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Elvis Costello – Goon Squad Lyrics 10 years ago
It happened.

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Elvis Costello – Goon Squad Lyrics 10 years ago
In the military the goon squad were tasked with cleaning up the mine field before sending in the combat soldiers. The goon squad was usually made up from soldiers with less intellectual endowment than the rest, hence they were expendable.

So we find the narrator telling his parents, possibly writing an archetypal letter from his military life, about the illustruous career he could have made, but that in fact his command is more like a sentence to death. He could have been a major, or a corporal or a general manager (had he gone into corporate life), instead he grew up "too soon" to find out, that rather than have a great career, or being patted on the back as some are, or even rather than being punished by the rod, his punishment is much worse, he's been put in the goon squad. So when they've looked him over and given him the eye, he's been selected for the goon squad, which once they're called into action, leads to an almost certain death.


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Elvis Costello – Senior Service Lyrics 10 years ago
From Armed Forces, aka Emotional Fascism. I read the whole record as a play on corporate life, organizations and life in hierarchic groups. This song's narrator obviously wants the place of his superior and hates his life in the corporate ladder.

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Elvis Costello – Possession Lyrics 10 years ago
Great lyrics. Short, succinct and still able to tell a story.

A sister song to "No Dancing" from MYIT? A bad relationship, based on seeing the other as a possession.

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Elvis Costello – No Dancing Lyrics 10 years ago
Dancing = Sex. Scenes from a relationship falling apart, but they don't break up. She's embarrased him in front of others, resulting in no sex when they get home. Communication breakdown in a couple, "She can't even speak to him He can't face her now." Potentially there's violence there "he's not insane it's just that everybody has to feel his pain." I hear the same theme in as in "Possession" from "Get Happy" only there the storyteller leaves the relationship "I'll get out before the violence, or the tears or the silence."

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Elvis Costello – (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes Lyrics 10 years ago
..and as I read what I wrote I forgot to say that the dancing is a metaphor for sex...

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Elvis Costello – (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes Lyrics 10 years ago
Oh, and I should say vanity in the original story is a sin, here it's been replaced by sex. The storyteller doesn't commit the sin of vanity but the sin of sex.

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Elvis Costello – (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes Lyrics 10 years ago
Great, great song. Combining a story line and great refrain with literary references, the lyrics of a jaded old man, while he was only, what 22 at the time?

Like several other songs such as Mystery Dance and No Dancing on the first album, this one's about sex, lust and relationships. I hear a reference to H.C. Andersen's classic (and gruesome) fairy tale about the vain girl (in this case the storyteller) whose red dancing shoes, once she starts dancing, won't let her stop. The storyteller makes a deal with the angels, where they show him the secret of sex, and once he understands it, he can't stop. His girlfriend gets tired of his lust, feels disgusted and abused. Once the angels lose their own power "their wings have got rusted", they want the shoes back, resulting in the storyteller's quick aging and imminent death. While he declares his love "I'm so happy I could die" to the girl, she tells him to drop dead and dances on without him.

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Elvis Costello – (I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea Lyrics 10 years ago
Costello's clearly a genius and one of the most gifted lyricists of all of pop and rock. The first three records blazed a trail in three intense years '77, '78 and 79 that in my opinion has never been equalled by any other artist in terms of intensity.

To me 'Chelsea is two stories in one. One is about the decadent lifestyle of the typical London, Chelsea rich upper class population, as lived by the likes of Max Mosley, witnessed thirty years later. Older men with younger girls, turning "fancy tricks." Girls who do not matter as individuals "you call her Natasha when she looks like Elsie" and this clearly is a life that repels the storyteller, as it's emotionally dead and degrading. In parallel there's the story about ending up at the Chelsea asylum and it's similarily repelling. The comparison between the rich, emotionally dead Chelsea life style and asylum life metaphorically connects the two worlds.

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Elvis Costello – Next Time 'Round Lyrics 10 years ago
I forgot, the "elastic love" could also be interpreted as her definition of love being less tied to the storyteller, and more flexibly adaptable to other men, or to whatever, possibly drugs, clearly though it is not love exclusively to the man telling the story.

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Elvis Costello – Next Time 'Round Lyrics 10 years ago
Off of Blood & Chocolate. I remember listening to the entire record for the first time and realizing that every song had some connection to death in some way, as does "Next time 'round."

The storyteller's former girlfriend is either physically or emotionally dead. She's dead, or a living dead, zombie-like "her face is creased and her eyes seem strange...my tears were never enough to keep that girl alive" and "in the bedroom with that boy of hers", a young lover, rather than together with the storyteller. Possibly that "boy of hers" is not a physical lover, but heroin, lending her the creased face, strange eyes, and emotional death.

Next time (in another life, perhaps) the roles will somehow be reversed and she's going to be at the storyteller's funeral, dressed in black:

"The next time 'round
The next time 'round
You'll be someone else's baby
But I'll be underground
The Next Time 'Round"

The explanation is that she continued without the storyteller

"Then you took two steps forward"

and ended up in be with another man, or possibly shooting up, and dying in the process "and then one step on your back
Now it's a future for me and you that I lack"

She's still ravishing, a stand out even when dressed in black
"You'll be the one who'll stands out in the dark Even when you're all dressed in black"

Life with this girl was like a living hell, her womb being likened to a velvet lined purgatory:

Your elastic love, this velvet-line purgatory
You used to take the breath out of me
Now I think you'll be the death of me

Chorus

You'll be in some sputnik baby
But I'll be underground

The Next Time 'Round

"The next time 'round
The next time 'round
You'll be someone else's baby
But I'll be underground
The Next Time 'Round"


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The Beatles – You've Got to Hide Your Love Away Lyrics 10 years ago
This song is clearly about a flasher "Here I stand with head in hand," who's embarrased of the fact "Turn my face to the wall." Without a female audience there's no point in continuing his antics "If she's gone I can't go on"

Flashing makes people stare "Evrywhere people stare, Each and ev'ry day. I can see them laugh at me,
And I hearthem say." and the chorus is people's condemnation of the act "Hey, you've got hide your love away. Hey, you' ve got hide your love away."

The flasher then doubts his own actions "How can I even try, I can never win, Hearing them, seeing them,
In the state I'm in."

Obviously the girl he's after had tried to appease him by telling him love between them is still possible but he doubts this statement "How could she say to me Love will find a way?"

Hence in the end he resigns to, and in fact may be welcoming the overpowering chant of "all the clowns" to "hide his love away."

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