"Dirt" as written by and Lou Reed....
It's been a long time since I've been spoken to you
Was it the right time?
Your current troubles and you know they'll get much worse
I hope you know how much I enjoyed them
You're a pig of a person, there's a justice in this world
Hey, how about this?
Your lack of conscience and your lack of morality
Well, more and more people know all about it

We sat around the other night, me and the guys,
Trying to find the right word
That would best fit and describe you and people like you
That no principle has touched no principles baptized
How about that?
Who'd eat shit and say it taseted good
If there was some money in it for him
Hey, you remember that song by this guy from Texas
Whose name was Bobby Fuller?
I'll sing it for you it went like this
I fought the law and the law won
I fought the law and the law won


Lyrics submitted by spliphstar

"Dirt" as written by Lou Reed

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Dirt song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentLou had a bad experience on the road somewhere. Or perhaps someone from RCA?
    worthlesson February 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLikely written about Dennis Katz, Lou's former manager.
    elephant_rangeon November 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of my favorite Lou Reed songs. When just written, the lyrics don't nearly convey the bite and anger behind them that you get when you hear Lou sing them. I concur that this song is likely written about Dennis Katz, who was Lou Reed's manager during his "low" mid-seventies years, and was notable for his support of David Bowie early in his career. Pressure from RCA to release more radio-friendly music in the vein of Transformer may have led to the less-than-steller Sally Can't Dance album and most certainly was a major force behind the "fuck you" album, Metal Machine Music. In RCA, Reed found the same pressure to produce more commercial material as he had found in Atlantic Records, for which he had produced Loaded, the radio-friendly fourth Velvet Underground album. Moving to Aristra in 1976, Reed recorded Rock and Roll Heart, and, in 1978, Street Hassle, on which this song appears, under considerably less pressure. Tensions between Reed and Dennis Katz are likely the subject matter of the song, with particularly biting lines like "who'd eat shit and say it tasted good if there was some money in it for ya."

    The song Reed references as "by Bobby Fuller" is "I Fought the Law", which was actually written by Sonny Curtis, the singer who performed with The Crickets after Buddy Holly's death. There's no indication as to why Reed identified the song as Fuller's not Curtis', as he likely knew the true songwriter. Both Curtis and Fuller were from Texas. "I Fought the Law" was an unlikely punk hit when it was covered by British punk band, The Clash, who had been performing it live as early as 1976, but didn't release a radio single until 1979, a year after Street Hassle. The Clash version is similar to the original recording, and the Bobby Fuller Four recording, though they often changed the final refrain of "I fought the law and the law won" to "I fought the law and I won" when performing live.
    landfillpoeton December 02, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat comments...but I wonder about this line (not shown above):
    "Dirt...that's the only word that hurt."
    Makes me think the song might actually be about being judged, and called dirt, by other people.

    It would be just like him to subtly turn it around like that...like in Perfect Day, how he throws in that chilling line right at the end ("You're gonna reap just what you sow") that puts a whole different spin on everything that came before.
    rosalyreon April 26, 2014   Link

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