Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” has many interpretations. The beautiful melody and instrumentation does lead one to believe this is a love song. Though, the last line “You’re going to reap just what you sow” is extremely eerie. Some people think this is a song Reed wrote about his relationship with his then-wife and his internal conflicts with his sexuality, drug use, and ego. And that interpretation isn’t without merit.
However, many people (me included) believe “Perfect Day” is actually about Reed’s love/hate relationship with drugs. The lines “You made me forget myself,” “I thought I was someone else … someone good,” and the last line mentioned earlier really hammer the point home.
Director Danny Boyle seems to be in agreement with the 2nd interpretation and brilliantly used “Perfect Day” in his 1996 film “Trainspotting” for the scene where Ewan McGregor’s character OD’s. It’s a particularly unnerving scene not only for the visuals, but because Reed’s song is so beautiful-sounding, it makes what’s happening even more tragic. One of the best uses of pop music in a film ever.