"King Horse" as written by and Elvis Costello....
Cheap cut satin and bad perfume
Showtime is almost here
Teased up by a strip cartoon
Laughing up your sleeve
Sniggering in your beer
He'd seen the bottom of a lot of glasses
But he'd never seen love so near
He'd seen love get so expensive
But he'd never seen love get so dear

Now I know that you're all King Horse
Between tenderness and brute force
Now I know that you're all King Horse
Between tenderness and brute force

She can turn upon a sixpence in the mouth and trousers set
Hit the bill, ring the bell, never spill a sip
And still she knows the kind of tip that she is gonna get
A lot of loose exchanges, precious little respect
When it's someone else's weekend
That's the best you can expect

Now I know that you're all King Horse
Between tenderness and brute force
Now I know that you're all King Horse
Between tenderness and brute force

So fond of the fabric
So fond of fabrication
From comic books to tragic
Through the heart of complications
Meanwhile back in some secluded spot
He says 'will you please?' and she says 'stop'
If I ever lose this good thing that I've got
I never want to hear the song you dedicated tonight
'Cause I knew that song so long before we met
That it means much more than it might

Now I know that you're all King Horse
Between tenderness and brute force
Now I know that you're all King Horse
Between tenderness and brute force

Now I know that you're all King Horse
Between tenderness and brute force
Now I know that you're all King Horse
Between tenderness and brute force


Lyrics submitted by Mopnugget, edited by marynir

"King Horse" as written by Elvis Costello

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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King Horse song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentI can't believe no one has commented on this song yet! Its a classic

    Its basically saying that all air hostesses are bitches under their fake smiles. If you listen to it again "Now I know that you're all King Horse" sounds like "Now I know that you're far-king whores". He pretty much says he can't blame them because they spend they're lives running around at everyones feet.

    great song though
    angertrainon April 20, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIn the liner notes to "Girls Girls Girls" Elvis wrote:

    "The armed forces are the only other line of work that encourages such unsuitable people to travel the world. Chaos reigns at 35,000 feet over the Pacific. In my notebook I'd stumbled on some lyrics about tawdry compromise & desperate fun, mostly the work of a very naive nineteen-year-old. Now I'm looking to hang it all on the best insult to the strutting male that I can find. The cult of the stallion with medallion is in full flower. I look at the silly schoolboys making the stewardess' life a misery. I look at myself in the toilet mirror... 'King Horse'."

    So "King Horse" is meant to be an insult to the boy on the prowl.

    The stewardess connection is kind of weird though. It seems to me that the song takes place in & outside a bar - "hit the till, ring the bell" - where is there a till on an airplane? (& yes, it's till - the lyric above is wrong.) Also, who tips on an airplane?
    vchamberlainon March 05, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCould it be that the stewardess has become generalised to be a waitress in a bar/ club, suffering the clumsy attentions of wealthy drunks. See also 'Sulky girl' on 'Brutal Youth'
    m49nu5on June 01, 2012   Link

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