Perfect Day (3:44)

Cover of Transformer

From Transformer and 131 other releases

A song written by Lou Reed in 1972. Its fame was given a boost in the 1990s when it was featured in the 1996 film Trainspotting, and after its release as a charity single in 1997.

The song was originally featured on the 1972 album Transformer. The song’s lyrics are often considered to suggest simple, conventional romantic devotion, possibly alluding to Reed’s relationship with Bettye Kronstadt (soon to become his first wife) and Reed’s own conflicts with his sexuality, drug use and ego.

However, on a deeper reading of the song’s lyrics, amongst the idealized description of a “perfect day”, interposed lines such as “You just keep me hanging on”, and “I thought I was someone else, someone good” suggest a far deeper yearning than just the superficial romantic clichés, and allude to the underlying and painful bitterness of nostalgia often felt even as an event is lived - an event one knows or fears to be a mere distraction or illusion. The repeated last line ‘You`re going to reap just what you sow’ is very similar to Galatians 6:7.

Some commentators have further seen the lyrics as displaying Reed’s romanticised attitude towards a period of his own addiction to heroin. Critics of this view assert that Reed never tried to conceal his drug use, so the song does not have concealed meanings of this nature.

The song was featured on an AT&T commercial featuring snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler that ran during the 2010 Winter Olympics.


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