Track 2 of Velvet Underground's White Light/ White Heat (1968) is called "The Gift". The lyrics tell about a man named Waldo, who mails himself to a girl, only for her to struggle to get a grip on the masking tape in order to open the box. Then a friend of hers grabs a power tool to force her way through the cardboard.

[...] Then she remembered that her Father kept a collection of tools in the basement. She ran downstairs and when she came back, she had a Large sheet-metal cutter in her hand.

Finally, her friend, unaware of Waldo's presence inside the box, accidentally drives the tool through Waldo's head.


What's this "Large sheet-metal cutter"? I tried googling it but I couldn't really find a very convincing image of what it might look like. The lyrics talk about it having a "long blade". I know it's supposed to be comical and over the top, but having a clearer image of the tool in my head would help me appreciate it more.

I reckon this to be the most fitting place to ask (considering this)

1 Answer 1


It may sound like a power tool, but it's actually a pair of shears --like a large, powerful pair of scissors, with slightly curved blades. I actually have a pair in my my garage.

Getting one jabbed into your head could certainly be fatal, just like a knife wound.

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