Don't tell me you don't know what love is
When you're old enough to know better
When you find strange hands in your sweater
When your dreamboat turns out to be a footnote
I'm a man with a mission on two or three editions

And I'm giving you a longing look
Everyday I write the book
Chapter One: We didn't really get along
Chapter Two: I think I fell in love with you
You said you'd stand by me in the middle of Chapter Three

But you were up to your old tricks in Chapters Four
Five and Six.
And I'm giving you a longing look
The way you walk
The way you talk and try to kiss me
And laugh in four or five paragraphs.
All your compliments and your cutting remarks
Are captured here in my quotation marks.

And I'm giving you a longing look
Everyday I write the book
Don't tell me you don't know the difference
Between a lover and a fighter
With my pen and my electric typewriter
Even in a perfect world where everyone was equal
I'd still own the film rights and be working on the sequel.

And I'm giving you a longing look
Everyday I write the book
Everyday I write the book

Lyrics submitted by typo

Everyday I Write the Book Lyrics as written by Elvis Costello

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group

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Everyday I Write The Book song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentThis is what Elvis had to say about the song:

    "Every Day I Write The Book" is kind of a hack pop song. It doesn't have any feeling behind it. It's just an exercise in writing that sort of bad Smokey Robinson song with all the tricks of the trade...To balance [the album], we had a thing like "Everyday I Write The Book," that anybody could whistle, and that was written in 10 minutes, as a spoof. Originally I tried to do it as a lovers' rock song, and then we grafted on this kind of modern rhythmic treatment. It always begged to be done in some kind of pop style."
    BarryKardonon June 13, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General CommentWhat's with all the elitism? This song is a superior love song... deal with it. Love is the well-spring of many a great song. If you want deep, read Kant. So EC wrote this in ten minute, speed and ease of creation does not diminish the work. Crap is crap whether it was written in 10 minutes or 10 years. This is legitimate and very kewl song writing.

    This song is genius in its treatment of a guy that is in love for the long haul. In a time when people are ready to give up on true love, here's a guy who is merely saying that his love does not have the impermanence of a newpaper article (meant to be read and thrown out the next day). His love for her is written in volumes, multiple editions, and destined for movie sequels.

    In a time when people are so quick to disgard what is good and beautiful for the most trivial of reasons - this sort of sentiment of a undying devotion is sweet... and while it may be idealistic, in some ways it's like a kiss... "A kiss may not be the truth, but it's what we wish were true." (L.A. Story)
    Medicine_Manon February 09, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI got the tongue-in-cheek element right away, but parody is a fine line to tread and you run the risk of either being too heavy-handed or having your point lost. Mr. C. downplays his talent. There are thousands of people in the world who would give almost anything to be able to create this kind of tune, let alone be able to sucessfully parody the form. Sure it's pop music without his usual bite and insight. It's just that artistic snobbery keeps him from being justifiably proud of a well crafted pop tune. Even one that lets you in on the joke whlie still being able to stand on its musical value alone.
    rgforeston March 18, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentElvis Costello did mention he wrote this song on a lark in about 10 minutes, but it's still such a great song. Probably better than he really thought.

    To me this song really isn't about specifics of the relationship (like who is dogging who). This song is about the ins and outs and ups and downs of any relationship. They;re going through it together and no matter what, he still wants her, still love her, etc. The book is their life together.
    kookiecutteron April 05, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is one of my favourite songs of his. The lyrics are just fantastic and unique. I love the bit about owning the films rights and working on the sequal :]
    butterflykiss84on August 14, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is a cracking song....'even in a perfect world where everyone was equal I'd still own the film rights and be working on the sequel.'

    One of my favourite Costello lyrics.
    Ross_21on May 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHow come no one has any comments on any Elvis Costello songs? He's one of the greatest singer/songwriters ever
    DCdispatchECon May 29, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm with you DC...hence, the comment =)
    This is one of my favorites by him though. His lyrics are sharp, well thought out and witty. His music is always a refreshing step away from the trendy norm of the pop/rock/rap that is so prevelant on the airwaves these days...but then again, "You had better do as you are told. You better listen to the radio." hee hee =)
    WonderWomanon June 04, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti recently saw EC in boston, and it was by far the greatest night of my life, Elvis Costello is a lyrical and musical GOD
    DCdispatchECon June 19, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAhhh, come on, this ain't his best song lyrically. While it's good, but not great, there are tons of other EC songs out there that are 10x better. Here are just a few off the top of my head: "Favourite Hour", "New Amsterdam", "Tokyo Storm Warning", and "Episode of Blonde". Immerse yourself in the world of Costello. You'll be a better person for it.
    ScouseMouseon April 14, 2003   Link

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