"Little Palaces" as written by and Elvis Costello....
In Chocolate Town all the trains are painted brown
On the silver paper of the wrapper
There's a dapper little man
And he wears a wax mustache
That he twists with nicotine fingers
As he drops his cigarette ash
And someone comes and sweeps it up
And then he doffs his cap
And there's a rat in someone's bedroom
And they're shutting someone's trap
And they'll soon be pulling down the little palaces

And the doors swing back and forward, from the past into the present
And the bedside crucifixion turns from wood to phosphorescent.
And they're moving problem families from the South up to the North,
Mother's crying over some soft soap opera divorce,
And you say you didn't do it, but you know you did of course,
And they'll soon be pulling down the little palaces.

It's like shouting in a matchbox, filled with plasterboard and hope,
Like a picture of Prince William in the arms of John the Pope.
There's a world of good intentions, and pity in their eyes,
The sedated homes of England, are theirs to vandalize.

So you knock the kids about a bit, because they've got your name,
And you knock the kids about a bit, until they feel the same.
And they feel like knocking down the little palaces.

You're the twinkle in your daddy's eye, a name you spray and scribble,
You made the girls all turn their heads, and in turn they made you miserable.
To be the heir apparent, to the kingdom of the invisible.

So you knock the kids about a bit, because they've got your name,
And you knock the kids about a bit, until they feel the same.
And they feel like knocking down the little palaces.


Lyrics submitted by Mopnugget

"Little Palaces" as written by Elvis Costello

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind


Little Palaces song meanings
Add your thoughts

4 Comments

sort form View by:
  • 0
    General CommentClearly about the plights of Ireland. This is one of his most beautiful songs.
    snizzon March 19, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree. when i first heard it i automatically thought child abuse, you know with the 'so you knock the kids about a bit..' lines, but that totally makes sense now
    uncomplicatedon February 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentare you sure it's not

    "there's a rat in someone's bathroom and there's shit in someone's trap"

    ?? makes more sense... and sounds better.
    kokakolaon May 04, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAlways assumed this was about council houses, originally thought of as little palaces but today are abused by the tenants who, by and large, have lost the memory of private slum landlords (with wax moustaches) and respect for property or persons.
    lagerfrenzyon April 14, 2012   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain