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Elvis Costello Couldn't Call It Unexpected No.4 Lyrics

Last updated: 10/17/2007 11:00:00 AM

I saw a girl who'd found her consolation
She said "One day my Prince of Peace will come"
Above her head a portrait of her father
The wilted favour that he gave her still fastened to the frame
"They've got his bones and everything he owns
I've got his name"

Well you can laugh at this sentimental story
But in time you'll have to make amends
The sudden chill where lovers doubt their immortality
As the clouds cover the sky the evening ends
Describing a picture of eyes finally closing
As you sometimes glimpse terrible faces in the fire
We'll I'm the lucky goon
Who composed this tune
from birds arranged on the high wire

Who on earth is tapping at the window?
Does that face still linger at the pane?
I saw you shiver though the room was like a furnace
A shadow of regret across a young mother's face
So toll the bell or rock the cradle
Please don't let me fear anything I cannot explain
I can't believe, I'll never believe in anything again

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Dark Comedy | Reviewer: Julie Cantrell | 10/17/2007

As usual, Elvis Costello brings his wit into the most rueful of situations -- here, mostly, death. Set against a background tune of Carnival Music, this song not only laments mortality, but also the sentimentality that goes along with it. The Carnival theme just underscores the ludicrousness of the whole human condition -- as another great song mentions, "What's born is busy dyin'." In certain moments, most of us realize that at some point, we'll die, and that's a bit scary. Brilliantly, Costello has this fear and the whole emotional kit that rides along with it summed up in a rolling, rocking melody. I love it. Not for upbeat occasions, no, but for the sheer genius, absolutely!