Men made out of monkeys
Men made into mice
Happy days are here again
And all the drinks half price
A girl with a trick and a man with a calling

Trying to make a living out of your down falling
Trying to make a living out of anything at all
Didn't they teach you anything except how to be cruel
In that charm school

You and I as lovers
Were nothing but a farce
Trying to make a silk purse
Out of a sow's arse
Saying 'why don't you watch me'
Hardly speaking sotto voce

I've got a notion
I've got an angle
Take your dreams and promises
And put them through the mangle
They say it's hell to finance too
And I just want to romance you

In this perpetual nightclub
I'll be yours eternal
Though the hours are long
And the noise infernal
Just one shameful act or sometimes two
We make believe we're making do

Lyrics submitted by RiotAct, edited by FLY2venus

Charm School Lyrics as written by Elvis Costello

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group

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Charm School song meanings
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  • +1
    My InterpretationShe went to charm school -- and now she's trying to make a living out of her "downfalling" IE being "loose". She's turning tricks (a girl with a trick) and he's a minister or priest (a man with a calling) or maybe just a career man. It's nothing too serious (Just one shameful act or sometimes two, We make believe we're making do" but still he laments that she's cruel to him, so he does care. "They say it's hell to finance too (I think it is supposed to be TWO), And I just want to romance you." So he can't afford to finance the both of them, so she turns tricks -- and still he wants to romance her. Sorta sad. They both are just trying to make a living --- "at anything at all."
    FLY2venuson November 25, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General Commenta paid for education {why do they call private schools public schools}. makes a person think he/she. in this song by the sound of it, is superior. this can lead to open hostility to the poor, who are taken to be either lazy or stupid. i always think of cameron and osborne now when i hear this song. eton is very charming. i think i'll rework the lyrics to my own satisfaction. i am working on a song called "osborne to crush" (i was born to crush).
    enochsoameson October 19, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA wealth man using a poor girl or is it the other way around. He has an education and no intention yet her only education, a charm school if you will, is used to snare a man. A subtle parasidic relationship. He wants her for sex or a one night stand and she wants someone for life to support her.
    exexpat93on October 20, 2011   Link

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