[ ]   [ ]   [ ]                        [ ]      [ ]   [ ]
Elvis Costello — Peace, Love and Understanding
Album: Armed Forces
Avg rating:
7.4

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2805









Released: 1979
Length: 3:25
Plays (last 30 days): 1
As i walk through
This wicked world
Searchin' for light in the darkness of insanity.

I ask myself
Is all hope lost?
Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?

And each time i feel like this inside,
There's one thing i wanna know:
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding? ohhhh
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding?

And as i walked on
Through troubled times
My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes
So where are the strong
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony.

'cause each time i feel it slippin' away, just makes me wanna cry.
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding? ohhhh
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding?


So where are the strong?
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony.

'cause each time i feel it slippin' away, just makes me wanna cry.
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding? ohhhh
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding? ohhhh
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding?
Comments (437)add comment
 okskyhi wrote:

Thias True Rock anthem deservedly got my attention, However . .  as to the rest of his artsy fartsty BS, well, Aren't we Pretentious?



Dunno. Are you?
That's Rock'n'Roll.
That's why I'm staying here.
Happy Holidays to all RP listeners!


www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWgApSmu1K4
Thias True Rock anthem deservedly got my attention, However . .  as to the rest of his artsy fartsty BS, well, Aren't we Pretentious?
Musical genius with attitude. DPM, my man. Not to mention he married rather well ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
Surely the most played artist on RP. He's good........but not that good!
 ToddyWoddy wrote:
Written by Nick Lowe.
 
Its original version is available on RP - alas they seem rarely to play it.  As for the wannabe Elvis...
 Retrograde-orbit wrote:
This song will be part of my sound track at my final send off; hopefully in another 50 years.
 
I certainly hope you're not yet 50
DRUMS!
 mach-hog wrote:
Elvis writes some quite emotionally complex stuff. This is what it says on the tin. I like it very much. I have seen him perform it live, such as in this version. Way good!
 While I agree w/the comment, this song was written by Nick Lowe. 

 dwhayslett wrote:

To be fair, dwlangham didn't say Elvis ripped off Los Lobos, or that Elvis was inspired by Los Lobos; just that one riff reminded him/her of the other.  That has absolutely nothing to do with which one came first; it might have something to do with which one s/he heard first, I suppose.

Which makes some of what you wrote ... kind of ironic?
 
Well said, dwhayslett.  :)
Elvis writes some quite emotionally complex stuff. This is what it says on the tin. I like it very much. I have seen him perform it live, such as in this version. Way good!
Hey folks, how about trying some peace, love, and understanding?
Written by Nick Lowe.
Love this song good rythmic very weighty 
 cmcisaac wrote:
I am going to sound so blasphemous right now but there is something about EC's voice that just grates on me.
 

I can see that, although I'm not personally bothered by his voice, but I know many are. I think there are other vocals worse (to my ears) like Young, Dylan, Pearl Jam, RHCP, Dave Matthews, to name the worst offenders. But, like some of those, I think Costello's composing skills are superior. (Of course, this song is written by Nick Lowe, who also produced the LP.) Anyway, this whole album is excellent (hard to believe it's 40 years back!)  but this song just f_____ ROCKS!
 LameBuffalo wrote:
I don't usually don't comment on what others have posted but this needed to be said: Except Elvis Costello's song pre-dates the other one by five (5) years; what you're saying is backward; you must still be young or green.

Try again. We'd appreciate it more if you 'try to örga nize your thoughts, first. Thank you.

dwlangham wrote:
The opening riff makes me think of Los Lobos' "Will the Wolf Survive".
 

 
To be fair, dwlangham didn't say Elvis ripped off Los Lobos, or that Elvis was inspired by Los Lobos; just that one riff reminded him/her of the other.  That has absolutely nothing to do with which one came first; it might have something to do with which one s/he heard first, I suppose.

Which makes some of what you wrote ... kind of ironic?
This song will be part of my sound track at my final send off; hopefully in another 50 years.
This, now more than ever. 
Well, this certainly fits my current mood.  Coincidence?
I don't usually don't comment on what others have posted but this needed to be said: Except Elvis Costello's song pre-dates the other one by five (5) years; what you're saying is backward; you must still be young or green.

Try again. We'd appreciate it more if you 'try to örga nize your thoughts, first. Thank you.

dwlangham wrote:
The opening riff makes me think of Los Lobos' "Will the Wolf Survive".
 

there must be a bug, getting same music ...
 cmcisaac wrote:
I am going to sound so blasphemous right now but there is something about EC's voice that just grates on me. Not sure what it is. He's a legend though and in the spirit of love peace and happiness, I still appreciate you if you appreciate him. 
 
I know what you mean about the grating voice. There are a handful of those that show up here on RP.  Maybe it would help if you listened to and took to heart the lyrics. This is a great, one of the great, songs about raising the consciousness. Plus, it just ROCKS! 
I am going to sound so blasphemous right now but there is something about EC's voice that just grates on me. Not sure what it is. He's a legend though and in the spirit of love peace and happiness, I still appreciate you if you appreciate him. 
 VV wrote:
2 times played in one day for this one.
 
Not just this song ... the previous two also.  I think the technical term for this is "glitch".  :-)  Or maybe this is a version of "Two for Tuesday".
2 times played in one day for this one.
This song makes me think about the state of the world we live in right now. But first....{#Bananajam}{#Dancingbanana_2}{#Guitarist}
If you don't like this song about Peace, Love and Understanding I'm gonna come over there and KICK YOUR ASS!!
Oh, wait . . .
always relevant, sigh.
 Proclivities wrote:
 treatment_bound wrote:
Elvis Costello - Creem Magazine United States (May 1979)

I think I had this edition of Cream way back when.
Can't really remember anything about the Fabulous Poodles!

creem 

Now that you bring up that name, I vaguely remember a song called "Mirror Star" by them.  I think a friend of mine had the album back then.

 
One of those bands that got a lot of press, represented the Youth of Today, etc etc. but didn't get any airplay in the flyover states. I wasn't curious enough to special order the album and by the time I did hear it, years later, was pretty meh.
 Paul_Williams wrote:

Elvis Costello is not short on talent, but his voice had changed quite a bit by the time he recorded this, no doubt.

Happens to a lot of singers - their voices get deeper and weaker as they get older due to any number of reasons - how they've treated them, whether they smoke or not, what sort of training they do, etc, etc.

Not just male singers either - Joni Mitchell, for example?

 
He was 25 when he recorded this.
 treatment_bound wrote:
Elvis Costello - Creem Magazine United States (May 1979)

I think I had this edition of Cream way back when.
Can't really remember anything about the Fabulous Poodles!

creem 

Now that you bring up that name, I vaguely remember a song called "Mirror Star" by them.  I think a friend of mine had the album back then.
Elvis Costello - Creem Magazine United States (May 1979)

I think I had this edition of Cream way back when.
Can't really remember anything about the Fabulous Poodles!
Sitting in the hospital for an all-day infusion, earbuds jammed deep, volume 16 outta 10, doing my damn best to not belt out the lyrics to all the other sad sacks here. This is how a rock sound should be played! {#Drummer}
 
{#Drummer}{#Notworthy}{#Cheers}
Nice cover
 richardfrey wrote:
Great tune!  I love the Nick Lowe live acoustic version from a years ago.  So pure but gotta love Elvis Costello!

 
Bumped from 8 to 10 for me - lyrics and punk delivery are a perfect mix. Hard to imagine a better combo!
I've come to appreciate Elvis more as I have aged, but he is clearly a graduate of the Bob Dylan School of Annuciation.
 Stefan_Lutz wrote:
What's he saying? Terrible.

 
If you're going to answer your own question, you could at least answer it correctly.
Great tune!  I love the Nick Lowe live acoustic version from a years ago.  So pure but gotta love Elvis Costello!
will catch him live in a few weeks, so much looking forward...
{#Jump} 
One for the Orange Nightmare soon to be in the White House! {#Dancingbanana_2}
Have all ways loved this song
Sunday please Bill what's he saying?please make it stop!
Boy do we need this right now
 treatment_bound wrote:

SONGWRITING!

 
I agree! (However this particular song was written by Nick Lowe.)
 Orangeman wrote:
Ok...I don't get it. Don't get why he is a " big star " .

 
SONGWRITING!
Ok...I don't get it. Don't get why he is a " big star " .
What's he saying? Terrible.
Love the segue from the Youngbloods' Get Together to this. 2 great songs with sililar themes but with a huge contrast in styles. Love RP for that!
Ok ok I'll send in money please Make Elvis stop he's so out of tune. What' am I missing Billy?
 Stefan_Lutz wrote:
Please make it stop!

 
It's called the PSD button or mute. Just doin' my part.
 skimbrie wrote:
If only I could find this tune on karaoke. I would kill it.

 
it would be fun to do
 Paul_Williams wrote:

Elvis Costello is not short on talent, but his voice had changed quite a bit by the time he recorded this, no doubt.

Happens to a lot of singers - their voices get deeper and weaker as they get older due to any number of reasons - how they've treated them, whether they smoke or not, what sort of training they do, etc, etc.

Not just male singers either - Joni Mitchell, for example?

 
This song was recorded early in his career, so his voice hadn't changed much at this point. I actually haven't noticed much of a change in his voice over the years.
 Stefan_Lutz wrote:
Talent is missing big time here, is that a singer? 

 
What's missing is in the receptors.
hear! hear!
 "hear, all ye good people, hear what this brilliant and eloquent speaker has to say!" 

Not long ago Stephen Stills said that it's sad that his song "For What It's Worth" can still be sung with a straight face and that it should be a parody by now.
I'll add Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin' On", The Youngboolds "Let's Get Together" and this song 
AFTER 37 YEARS...never fails to WAKE ME UP!
If only I could find this tune on karaoke. I would kill it.
 Stefan_Lutz wrote:
Talent is missing big time here, is that a singer? 

 
Elvis Costello is not short on talent, but his voice had changed quite a bit by the time he recorded this, no doubt.

Happens to a lot of singers - their voices get deeper and weaker as they get older due to any number of reasons - how they've treated them, whether they smoke or not, what sort of training they do, etc, etc.

Not just male singers either - Joni Mitchell, for example?
Talent is missing big time here, is that a singer? 
Great song, Could not agree more with Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe (who wrote this song).  It's time to start asking this question again. Peace
 
 max_p wrote:
makes me wanna cry when I *still* see Costello try to insert his limited talents into current day entertainment.

 
this requires an edit
makes me wanna cry when i see Costello try to insert his extraordinary talents into limited current day entertainment 
Please make it stop!
nice intvw w/colbert last week 
Three songs in a row with incredible drumming:
Elvis Costello — Peace, Love and Understanding

Here's the late Keith Moon, and the thankfully alive Jay Dee Daugherty and Pete Thomas 
Great Nick Lowe song. Anyone can sing it & pull it off.
 springof63 wrote:
Just one thing bothering me here. I've got the Armed Forces album (UK release).
This track is not on it.
Was it only on the USA release of Armed Forces, or a reissue?

 
This song was on the original North American pressing, which also had an alternate cover.
One of my all time favorite tunes....so-oh-oh oh-oh-oh! {#Bananajam}

Such a cool song ...

 
 wossName wrote:
Those drums are awesome on headphones!

 
Well spotted!
Pete Thomas a genius without doubt!
Dunno how familiar you may be with Elvis Costello & The Attractions other work but if i may suggest giving 'Lipstick Vogue' from the 'This Years Model' album a listen (with your headphones on) - you're gonna love it {#Music}
.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBRKgL0AsyQ


Just one thing bothering me here. I've got the Armed Forces album (UK release).
This track is not on it.
Was it only on the USA release of Armed Forces, or a reissue?
makes me wanna cry when I *still* see Costello try to insert his limited talents into current day entertainment.
Pardon me, but WTF?!
YES!!!   YES!!!   YES!!!


Great Set, very topical: Youngbloods, followed up by Elvis Costello.  You don't editorialize, Bill, but your selections do betray a commonality of feeling with this listener at least.   {#Clap}
Loving the segues this morning.......creative!
I love it when Bill Murray does a karaoke version of this song on 'Lost in Translation'.

Great song, great Elvis Costello, great album
Those drums are awesome on headphones!
This fantastic Costello single (which I knew was a cover of a Nick Lowe song, but hadn't heard the Brinsley original until about 2009!) should have been HUGE in the U.S., but wasn't. 

Thank you again crap radio programmers...
{#Cheers} .... strong 9
 daigoro wrote:
I'll probably get a lot of flack for this, but '79-'83 is my favorite era for music. And no, those are not my high school or college years. Such an awesome time for the convergence of rock and roll, early New Wave, punk and pop.

Songs like this are part of the reason I feel this way. 

 

Right on. So much good music was made in the 70s and 80s-- none of it "70s or 80s music". : )
A very strong 9. 
A couple of years back, I did this peace symbol of mine who has managed to climb up to rank #1 in google when you search for 'peace'. It yields approx. 160 million pageviews per year. 

Peace and Love!

Peace
The image is available for free and in vector format so it is printable or editable in any size for any type of print. If you use a vector editor (GIMP or Illustrator) you can remove the shadow layer and what not. Here it is for your free usage: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Peace_button_large.png 

If you think its worth any type of reward please try e-mail: jc@quigui.com for now...
I'll probably get a lot of flack for this, but '79-'83 is my favorite era for music. And no, those are not my high school or college years. Such an awesome time for the convergence of rock and roll, early New Wave, punk and pop.

Songs like this are part of the reason I feel this way. 
 oldfart48 wrote:
nothing is worng,.....except the voice, ....it's what I sound like when I puke, altho elvis' of both times did that well.....{#Dance}

 
Where did u learn so well ? Oxfart or Fartmouth?
 zepher wrote:

Using Wavy Gravy to make your point? 

Maybe a better question might be, "What isn't funny about peace, love and understanding."  - after all the button, heart print Tie-Dye shirt, matching top hat, clown nose and karate kid magic wand drum is hilarious....



Lighten up Elvis!





 


I wish I was listening to Bill Murray singing this right now. That would make my day.
Wow!  2 stellar cuts in a row from 1979!!


I almost feel like I'm 20 again...ALMOST!!! 
nothing is worng,.....except the voice, ....it's what I sound like when I puke, altho elvis' of both times did that well.....{#Dance}
rp overplayed.  i'd really like to see more variety of cuts to go along with the eclecticism.  big variety of genres. variety within an artist's body of work, not so much.

besides i really get tired of elvis costello's nose singing. 
Nick Lowe !!
People either love Costello or they can't cope with it.  So it goes.
If he were just a touch more commercial or could sing..........it's basically good rock N roll.
Maybe a better question might be, "What isn't funny about peace, love and understanding."  - after all the button, heart print Tie-Dye shirt, matching top hat, clown nose and karate kid magic wand drum is hilarious....



Lighten up Elvis!




Favorite Elvis & great song !!!
I'd not heard this version for some time,  but saw Nick Lowe (who wrote it) do it unplugged - solo on Austin City Limits and loved it so much I had to by that episode.    The song is timeless,  meaningful and  I'd even vote it to be anthem for a generation.  (Plugged or Unplugged) 

Thanks for the reminder !    (-:  
 lemmoth wrote:
Bill - You are killing me with the "Nick Lowe was the bass player in Elvis' band at the time"

He was the producer, mentor, drinking buddy, friend who happened to be a brilliant songwriter in his own right.

Bruce Thomas was the bass player.

 
So why not kill Bill? {#Cheesygrin}
What so funny 'bout 10, 10 and 10?
 coccyx wrote:
A meaningful song in its era, maybe - entertaining or visionary or whatever. But this is like watching an episode of Fantasy Island.

 
Some of us are FROM that era.
A meaningful song in its era, maybe - entertaining or visionary or whatever. But this is like watching an episode of Fantasy Island.
Bill - You are killing me with the "Nick Lowe was the bass player in Elvis' band at the time"

He was the producer, mentor, drinking buddy, friend who happened to be a brilliant songwriter in his own right.

Bruce Thomas was the bass player.
Great lyrics.
"Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule."  Buddha

Thoughts are with you, Boston.
The opening riff makes me think of Los Lobos' "Will the Wolf Survive".
The only EC song with some interest for me. Sorry for the lovers but I usually cannot stand his - thereof lack of - "voice" (same problem with Dylan)
I get to see Elvis open up for The Who tomorrow!!! 

woo-hoo!
Three amazing drum performances in a row:

Keith Moon on the Seeker, Jay Dee Daugherty on So You Wanna Be a RockNRoll Star, and Pete Thomas on P, L and U
10

I like Elvis C but this is probably the only song of his I'd rate above an 8. A solid rock song atypical of the man. 
 vivyruest wrote:

Yesterday, today, or in 1000 years from now.
 
...its a shame, but I fear you are right.
ROCK!  ON! 
What's funny about it? The way he sings, most certainly.

He sings like he's about to vomit. 
 Stingray wrote:

LITERALLY EVERYTHING IS FUNNY ABOUT IT, ELVIS!

Ask the inhabitants of IRAQ!

 

or Syria
Gawd I hate this version.  {#Doh}
The best songwriter ever doing a song by the second best songwriter ever. Or vice-versa, maybe. Love it times a million.
 subdude wrote:
I don't know how you select your playlist, Is this a music station or a poetry station?
 
I thought it was a train station.  You mean I've been standing on this platform, all this time, for nothing?  Great tune anyway.
 Umberdog wrote:
I think it sends a good message. Especially today.

 
Yesterday, today, or in 1000 years from now.
{#Drummer}
 johnjconn wrote:
Bill
Play Chemstry Class or Olivers Army from this album
 

Agreed - there are many great songs here.

But this one fits into bill's theme along with Throw Your Hatred Down etc.
 Stingray wrote:

LITERALLY EVERYTHING IS FUNNY ABOUT IT, ELVIS!

Ask the inhabitants of IRAQ!

 
See what I mean?
nice segue. 
as fresh as the day it was recorded