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Elvis Costello — When I Was Cruel No. 2
Album: When I Was Cruel
Avg rating:
5.3

Your rating:
Total ratings: 376









Released: 2002
Length: 7:04
Plays (last 30 days): 0
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 ever 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 an eau-de-nil and pale carnation creation
A satin sash and velvet elevation
She straightens the tipsy head-dress of her spouse
While her's 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 wive's 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 "Dancin' 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 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
Comments (219)add comment
Grating and painful. Everytime I take it down a notch. But now I'm at 1! Now what? A petition? No, the mute button will do.
Well-placed Satie sample. Good track.
Clariposa wrote:
I thought she was saying "boing". She sounds like Bjork to me.
Now that's funny! At least the next time this song rolls around I'll have the image of some woman standing up every few seconds . . . "boing" . . . "boing"
Odyzzeuz wrote:
I find this fascinating. The woman saying ''und'' in the background over and over is weirdly mesmerizing. I swear I'd rather listen to something experimental like this that endure another Counting Crows by-the-numbers thing. I mean, those who are knocking this, why are you listening to an alternative ''eclectic'' mix when you can get something owned by Clearchannel? They never surprise anybody. And go eat at McDonalds while you're at it, you clone.
Wow, you're so smart! I mean, obviously, because somebody doesn't like this song, this one song, they prefer the drivel spewed forth by Clear Channel. And don't forget that they're clones! You sure figured out everything pretty quickly!
I thought she was saying "boing". She sounds like Bjork to me.
LennytheB wrote:
Call me crazy... I started with a 3 on this one.. found myself at a 6.
You're crazy. Time to seek professional help...
Call me crazy... I started with a 3 on this one.. found myself at a 6.
It is cool to like Elvis Costello. Must be cool. Must remember to like this song while I'm driving ice picks in my ears to stop the monotony...
radiojunkie wrote:
It depends on your definition of "enjoy." There are quite a number of recordings I love listening to because they trigger an emotional reaction. Sometimes they cause me to sweat. Usually, they're not songs I would play if I had somebody else as a captive audience -- say, in the car. This is one of them. It's a personal experience.
Listening to the drill at the dentist triggers an emotional reaction too. Sometimes causing me to sweat. Maybe that will be my first upload on RP.
Odyzzeuz wrote:
I find this fascinating. The woman saying ''und'' in the background over and over is weirdly mesmerizing. I swear I'd rather listen to something experimental like this that endure another Counting Crows by-the-numbers thing. I mean, those who are knocking this, why are you listening to an alternative ''eclectic'' mix when you can get something owned by Clearchannel? They never surprise anybody. And go eat at McDonalds while you're at it, you clone.
you are so unique, just like everyone else.
UNN :eh:
welcome to playlist portion of our show, our playlist have miraculous healing powers.
not really my speed
I find this fascinating. The woman saying ''und'' in the background over and over is weirdly mesmerizing. I swear I'd rather listen to something experimental like this that endure another Counting Crows by-the-numbers thing. I mean, those who are knocking this, why are you listening to an alternative ''eclectic'' mix when you can get something owned by Clearchannel? They never surprise anybody. And go eat at McDonalds while you're at it, you clone.
jadewahoo wrote:
The dark litany of this song really got a hold of me, drew me into its limbo and insisted that there is no safe way out. Powerful. Beautiful.
You pegged it!!
jadewahoo wrote:
The dark litany of this song really got a hold of me, drew me into its limbo and insisted that there is no safe way out. Powerful. Beautiful.
The trite and superficial version of the above: Why is it that the very act of listening to this song makes me feel cooler than I am? Like "stiletto-wielding-blonde-Russian-secret-agent-named-Svetlana" cool.
Shesdifferent wrote:
RP your really being cruel with this one....what an awful song...and the girl in the background makes it even worse :puke:
Abso - friggin - lutely! :puke: :puke: I was just about to leave work & now I'll have to stay for a few more songs to get this mess out of my mental audio banks....when will it end?? AAAAAggghhhhhh
Shimmer wrote:
Is there anyone who actually enjoys this song? I can appreciate it on some abstract intellectual level, but I can't imagine playing it for pleasure.
It depends on your definition of "enjoy." There are quite a number of recordings I love listening to because they trigger an emotional reaction. Sometimes they cause me to sweat. Usually, they're not songs I would play if I had somebody else as a captive audience -- say, in the car. This is one of them. It's a personal experience.
RP your really being cruel with this one....what an awful song...and the girl in the background makes it even worse :puke:
Shimmer wrote:
Is there anyone who actually enjoys this song? I can appreciate it on some abstract intellectual level, but I can't imagine playing it for pleasure.
Yeah, I do. I will not always be in the exact mood for it. But it's a cool song, perfectly eclectic for RP, and is also quite intense as part of an almost three hour live show in a big club where you're standing 25 feet directly in front of him.
Govi wrote:
I, too. This one I could happily never hear again. Sometimes I get stuck in a situation in which it is inconvenient to change or shut it off, and I feel like I've been cornered by a rabid dog.
And today it shrinks further to a 2. But I'm not quite ready to compare it to a rabid dog!
I like this song. It has that Elvis Costello self loathing and dark slickness that I have come to know and love.
Prefer... Once upon a time You let me feel you deep inside And nobody knew, nobody saw Do you remember the way you cried? I'm your toy, I'm your old boy But I don't want no one but you to love me Oh I wouldn't lie You know I'm not that kind of guy E.C.'s version of Cohen's I'm Your Man :ask:
tictocsailor wrote:
Lots of the RP songs grow on me. This one shrinks. Down to 4. I can go a long time without hearing "und" again.
I, too. This one I could happily never hear again. Sometimes I get stuck in a situation in which it is inconvenient to change or shut it off, and I feel like I've been cornered by a rabid dog.
Is there anyone who actually enjoys this song? I can appreciate it on some abstract intellectual level, but I can't imagine playing it for pleasure.
Disclaimer: I am a rabid Elvis fan. I've been thinking about this song for weeks but my old fogey brain couldn't come up with the title or album it was on. Thanks RP! I've been dying to hear this!
Lots of the RP songs grow on me. This one shrinks. Down to 4. I can go a long time without hearing "und" again.
The dark litany of this song really got a hold of me, drew me into its limbo and insisted that there is no safe way out. Powerful. Beautiful.
elvis vs. elvis... 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 can't report The memory of his last retort But it was so much easier When I was cruel ....... Don't stop thinking of me, don't make me feel this way, Come on over here and love me, you know what I want you to say. Don't be cruel to a heart that's true. Why should we be apart? I really love you baby, cross my heart.
daedalus wrote:
Elvis Costello isn't one of my favorite singers, but there's something about this I like - D'you know I think it might be the 'und' !!! The reference to Abba s 'Dancing Queen' came out of left field.
And from futher out 'Gymnopidea' (?) from Eric Satie way in the back ground
Where's the fast-forward button?
Govi wrote:
The concidence of given names does not make Mr. Costello a performer equal to Mr. Presley.
no it doesn't. presley's influence aside as a crooner, leather-wearer and hip shaker, he can't touch costello with a ten-foot pole when it comes to musicianship.
Screature wrote:
Elivis Rules!! Long live the King, the king isn't dead, same name, different guy!! :crown: :crown: :clap: :clap: :notworthy: :notworthy: To all you Elvis detractors all I can say is: :razz: :beat: :fight: :arghhh: :ass: :fire: :razz:
Children, children! Play nice! The concidence of given names does not make Mr. Costello a performer equal to Mr. Presley.
This song is pretty cool, und interesting, to say the least. Und you haters need to go und listen to FM if it's a little too wierd und strange for you. Und if you think i keep typing just so i can use "und" in a sentence, you're right. Und i'm out.
Elivis Rules!! Long live the King, the king isn't dead, same name, different guy!! :crown: :crown: :clap: :clap: :notworthy: :notworthy: To all you Elvis detractors all I can say is: :razz: :beat: :fight: :arghhh: :ass: :fire: :razz:
Elvis Costello isn't one of my favorite singers, but there's something about this I like - D'you know I think it might be the 'und' !!! The reference to Abba s 'Dancing Queen' came out of left field.
Jeez! Somebody tries something new, that you've never heard anywhere else, and you'd think the guy was a criminal. Lighten up everybody. It is a great song and Costello is one of the most sensible singer songwriters around today. So what if you don't like something because it's new? Get over it. Back to work. If you want to whine about something that matters, whine about the shrub, who actually is a criminal. Whine about the deficit that you will be paying off decades in the future. Whine about having McJobs with no benefits. Whine about all of the endangered species that he has suddenly decided no longer matter. Whine about all of the pork that his buddies are getting, while you can no longer qualify for a student loan. Whine about the price of gas, that now costs more than twice what it did when Clinton was president. Mmmm-Kay?
that guy is from mars, is an alien. please stop it! this is boring very boring.... :beat:
were on roll now...right into the ground.
Costello is bad enough. Why go the extra mile and make it more annoying by adding those uns? Though I don't like this guy, I never gave any of his songs a 1. I guess this would be it.
I like his "dark pop". Love the James Bond bass--early 60's English thing.
I would SWEAR there's a hint of Satie's Gnossienne No1 in the background, esp. near the end. Or I'm losing it, I'll accept either. Decent tune. The "und" reminds me more of Grace Slick's "one" in Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit".
:frustrated:
This song is just plain worn out. There are so many other great Elvis Coostello songs... this one should be retired from the rotation.
Arguably his best to date. (My Opinion, not necessarily yours).
gEniUs... :drummer:
What I REALLY don't like about this song (and other Costello outputs) is his voice - not the "und". Guess you either love or hate him... personally I think he is overplayed here.
sirrus wrote:
Funny how everyone comments about the vocal samp that is repeated throughout the tune. Why should this be heard differently than any other instrument? If this was a snare drum or a hihat or a fretlass bass, noone would gripe about it, but because it sounds like a human voice, it has a different connotation. Vocal percussion... works for me!
My feelings exactly. Seems like it's easier to hate than to listen with open ears.
ginathelintqueen wrote:
I love Elvis Costello, but about halfway through the song I said to my SO, "Ok, if she never 'oing'd' again, it be too soon." Sigh. Suppose I'm narrow-minded or something, but this was just torturous.
and cruel 2
Great point! I like this song and gave it a 9 unds and all sirrus wrote:
Funny how everyone comments about the vocal samp that is repeated throughout the tune. Why should this be heard differently than any other instrument? If this was a snare drum or a hihat or a fretlass bass, noone would gripe about it, but because it sounds like a human voice, it has a different connotation. Vocal percussion... works for me!
tony620d wrote:
2x4 to the head of the 'und' noisemaker!
LOL
Not something I'm gonna run out and buy, but it is interesting. When the hell would you ever hear this if it weren't for RP?
Another interesting version... Masterful with gettin' new stuff out of old stuff. Ex-g'friend thought that my liking Elvis Costello was bad in that he appears to Not like women, to her... As for this version, I like it better - yeah, the Und's're abit much - yet, is it another contrivance to link German Facism... with his outlook in this song? Or as my future Ex-says, re: Me - occasionally, like Pinochet? Using And's not quite the linkage provided by Und. :beat: Und-Und-Und another thinK... Und-another thing. Und-another thing. Und-another thing? Over and over as we listen to his recitation... His list of ills.
Came here to see if anyone else picked up on the Satie. Normally I can't stand Elvis C but I like this OK. The UUN motif doesn't bother me at all.
Funny how everyone comments about the vocal samp that is repeated throughout the tune. Why should this be heard differently than any other instrument? If this was a snare drum or a hihat or a fretlass bass, noone would gripe about it, but because it sounds like a human voice, it has a different connotation. Vocal percussion... works for me!
2x4 to the head of the 'und' noisemaker!
yeeesh.
Such a cool tune... definitely a mood piece. Where's my whiskey...?
Never heard this before, but this is truely great. I've not listened to EC since the days of Oliver's Army - banned in South Africa, where I grew up (they thought it was Tambo refered to rather than Cromwell, I've been told).
philminatz wrote:
Notice reference to Erik Satie - Gnossienne No1
yup. great tune, both of them.
Trustocity wrote:
Hell, so does Elton John.
No.
Typesbad wrote:
........ und........ und....... und........ und....... und........ und....... really interesting lyrics!......und........und.........und........und........und.......und........und.......more really interesting lyrics Interesting to hear .................... this could qualify as a WMD.
............................. :iamwith: .............................(Sorry, there's limited sign choice.)
und... bombastische Scheiße
I think the only reason I like this song is because so many other people find it repulsive. Maybe also because it takes about ten listens before it sounds cool. Either way, right on.
Wow - cool song!
Heathen954 wrote:
Take away the 'unds' and this song is pretty good, but with it is unbearable.
What he said
Is that Gollum in between there?
........ und........ und....... und........ und....... und........ und....... really interesting lyrics!......und........und.........und........und........und.......und........und.......more really interesting lyrics........und........und.......und........und........und........und.......und........und........und.........und........und.......und........und....... Interesting to hear occasionally, but I think heavy rotation of this could qualify as a WMD.
philminatz wrote:
Notice reference to Erik Satie - Gnossienne No1
Nice catch. Strange unds/ums, though. Worth one listen but makes it difficult to hear again.
Costello and Dylan -- both thematic masters, neither great song-writers. These tin-ear symphonies are DESIGNED to make you stop tapping your foot and pay attention. John Lennon lets you do both. Hell, so does Elton John.
Yeah, daddy-o. Like, mellow, man. Make Yoko stop! :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated:
philminatz wrote:
Notice reference to Erik Satie - Gnossienne No1
I just heard the Gnossienne for the first time today, even though I own this album, and I've listened to this song countless times! Thanks to RP for introducting me to Erik Satie, so I could get more out of Elvis Costello.
i wish that lady would shut up!
EC has always been a polarizing artist. He is an acquired taste. I have loved him from the first time I heard "Alison". There aren't many of his songs that I wouldn't give a 10. Most are thematic masterpieces.
I guess I am in the minority, but change is good. I think this is a song with some great textures and depth of sound. I am not a huge Elvis Costello fan, but I can get into this because it is not like much else he has done. Bravo for stepping out of the box.
philminatz wrote:
Notice reference to Erik Satie - Gnossienne No1
Whoa... I had no idea what you are talking about but damn if it's not right there in the middle of the song smacking me in the face.
Aaaargh. Still can't stand it. Actually lost 2 points down to 3. Mute me daddy, eight to the bar.
Notice reference to Erik Satie - Gnossienne No1
shevek wrote:
Hey, I'm a big fan of EC, but this 'Un' stuff just drives me nuts.I don't care whether it comes from a song by Mina or it's just a mantra that he repeats to reach Nirvana :frustrated:
I thought she was singing, "Bond" and this was Elvis' big bid to land the them song for the next James Bond movie..... Doesn't work on any level for me.
I love Elvis Costello, but about halfway through the song I said to my SO, \"Ok, if she never \'oing\'d\' again, it be too soon.\" Sigh. Suppose I\'m narrow-minded or something, but this was just torturous.
Originally Posted by iowaguy: By analyzing the number of people who gave this song a 10, we can get valuable stats on the frequency of tone deafness in the population.
What a ridiculus comment. Why would someone voting this a 10 or not give you any idea of whether they were tone deaf or not.
Actually, I kind of like the contrapuntal \"unds\", but the problem with the cd as a whole is that EC is so bloated with his verbal skills that he decided to bludgeon the listener with a heavy weight of contrived lyrics.
ARGH!! Please stop the pain.... my left speaker just quit in protest and I think my sub is gonna join it soon. Mr Costello should stick to what he's good at... whatever that is,.... but this is not it.
Originally Posted by Heathen954: Take away the 'unds' and this song is pretty good, but with it is unbearable.
UN...AGREE...UN...NOT BAD...UN....IS IT OVER YET?..UN.... UN.
Hey, I\'m a big fan of EC, but this \'Un\' stuff just drives me nuts.I don\'t care whether it comes from a song by Mina or it\'s just a mantra that he repeats to reach Nirvana :frustrated:
Originally Posted by His_DivineShadow: I'm pretty sure the rating was lower when I made my comment - can't believe how many people like this! Well, at the time of this writing, the song had a rating of 5.7 and had been rated by almost 200 people. That puts it firmly in the "Decent" category and pretty close to "Pretty Good". Not actually a low rating is it? Of course, getting a median would help to determine the distribution, but I don't think the rating is even close to the level where it should be considered being dropped from the playlist.
Outstanding :clap: Elvis C. is always good (at worst).
Take away the \'unds\' and this song is pretty good, but with it is unbearable.
I had to check since there are *so* many comments on the repeating word (un, und, on, etc., et al.). The sample is from Un Bacio È Troppo Poco by Italian 60's pop start Mina.
and a \"un\" and a two and a ..... :frustrated:
/me prepares to smack background \"Un\"ers.
Woops. Time for a bathroom break.
Elvis never did \"test\" well... but he\'d great anyway. love the new CD, and this tune is one of the better ones. :notworthy:
Music to hari-kari by.
Playing this song is cruel.
By analyzing the number of people who gave this song a 10, we can get valuable stats on the frequency of tone deafness in the population.
I was wondering if this song would grow on me as time passed......then I realized that when this kind of stuff grows on me, I should have a biopsy done on it and then removed.
This song drives down the shoutcast listnership %, I suspect. I need to tune out when its on or else have that **boing** in my head for the following few hours. Egad, it\'s just awful. :cry:
Great song and great CD. It\'s nice to see Elvis can still produce fine music.
listening to the rest of you whine, I guess that\'s what makes the world go round. I think the song is outstanding!
Damn!! 205 listeners voting in on it.. wonder what the highest numbers of voters is for a song...
please make it stop :cry:
verrrry irritating - especially the background vocal that sounds like "boing" :frustrated: boing :frustrated: boing :frustrated: boing :frustrated: ARGHHH! :cry:
Oh come on. I actually perk up when I hear this. It varies from the landscape, guys, don\'t be so harsh. :wave:
The title When I Was Cruel No. 2 implies that there may be a When I Was Cruel No. 1. If so, please don\'t play it. This one is bad enough!
It certainly doesn't help that this sounds like it has about 200 digital skips in it... whoops... I guess there's something wrong with the stream today... the next song had them too.
:frustrated: Never got Elvis Costello. Never will.
Oh thank god it's over - "when" he was cruel? He jumped the gun on resigning his cruelty to the past tense... :(
Originally Posted by casablues: how low does a song have to be rated to make you stop playing it? :??:
Well, at the time of this writing, the song had a rating of 5.7 and had been rated by almost 200 people. That puts it firmly in the "Decent" category and pretty close to "Pretty Good". Not actually a low rating is it? Of course, getting a median would help to determine the distribution, but I don't think the rating is even close to the level where it should be considered being dropped from the playlist.
I agree that the background is repetitive and annoying if you pay too much attention to it. Maybe if Elvis\' vocals were louder it\'d be easier to ignore the background. Then again, he rarely seems to sing over the Und. I dunno. Elvis experimenting. It\'s pretty cool. I think everyone goes through their \'repetitive loop\' period.
The first time \'und\'I listened to this song \'und\'I gave it a two.\'und\' This time I gave it a three\'und\', that\'s not a total of four \'und\' is it?\'und\' :frustrated However the comments gave me the best laugh of the day! :p
Suck-Mo!!!! Put Elvis in the grave......
The timing of this song and the little head-bash smiley is pretty well in sync... :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated:
:frustrated: :frustrated: how annoying! if the female vocal wasn\'t there, it wouldn\'t be half as bad of a song. time to take my ear phones out until the next song
how low does a song have to be rated to make you stop playing it? :??:
Originally Posted by reviep: :frustrated: it is so CRUEL (UND) to subject us to this...
What is with that female background vocal? :??: Sounds like Bjork adding her major (sic) talent to this crap. Lyrical hiccups, und, the dancin' queen, und.
sounds like a tom waits song to me.
\"...and something is happening, but you don\'t know what it is. Do you, Mr. Jones?\"
2,,,,,3,,,,,,4,,,,,,5,,,,,,bzzzzzzt!OFF.
Sorry to disappoint all you who dislike this, but I think it's cool :clap: . Makes me wanna check out the rest of the album, I just discovered that this was the title song. More Cool Costello pleaze... :notworthy: