Once it seemed appealing | Reviewer: Liz the wiz | 1/30/13
LIke so may other men throughout history, this man habitually frequent bars and pick up ladies for sexual encounters, now he has become older and a bit wiser and can be honest with himself about the futility and emptiness of that habit that once seemed so appealing.....now its becoming something he is wondering why he keeps doing this????
just notes | Reviewer: Cap'n Canard | 7/22/12
This has always been one of my favorite EC songs. It is very abstract, it certainly feels very depressed, with expectation of deep disappointment. Lots of reference to deception and the fantastic, Canals on Mars? as well as some reference to a personal connection of great psychological distress.
Most important of all, it is not specific. I like that best. It feels like it can apply to the wide variety of personal distress that we all experience. Elvis hit it out of the park. Nice.
A work of genius | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/1/11
The song is from the album "Imperial Bedroom". It is a concept album that details the disintegration of a marriage due to infertility. Beyond Belief is the opening song, and perfectly sets the mood and begins the story. The husband is sitting in a bar that he frequents. A woman walks in that he is attracted to. They flirt, and they leave, beginning the affair. The husband realizes the step he is taking is both desired and dangerous, exciting yet shabby. He finds his situation "beyond belief".
my take on the content | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/21/11
i think the lyric content is varied, covering a multitude of things from a dark and pessimistic viewpoint. it's a reflection on the monotony and drudgery of life, it's musing on the plight and dysfunctional relationship of the alcoholic. there might be a moment of sweetness from time to time, but ultimately the place the song is coming from is hopeless.
Beyond Belief | Reviewer: Anonymous | 11/10/08
Truly, I'm not sure of the content of the lyrics. It almost reminds me of The Talking Heads.... 'Burnin' Down the House'. When ask of David Byrd what does the song mean (by Rolling Stones)....his answer was....nothing...just that the words went well together. I do enjoy this song though. It's one of my favorite EC songs. It has drive and a wonderful bass line. I'm just not sure where to go with the lyric content. ....Cheers to All. -DN
Elvis Costello lyric correction | Reviewer: Anonymous | 6/28/07
"Charged with insults and flattery"
Small point, but I believe it's "charged with insult and flattery" - no 's' after insult. This is, of course, a play on the charges of assualt and battery.