Oh, it's so funny to be seeing you after so long, girl
And with the way you look, I understand that you were not impressed
But I heard you let that little friend of mine
Take off your party dress

I'm not gonna get too sentimental
Like those other sticky valentines
'Cause I don't know if you are loving somebody
I only know it isn't mine

Allison, I know this world is killing you
Oh, Allison, my aim is true

Well, I see you've got a husband now
Did he leave your pretty fingers lying in the wedding cake?
You used to hold him right in your hand
But it took all that he could take

Sometimes I wish that I could stop you from talking
When I hear the silly things that you say
I think somebody better put out the big light
'Cause I can't stand to see you this way

Allison, I know this world is killing you
Oh, Allison, my aim is true
My aim is true
My aim is true
My aim is true
My aim is true
My aim is true
My aim is true
My aim is true
My aim is true
My aim is true
My aim is true
My aim is true

Lyrics submitted by magicnudiesuit, edited by Wootlers

Alison Lyrics as written by Elvis Costello

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group

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Alison song meanings
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  • +7
    General CommentThis is actually somewhat of a sad song, it's about a guy who runs into a girl who broke his heart, and as they talk he finds out how bad her life has gotten. She is in a loveless and judging from the lyrics of the last verse possibly abusive relationship. And he's upset by this cause he thinks she deserves better and wants to help, but she won't let him.
    ArcherAveon March 05, 2003   Link
  • +4
    Song MeaningAm I the only one who gets it? ;o)~

    No, seriously, IMO, when he says "My Aim is True", it is in the context of his 'aim' or 'goal'; that being of wanting to help her, is true, honest, sincere - NOT that he wants to put a bullet in her.

    Additionally, the first time I heard it I didn't get the lyrics: "'cause I don't know if you've been loving somebody - - I only know it isn't mine", but when I heard it again, it clicked that he is actually saying "'cause I don't know if you've been loving some body, I only know it isn't mine . . . ".

    I've been on the receiving end of obsessive feelings and I know some of you will agree, it only takes one chance meeting, an innocent reply to a seemingly innocent email, a 'touching base' phone call, etc. to get the obsessive party all obsessive again, and this is clearly what is happening to him in this song. It is clear she isn't overly thrilled (impressed) at seeing him

    Another thing is that I think it is two meetings, not just one. In the first he says (again):
    "cause I don't know if you've been loving somebody" and in the second alludes to her being, or having been married, so two meetings at different times, not just one.

    The lyrics "I'll bet he took all he could take” instead of meaning what other people seem to think it means, that the husband used her, I believe means that like the narrator, the husband too was taken for a “ride” by Alison, and that he took all that he could stand, because he too loved her.

    Lastly, “Sometimes I wish that I could stop you from talking when I hear the silly things that you say” simply means it hurts too much to even listen to her, and “I think somebody better put out the big light, cause I can't stand to see you this way” is him begging for someone / something to please end these feelings he has for her, once and for all.

    LilMsPurrfecton April 17, 2010   Link
  • +4
    General CommentElvis said in an interview about this song, "the sad face of this beautiful girl was somebody he saw in a supermarket and supposed he had a momentary crush on this girl. But in a way the song became a premonition of his ability to be constant (faithful)." Basically, he was talking about being unfaithful to his wife and family. He said "he can acknowledge what happened in the past,but can't go back and change it."
    CMAC1on October 17, 2015   Link
  • +3
    This song is definitely about a girl who's found herself in a rough life since her old flame last saw her.

    He sees that her life hasn't gone well since they were together. She's carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders, rather than her being on top of the world.

    He doesn't sound pleased at all that her marriage has failed, and expresses that it's hard to see her this way, because he thought she was worth more.

    This song shares a striking resemblance to an Alison I used to date. We met again in college some time after we'd broken up. She got interested in this guy that was always drinking, partying, and leaving the house trashed for her to pick up.

    She'd expressed to me how things were hard for her, how stressed she was, how she'd messed up with "us", and how she missed so many things about our relationship. Despite this, she kept brushing me off while coming back into my life at odd times with romantic intent.

    Eventually, her words became "silly" to me because she would always do the opposite of what she said she felt, and I finally "stopped her from talking" and "turned out the light" on us by walking away from her for good. It actually hurt me more to see the life she was living than anything she said or did to me, because she deserved better.

    I can relate to the song. All I wanted for the Alison that I knew was to be happy; even if that meant without me. In the end, I just feel sorry for her.
    Nyloon December 08, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentYou Allisons think YOU have it bad?
    I was named after Elvis Costello!
    songkingon January 03, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI've always thought the song was about a generally sweet and innocent girl who takes a few wrong turns and messes up her life.
    Papaon July 02, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentits about a guy, who meets a chica taht he use to love, and finds out what happend after she left him for a friend, and he wants to help her, but he knows he cant
    intoodeepon April 08, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentElvis has said that the song was inspired by seeing a girl in a local store who seemed so sad, and it got to thinking about how she ended up in this place. If you look at the song that way -- as an old lover running into an ex-girlfriend whose life has turned out so badly -- it makes a lot of sense.
    ssingeron December 07, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentLots of very interesting interpretations! My take is that the story teller and Alison were a couple until she cheated on him at a party with his friend. He dumped her and she shows up pregnant and suggests the baby is his and wants to get back together with him. He says the kid isn't his and doesn't want to have anything to do with her because he knows(aim is true) that she's not right for him.
    There is another later encounter and now she is unhappily married and once more she suggests they get back together but he knows that it would never work and wishes she would stop the silly talk and forget the idea of them(big light like the lightbulb metaphor for an idea). He is honest and knows himself and Alison very well(aim is true) and that she can't be trusted.
    Sammyxon October 02, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti was named after this song as well, but my dad went for, in his words, "the better spelling." personally, i don't care either way about spelling, but it annoys me when people only put 1 L... it's a great song, though i hope i never act like the Alison of this song... he does imply, though, that the world's "killing her" - maybe she's drowning, to be symbolic, and that's why she's behaving this way... you know what i mean?
    scheisseon June 02, 2002   Link

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