"When I Was Cruel" as written by and Elvis Costello....
I exit through the spotlight glare
I stepped out into thin air
Into a perfume so rarefied
Here comes the bride

Not quite aside, they snide, she's number four
There's number three just by the door
Those in the know, don't even flatter her, they go one better
She was selling speedboats in a trade show when he met her

Look at her now
She's starting to yawn
She looks like she was born to it
But it was so much easier
When I was cruel

She reaches out her arms to me
Imploring another melody
So she can dance her husband out on the floor
The captains of industry just
Lie there where they fall

In eau-de-nil and pale carnation creation
A satin sash and velvet elevation
She straightens the tipsy head-dress of her spouse
While hers recalls a honey house

There'll be no sorrows left to drown
Early in the morning in your evening gown
But it was so much easier
When I was cruel

The entrance hall was arranged
With hostesses and ushers
Who turned out to be the younger wives
Nursing schoolgirl crushes

Parting the waves of those
Few feint friends
Fingers once offered are now too
Heavy to extend

The ghostly first wife glides up
On stage, whispering to raucous talkers
Spilling family secrets out to
Flunkey's and castrato walkers
See that girl, watch that scene
Digging the dancing queen

Two newspaper editors like playground sneaks
Running a book on which of them is going to last the week
One of them calls to me and he says, ?I know you
You gave me this tattoo back in '82?

You were a spoilt child then with a record to plug
And I was a shaven headed, seaside thug
Things haven't really changed that much
One of us is still getting paid too much

There are some things I [incomprehensible] report
The memory of his last retort
But it was so much easier
When I was cruel, oh

Look at me now, she's starting to yawn
She looks like she was born to it
Ah, but it was so much easier
When I was cruel


Lyrics submitted by elscorcho3880

"When I Was Cruel [No1 Studio Version]" as written by Elvis Costello

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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When I Was Cruel song meanings
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2 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentExcellent song, a great tribute to his lyrical skill.

    Which album is this song on? I know "when I was Cruel no. 2" is on the album When I was Cruel, but I haven't been able to find which album this one is on, can anybody hel?
    Ejiron October 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit's on the album cruel smile.
    burnyouonfireon January 02, 2007   Link

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