Lady Godiva's Operation (4:53)

Cover of White Light/White Heat

From White Light/White Heat and 16 other releases

“Lady Godiva’s Operation” is a song by American avant-garde rock band The Velvet Underground, appearing on their second album, White Light/White Heat (1968). The lyrics to the first half of the song (sung by John Cale) describe Lady Godiva. The lyrics of the second half (sung by Cale alternating with Lou Reed) are full of oblique, deadpan black humor and describe a botched surgical procedure.

The person’s name is taken from the British legend of Lady Godiva, a noble English lady who rode naked through the streets of Coventry.

In the second half of the song, Cale and guitarist Sterling Morrison do vocal impersonations of various surgical instruments, including a drill and a wooden leg.


John Cale - vocals, viola
Lou Reed - guitar, vocals
Sterling Morrison - bass guitar, backing vocals
Maureen Tucker - percussion

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