"Black Cow" as written by Walter Carl Becker and Donald Jay Fagen....
In the corner of my eye
I saw you in Rudy's
You were very high
You were high
It was a cryin' disgrace
They saw your face

On the counter by your keys
Was a book of numbers and your remedies
One of these surely will screen out the sorrow
But where are you tomorrow

I can't cry anymore
While you run around
Break away
Just when it seems so clear
That it's over now
Drink your big black cow
And get out of here

Down to Greene Street
There you go
Lookin' so outrageous
And they tell you so
You should know
How all the pros play the game
You change your name

Like a gangster on the run
You will stagger homeward to your precious one
I'm the one who must make everything right
Talk it out till daylight

I don't care anymore
While you run around
Break away
Just when it seems so clear
That it's over now
Drink your big black cow
And get out of here

I can't cry anymore
While you run around
Break away
Just when it seems so clear
That it's over now
Drink your big black cow
And get out of here

Lyrics submitted by AbFab

"Black Cow" as written by Walter Carl Becker Donald Jay Fagen

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Black Cow song meanings
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  • +7
    General CommentThe Black Cow can be a candy-like mixed "high-powered" beverage or it can be indeed a rootbeer float.
    Our Hero is telling The Lady that he is INDEED through being this lady's sounding board every time one of her relationships with unsuitable fellows goes sour and she comes running back to him. In the cocktail context, a "black cow" is considered a frou-frou party-girl drink.
    Or, in the context of an ice-cream parlor kiddie beverage, Our Hero is telling the lady that she is acting like a twelve-year-old
    CuteSparkinaon July 23, 2006   Link
  • +6
    General CommentThe man and woman are just friends. He is stable and conscientious. She is reckless and irresponsible. The song is his internal-monologue. He can never actually say these things to her. He is in love.
    panzer4963on April 05, 2008   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI'm through being your crying towell and punching bag, you coked up party girl. See ya!
    law2468on February 24, 2005   Link
  • +3
    Song MeaningThis is cut and dry. Imagine NYC in the mid-late '70s - before Giuliani "cleaned it up" . Studio 54. Lou Reed. Guy has a Black Cow drinking girlfriend who is a drunk/drug addict. She's a waste of space. He sees here in Rudy's - a dive in Hell's Kitchen. She's wasted, as always. She works tricks "down on Greene St" but is too unravelled to even be a good hooker - He finds out that's what she's up to because she's not smart enough to change her name when she's doing tricks. These are all mid '70s NYC references. Greene St. is in Tribeca/West Village/Meatpacking district (lots of clubs) - in the '70s that area was full of hookers. Today your'e more likely to see Beyonce or Amy Poehler - that entire area is now one of the most expensive places in the USA to live - it's been completely gentrified. But back in the day.. Anyway - every tiime she screws up once again - she staggers home to her "precious one" - the narrator - who has to try to "make everything right" and put the pieces back together. He's sick of it- so tells her to "Drink her big Black Cow" (from Rudy's) and "GetOuttaHere". We all know women like this - screwed up emotional vampires. That's what the song is all about folks.
    bloughmeeon June 02, 2015   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think it's cool how he says "on the counter, by your keys, was a book of numbers, and your remedies."

    This references back to the ambiguity in "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" about whether a "number" refers to a phone number or a joint. It could be either: a phone number for a friend or a joint can "screen out the sorrow." But the fact that the "numbers" are near the "remedies" definitely suggests a joint, although again, it's ambiguous.

    I love how they are referencing themselves, and especially a lyric from the past that was itself ambiguous. And now the same lyric is ambiguous in the same way, many albums later! This band is incredible.
    MichaelKleinmanon August 23, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI always thought she was an alcoholic/druggie and he is just tired of her drunken ways and running around so he is telling her to move on so he can.
    bocoeon May 15, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI've been to Rudy's many times, it's in Hell's Kitchen on 9th Avenue in New York, and it is indeed the kind of place where such things are likely to occur. It's got a big plastic pig outside. Stop by and have a hotdog if you get the chance, it'll put hair on your chest.
    DevastatorJr.on January 01, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is about a guy and the girl he's just broken up with. She's a drug addict and alcoholic and had trouble being faithful. She's become a hooker now to feed her drug habit. She drifts into an old hangout -- Rudy's -- where they serve a New York soda fountain drink, made with root beer, vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup. He's with his friends, and they all see her. She knows she's an outcast with the group. The speaker thinks back about how he always came back to her after being gone for a few days. He thinks she's come back to try to hook up with him, and reconfirms in his own mind that he's done with her and doesn't care if he never sees her again because she caused him too much pain.
    bramdakotaon May 07, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI know that a Black Cow is a sort of soda drink that involves Coke or root beer mixed with ice cream or milk. There is also alcoholic versions of it.
    MickeyPhillyon April 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHe finally sees the light, this is his redememption song, he realises he would rather be alone than to be taken for granted, he realises she isnt even all that beautiful, he is taken by his masochist tendencies, but he is now healing, well done la!
    TheBowieFollieson February 20, 2007   Link

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