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Elvis Costello

A little something about Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello, aka Declan McManus, is yet another product of mid/late '70s London. But rather than living a life of post-modern punk decadence, Costello kept his day job as a computer operator, working on his music career in his spare time. Never flashy or overstated, Elvis gained attention with his song writing, energy and sincerity. His music career was rocky at first, being branded a punk (along with everyone else in mid-'70s London), and then a racist for comments made in a drunken brawl during a US tour. Costello found few friends in the media, as critics didn't know quite how to react to his sarcasm and resistance to behave like a pop star. Despite all this Elvis and his Attractions would overcome the criticism and graduate to international pop star status, with such classics as "Watching the Detective," "Radio Radio," "Alison," "Pump It Up" and "Accidents Will Happen." His hit "Every Day I Write the Book" was one of the few bright spots of his work from 1982-1985, but it has a sing-song early-'80s charm that makes it perfect for this page. Elvis has managed to do something most early '80s pop stars have not: mature musically. He has occasionally broken ranks with the pop music establishment, as in his beautiful 1992 work with the Brodsky Quartet, but always his song-writing talent comes through. Costello's latest release, which sees him together again with his old Attractions, features work he has written for and with other artists, such as a piece co-written with former Til Tuesday vocalist Aimee Mann

Lyrics featured below: "Veronica", "Everyday I write the book".

Veronica - Elvis Costello and the Attractions

Is it all in that pretty little head of yours?
What goes on in that place in the dark?
Well I used to know a girl and I would have sworn that her name was Veronica

Well she used to have a carefree mind of her own
And a delicate look in her eye
These days I'm afraid she's not even sure if her name is Veronica

Do you suppose, that waiting hands on eyes
Veronica has gone to hide
And all the time she laughs at those who shout
Her name and steal her clothes

Did the days drag by, did the favors wane
Did he roam down the town all the time
Will you wake from your dream, with a wolf at the door,
Reaching out for Veronica

Well it was all of sixty-five years ago
When the world was the street where she lived
And a young man sailed on a ship in the sea
With a picture of Veronica

On the "Empress of India" and as she closed her eyes upon the world
And picked upon the bones of last week's news
She spoke his name out loud again


Veronica sits in her favorite chair
and she sits very quiet and still
And they call her a name that they never get right
And if they don't then nobody else will

But she used to have a carefree mind of her own,
With a devilish look in her eye
Saying "You can call me anything you like,
But my name is Veronica"


Everyday I write the book - Elvis Costello and the Attractions

Don't tell me you don't know what love is
When you're old enough to know better
When you find strange hands in your sweater
When your dreamboat turns out to be a footnote
I'm a man with a mission in two or three editions

And I'm giving you a longing look
Everyday, everyday, everyday I write the book

Chapter One we didn't really get along
Chapter Two I think I fell in love with you
You said you'd stand by me in the middle of Chapter Three
But you were up to your old tricks in Chapters Four, Five and Six

The way you walk
The way you talk, and try to kiss me, and laugh
In four or five paragraphs
All your compliments and your cutting remarks
Are captured here in my quotation marks

Don't tell me you don't know the difference
Between a lover and a fighter
With my pen and my electric typewriter
Even in a perfect world where everyone was equal
I'd still own the film rights and be working on the sequel