeah, it's PS 192, though the version printed here is interesting.
    tjarretton June 01, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentVery nostalgic.
    othatzsokewlon December 09, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionOnly someone who's lived in New York would probably understand the, "to all the kids at PS 192." lyric. I wish someone would correct that here, hahahaha...

    maps.google.com/maps/…
    royalslackon April 19, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about his journey from a confused teen who was subjected to multiple electro-shock therapies in his youth for his homosexual tendencies, and his journey trying to figure out how to be whole again. After finding his own "peculiar" sense of love and allowing himself to be gloriously happy with it, he feels like a human again. The end bit when he dedicates the song to Lou and Rachel is what makes me feel this way. Rachel was Lou's transsexual companion for a long time, and she influenced him as a person and his music very significantly.
    rynchaon October 30, 2013   Link

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