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Elvis Costello — Everyday I Write the Book
Album: Punch the Clock
Avg rating:
6.7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 820









Released: 1983
Length: 3:44
Plays (last 30 days): 0
Don't tell me you don't know what love is
When you're old enough to know better
When you find strange hands in your sweater
When your dreamboat turns out to be a footnote
I'm a man with a mission on two or three editions.

And I'm giving you a longing look
Everyday
Everyday
Everyday I write the book.
Chapter One: We didn't really get along.
Chapter Two: I think I fell in love with you.
You said you'd stand by me in the middle of Chapter Three

But you were up to your old tricks in Chapters Four
Five and Six.
And I'm giving you a longing look...
The way you walk
The way you talk and try to kiss me
And laugh in four or five paragraphs.
All your compliments and your cutting remarks
Are captured here in my quotation marks.

And I'm giving you a longing look...
Everyday I write the book.
Don't tell me you don't know the difference
Between a lover and a fighter.
With my pen and my electric typewriter
Even in a perfect world where everyone was equal
I'd still own the film rights and be working on the sequel.

And I'm giving you a longing look...
Everyday
Everyday
Everyday I write the book.
Everyday
Everyday
Everyday
Everyday I write the book...
Comments (94)add comment
A long-admired song for me, especially the playful arrangement, and a fine example of why the late '70s Yamaha Electric Grand (i.e. CP-70/CP-80) is my all-time favorite keyboard instrument.
Funny...i was just singing this song last night...and I don't particularly like it
Yep, still don't like this song. Can't explain it...I like other Elvis Costello songs. This one grates on my nerves like fingernails on chalkboard.
Unvergessen Rockpalast mim Elvis und ich waaa dabei
the first Elvis Costello song I ever heard :) not hisbest but, oh! the memories! love him.
The book be written...  meanwhile, back at the ranch, everybody in my alien space craft loves this groovy song soooo much...
 suesblues wrote:
wonderful songs from Elvis C - watched Lost in Translation the other day (on flight) and there's another great Costello song there...Peace Love and Understanding - great to hear him again. My favourite Costello album was always Get Happy..

 
PL&U was actually written by Nick Lowe another amazing songwriter and musician.   {#Clap}
Cool!
 rdo wrote:
I have always very truly loved this song....

 
{#Clap} ..... and me
wonderful songs from Elvis C - watched Lost in Translation the other day (on flight) and there's another great Costello song there...Peace Love and Understanding - great to hear him again. My favourite Costello album was always Get Happy..
{#Daisy}
 obstetricus wrote:
sweet vid...remember when it came out on MTV when they actually played music.  Lady Di and Charles theme if I remember correctly.

 
Was thinking the same thing...though I do believe this video doesn't exactly paint the Royal couple in a good light...particularly Charles. I suppose this video would be rather outdated and inappropriate today. Have always liked this pop song.
This is one of his better songs, but I DON'T get the attraction for this guy. He sings like he's throwing up, my least favorite singer on the planet, sorry to say. He has some songwriting skills though. Won't ever buy anything by EC or the other EC for that matter. Jeff Beck, now we're talking.
I have always very truly loved this song....

This song is soooo good for the ears!!!!
 
As always, great lyrics from Costello. Not sure about the backing music in this, but I guess it was the era where this kinda sound was popular - sounds very cheesy now.
Some of the best lyrics ever written (in my opinion) by this master songwriter. A long-time favorite.
 horstman wrote:
If this song and Veronica caught your ear for this musician, then you missed his genius . . . his Buddy Holly meets the Ramones rock and roll quick shuffle side step. I've said this before and I'll say it again. Elvis died after Armed Forces. He is an artist that is constantly reinventing himself. And that's great if the end result is evolution. But in this case, and in Elvis's career in general, it is more a de-evolution in sound as he matures. Give me New Years Model anyday over this pop tripe! 6.6 is pretty fair if not generous. Hey Bill, let's round off to the nearest 100. That way we might get the blessed 6.66 rating for such a devilish song.
 
Truth-  This song could have been anybody's throw away.
Elvis gets better with age. 

His catalog is huge.  His pop was smart and catchy!

Holds up as such.
ten
 horstman wrote:


If this song and Veronica caught your ear for this musician, then you missed his genius . . . his Buddy Holly meets the Ramones rock and roll quick shuffle side step.

I've said this before and I'll say it again. Elvis died after Armed Forces. He is an artist that is constantly reinventing himself. And that's great if the end result is evolution.

But in this case, and in Elvis's career in general, it is more a de-evolution in sound as he matures.

Give me New Years Model anyday over this pop tripe!

6.6 is pretty fair if not generous.

Hey Bill, let's round off to the nearest 100. That way we might get the blessed 6.66 rating for such a devilish song.
 

Couldn't disagree more vociferously.  And I have been a huge fan of this absoulute and total fucking musical genius since before THIS Years Model. 

He is constantly reinventing himself and that is what makes any artist continually interesting rather than some one note wonder who keeps going out on tour with other oldies acts to play their 3 or 4 songs we all remember from way back when.


A lot of wisdom in this song - a great one by EC!
 hencini wrote:
Great song.  This was one of two that really turned me towards EC, the other being "Deep Dark Truthful Mirror".  Both very hard to beat.  
 
gotta admit, was never a fan, but this song and "Alison" (sp?) stuck with me, and now, I grudgingly admit that Elvis has done some really good stuff....
Great song.  This was one of two that really turned me towards EC, the other being "Deep Dark Truthful Mirror".  Both very hard to beat.  
sweet vid...remember when it came out on MTV when they actually played music.  Lady Di and Charles theme if I remember correctly.
sugarbaby wrote:
first song that made me really pay attention to this guy. if not this song, then veronica would caught my fancy later...
If this song and Veronica caught your ear for this musician, then you missed his genius . . . his Buddy Holly meets the Ramones rock and roll quick shuffle side step. I've said this before and I'll say it again. Elvis died after Armed Forces. He is an artist that is constantly reinventing himself. And that's great if the end result is evolution. But in this case, and in Elvis's career in general, it is more a de-evolution in sound as he matures. Give me New Years Model anyday over this pop tripe! 6.6 is pretty fair if not generous. Hey Bill, let's round off to the nearest 100. That way we might get the blessed 6.66 rating for such a devilish song.
RobK wrote:
just amazed at the (low) rating for this song, ........ people are strange.
People are Strange - that's a Door's song ;). I think maybe the reason for the low rating is that compared to other Elvis Costello songs this is not his best work - closer to generic pop and less like Elvis Costello's usual. Not what people expect from him. That said a 6+ rating ain't bad.
just amazed at the (low) rating for this song, and the amount of negative comments. it's such a good tune, so well-crafted...i never ever ever would have thought there'd be any significant number of people out there who truly disliked it. it's a solid 9 for me. people are strange.
first song that made me really pay attention to this guy. if not this song, then veronica would caught my fancy later...
Probably my favorite EC song (closely followed by Veronica). It's clever, it's self-deprecating, it's tuneful, and I love the bass line. Stellar.
Ohhhhhhhhh, I do like Elvis C. :)
bmeador wrote:
Oh dear lord this is painful. Make it stop.
Actually this song is listenable, but only on mute. Sorry, only Presley is my Elvis.
Oh dear lord this is painful. Make it stop.
Kind of a strange period for Elvis. One last attempt at mainstream success, winning no new fans and alienating old ones. (At least for a while.)
ThePoose wrote:
This is one of the tunes I take with me to test speakers/headphones at the audio shop. I love the strings in the background, and only a good piece of equipment can bring them out.
I LOVE the bass line on this... Saw him do this at the Greek years ago right after this album. Sounded great. Did anybody catch his Elvis and Friends special recently on VH1? Super cheezy interviews, but he played with Alanis Morrisette, Billy bob what's his name from Green Day and those Death Cab for Cutie guys. The music wasn't too bad...
This is one of the tunes I take with me to test speakers/headphones at the audio shop. I love the strings in the background, and only a good piece of equipment can bring them out.
oufason wrote:
That may have been when the CD was re-released or re-issued. I think the LP came out in 83
I was, uh, you know, kidding....? :~
This song always reminds me of my favorite poem by Wallace Stevens, The Planet on the Table. The song refers more to Stevens than the book of love. One of my fave costello tunes. And I'venot been a fan in years.
SigmaBetaTooth wrote:
his original backup band was Clover better know as Huey Lewis and The News
Actually, they were never his back-up band...just the studio players on the first album. The Attractions were formed before the album was released, which is why Watching The Detectives sounds so different than everything else on the American version of the debut. Clover did some tasty stuff, I might add, and was a killer, tight live band. Saw them about a month before Elvis rolled through St Louis in '78...all the elvis crew asked about when they heard they missed them was if they left any pot!!! And only Huey Lewis and the bass player went on to the news. John McFee joined the Doobie Brothers...
I'm a big EC fan. There are so many good songs, why pick this one? It's dippy and trivial, plus it already gets radio play on commercial stations.
RobK wrote:
I clicked on the link under the album, says September of '03. I agree, I thought this song was a lot older than that...;)
That may have been when the CD was re-released or re-issued. I think the LP came out in 83
I'm not much of an Elvis C fan, but I like this.
SigmaBetaTooth wrote:
WOW this is an oldy. Quick! RELEASE DATE?
I clicked on the link under the album, says September of '03. I agree, I thought this song was a lot older than that...;)
SigmaBetaTooth wrote:
WOW this is an oldy. Quick! RELEASE DATE?
Fine i'll answer it myself. 1983 Sidnote: didn't know he had been around since 1977 and his original backup band was Clover better know as Huey Lewis and The News
A musician I have tremendous respect for. But just don't care for his music. This is one the few I enjoy.
WOW this is an oldy. Quick! RELEASE DATE?
Chi_Guy wrote:
The ONLY Elvis that counts! :notworthy:
Oh, is THAT what he was doing?
Saw him do this at the Greek in Berkeley 20 or so years ago. Great tune.
xkolibuul wrote:
Gotta love this album, if only because I used to wear glasses like that too. Back in the day.
That's why I love it too, xkolibuul. Because of your eyewear fashion at the time.
This is the song I take to the stereo shop to test out the equipment. This is a fine arrangement, including a background string section that is subtle, but discernable with the right system.
Just a cool song with a catchy hook - what's the big deal?
I am a huge EC fan but this has got to be one of my least favorites.
Gotta love this album, if only because I used to wear glasses like that too. Back in the day.
Govi wrote:
I am another. Nothing at all about his performances on RP appeal to me. His voice gets to me the way fingernails scraping on a black board do. There's no accounting for tastes, I guess, not ours, nor the ones who like him. :meditate:
There are maybe three songs by E.C. that I like: Alison, Veronica, and this one. He can sing, but most of his songs suck. What I could never understand was the critics: they loved this guy.
Govi wrote:
I am another. Nothing at all about his performances on RP appeal to me. His voice gets to me the way fingernails scraping on a black board do. There's no accounting for tastes, I guess, not ours, nor the ones who like him. :meditate:
I am yet another one (maybe more of us out there than we thought?). I just don't understand this guy's appeal. RP is still the best, though. :angel:
highwindows wrote:
Exactly - The man just can't sing.
I Hope this is sarcastic....I can't even come up with words to disagree with you.....
Govi wrote:
I am another. Nothing at all about his performances on RP appeal to me. His voice gets to me the way fingernails scraping on a black board do. There's no accounting for tastes, I guess, not ours, nor the ones who like him. :meditate:
Exactly - The man just can't sing.
ChicagoEmily wrote:
I think I may be one of the few people on earth that hates Elvis Costello. But I do. I hate him. I have absolutely no idea why, either. Sorry.
I am another. Nothing at all about his performances on RP appeal to me. His voice gets to me the way fingernails scraping on a black board do. There's no accounting for tastes, I guess, not ours, nor the ones who like him. :meditate:
i've learned to tolerate (if not necessarily appreciate) a few elvis songs over the past few years, but this one is simply dreadful.
catbirdman wrote:
It was with this song, way back when, that Elvis jumped shark. I still love the guy, but please -- "I'm giving you a longing look"? :sleep:
Agreed. In recent years he's managed to produce some fine music, though. This particular song is a definite low.
"I'd rewrite the book of love. I'd make it funny." --Laurie A
Boosiewolf wrote:
Aside from this song having personal sentimental value for me, I just think it's one of the most classic and fun Elvis songs to listen to.
I'm wit ya Boosie! Fun and enjoyable doesn't necessarily = unlistenable. I still like it. A lot.
I think I may be one of the few people on earth that hates Elvis Costello. But I do. I hate him. I have absolutely no idea why, either. Sorry.
Catchy. :dance:
It was with this song, way back when, that Elvis jumped shark. I still love the guy, but please -- "I'm giving you a longing look"? :sleep:
I almost never say this, but: :puke: :puke: :puke: For the love of all that is holy, if you're gonna play something from Punch the Clock, puh-lease play something other than this.
MickMan wrote:
I rented this album for a buck back in '83 from "Home of the Hits" in Buffalo and taped it. My room-mates wanted to kick me out of the house for this song alone. I've always liked it, but then again, I'm a huge Elvis fan. :dance:
Wow--so you're the person that single-handedly brought down the music industry in the early 80's with home taping...I'm calling Declan right now to tell him your check for $6.99 is on the way. Clive Davis
Great production values. Love the piano. Lsiten to the dreany strings. This is the cut I take on a CD to the stereo store to evaluate sound systems. Most times the salesman wants to know what it is so he can use it on his next customer.
My God. It's not fair to say it's bad, dreadful, or awful, but I hate it.
The ONLY Elvis that counts! :notworthy:
I love his style. And I like the music too.
I rented this album for a buck back in '83 from "Home of the Hits" in Buffalo and taped it. My room-mates wanted to kick me out of the house for this song alone. I've always liked it, but then again, I'm a huge Elvis fan. :dance:
ObsidianInfinity wrote:
doesn't live up to his standards. just bad.
I agree. It's weak. There's some other stuff on 'Punch the Clock' that's a whole lot more engaging. 'Let Them All Talk' being one example.
Everyone on RP knows what an Elvis fan I am, but I'll say it again - he can do no wrong in my book (ha!).
doesn't live up to his standards. just bad.
I vaguelly recall reading somewhere that this was meant as a spoof of Motown songs and he ended up liking it enough to keep.
Elvis! (the other one...) Great motto for writers... :clap:
I think it is overrated :-$
:headache: sorry - for me, this one's not good. the "everyday everyday" echoes are just cheezy and painful. I know, I know - Elvis Costello is great... I like his music too, but this one's not for me.
It's the man with the singing tonsils!
There are so many great songs by Elvis Costello and this one ranks high among them. Articulate, engaging, and boppy (in a good way!). Keep it coming, Bill! :music:
Skeletor wrote:
Give me Alison or Lip Service or Pump it Up anyday. This is too synth-poppy. Enjoyable, but too smooth. Everyone can agree on it, even the boss.
Must, MUST disagree. This particular tune is so well written, snappy, the cadence of the lyrics, it's ALL good. A higher level of Elvis. 9.
RichardPrins wrote:
:-#
What he said.
FishInHongKong wrote:
I wish all Elvis Costello songs were enjoyable like this one.
Give me Alison or Lip Service or Pump it Up anyday. This is too synth-poppy. Enjoyable, but too smooth. Everyone can agree on it, even the boss.
FishInHongKong wrote:
I wish all Elvis Costello songs were enjoyable like this one.
But it is!
I wish all Elvis Costello songs were enjoyable like this one.
:-#
Aside from this song having personal sentimental value for me, I just think it's one of the most classic and fun Elvis songs to listen to.
Like many Elvis fans, I prefer the darker, edgy material, but how can you not like this song? Pop perfection! If it were someone else, it might be one of those "guilty pleasure" tunes, but it does make a difference that it's Elvis.
rulebritannia wrote:
I love listening to Elvis and he never gets all the play he deserves. So, for me, it's a rare thing to say that this Elvis song is overplayed and over-rated.
Agreed. "Imperial Bedroom" needs RP exposure. Let the uploading begin now.
I love listening to Elvis and he never gets all the play he deserves. So, for me, it's a rare thing to say that this Elvis song is overplayed and over-rated.
What a great--ahem, literate--song. Always loved the wordplay in this. Have you heard Alison Brown's bluegrass cover? It is surprisingly good.