"All These Strangers" as written by Elvis Costello and T-bone Burnett....
"Mistreat me darling and I might just disappear"
Upon freighter running dark out of Algiers
Put tiny grains in children's tears
While taking twenty five percent of all those flashbulbs and mementos
From the mechanized divisions rolling over your frontiers

I saw my baby talking to a man to day
Speaking softly in a confidential way
I saw her shadow pull his glove off
As a bluebird flew over
Life's is no pleasure
When you doubt the one you love

Who are all these strangers?

I never will, go back again
Go back into the past
The flood is rising fast
You can break a window and look down
Into a muddy glass
It's mirror or lens to burn

There was a deal done in Benghazi and Belgrade
Upon a scimitar or other crooked blade
Ransacks and loots, vacated suits
And a pistol points but never shoots,
Army sitting in a locomotive yard without their boots

Upstairs your man is painting rain out in the street
Imagines woman that he's destined still to meet
He's trying sidetrack, one to count on
Caught somewhere between a countess and a courtesan
And it's only love to feign and then it's gone

Who are all these strangers?

He's a privateer as dusk gets near
A brigand after dark, his victim lined with chalk
A corsair, filled with horsehair to the core
Dashed on eyes of adamantine, you despised his stripling whine

That little smudger and the mouthpiece that he's with
Using his claws just like a practiced fingersmith
I dreamed I took his digit prints
And then I sewed then on a villain's hands
Watched him ransom and demand
And then called the flatfoots in

I never will go back again
Go back into the past
The flood is rising fast
You can break the window and look down
Into the muddy glass
For it's a mirror or lens to burn

Who are all these strangers?
All these strangers

Sat upon a narrow bed
I thought about the things she said
All these strangers

How I wished the night would end
Tried to stop the days ahead
I'd carve her name down in the wood
Some small remembrance if I could


Lyrics submitted by SongMeanings

"All These Strangers" as written by Declan Patrick Aloyius Macmanus T-bone Burnett

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Spirit Music Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

All These Strangers song meanings
Add your thoughts

1 Comment

sort form View by:
  • 0
    General CommentJealousy is aroused in the second verse when he sees his lover with another man. And he studies the strangers that he sees from his window as he paints. Some of the above words are wrong. Here is a careful transcription of the lyrics.


    "Mistreat me darling and I might just disappear
    Upon a freighter running dark out of Algiers
    Put tiny grains
    in children's tears
    While taking 25% of all those flashbulbs and mementoes
    From the mechanized divisions rolling over your frontiers.”

    I saw my baby talking to a man to day
    Speaking softly in a confidential way
    I saw a shadow pull his glove off
    As a bluebird flew over
    Life's no pleasure
    When you doubt the one you love
    Who Are All These Strangers?
    I never will go back again
    Go back into the past
    The flood is rising fast
    You can break the window and look down
    Into the muddy glass
    Where it's mirror or a lens to burn...

    Now there was a deal done in Benghazi and Belgrade...
    Upon a scimitar or other crooked blade
    Ransacks and loots,
    vacated suits
    And a pistol points but never shoots, an army sitting in a locomotive yard
    without their boots
    Upstairs your man is painting rain out in the street
    Imagines women that he's destined still to meet
    He's trying to sidetrack one to count on
    Caught somewhere between a countess and a courtesan
    There’s only love to feign and then it's gone.
    Who Are All These Strangers?
    He's a privateer as dusk gets near
    A brigand after dark,
    his victim lined with chalk
    A corsair, filled with horsehair to the core
    There’s ? eyes on Adamantine, you despised this stripling whine

    That little smudger and the mouthpiece that he's with
    Using his claws just like a practiced fingersmith
    I dreamed I took
    his digit prints
    And then I sewed them on a villain's hands
    and Watched him ransom and demand
    and then called the flatfoots in
    I never will go back again
    Go back into the past
    For the flood is rising fast
    You can break the window and look down
    Into the muddy glass
    For it's a mirror or a lens to burn...
    Who Are All These Strangers?
    All These Strangers
    Sat down on a narrow bed
    Thought about the things she said
    All These Strangers
    How I wished the night would end
    Try to stop the days ahead
    I'd carve her name down in the wood
    Some small remembrance if I could.
    valjeangon December 29, 2012   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!

Back to top
explain