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Elvis Costello — Bullets For The New-Born King
Album: National Ransom
Avg rating:
6.2

Your rating:
Total ratings: 740









Released: 2010
Length: 3:30
Plays (last 30 days): 1
No one looks in this place for motive or any hope
But for the dead shot of an amber glass, the blue light of a votive
Rain obscured the window as the pain was dulled by the grains
Absolved by spoons in flames and fear in time dissolving

It's not for the faint of pulse or anybody false
Those amateurs who simply shed their skins
So where are those traitors now, we once called patriots?
Just like those saints who seem to revel in their sins

Oh, my eyes were filled with tears that were stinging
After our assassin's work was done
The bells and hands were only there for the wringing
And we were bringing bullets for the new-born king

The trumpet sound lamenting, tramping down the blooms of the deceased
The double agent girl and the fallen priest were heading for the border
Somewhere in the high command, there stayed the palest hand
That saw the order countermand, erased a tape recorder
And then they hung him from a window cord

Swallow down that voodoo vial and stay your breath a while
Before we spill the tale that we have spun
And now I shall confide all that I have denied
Oh, I'm so sorry for the things I've done

Oh, my eyes were filled with tears that were stinging
After our assassin's work was done
The bells and hands were only there for the wringing
And we were bringing bullets for the new-born king
Comments (77)add comment
Feels like something off of King of America from 1985 or 1986
A truly diverse performer.  Speaking of which, would be nice to hear something from "Almost Blue"....
Such a nice man. A lovely songsmith and complicated lyricist. Stay well!
Wow.

c.
He is deeper and more profound than I ever thought in his earlier days.



                                          embarrasing ~


. 
I generally love Elvis Costello, but this has to be the dullest Elvis song, popping up in the midst of the dullest music set, in what has been a really weak couple of hours.  I've come to believe lately that RP sometimes assigns programming blocks to interns and that's how we end up with blocks like this.
Going to see him tonight on his solo tour, in Santa Rosa, CA!
i love the way RP slips in a Costello song  here and there
Agreed.
 

CoYoT51 wrote:
He is such a great songwriter.

 


 Blinkanyamissit wrote:
Elvis improved his singing after he collaborated with Bacharach. His melodies didn't improve after the McCartney collaboration but I think his missus has had an influence too plus spending most of his time in America.

As for the nasal thing, Dylan Unplugged .... 

 
this is way less nasal than before.
He is such a great songwriter.
Elvis improved his singing after he collaborated with Bacharach. His melodies didn't improve after the McCartney collaboration but I think his missus has had an influence too plus spending most of his time in America.

As for the nasal thing, Dylan Unplugged .... 
Elvis Costello. Always intense. Thank you, Radio Paradise for your music.
 
I wish the melody matched the great lyrics.
Anything after My Aim Is uselessly worth listening (or playing)
elvis c. is overplayed.  i don't care about intonation, phrasing or the rest...he sings through his nose and that's a style i can' t abide.
 skindy wrote:
Heard this song and thought, "Wow, this guy kind of sounds like Elvis Costello, but singing well." So surprised to click the playlist and find it WAS him. I consider myself to have an open mind musically, and like 98% of what's played here on RP. I've tried and tried, but just could never acquire a taste for Elvis. Now there is hope! Liked this song quite a lot.

 
My thoughts exactely. I recognized this as Costello right away but was wondering why I enjoy this so much. His singing usually puts me off. This is nice though …
Heard this song and thought, "Wow, this guy kind of sounds like Elvis Costello, but singing well." So surprised to click the playlist and find it WAS him. I consider myself to have an open mind musically, and like 98% of what's played here on RP. I've tried and tried, but just could never acquire a taste for Elvis. Now there is hope! Liked this song quite a lot.
 Gregoria wrote:

The story is that Costello was really drunk.  Also, he had the whole "angry young man" thing going on back then.  Supposedly, there had been some competition between the Costello & Attractions crowd and the Steven Stills & Bonnie Bramlett crowd over some girl at the bar.  The story is that Costello was trying to rile up the Stills crowd, so he said the most inflammatory thing he could think of.  When you listen to his work, which includes some pointedly political songs that leave no doubt about which side of the aisle he's on, then it's difficult to think that Costello is a racist.  But I can believe that a British guy in his mid-20's a few thousand miles from home was drunk and trying to piss off some old folk-rocker by saying something he didn't mean and later regretted.  That doesn't mean that he's not a world-class shithead, but he's certainly not the only shithead in the music industry.

  Thanks for the very detailed explanation. 

I've been a huge fan, discipile really, of this guy for over 30 years.  He's no racist, he's quite the open minded liberal pacifist in his politics, which are occasionally reflected in his music.  Mostly, though, he writes about the politics of relationships.  And he does that with greater skill than any musical artist that I know of.


 PeeBee wrote:
Elvis at his best!
 

Elvis Presley is my biological father!

But this is a really good song by Elvis Costello...


Joshua 10: 24

And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings.  And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them.
 kingart wrote:

Wow. That's some anecdote for a guy who made a lot of his reputation on What's So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding. Was he drunk or stoned, or is he / was he a world-class shithead? 
 
The story is that Costello was really drunk.  Also, he had the whole "angry young man" thing going on back then.  Supposedly, there had been some competition between the Costello & Attractions crowd and the Steven Stills & Bonnie Bramlett crowd over some girl at the bar.  The story is that Costello was trying to rile up the Stills crowd, so he said the most inflammatory thing he could think of.  When you listen to his work, which includes some pointedly political songs that leave no doubt about which side of the aisle he's on, then it's difficult to think that Costello is a racist.  But I can believe that a British guy in his mid-20's a few thousand miles from home was drunk and trying to piss off some old folk-rocker by saying something he didn't mean and later regretted.  That doesn't mean that he's not a world-class shithead, but he's certainly not the only shithead in the music industry.
 kaybee wrote:
This is fantastic!  Surprised it's got such a low rating.  But I've noticed that people at RP either love or hate Elvis Costello.

 
This is Elvis Costello?  I need to go lower my rating.
 WonderLizard wrote:

He invites both. There's the famous 1979 incident at a Holiday Inn in Columbus, during which his band and Stephen Stills's band traded insults and ultimately blows. Costello called Ray Charles "a blind, ignorant n****r," whereupon Bonnie Bramlett, bless her heart, promptly decked him. Once the story hit the papers, even though Charles himself shrugged it off, Costello was through in the US as a major act. That's one reason to hate him.

Then there are songs like this one.

I deplore his racism—just as prevalent across the pond (c.f., John Terry), but no more acceptable than here—but admire him as a songwriter, producer, and performer. And he seems to have redeemed himself enough to have had his own show, "Spectacle," on the Sundance Channel from 2008-10. Pretty good show, too.
 
Wow. That's some anecdote for a guy who made a lot of his reputation on What's So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding. Was he drunk or stoned, or is he / was he a world-class shithead? 
 kaybee wrote:
This is fantastic!  Surprised it's got such a low rating.  But I've noticed that people at RP either love or hate Elvis Costello.
 
He invites both. There's the famous 1979 incident at a Holiday Inn in Columbus, during which his band and Stephen Stills's band traded insults and ultimately blows. Costello called Ray Charles "a blind, ignorant n****r," whereupon Bonnie Bramlett, bless her heart, promptly decked him. Once the story hit the papers, even though Charles himself shrugged it off, Costello was through in the US as a major act. That's one reason to hate him.

Then there are songs like this one.

I deplore his racism—just as prevalent across the pond (c.f., John Terry), but no more acceptable than here—but admire him as a songwriter, producer, and performer. And he seems to have redeemed himself enough to have had his own show, "Spectacle," on the Sundance Channel from 2008-10. Pretty good show, too.
 ch83575 wrote:

I am sticking to my guns on this one... just look at the album cover and album title!  Now, I am not saying that I don't feel ripped off by the government, but it probably isn't the best idea to get into that here.  Point of the story: I absolutely would put Elvis in your short list.  He is anything but apolitical.
 
I like your comment.  But I wanted to address something you wrote here that I do not agree with.  Since your comment a year ago, there have been 9 other comments on the song of the fairly ordinary variety of song comment filler.  So, there is certainly no issue with running out of page space.  There is infinite page space, actually.  People can always skip long posts they don't want to read.   Why is it not best to talk about EC's impact on society?   I would welcome it.  Don't worry about the peanut gallery.  There is a legion of commenters out there, usually just passing through, who love to take pot shots at anyone trying to contribute thoughtful comments. Just ignore them. 
 linden wrote:

"And even though we ain't got money, I'm so in love with you honey ..."


Oh, wait.

 
"And even though you ain't my honey, I'm so in love with your money"...
 kaybee wrote:
This is fantastic!  Surprised it's got such a low rating.  But I've noticed that people at RP either love or hate Elvis Costello.

 
Yeah! I'm loving this, too. My first listen. Who says Elvis can't sing!? Whoop! Here come the daggers...

btw - Hello, fellow Torontonian!


"And even though we ain't got money, I'm so in love with you honey ..."


Oh, wait.


I've never heard this before. Great song. Food for thought. 
 
Very Pretty,

Thanks Bill 
Every human must "love" him! Everybody can think about his lyrics! If I can, why do you not?
I'm a christian from germany, I wonder that you don't see the message in his songs!


This is fantastic!  Surprised it's got such a low rating.  But I've noticed that people at RP either love or hate Elvis Costello.

Bump this up another notch with each listen.  Started at five and now an eight. Like this Costello fellow.
never get tired of Elvis Costello
Reminds me his album "Spike". One thing about EC he's never boring.
 lemmoth wrote:


His politics??

Have seen him dozens of times, and he is hardly political.  Yes -he is - if you read interviews, or interpret an occasional song or two - literally 5 or 6 over his entire career - a liberal - as are the vast majority of musicians and artists.

But he is not Bono, or Bruce, or even Eddie Vedder when it comes to his shows.
 
I am sticking to my guns on this one... just look at the album cover and album title!  Now, I am not saying that I don't feel ripped off by the government, but it probably isn't the best idea to get into that here.  Point of the story: I absolutely would put Elvis in your short list.  He is anything but apolitical.
 Jelani wrote:
Is that a Vera Bradley bag the wolf has there?
Illustration by Tony Millionaire, the guy behind the Maakies weekly strip and the SockMonkey graphic novels. Not much of a label-follower, from reading his blog, but probably a collective memory of what a carpetbag should look like.

 ch83575 wrote:
I am horribly torn:  I love Elvis' music, but I hate his politics.  He puts on a great show, studded with political commentary so inane it made me want to throw my drink at him.  Like I said... im torn.
 
I have the exact opposite problem.  I can't stand his music, but like his politics.

I get that he is hugely influential and has a massive library of "classics", but there is some quality to his voice and music that I just can't get into.

 beezoo wrote:

It seems there is a significant percentage of music listeners that have a decidedly anti-Elvis Costello bent.  I have never understood this, especially with the large library of wonderful contributions he has made to contemporary music over the decades.  I am also sure that many of the artists and song writers that these same people do enjoy would list Elvis as, if not an influence, someone who has certainly been on their own playlists.  If anyone has an explanation for this weirdness I would love to hear it.  {#Cheers}

 
This latest CD really is getting hammered here, true.  In general his ratings are what you would expect for someone of his stature. 
 ch83575 wrote:
I am horribly torn:  I love Elvis' music, but I hate his politics.  He puts on a great show, studded with political commentary so inane it made me want to throw my drink at him.  Like I said... im torn.
 

His politics??

Have seen him dozens of times, and he is hardly political.  Yes -he is - if you read interviews, or interpret an occasional song or two - literally 5 or 6 over his entire career - a liberal - as are the vast majority of musicians and artists.

But he is not Bono, or Bruce, or even Eddie Vedder when it comes to his shows.
Saw Elvis last night with his giant wheel, the Imposters and lots of diverse tunes and friends.

He is truly a musical treasure.

This song is good too.

If you like the rockers, try the recent Momofuku - some great ones there - like Stella Hurt and Turpentine.
Beautiful.  
nice
I am horribly torn:  I love Elvis' music, but I hate his politics.  He puts on a great show, studded with political commentary so inane it made me want to throw my drink at him.  Like I said... im torn.
Is that a Vera Bradley bag the wolf has there?
We're very very far from Chelsea, here... but the guy can sing, for sure.
He is a real artist... great one.
Huge, longtime Elvis Fan. He's long been the only Elvis that counts.
Saw him in solo concert this year, he was GREAT,
That said, this song is merely good 6 (& 1/2 maybe?).   {#Neutral} . Sorry
Elvis at his best!
 tutakea wrote:
as someone said before: his early stuff is really great, but - in my opinion - he lost his way somewhere in between - and i lost interest a little bit.
this song, however, is really really good.
 
He got married to a gorgeous woman with a nice career (Diana Krall) and started raising kids.  Marriage and parenthood have a way of changing a person's perspective.  (PS: I was never a big Elvis C fan, but will listen quietly and politely when he sings.)


 tutakea wrote:
as someone said before: his early stuff is really great, but - in my opinion - he lost his way somewhere in between - and i lost interest a little bit.
this song, however, is really really good.

 
Agree in all points!

as someone said before: his early stuff is really great, but - in my opinion - he lost his way somewhere in between - and i lost interest a little bit.
this song, however, is really really good.

... and  I agree, deserves a MUCH better rating. Beautiful.
Guess it's a matter of taste. People ask the same type of question about Neil Young's voice. I love this and his early stuff, and didn't like his middle stuff. This sounds like he's geeting back on his own groove.
Low "marginal" rating for the song... and, like many others it seems, I also do not understand the fascination with Elvis Costello's music.

Yes, it is about the song - but it is also by default about the artist because everything he sings is composed and performed very similarly.
His voice is flat with out any significant tonal character and often wandering off key. And yes, I have been aware of Elvis since he first popped onto the scene in the early 70's in the U.S.

But, just because I and others do not care for his music much, does not lead to some sort of general derision towards him as a person.

I tend to think if you can't cope with hearing a variety of music including some selections you don't really care for then you should get an IPOD and fill it with only what you like. However, doing that will not readily allow you to discover new music, which is the point of Radio Paradise.

Our collective averaged rating of songs leads to helping Bill pick and program more of what the majority of us enjoy hearing.

Flexibility is key here.
 bobringer wrote:
Echo comments about the surprise about the low ratings of this song.

Never a HUGE Elvis fan but always really liked him.  His voice is really nice on top of a stripped down song like this.

I like this A LOT. 
 

Yep me too.  Not suppose to be rating the artist, but rather the song.  Deserves a much higher rating.  Very nice.

Echo comments about the surprise about the low ratings of this song.

Never a HUGE Elvis fan but always really liked him.  His voice is really nice on top of a stripped down song like this.

I like this A LOT. 
 beezoo wrote:
It seems there is a significant percentage of music listeners that have a decidedly anti-Elvis Costello bent.  I have never understood this, especially with the large library of wonderful contributions he has made to contemporary music over the decades.  I am also sure that many of the artists and song writers that these same people do enjoy would list Elvis as, if not an influence, someone who has certainly been on their own playlists.  If anyone has an explanation for this weirdness I would love to hear it.  
 
I don't think it is complicated or mysterious.  Some don't like his music, hence the 1's.  Some, like me, highly appreciate his earlier body of work, but give this a rating a tick above the average.  Ratings like mine, plus all 1's gets you to the overall average.  Cheers.
Wonderful!!!
Shame on RP audience giving this an overall 5 rating?

 zair99 wrote:
I can't fathom why this only has a 5.1... am I listening to the same song as everyone else here?
 
It seems there is a significant percentage of music listeners that have a decidedly anti-Elvis Costello bent.  I have never understood this, especially with the large library of wonderful contributions he has made to contemporary music over the decades.  I am also sure that many of the artists and song writers that these same people do enjoy would list Elvis as, if not an influence, someone who has certainly been on their own playlists.  If anyone has an explanation for this weirdness I would love to hear it.  {#Cheers}

(Hearing strains of Mr. Kite)   Interesting song. Elvis still has a nice touch.
I can't fathom why this only has a 5.1... am I listening to the same song as everyone else here?
Elvis Costello seems to have a bottomless well of talent. Amazing.
 Stingray wrote:
Hello RP-Listeners!

I wish all of you "MERRY CHRISTMAS",
wherever you are - whoever you wanna be!

Christmas is a sweet-naive tradition -
not a religious event! 

I like it anyway!

Still - I hope Bill takes the chance
to rock the christmas-tree to pieces tonight!

"Happy Christmas
your "BAD SANTA",
aka STINGRAY
-from Cologne/Germany-
PS
Sermon of the day (promise: I'm serious):

The "Three Wise Men" - Melchior, Balthasar + Caspar
are buried in a golden sarcophage in"our" dome, the famous 
"Cologne dome" - the third highest church-building
in the world - right in the very centre of town, next to the Rhine.
A gothic building of extra-class!

Have a look:
https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Datei:Koelner_Dom_bei_Nacht_1_RB.JPG&filetimestamp=20060517174554

The "grave" for the non-believers:
https://www.koelner-dom.de/17450.html?&L=1

+

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shrine_of_the_Three_Kings

  C'mon man....I've seen this post a dozen times in the last 2 weeks.
Visit Kansas City.....hmmmm....we have good ribs!!!


Hello RP-Listeners!

I wish all of you "MERRY CHRISTMAS",
wherever you are - whoever you wanna be!

Christmas is a sweet-naive tradition -
not a religious event! 

I like it anyway!

Still - I hope Bill takes the chance
to rock the christmas-tree to pieces tonight!

"Happy Christmas
your "BAD SANTA",
aka STINGRAY
-from Cologne/Germany-
PS
Sermon of the day (promise: I'm serious):

The "Three Wise Men" - Melchior, Balthasar + Caspar
are buried in a golden sarcophage in"our" dome, the famous 
"Cologne dome" - the third highest church-building
in the world - right in the very centre of town, next to the Rhine.
A gothic building of extra-class!

Have a look:
https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Datei:Koelner_Dom_bei_Nacht_1_RB.JPG&filetimestamp=20060517174554

The "grave" for the non-believers:
https://www.koelner-dom.de/17450.html?&L=1

+

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shrine_of_the_Three_Kings

Good on Costello.

Good on RP. 

Good cut for the 25th. 
 kentbigdog wrote:
I'm not an Elvis Costello fan but this is nice.
 
I agree!  This one got an 8 from me.
Yet more Tony Millionaire cover art! Declan's great, as always.
This is such a beautiful song!   It took me to a nice, white snowy place...
I'm not an Elvis Costello fan but this is nice.
Outstanding!
Wow, the first Elvis Costello song I didn't hate.

Don't really like it, but it doesn't make me race to the mute button. 
Sorry Bill,
This song still does not change a thing. For me this Costello's voice still brings back Colonel Kurtz:
"The Horror. The Horror!"
I love me some E. Costello, but this one failed to float my boat.  {#Ask}
Rated a 9!  I love this guy the more I hear from him.  Oh yea and first to rate and comment!{#Sunny}