Significant Songs (132)

Every Day I write The Book

From previous experience on this blog, I am well-aware that Elvis Costello is not favoured by many of my readers. In fact, some of them dislike his work intensely. But I cannot ignore a song in my head, because of that fact.

You might agree that a benchmark of a song is that it continues fresh in your mind. It is evocative of a period, and a time that was important to you, for whatever reason. This song from 1983 was on the album, ‘Punch The Clock’. Elvis Costello was in his heyday, often accompanied by his backing band, The Attractions. This song has never left me. Earlier today, walking with Ollie, I could hear it playing in my mind. I could recall the expressions on Costello’s face as he sung it on TV, and sing through the lyrics in my mind, as if I had heard them only yesterday.

Later this evening, as I was doing the washing up, I couldn’t get the song from my head. The line, “Chapters four, five, and six” kept playing as if it was on a jukebox in the room. Costello went on to do much, much more after this. He is still recording and playing today. But this was his golden hour, at least for me. I could add almost his entire catalogue to this series. But I won’t.


40 thoughts on “Significant Songs (132)

  1. I quite like him. Love his song She. By the way, did you see the new series of posts I’ve started? I’m asking people what their favourite performances are by a specific actor or actress. The first edition is Meryl Streep.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Pete.

    He has written some superb songs.

    Have you seen his ‘Spectacles’ TV Show? It’s on YouTube and features him in conversation and performing with top drawer artists. I seem to remember Ron Sexsmith doing a lovely version of ‘Everyday ..’

    Regards Thom.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I saw that clip on your blog, Thom, so will seek out more. Was it on cable/satellite originally? I had never heard of it. I love some of his lyrics, even though he is dismissive of so many of his songs himself.
      “She’s filing her nails, while they’re dragging the lake” (Watching the Detectives). So observant.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t remember this one, but I do like a lot of his stuff especially from this period.
    I was intrigued by the Charles and Di characters in the video, surly a sing of the time although I struggled to get the symbolism. I’ll have to watch it again.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I found this online. I doubt the song meant anything, and the Di/Charles in the video was just topical.

          This is what Elvis had to say about the song:

          “Every Day I Write The Book” is kind of a hack pop song. It doesn’t have any feeling behind it. It’s just an exercise in writing that sort of bad Smokey Robinson song with all the tricks of the trade…To balance [the album], we had a thing like “Everyday I Write The Book,” that anybody could whistle, and that was written in 10 minutes, as a spoof. Originally I tried to do it as a lovers’ rock song, and then we grafted on this kind of modern rhythmic treatment. It always begged to be done in some kind of pop style.”

          I still love it though, and this is a great line.
          “Even in a perfect world where everyone was equal
          I’d still own the film rights and be working on the sequel.”
          Maybe your man found life easier on a Kibbutz? More hands/light work etc.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I love Elvis Costello. “Watching the detectives” was the first music video I ever saw. It was 1978, and he became one of my favorites artists. I only saw him in concert once, and sadly it was a let down. But I had many cassette tapes of his that I blasted in my vintage BMW back in the early 1980’s. Many good memories.


    1. I have never seen him live. To be honest, many of my favourite singers or bands were a let-down, seen live on stage. I always prefer the recorded versions. Watching the Detectives was one of my favourites too. It had some really witty observations in the lyrics, as well as bringing back great memories of the time. Must have been nice to have had a BMW back then. If I recall correctly, I had a Volkswagen Golf when this song was in the charts.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks! I loved the Cars back then, still do, and they were a huge disappointment in concert. No stage presence at all. Do you have a all time favorite concert? I saw Tina Turner during her come back tour, and that has to be one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. She was amazing!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I was disappointed by Van Morrison at the Albert Hall, after waiting half my life to see him. But Anita Baker was fabulous live, at the same venue. I saw David Bowie at Wembley Stadium, and he put on an excellent show. Madonna was also very good, at the same big venue. My best ever smaller gigs were Edwin Starr at the Jazz cafe in London. He was great. And Swing Out Sister, at the same venue. Without doubt the best group I ever saw perform live.
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I have to admit, although the I know the name, I’m not familiar with Elvis Costello’s songs. I’d listen, though, if I could… I’m also one of those people who is often obsessed with a song. I’ll find it secretly playing in my mind when I’m doing other things, only to realize later that I’ve been “listening” to the song all the while…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for sharing, I loved it, I think he is one of the most underrated, and misunderstood of the musicians of the 80’s His edgy rhythms cover some great melodies, and I think lots of people did not catch his humour. His later work like the Juliet letters, and the later recordings are great. Best wishes Charles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Charles, nice to see you again.
      I was a big fan of Elvis, right up until his ‘Country’ period. A great vocalist and song writer, and one of the best British artists of the modern era.
      Regards, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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