Sister Ray

Album: White Light, White Heat (1968)
  • Doc and Sally inside
    They're cooking for the down five
    Who's staring at Miss Rayon
    Who's busy licking up her pig pen
    I'm searching for my mainline
    I said I couldn't hit it sideways
    I said I couldn't hit it sideways
    Oh, just like Sister Ray said
    Whip it on

    Rosie and Miss Rayon
    They're busy waiting for her booster
    Who just got back from Carolina
    She said she didn't like the weather
    They're busy waiting for her sailor
    Who's big and dressed in pink and leather
    He's just here from Alabama
    He wants to know a way to earn a dollar
    I'm searching for my mainer
    I said I couldn't hit it sideways
    I couldn't hit it sideways
    Oh, just like Sister Ray said
    Play it on

    Cecil's got his new piece
    He cocks and shoots it between three and four
    He aims it at the sailor
    Shoots him down dead on the floor
    Oh, you shouldn't do that
    Don't you know you'll stain the carpet?
    Now don't you know you'll stain the carpet
    And by the way, have you got a dollar?
    Oh, no, man, I haven't got the time-time
    Too busy sucking on a ding-dong
    She's busy sucking on my ding-dong
    Oh, she does just like Sister Ray said
    I'm searching for my mainline
    I said I c-c-c-ouldn't hit it sideways
    I c-c-c-c-c-c-couldn't hit it sideways
    Oh do it, do it, oh just, just, just do it, bless Sister Ray sir, go on!
    Oh

    Now, who is that knocking?
    Who's knocking at my chamber door?
    Now could it be the police?
    They come and take me for a ride-ride
    Oh, but I haven't got the time-time
    Hey, hey, hey, she's busy sucking on my ding-dong
    She's busy sucking on my ding-dong
    Oh, now, do it just like Sister Ray said
    I'm searching for my mainline
    I couldn't hit it sideways
    I couldn't hit it sideways
    Oh, now, just like
    Oh, just like
    Oh, just like
    Oh, just like
    Oh, just like
    Oh, just like

    Doc and sally inside, now move it along!
    Cooking for the down five
    Who's staring at Miss Rayon, do it, do it, do it, do it, do it!
    licking up pig pen
    I've been s-s-s-s-searching for my mainline
    I couldn't hit it sideways
    I couldn't hit it sideways
    Just like
    Oh, just like, do it, do it, do it!
    Just like
    Just like that
    Just like

    Now Rosie and Miss Rayon
    They're busy waiting for her booster
    She's just back from Carolina
    She says she's bound to meet a sailor
    I said you haven't got the time-time
    You're busy sucking on my ding-dong
    You're busy sucking on my ding-dong
    Now, just like Sister Ray said
    I'm searching for my mainline
    I said I couldn't hit it sideways
    Whip it on me Jim, whip it on me Jim
    Whip it on me Jim, whip it on me Jim
    Said I couldn't hit it sideways, oh, do it!
    Yeah, just like, yeah just like Sister Ray said
    I said now Cecil's got his new piece
    He cocks and shoots it, bang! between three and four
    He aims it at the sailor
    He shoots him down dead on the floor
    Oh, you shouldn't do that, don't you know you'll hit the carper, don't you know you'll mess the carpet

    Oh, she hasn't got the time-time
    Busy sucking on his ding-dong
    She's busy sucking on his ding-dong
    Yeah, just like Sister Ray said
    I'm searching for my mainline
    Couldn't hit it sideways
    Couldn't hit it sideways
    Now just like
    Now just like
    Now just like, like Sister Ray said, now do it to him!

    Doc and Sally inside
    They're busy cooking for the down five, oh
    Who's staring at Miss Rayon
    Busy licking up her pig pen
    I'm busy searching for my mainline
    I said I couldn't hit it sideways
    I said I couldn't hit it sideways
    Now just like
    Now just like
    I said oh, oh, just like
    Am-ph-ph-ph-ph-phetamine Writer/s: Sterling Morrison, Maureen Tucker, John Cale, Lou Reed
    Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, GARNANT MUSIC
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 13

  • Patrick from Salem, OrThis song is a true anthem to anti-establishment, but that is not the reason to like, simply put....its an AMAZING song. I mean first of all the music and lyrics are brilliant, the style, free-form experimental improvisation set around some unbelievable chords, riffs and beat can't be beat, especially when one considers the year it was produced. All-in-all White Light/White Heat is truly one of the best albums ever, not just for those who want to call themselves "true punks" or whatever butbut for all who enjoy great music. The Gift, Lady Godiva's Operation, Sister Ray all on one album, COME ON, it does not get any better!!!
  • Derek from Pittsburgh, PaIf you want to know exactly what the song is about, then listen to the track entitled "Sister Ray/Foggy Notion" on Disc 3 of The Bootleg Series. Not only is it a wonderful live version of the song that clocks in at beyond 28 minutes, but it blends two of the Velvets best songs (the idiosyncratic best version of "Foggy Notion" is found on Disc 1 of the Bootleg Series). However, this is not nearly the longest version; the longest recorded Sister Ray I have is from a 1969 concert and is exactly 38 minutes long, and can found on the multi-disc collection entitled "Caught Between the Twisted Stars." To be frank, it rocks out even harder than the original version, which you probably find hard to believe. But this song literally roars, screeches, and screams out of the speakers. If you haven't heard the song, get it and then listen to it for the first time in your car. With the speakers turned all the way up.
  • David from Richmond, VaI'd like to note here that john cale's keyboard break that occurs after the second verse is one of the sickest grooves committed to record.

    To Mark,
    I know exactly what you mean. The rapture and clarity that sister ray's full 17 minutes instills in me is unlike any other song i've ever heard, and yet few people really hear the brilliance.

    To Paul,
    I would say Sister Ray is probably noisier, if only because it's so much heavier. However, i also think it's far more melodic. The rowdiest parts of European Son are more unlistenable than anything in Sister Ray, in my opinion.
  • Moziah from Bronx, NyI kind of found this very interesting.

    The catchy, distorted, power chord driven G - F - C chord progression of the songs first 5 minutes are very similar to the song "Nowhere to Run" by Martha and the Vandellas which was released two years earlier than this song's recording.

    Check it out and tell me if you agree:
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=TEqbxGGKgLk

    Listen to the songs chorus instrumental around the 1:48 mark, it's distinctly similar to Sister Ray. Wonder if they had this song in mind when they came up with the songs riff.
  • Paul from Cincinnati, OhWould you say that this song is more or less noisy than European Son? I haven't actually heard it yet but I'm guessing more given its legendary reputation.
  • James from Lexington, KyThe song was recorded in one take. The producer of the album, Tom Wilson -- who also worked with far quieter bands like Simon & Garfunkel -- just told them the tape was rolling and then literally fled from the studio. John Cale played the organ; he's said that he simply pulled out all the stops to try to be heard over the guitars, and ended up louder than all of them.
  • Mark from Cleveland, OhThis is one of my favorite songs. It just blows me away. Other people just don't get it. When I need to blow off some steam I put this song on and crank it up!
  • Jess from Thornhill, Canadasucking on my ding dong, like we have to think very hard about that one...
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScThanks Cameron. I might buy it and listen to it. And no I don't mind having my ears blown out every once in awhile.
  • Cameron from Irvine, CaIf you don't mind having you mind blown out your ears, I say listen to it. But I don't suggest it to the casual rock fan. But then again if you even know who the VU are, then you are the casual rock fan.
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScIs White Light, White HEat a good album. The only VU album I have is the one with Nico on it. I'd be interested to listen to the later albums. What do toiy guys suggest?
  • Cameron from Irvine, CaI came into possesion of a bunch of records, and White Light/White Heat was one of them (Along with most of the other VU records as well). As soon as I heard it, it jumped to number one on my top 5 list.
  • Justin from Florence, ScThe song is about an orgy between a number of people, one of which, Cecil, shoots and kills the "sailor." Afterwards, no one cares except that they don't want the carpet stained with the guys blood. Then the cops come, but Lou doesn't have time for them, because he's, um, busy. The lyrics are repeated 3 times, each more dissonant than the time before, juxtaposed well to the song itself venturing into chaos. At 17 minutes, it's my favorite "Jam" song ever, and, like a lot of the Velvet's music, is a precursor to punk, and surprisingly, to heavy metal as well. Another interesting thing, in the game Final Fantasy 7, there is a huge gun called the Sister Ray, appearently a reference to the song.
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