Bad lovers face to face in the morning
Shy apologies and polite regrets
Slow dances that left no warning of
Outraged glances and indiscreet yawning
Good manners and bad breath get you nowhere

Even presidents have newspaper lovers
Ministers go crawling under covers
She's no angel
He's no saint
They're all covered up with white washed grease paint
And you say

The teacher never told you anything but white lies
But you never see the lies
And you believe
Oh you know you have been captured
You feel so civilized
And you look so pretty in your new lace sleeves

The salty lips of the socialite sisters
With their continental fingers that have
Never seen working blisters
Oh I know they've got their problems
I wish I was one of them
They say daddy's coming home soon
With his sergeant stripes and his empire mug and spoon

No more fast buck
And when are they gonna learn their lesson
But when are they gonna stop all of these victory processions
And you say

The teacher never told you anything but white lies
But you never see the lies
And you believe
But you know you have been captured
You feel so civilized
And you look so pretty in your new lace sleeves

Look so pretty in your new lace sleeves
Look so pretty in your new lace sleeves
Look so pretty in your new lace sleeves
Look so pretty in your new lace sleeves
Look so pretty in your new lace sleeves


Lyrics submitted by planetearth

New Lace Sleeves Lyrics as written by Elvis Costello

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

New Lace Sleeves song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

3 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    General Comment

    One of my favorite Elvis songs, replete with typical EC double entendre: he wants to be one of the socialite sisters / he wants to be one of their problems; the 'white lies' the teacher tells are benevolent fibs / the 'white lies' are the lies that dominate history books written by white folks.

    sean mcseanon January 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Check out "The Right Specticle" DVD. Great video of this song. This is one of my favorites. You hit this very well. He can't stand the "socialite sisters" but he lusts for them (or wants to be in their money circle) anyway.

    Motown1on July 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Does he want to be a socialite sister or does he want to be a problem for the socialite sisters?

    Amazing how he can string a few words together and create a full character in someone’s mind. I am often truly astounded and sometimes even feel breathless when I hear these songs.

    The layers that you can pick through are the equal of great novels. There is so much going on.

    I wonder if EC ever reads these comments with a rye chuckle at our fumbling guesses as to what is going on in his mind.

    Elvis, if you’re reading this, thank you for the music. It’s been a constant companion for me since I was a teenager and has given me so much.

    I would have made it through without your tunes but it wouldn’t have been as interesting.

    betch252on January 04, 2023   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!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
The Night We Met
Lord Huron
This is a hauntingly beautiful song about introspection, specifically about looking back at a relationship that started bad and ended so poorly, that the narrator wants to go back to the very beginning and tell himself to not even travel down that road. I believe that the relationship started poorly because of the lines: "Take me back to the night we met:When the night was full of terrors: And your eyes were filled with tears: When you had not touched me yet" So, the first night was not a great start, but the narrator pursued the relationship and eventually both overcame the rough start to fall in love with each other: "I had all and then most of you" Like many relationships that turn sour, it was not a quick decline, but a gradual one where the narrator and their partner fall out of love and gradually grow apart "Some and now none of you" Losing someone who was once everything in your world, who you could confide in, tell your secrets to, share all the most intimate parts of your life, to being strangers with that person is probably one of the most painful experiences a person can go through. So Painful, the narrator wants to go back in time and tell himself to not even pursue the relationship. This was the perfect song for "13 Reasons Why"
Album art
Mountain Song
Jane's Addiction
Jane's Addiction vocalist Perry Farrell gives Adam Reader some heartfelt insight into Jane’s Addiction's hard rock manifesto "Mountain Song", which was the second single from their revolutionary album Nothing's Shocking. Mountain song was first recorded in 1986 and appeared on the soundtrack to the film Dudes starring Jon Cryer. The version on Nothing's Shocking was re-recorded in 1988. "'Mountain Song' was actually about... I hate to say it but... drugs. Climbing this mountain and getting as high as you can, and then coming down that mountain," reveals Farrell. "What it feels to descend from the mountain top... not easy at all. The ascension is tough but exhilarating. Getting down is... it's a real bummer. Drugs is not for everybody obviously. For me, I wanted to experience the heights, and the lows come along with it." "There's a part - 'Cash in now honey, cash in Miss Smith.' Miss Smith is my Mother; our last name was Smith. Cashing in when she cashed in her life. So... she decided that, to her... at that time, she was desperate. Life wasn't worth it for her, that was her opinion. Some people think, never take your life, and some people find that their life isn't worth living. She was in love with my Dad, and my Dad was not faithful to her, and it broke her heart. She was very desperate and she did something that I know she regrets."
Album art
Magical
Ed Sheeran
How would you describe the feeling of being in love? For Ed Sheeran, the word is “Magical.” in HIS three-minute album opener, he makes an attempt to capture the beauty and delicacy of true love with words. He describes the magic of it all over a bright Pop song produced by Aaron Dessner.
Album art
American Town
Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran shares a short story of reconnecting with an old flame on “American Town.” The track is about a holiday Ed Sheeran spends with his countrywoman who resides in America. The two are back together after a long period apart, and get around to enjoying a bunch of fun activities while rekindling the flames of their romance.
Album art
Page
Ed Sheeran
There aren’t many things that’ll hurt more than giving love a chance against your better judgement only to have your heart crushed yet again. Ed Sheeran tells such a story on “Page.” On this track, he is devastated to have lost his lover and even more saddened by the feeling that he may never move on from this.