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Elvis Costello — Spooky Girlfriend
Album: When I Was Cruel
Avg rating:
5.5

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1154









Released: 2002
Length: 4:19
Plays (last 30 days): 2
I want a girl to make a mess
To do no wrong she must confess
And then perhaps hitch up her dress
'Cos when the flashbulbs explode
She's such a sensitive soul...

I want a girl who is helpless and frail
Who won't pull on my ponytail
I want a girl who has no past
She's made up now
But that won't last
'Cos when she sits on my knee
And then she whispers to me

'Can't you see
I could be, I could be
Your spooky girlfriend...'

The broken toys are all scattered in the attic
Newspapers play with the words of the fanatic
While the greeting cards are your most poetic lyric
And the flat champagne is sweet sugar syrup

I want to paint you with glitter and with dirt
Picture you with innocence and hurt
The shutter closes
Exposes the shot
She says, "Are you looking up my skirt?"
When you say "No"
She says "Why not?"

I want a girl to turn my screw
To wind my watch, to buckle my shoe
And if she won't her mother will do
But when she does as she's told
We'll all turn platinum and gold

But when she sits on my knee
I hear her whispers to me
'Can't you see?'
'I could be your spooky girlfriend.'
Comments (170)add comment
Dig the bassline.
 DBCinCA wrote:

Spooky Elvis! Cool song... but my favorite all-time spooky Elvis song is "I Want You" from Blood & Chocolate. Anyone else?



The "King of America"/"Blood and Chocolate" era of Elvis is, to me, his most creative and most interesting ever.
Dropped in to have a quick look at the usual Costello loathing on here. 

Honestly, it stems from the temerity of calling yourself Elvis, doesn't it?
LOL. There are people who voted this down around 1 or 2pts! I gather they have some personal gripe against the excellence of Elvis Costello. One could simply play the same game and score it way higher than taste allows just to counteract their "problem". But nah, not really too interested in the opinions of others so I'll score it without such issues. 
 bluefrog wrote:
average rating is 5.5 ? wtf ?
 

I had mine at 5... must have been in a bad mood... kicked to 7
average rating is 5.5 ? wtf ?
His divorce album. Fabulous.
I'll give you this: this interesting and unique. 
wow this REALLY sucks
sucks
 Nerubo wrote:


Yeah, the lyrics have sexist (over)tones, but why assume the singer and the persona of the lyrics are the same?

 
A lot of EC's stuff is satire. This is as scathing about the man as the woman. On “Spooky Girlfriend,” he plays a skeevy ponytailed record exec ogling a young Britney type. 
I am so friggin' sick of Costello
HA!  . . Mr. Costello and I have a mutual friend.

 999_99_999 wrote:
Gregorama wrote:
Yeah, I love that one too. It is pretty spooky as well. I still think that this is a great tune.
This is a great tune! But I wonder, is Diana Krall his spooky girlfriend?
 
I always thought it indicated Diana Kraul's strong character to end up with Elvis rather than a pretty boy celebrity that usually comes with fame.
I dated Spooky Girlfriends a couple of times in my misspent youth... as Jim "Foetus" Thirwell opines "How come the pretty ones are always insane?".
I used to love EC in high school/university, but now I find his voice hard to listen to. 

But I do like the bees...
I think some of the bad ratings may be influenced by Costello's picture we see in the Wikipedia profile here… Not really a super EC fan anyway but he's obviously a great musician… Every rating under 5 seems to me too low.
I like Elvis C. His diverse musical genre exploration is excellent.
Ode to "Me too"   

:(
Shite.
Just as one would expect from Elvis Costello, this song is awful. 
It's so bad I can't even comment about the lyrics, he is horrific And he wines like a little kid. 
To me, Elvis Costello lives in a nebulous zone between annoying and enjoyable. I enjoy this but I can understand how it would annoy others.

Yeah, the lyrics have sexist (over)tones, but why assume the singer and the persona of the lyrics are the same?

Also, I listen to gospel music and I'm an atheist and I listen to Ted Nugent and I'm not a right-winger. Trying to enjoy the music without a bunch of litmus tests seems more conducive to the whole eclectic approach.


?????
 SusanHiddenPoet wrote:
Great song until ...

"And if she won't her mother will do
Cos when she does as she's told"

Then it lost me.

 
The two lines you quoted belong to different couplets, I think.  He wants a spooky girlfriend, because he's ..... ahhh ..... err .... he's got tastes slightly out of the ordinary (and don't we all in some way?). 

I don't think he's espousing "in the real world" gender inequality.


I don't mind this...but it DOES seem a bit of a throwaway for EC.
 lmic wrote:
I want a girl
With a mind like a diamond
I want a girl
Who knows what's best

I want a girl
With shoes that cut
And eyes that burn
Like cigarettes



 
Yes: TWITA!
no you couldn't,  plumbed all wrong{#Stop}
Nice the way the drum carried through from Les Negresses Vertes - Face a la mer.
Our DJ is going DeeJay


Uh, four thumbs-down from the Busey family. Too spooky. I tend to agree with these people. But that's just me.
 speakerman wrote:

Elvis Costello is nearly as painful to listen too as Dave Matthews' Band.  I think there may be some similarities in the rhythms and tones that really grate on my music sensibilities.



 
You aren't from aren't these here parts, are you son? The highway is calling you. Answer the call.

I want a girl
With a mind like a diamond
I want a girl
Who knows what's best

I want a girl
With shoes that cut
And eyes that burn
Like cigarettes


Elvis Costello is nearly as painful to listen too as Dave Matthews' Band.  I think there may be some similarities in the rhythms and tones that really grate on my music sensibilities.



Great song until ...

"And if she won't her mother will do
Cos when she does as she's told"

Then it lost me.
Enough Crap
Perfect for Halloween!
Droidac wrote:

Any idea of what this song is about? The gender-bending has me a bit confused.


I don't get a gender bend out of it, but maybe others see that in it. Some of the lyrics:

I want to paint you with glitter and with dirt
Picture you wit innocence and hurt
The shutter closes
Exposes the shot
she says, "Are you looking up my skirt?"
When you say "No"
She says "Why not?"

I want a girl to turn my screw
To wind my watch, to buckle my shoe
And if she won't her mother will do
Cos when she does as she's told
We'll all turn platinum and gold


The rest of the lyrics are easy to find by googling.

My interpretation is he's talking about a certain kind of woman the character in the song wants, which says as much about the guy as the woman. The guy's kind of a ruthless player type, the girl is kind of helpless and compliant and insecure and loose. I also interpret it as a play on the old hit by the Classics Four— "Spooky", in that song the loose woman had the upper hand and was leading a helpless boy around, in this song it looks like the roles are reversed completely from "Spooky".

 plecttrum wrote:
I like this one from Costello, wonder if he?s got any more tunes in a similar vane ?

 

I got a vane......connected to my toity{#Moon}
 Droidac wrote:



I'm completely with you on that one. Just don't get the appeal.


 

the name Elvis.....just turned me off...Now in my older age I can at least tolerant the whinny nasal nerd....{#Drunk}  I would have respected him more if he'd chosen a name like Nerdly Geekson the 3rd.Esquire JR. ( the day after ){#Puke}PS....Spooky Girlfriend.....DUH!!!!!

Two thumbs down.

I like this one from Costello, wonder if he's got any more tunes in a similar vane ?
reason06 wrote:
I never cared for elvis costello. nothing much to like here.
I'm completely with you on that one. Just don't get the appeal.
I never cared for elvis costello. nothing much to like here.
element1 wrote:
WAY too much Elvis Costello. The only artist who is truly overplayed on RP, in my opinion.
My new mantra: wtmecorp (way too much EC on RP) 2
Sexy, sleazy, salacious ... sublime.
element1 wrote:
WAY too much Elvis Costello. The only artist who is truly overplayed on RP, in my opinion.
No, that would be Iron & Wine (whom I love)... but EC? Not when I'm listening, anyway.
Any idea of what this song is about? The gender-bending has me a bit confused.
Costello needs to be put to rest with the other Elvis. :drunk: :frustrated: :puke:
Elvis is brilliant. The most varied and skilled songwriting British solo artist this side of Bowie. This album not as good as other recent efforts as the Delivery Man or The River in Reverse but this tune is a highlight along with Episode of Blonde.
Eww,..Not my cup of tea.
WAY too much Elvis Costello. The only artist who is truly overplayed on RP, in my opinion.
Meh
lee_sf wrote:
Hmm. Elvis Costello - Spooky Girlfriend Les Negresses Vertes - Face a la mer (Massive A... Miles Davis - Concierto De Aranjuez Repeated playlists?
Same today Elvis Costello - Spooky Girlfriend Les Negresses Vertes - Face a la mer (Massive A... Miles Davis - Concierto De Aranjuez And I agree w/ superfido...yuck.
what a crappy song. yuck :puke:
horstman wrote:
First Miles Davis, the Les Negresses Vertes, and now Mr. Costello.
Hmm. Elvis Costello - Spooky Girlfriend Les Negresses Vertes - Face a la mer (Massive A... Miles Davis - Concierto De Aranjuez Repeated playlists?
Nice segue- it's like the drum machine was stillin the same looplooploop.
I agree, I never eally like EC, but this surprised me ( I like it!)
c'mon haters...this is great...even compared with the prolific library of EC.
I love EC more than most, but I'll admit that this song, as well as this whole album is among the least of his output...
First Miles Davis, the Les Negresses Vertes, and now Mr. Costello. Bill has some great sets. This isn't one of them (at least for me!)
Ok, these euphamisms are Horrible. Shoo, shoo! Begone!
Not the worst EC I have heard, but still not very good. A generous 6.
Anymore of EC (especially this song) and I may have to open a vein.
yes!!!!
ahoylola wrote:
i'm no fan of jazz, but i am of this.
Is this jazz? I love what I call jazz, and I love this, but I dont know that I would call this jazz
jah_blessed wrote:
Good segues from Miles to Les Negresses Vertes and now this. :clap: :dancingbanana:
RP is tops for segues... :cheers:
Good segues from Miles to Les Negresses Vertes and now this. :clap: :dancingbanana:
catmaven wrote:
This is for people who like jazz (aside from comments on vocal tonality, which I will refrain from).
i'm no fan of jazz, but i am of this.
catmaven wrote:
This is for people who like jazz
Are you implying you don't like jazz?
WonderLizard wrote:
Generally a smart, intelligent lyricist. Can't help, tho', agree with those who are put off by his vocals. Saw him in concert with Steve Nieves a couple of years ago. Somebody'd convinced him that he was The Next Great Crooner. Torture.
I've tried to emulate his singing voice, but it usually morphs into a Randy Newman singing voice, or so my drinking fools tell me.
I like this song, but for some reason it is one of the songs that runs through my head when I am sick or have a hangover.
Mute button, for the first time today. His first two records were brilliant - after that, ho hum. Plus his voice ... grate, grate, grate .....
This is for people who like jazz (aside from comments on vocal tonality, which I will refrain from).
always thought he was saying stupid girlfriend.
I had a spooky girlfriend once.....at least she wasnt as boring as this song
*Yawn* :sleep:
Louche.
Not part of his better work. 3.
MM_Oz wrote:
Any Costello gives me the creeps...
You don't say whether that's good or bad.
Deronius wrote:
Wow, can't believe the negative responses here for Elvis Costello. Saying you don't like his voice is one thing, but implying he has no talent screams I want to insult someone that's accomplished because it'll make me look cool. Say what you will about his voice, I like it and think it's unique but I can see how someone wouldn't like it, but there is little doubt to his ability to write great songs. His long career is a testament to this. Besides that, anyone that has seen him in concert knows he leaves nothing on the stage. He gives you every dollars worth for your ticket and then some. I'll add one more thing, in a time where many musicians seem to think they're the next coming of a god, Elvis is down to earth and a quite likable fellow despite his sparkly boots that scream otherwise. :D
Right on!
Any Costello gives me the creeps...
Just hearing Elvis Costello offer to "be your spooky girlfriend" is enough to give ya the creepin' willies.
This song gets more tedious every time I hear it on this station -- which seems like a lot!
When I first started listening years ago I wouldve rated this a 7 probably. Now after too many repeated listenings I rate it a 1. Spooky how that works.
Mari wrote:
... True or False Mary_Jane is hasn't stopped you rating this song a 9, and half your luck anyway, I think the sun shines outa his every word and note and my vote is 10! ...
Your vote is (almost) always a "10".
Elvis is the father of my children
Is he confusing himself with Diana Krall? :roflol:
I don't mind most of his stuff, this songs starting to get on my nerves though.
WonderLizard wrote:
Generally a smart, intelligent lyricist. Can't help, tho', agree with those who are put off by his vocals. Saw him in concert with Steve Nieves a couple of years ago. Somebody'd convinced him that he was The Next Great Crooner. Torture.
Good comment, although he can croon - 'Alison' for example. But I know what you mean.
anniebear wrote:
for frell's sake, could PLEASE GIVE THIS GOD DAMN SONG A BREAK!?!?!?!?!?! Every frelling day you play this! It was great the first time, but PLEASE could you maybe play "God give me strength" by EC??? I need some strength to get thru this fracking song for the ONE BILLIONTH TIME.
I fucking love this song.
I think its time to retire this spooky song. I think I've heard it every day for years.
for frell's sake, could PLEASE GIVE THIS GOD DAMN SONG A BREAK!?!?!?!?!?! Every frelling day you play this! It was great the first time, but PLEASE could you maybe play "God give me strength" by EC??? I need some strength to get thru this fracking song for the ONE BILLIONTH TIME.
StuBotNYC wrote:
don't like it? Well, wait for the next song and shut yer lip.
Errr... and what would be the point of the Song Comments then? If not to express our opinions? :war:
Deronius wrote:
Say what you will about his voice, I like it and think it's unique but I can see how someone wouldn't like it, but there is little doubt to his ability to write great songs. His long career is a testament to this.
Fair enough. I'll try and see past my revulsion to his voice next time around.
This is one twisted little song. I like it. :)
Wow, can't believe the negative responses here for Elvis Costello. Saying you don't like his voice is one thing, but implying he has no talent screams I want to insult someone that's accomplished because it'll make me look cool. Say what you will about his voice, I like it and think it's unique but I can see how someone wouldn't like it, but there is little doubt to his ability to write great songs. His long career is a testament to this. Besides that, anyone that has seen him in concert knows he leaves nothing on the stage. He gives you every dollars worth for your ticket and then some. I'll add one more thing, in a time where many musicians seem to think they're the next coming of a god, Elvis is down to earth and a quite likable fellow despite his sparkly boots that scream otherwise. :D
9 baby YEAH! Spooky girlfriends are the best. And the brass backup isn't bad either ;)
Wow, lots of nagatory here. Quit harshin my buzz all :) . Vote it low and move on. That's what the vote is for, and so far it seems to be doing just fine. :-({|= Sheeeesh.
Overrated. (I apologize for my crass generalization. I'm usually a lot more articulate in my support of whatever observation I'm making. But I stand by this one, intending it to serve as a generalization. That is to say, Elvis Costello isn't very good, but rather, is ungood. He sucks quite a bit.)
WonderLizard wrote:
Generally a smart, intelligent lyricist. Can't help, tho', agree with those who are put off by his vocals. Saw him in concert with Steve Nieves a couple of years ago. Somebody'd convinced him that he was The Next Great Crooner. Torture.
speak for yourself- I happen to LOVE EC's voice- don't like it? Well, wait for the next song and shut yer lip.
coldatlantic wrote:
what is the attraction to elvis costello? his vocal style annoys me so much i can't see past it to try and find the merit.
Generally a smart, intelligent lyricist. Can't help, tho', agree with those who are put off by his vocals. Saw him in concert with Steve Nieves a couple of years ago. Somebody'd convinced him that he was The Next Great Crooner. Torture.
ecorunner wrote:
I second that....I am really tired of hearing Elvis on here. I hear at least three or four songs every day at work. Please play something else! UGGHHH!
I never get tired of hearing Elvis C. but I agree with the request to please play something else...how about from "King of America" his best album, in my opinion? I'd upload, but am technologically-challenged...
pilate wrote:
Nooooo moooorrrrrre Cooostellooooooo.... please. Time to switch to LRC.
Elvis, you're so misunderstood.
Spooky girlfriend? Yeah, that Goth chick from the film version of CHARMED. Vampire-in-training!
I second that....I am really tired of hearing Elvis on here. I hear at least three or four songs every day at work. Please play something else! UGGHHH!
Nooooo moooorrrrrre Cooostellooooooo.... please. Time to switch to LRC.
coldatlantic wrote:
what is the attraction to elvis costello? his vocal style annoys me so much i can't see past it to try and find the merit.
So glad that SOMEONE shares my views re EC. The only song he ever did that I just LOVED was "Adrian" which was actually on a Eurythmics CD. Given his popularity (particularly here at RP), it would seem we are in the minority.
littleblueriver7 wrote:
Yuck!
YUM
LOVE this song and the entire CD. The arrangements and engineering are FANTASTIC.
Haven't heard this in a while. I'm glad it's back.
coldatlantic wrote:
what is the attraction to elvis costello? his vocal style annoys me so much i can't see past it to try and find the merit.
I wonder that as well. I bought his double album of greatest hits. Couldnt connect with it at all. But hes very well respected among musicians and fans. Kind of like "Little Feat" ? - lots of enduring respect but never produce mass appeal material.
Irritating voice and stupid lyrics. 2.
Okay, so I backscrolled through the usual predictable postings. :roll: Freedom of speech! RAH RAH! :moon: ... so I say it's "Quite likeable", gave it a seven - my ears always "prick up", so to speak, when this song comes on - real soon, I will score my first Elvis Costello album, largely because of this track... :nodhead:
what is the attraction to elvis costello? his vocal style annoys me so much i can't see past it to try and find the merit.
999_99_999 wrote:
This is a great tune! But I wonder, is Diana Krall his spooky girlfriend?
Spooky wife.
rulebritannia wrote:
For Elvis to have a normal girlfriend is pretty spooky.
Bada Bing! Nice one, old chap!
dunno, it sounds like the Stepford Wives to me......still love EC though
Gregorama wrote:
I dunno. Looked her up & on her website she looks normal enough...
For Elvis to have a normal girlfriend is pretty spooky.
999_99_999 wrote:
This is a great tune! But I wonder, is Diana Krall his spooky girlfriend?
I dunno. Looked her up & on her website she looks normal enough...
NicoleB wrote:
I'm so sick of this song...
First time I'm hearing this song. Sorry folks, I don't see EC as particularly self-indulgent here (well, any more than your average rock artist, admittedly a low bar to jump). And I like how it finishes off. Play it some more please, Bill!