Born in the middle of a second big baby boom
Those noisy boys just might have spoken up too soon
Now I`m looking for a little girl, I wonder where she`s gone
Big money for families having more than one

Opportunity, opportunity
This is your big opportunity
They shop around
Follow you without a sound
Whatever you do now
Don`t turn around

Whatever happened to the pride of the nation?
They say, "just wait until you break formation"
She was sitting pretty on a velvet cushion
But her bedroom eyes were like a button she was pushing
She said, "When they get to Dover they`ll be be taking over"
I said I`d come to her defense and then she pulled me over

I`m in the foxhole, I`m down in the trench
I`d be a hero but I can`t stand the stench
The Fitness Institute was full of General Motormen
And the "Hello House of Beauty" wouldn't stand a chance with them
The chairman of this boredom is a company collector
I`d like to be his funeral director


Please don`t turn around

Lyrics submitted by Mopnugget

Opportunity Lyrics as written by Elvis Costello

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Opportunity song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentI consider this song representative of Elvis from this period.

    It's stylish and snappy and--typical of Elvis--totally at odds with the lyrics which per usual throw his blanket of moral circumspection over the proceedings.

    After all, what's the purpose of pop music? To background and lubricate our little sex-and-success dramas. And I have two pet appellations for Costello: My Favorite Christian Artist, and "Cockblock Elvis".

    And" Opportunity" certainly lives up to this expectation. It strips off the veneer of faith in the system and exposes the ugly truth. That most of what passes for love and success are adventitious clingings-on by dim-to-outright-blind humans in a very forbidding universe.

    The thing about Elvis is that you either embrace his philosophy or put it aside and bask in his awesome stylishness. "Opportunity" is a fine exemplar of this relentless, scary aspect to his work.
    razajacon February 23, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnd... One more thing...

    Just so folks "get" it: The scene in the stanza re "When they get to Dover" is taking place in 1066 C.E. It's talking about the Norman Invasion. The French did take over the south of England for about 200 years. During that time you could tell the toffs from the commoners: The upper class professional and royal types spoke French, and regular folk spoke English. This is why there's so much regrooved Old French in the English lexicon today.

    LOVE that bit in the song!
    razajacon September 11, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentListening to this song after many, many years the offhand misogyny of Costello really struck me - "but her bedroom eyes were like a button she was pushing". The women in this period of Costello's writing are always using their sexual attraction *against* the author in some sort of calculated fashion.
    gilbert113on March 15, 2021   Link

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