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That Lou: A tribute to rock legend Lou Reed

October 28, 2013 18:03 IST

Lou ReedParagraphs of prose just didn’t feel right, so here is Raja Sen's tribute to rock legend Lou Reed, who passed away on October 27.

He stumbled and he rumbled,
he fumbled and he humbled
and he did it all drunk as a monk.

He sailed and he failed,
he smiled and he beguiled,
but above all he worth-our-while’d.

O, how he made us genuflect
As he broke his guitar’s neck
And took over our cassette deck.

How helpless he made us feel
As our brains he did steal:
That genius, hid behind a yellow peel.

He assaulted us with a flower
And furry-legged fe-male power
And made us awestruck Spiders cower.

He did reflect and he did tease
Brought critics to their knees

sometimes, it was just a wheeze.)

There were whiskey songs and meth songs
Songs for rights; more songs for wrongs,
(A couple of songs for ding-dongs)
And even as he leaves us the jukebox... prolongs.

He taught and he fought
And was often overwrought,
But nothing could make him not
Stir the pot.

And when we hear it all
The glory and the downfall:

The messy guts spilled out in plain view
And the songs that spoke, to me and to you.

The words look cleverer in the light of sad today
The truth is clearer as we prepare goodbyes to say:

That Lou?
He flew.

In the picture: Lou Reed. Photograph: Lucas Jackson/ Reuters

Raja Sen in Mumbai