Monday, 27 February 2012

Misery Monday - Indoor Fireworks



I've never really been a massive fan of Elvis Costello and just had the greatest hits for ages. However, I did end up buying 2 lps that he released very close together although polar opposites in style, King of America and Blood and Chocolate.

Today's misery monday comes from King of America and describes a relationship in one long firework metaphor. The clever word play can remove some of the power of the emotion as it is so dam clever that it feels like almost an exercise in song writing.

We play these parlour games
We play at make believe
When we get to the part
Where I say that I'm going to leave
Everybody loves a happy ending

But we don't even try
We go straight past pretending
To the part where everybody loves to cry

Indoor fireworks
Can still burn your fingers
Indoor fireworks
We swore we were safe as houses
They're not so spectacular

They don't burn up in the sky
But they can dazzle or delight
Or bring a tear when the smoke gets in your eyes


You were the spice of life
The gin in my vermouth
And though the sparks would fly
I thought our love was fireproof
Sometimes we'd fight in public, darling

With very little cause
But different kinds of sparks would fly
When we got on our own behind closed doors

It's time to tell the truth
These things have to be faced
My fuse is burning out
And all that powder's gone to waste
Don't think for a moment, dear

That we'll ever be through
I'll build a bonfire of my dreams
And burn a broken effigy of me and you

Indoor fireworks
Can still burn your fingers
Indoor fireworks
We swore we were safe as houses
They're not so spectacular

They don't burn up in the sky
But they can dazzle or delight
Or bring a tear when the smoke gets in your eyes

What takes it beyond the clever clever , is the simple backing and crack in Costello's voice

Indoor Fireworks - Elvis Costello

4 comments:

  1. I love this song; and the album; my fav' of EC's; and there's some stiff competition.

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  2. Hi Trev

    my favourite too especailly this song and american without tears (think that is the title) although i like the rough edges around Blood and Chocolate as well - amazing that they were both released in the same year

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  3. He's always been prolific.
    I was knocked sideways by his first 3 albums but, my mature ear gets a bit bored with all of the shouting (see also Tom Waits) so I tend to like him crooning. I might be the only person to have brought 'North' but it's brilliant torch songs are close to classic; like also the collaboration with Burt Bacharach 'Painted by Memory' and never forget the melodic genius of 'All This Useless Beauty'.
    My top 3 would be:
    KIng of America (beautiful, boomy acoustic)
    Trust (post shout)
    Imperial Bedroom (lyrically rich collaboration with Chris Difford)
    Btw, when Di was a dancer she did a couple of Blackpool summer seasons in Blackpool; the Joe Loss band were there and Di used to share digs and many a greasy breakfast with Loss's singer, Ross McManus who was very proud of his son Declan...

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  4. I've got to admit I've never listened to Trust or Imperial Bedrooms! Off to Spotify

    ReplyDelete

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