Elvis Costello - When I Was Cruel No. 2 Lyrics




I exit through the spotlight glare
I stepped out into thin air
Into a perfume so rarefied
"Here comes the bride"

Not quite aside, they snide "She's number four"
"There's number three just by the door"
Those in the know, don't even flatter her,
They go one better
"She was selling speedboats in a tradeshow when he met her"

Look at her now
She's starting to yawn
She looks like she was born to it
But it was so much easier
When I was cruel

She reaches out her arms to me
Imploring: "Another melody?"
So she can dance her husband out on the floor
The captains of industry just lie there where they fall

In eau-de-nil and pale carnation creation
A satin sash and velvet elevation
She straightens the tipsy head-dress of her spouse
While her recalls a honey house

There'll be no sorrows left to drown
Early in the morning in your evening gown
But it was so much easier
When I was cruel

The entrance hall was arranged with hostesses and ushers
Who turned out to be the younger wives nursing schoolgirl crushes
Parting the waves of those few feint friends
Fingers once offered are now too heavy to extend

The ghostly first wife glides up stage whispering to raucous talkers
Spilling family secrets out to flunkeys and castrato walkers
See that girl
Watch that scene
Digging the "Dancing Queen"

Two newspaper editors like playground sneaks
Running the book on which of them is going to last the week
One of them calls to me
And he says, "I know you"
"You gave me this tattoo back in '82"
"You were a spoilt child then with a record to plug"
"And I was a shaven headed seaside thug"
"Things haven't really changed that much"
"One of us is still getting paid too much"

There are some things I can't report
The memory of his last retort
But it was so much easier
When I was cruel

Look at me now
She's starting to yawn
She looks like she was born to it
Ah, but it was so much easier
When I was cruel





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Elvis Costello When I Was Cruel No. 2 Comments
  1. K. Araújo

    I have this track in a soundtrack, but it's edited at about 4 minutes, without these three final verses.

  2. chris200019

    Masterpiece

  3. Justriezing

    Who else could quote Dancing Queen and get away with it?

    Adee Feinstein

    The same guy who back in 1979 used the piano chords from "Dancing Queen" (and gave it credit!) In "Oliver's Army".

  4. Román Gil

    As a Mina fan, I have to say this is very annoying.

    john hadley

    Its a completely different style from Italian music and he just uses it as a sample.

  5. Brian Cameron

    My absolute favourite of his. There is a meltdown festival version where he does this solo with tapes. Brilliant. Only seen it once. If anyone could oblige?

  6. pykkervots

    There's an every wedding facade feel to the words. Anyway, the 'newspaper editor'? My money is on Kelvin MacKenzie, the ex-Sun editor and the sort of right-wing shaven headed loathsome creature that EC would enjoy hauling over the lyrical coals. Was the setting Johnny Vaughan's, the London DJ? EC played at his wedding in '99.

  7. gemes64

    One of my favourite later-era Elvis songs, by far. The experimental approach does pay off.

  8. naumi4711

    Amazingly skilled, definitely underrated!

  9. Fred Fat

    bee bee buell

  10. Michael Martinez

    This tune should have been featured in the James Bond movie Casino Royale with Daniel Craig as 007 exacting his revenge.

  11. Daniel Johnson

    Love that Satie quote on the piano

  12. Treehouse Ape Feet

    You always get the sense from his songs that he's as much to blame as anyone else who has wronged him. Maybe why they're so relatable.

  13. Tony Cultreri

    I exit through the spotlight glare
    I stepped out into thin air
    Into a perfume so rarefied
    Here comes the bride
    Not quite aside, they snide, she's number four
    There's number three just by the door
    Those in the know, don't even flatter her, they go one better
    She was selling speedboats in a trade show when he met her

    Look at her now
    She's starting to yawn
    She looks like she was born to it
    But it was so much easier
    When I was cruel...

    She reaches out her arms to me
    Imploring another melody
    So she can dance her husband out on the floor
    The captains of industry just
    Lie there where they fall
    In eau-de-nil and pale carnation creation
    A satin sash and velvet elevation
    She straightens the tipsy head-dress of her spouse
    While hers recalls a honey house

    There'll be no sorrows left to drown
    Early in the morning in your evening gown
    But it was so much easier
    When I was cruel...

    The entrance hall was arranged
    With hostesses and ushers
    Who turned out to be the younger wives
    Nursing schoolgirl crushes
    Parting the waves of those
    Few feint friends
    Fingers once offered are now too
    Heavy to extend

    The ghostly first wife glides up
    On stage, whispering to raucous talkers
    Spilling family secrets out to
    Flunkey's and castrato walkers
    "See that girl, watch that scene
    Digging the dancing queen"

    Two newspaper editors like playground sneaks
    Running a book on which of them is going to last the week
    One of them calls to me and he says, "I know you!
    You gave me this tattoo back in '82
    You were a spoilt child then with a record to plug
    And I was a shaven headed, seaside thug
    Things haven't really changed that much
    One of us is still getting paid too much"

    There are some things I shant report
    The memory of his last retort
    But it was so much easier
    When I was cruel...

    Oh!

    Look at me now, she's starting to yawn
    She looks like she was born to it
    Ah, but it was so much easier
    When I was cruel...

    K. Araújo

    Nailed it!

  14. jack vitale

    E' proprio cosi la versione? Mina che ripete "un" all'infinito............

  15. okcomputer0101

    Can't find this version on Spotify WTF yo?!

    Zachary Hesketh

    okcomputer0101 I know, I was so bummed out about that!! I just bought the CD so I could hearvot in it's entirety, and I'm glad I did. This is definitely one of my top E.C. songs now.

  16. Bill Holder

    Like cool jazz from a very dark place.

  17. Lori Dockendorf

    Top 10 Elvis song for certain.

  18. Kevin McCauley

    The most distinctive song lead in I have ever heard (more tuba), but I would expect no less from EC who continues to put out an ever evolving symphony of musical gems.

    Kilgore Trout

    Possibly the greatest songwriter alive today, save for Macca, but Declan's output doesn't fade a bit. Genius.

  19. WhyFingNot

    Excellent highway driving music......Hell excellent anything music

    Jonathan Holleb

    This has a trip-hop sort of vibe to it musically

  20. DhingisKahn

    Thank you for this.It's very under rated and my favorite album.

    Clumsy Dad

    it's interesting...

  21. patrickcollins574

    wow forgot all about this album

    Jonathan Holleb

    patrickcollins574 one of the best considering it has this, My Little Blue Window, and Episode of Blonde.