Just a perfect day
Drink Sangria in the park
And then later
When it gets dark, we go home

Just a perfect day
Feed animals in the zoo
Then later
A movie, too, and then home

Oh, it's such a perfect day
I'm glad I spent it with you
Oh, such a perfect day
You just keep me hanging on
You just keep me hanging on

Just a perfect day
Problems all left alone
Weekenders on our own
It's such fun

Just a perfect day
You made me forget myself
I thought I was
Someone else, someone good

Oh, it's such a perfect day
I'm glad I spent it with you
Oh, such a perfect day
You just keep me hanging on
You just keep me hanging on

You're going to reap just what you sow
You're going to reap just what you sow
You're going to reap just what you sow
You're going to reap just what you sow

Lyrics submitted by spliphstar

Perfect Day Lyrics as written by Lou Reed

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group, Royalty Network, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Peermusic Publishing, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Perfect Day song meanings
Add Your Thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +25
    General CommentI can't believe people would say that this is a happy song. This is probably the most depressing song I've ever heard. I don't know if it's explicitly about heroin as some people have stated, but the lyrics seem to imply that he feels worthless, and can only experience happniess through temporary escapes. And this is what he considers to be a 'perfect day', when he forgets who he is ('you made me forget myself / I thought I was someone else / someone good'). If that's not depressing, I don't know what is.
    Jeemaon February 03, 2005   Link
  • +17
    General CommentComing from a former Heroin addict. This song IS about heroin. No matter what you take away from this song, anything is great btw, don't want to put anyone down. This song is quite most likely referring the double edge sword that is opiate/heroin addiction. So I may be a little biased on this song meaning because of my previous opiate addiction and seeing trainspotting, but it describes to a TEE what i experienced as a heroin addict.

    Feel no pain, no emotions, no harm, no foul, no hardships. Things may not be GREAT, but it just kept me hanging on. Problems fell by the wayside, for all I care I was a weekend warrior who only cared about heroin when not working. This relationship is unrealistic as heroin slowly seeps into your life as a functional addict. Eventually you need it to deal with any aspect of life. Death in the family? Unbearable, use heroin. Life? Unbearable, use heroin. Boredom? Lovelessness? Depression? Insomnia? No matter, heroin will be your girlfriend, your close friend, your hero, hell it even has a GREAT personality. Take what you will from this song, but I am pretty sure I get it.
    austinprodon November 03, 2012   Link
  • +10
    General CommentIt isn't really all that important whether the song was written about shooting up or a person. The beauty is in its ambiguity. If Lou stated that the song was written about heroin, than we'll have to believe him, but it is of no consequence. There are times in everyone's life when you feel like just finding a way to forget your problems and feel good for a while. You don't need to have an addiction to be a very disturbed person, or to be going through a tough time. Sometimes, the people you see every day in the street are the ones fighting inner battles. So this song, about junk or whatever, is sad in that he is not facing his problems and trying to be a better person, although he obviously realizes that his life has gon awry somewhere along the way.
    Lou Reed is one of the best writers of this century. He has this amazing style - like he's writing some paranoid and depressed children's book. It's all very simple, but so brilliant because of it. He uses the classic names Jack and Jane in Sweet Jane, just like in those crappy books you used to get in school - i.e. See jack. See the ball. See Jack kick the ball - only it's 'See Jack. See Jill. See Jack hit Jill.' Only much, much worse.
    NellieWhiskeyon November 20, 2008   Link
  • +5
    General CommentNot a lot of people commented on the depressing side of this song. I think in the begining it's a love song, but by the end the love fades and you see the emptiness behind it.
    Kaguthon May 06, 2003   Link
  • +5
    General CommentIt's very much about heroin. Besides Lou saying so. If you've had a habit for long enough,
    it's obvious who "you" is, who he spends all his days with. The "I thought I was someone else, someone
    good" literally happens. You can forget yourself, for a few hours, on good enough gear.

    Heroin turns off much of the ego. Stops your worries just like that. The world doesn't actually get better, but you don't mind. Life doesn't hurt. The purer you, the happy you when you were a kid,
    without all the social garbage you learn thru life, is free to come through. If you've had a lot of pain in life, it's a blessing.

    A lot of addicted people I know are still stuck in their teens, even tho they're in their 30s. Emotionally retarded. They don't live the life other people live, and happiness and satisfaction are easy to find.

    Taking heroin's a lot of fun for the first few years, and even after it's still some fun. What do you
    think people with habits do all day? It's not just scoreing after scoreing. I imagine being Lou Reed,
    he could afford all he needed, so had a lot of time to spend.

    It's just a song about being on heroin, having a pleasant day, spending your time, doing stuff. The darker elements show that he's aware it's not just a bed of roses. And that the whole happy feeling, while very precious if you need happiness, is really false, and not going to last. Whether it's in days time or years time, even most of your lifetime. And then you reap what you sow! Which you're aware of, too, even as you're happily sowing.

    What amuses the hell out of me, is the BBC got a load of singers together to record this song for charity, nothing drug-related. And they played the hell out of it on TV and it got to number one! The whole country sang along with some addled smackhead, wandering round the park. HA!
    greenaumon May 09, 2011   Link
  • +5
    General CommentLike many people have said, I don't believe this song is about heroin. Lou Reed isn't often one to hide significant meanings in songs, however much of a taboo subject they may be - usually he's very explicit about drugs etc. But then again, considering Lou's links to the drug at the time I guess we really can't rule out that it is about heroin either. Maybe he was just trying to take a more subtle approach to writing about the drug, having already written outrightly about it, notably of course in 'Heroin' with the Velvet Underground.

    I think we can be more or less sure that this doesn't describe Lou's personal perfect day: as he told Jools Holland "I wouldn't know what my perfect day was if it came up and bit me on the nose". To me, it is more of a mock-romantic setup rather than a real life situation, perhaps meant to be a bit ironic or menacing ("you're going to reap just what you sow...").
    Speedwayon December 11, 2011   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI think it's intended to be not so much sarcastic, but, grim. I don't have my mind fully wrapped around it, but, I don't believe it is a happy song so much as an ironic one.

    It's very possibly about heroin, everything seemed more blissful and perfect, and it was that way because of the heroin. But, I also agree, that Lou Reed doesn't tend to veil his drug references that way.

    I guess my thought is, that whether this is about a person or drugs, it is not intended to be about how wonderful the world is, but how even if things seem great, they aren't.

    ("You're gonna reap just what you sow")
    middleeartharwenon September 20, 2004   Link
  • +4
    General Commentyou can interpret the lyrics however you like but it's mainly about addiction. Person, drugs, a certain feeling it can be anything but you can sense how this thing rules his world and he's very dependent on it, he's totally obsessed and without it he feels bad about himself. This might be due to some sort of guilt he feels. Or it could be Lou describing his imaginary perfect day. Who knows but what i'm sure the song's not particularly positive, in fact it's depressing because you see a person who's under the influence of the "drug" and feels great at the time though he knows it's not gonna last long and he's gonna feel bad again afterward and the world's gonna be dull and mediocre.

    For me the song is about landing on the hard ground after being up in the sky, although the lyrics describe just the blissful flight (still it gives many clues so you can imagine the whole picture.)
    OnlyAPawnInTheirGameon October 31, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI tend to lean more towards this song being about Reed's addiction to heroin for a number of reasons -

    -"drink Sangria in the park" can be equated to the actual shooting up of the heroin (sangria being both a type of fruity wine and the spanish word for blood) where heroin users have to draw blood into their syringes to mix with the drug before pumping it into their veins again

    -Forgetting your problems, forgetting yourself are both principal "reasons" for drug addiction

    -"You just keep me hanging on" - heroin use both gets him through the day while at the same time leaving him at the brink of physical/emotional breakdown because of his dependence

    -"...reap just what you sow" he is acknowledging his problem and he knows where it is bound to lead

    On top of the lyrics, I think the structure of the song itself takes the listener through a day of an addict, starting with soft and somber melody and vocals rising to a very blissful and powerful chorus (euphoria), and ending low again, with melancholy and regretful lyrics. I don't think Lou is trying to "hide" his addiction under a safe guise, the song was written in '72, well after everyone knew about his use, I just think it's a more refined take on the topic then a song like Heroin.
    Samhainon January 15, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI am a substance abuse clinician working in a methadone clinic with people dependent on opiates and I 100% agree with singmeasong. This song is about heroin. The fact that Lou Reed had a heroin addiction when this song was produce and the lyrics blatenly state what this song is about. I quote singmeasong:
    "Problems left alone": the application to opiates is obvious.

    "Weekenders on our own": Weekend warrior. Drugs distinct from the workday routine. Time to be completely free with no responsibilities.

    "You just keep me hanging on". Drugs as a solace to get through all the BS.

    The bittersweet mood is felt with mild guilt buried beneath the high and the knowledge that things won't stay so "perfect".
    Well said. Not every song is about drugs but this one is definitely is.
    melanie687on November 10, 2014   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top