"No Action" as written by and Elvis Costello....
I don't want to kiss you, I don't want to touch
I don't want to see you 'cause I don't miss you that much
I'm not a telephone junkie
I told you that we were just good friends
But when I hold you like I hold that Bakelite in my hands

There's no action
There's no action, there's no action
Every time I phone you, I just want to put you down

He's got the keys to the car, they are the keys to the kingdom
He's got ev'rything you need, it's a shame that he didn't bring them
I'm not a telephone junkie
If I'm inserting my coin, I'm doing just fine
And the things in my head start hurtin' my mind
And I think about the way things used to be
Knowing you're with him is driving me crazy
Sometimes I phone you when I know you're not lonely
But I always disconnect it in time

There's no action
There's no action, there's no action
Every time I phone you, I just want to put you
Every time I phone you, I just want to put you
Every time I phone you, I just want to put you down

There's no action
There's no action
There's no action
Every time I phone you, I just want to put you down


Lyrics submitted by Kei

"No Action" as written by Elvis Costello

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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No Action song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentAhhhh, a bakelite is an old fashioned phone--now I get it!

    antiquephones.blogspot.com/
    RommelDAKon March 11, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment2nd Best album opener ever!! (the best being from 'welcome to the working week' from EC's My aim is true!!)
    uncomplicatedon February 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthe's okay with it in the end
    trapperon March 15, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOh, I so don't think he's over it in the end. I mean, ending with "Sometimes I phone you when I know you're not lonely, But I always disconnect it in time" seems like he's ending it still wanting her.

    I just think it's about being in agony because of really wanting to be with someone and hating a) that she's with someone, b) the guy she is dating both because he thinks he's wrong for her and because he's with her, and c) the girl herself because, well, don't you just hit a certain point where you hate the person making you like this?

    I also think that because of the "no action" bit, I think he hates not being able to do something and instead has a sick relationship with his phone.
    VictoriaLeeon May 10, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe best part of this is the 'I just wanna put you down' line.
    Works on three levels:
    1) to, literally, put the phone down
    2) to put her down, as in put her in her place, or even insult/degrade her
    3) like how you'd put down an animal to death

    Such an amazing album opener! Dripping with bile..
    tc149on April 23, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti always thought the first verse was about being with a girl and not feeling anything between the two of you even though perhaps she really likes you. and she's excited to see him/have him call her on the phone, but he doesn't want to do either. whenever he calls her he just wants to put the phone down/put her down.

    then the second verse is about how that now that someone else has her he wants her. he thinks the other guy is wrong for her and he may sort of resent the fact that she doesn't want him anymore, so he wants to call her and tell her off and/or beg for her back or something but he always punks out and puts the phone down before he gets a chance to talk to her (while she may or may not be with her current boyfriend). yeah.
    shrapn3lon November 20, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti always thought the first verse was about being with a girl and not feeling anything between the two of you even though perhaps she really likes you. and she's excited to see him/have him call her on the phone, but he doesn't want to do either. whenever he calls her he just wants to put the phone down/put her down.

    then the second verse is about how that now that someone else has her he wants her. he thinks the other guy is wrong for her and he may sort of resent the fact that she doesn't want him anymore, so he wants to call her and tell her off and/or beg for her back or something but he always punks out and puts the phone down before he gets a chance to talk to her (while she may or may not be with her current boyfriend). yeah.
    shrapn3lon November 20, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think maybe it's "She's got everything you need, it's a shame he didn't want it then"
    toomanywordsUnseenUnheardon April 19, 2013   Link

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