Charlie Freak cover
Charlie Freak cover

Charlie Freak Lyrics Meanings
by Steely Dan

Rock
1999
618

Charlie Freak Lyrics

Charlie Freak had but one thing to call his own
Three weight ounce pure golden ring no precious stone
Five nights without a bite
No place to lay his head

And if nobody takes him in
He'll soon be dead
On the street he spied my face I heard him hail
In our plot of frozen space he told his tale

Poor man, he showed his hand
So righteous was his need
And me so wise I bought his prize
For chicken feed

Newfound cash soon begs to smash a state of mind
Close inspection fast revealed his favorite kind
Poor kid, he overdid
Embraced the spreading haze And while he sighed his body died
In fifteen ways

When I heard I grabbed a cab to where he lay
'Round his arm the plastic tag read D.O.A.
Yes Jack, I gave it back
The ring I could not own

Now come my friend I'll take your hand
And lead you home

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Thoughts & Meanings

This tells the tale of a homeless drug addict, whose only possession of worldly value is a golden ring on his hand. The person relating the story obviously had known Charlie for awhile, and when they met late one night, Charlie begged him to purchase the ring, because he was in dire need of cash. Of course, Charles immediately uses the cash to buy drugs, and overdoses on them. When the author finds out, he heads down to the morgue, and places the ring on Charlie's finger, somewhat regretfully.

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