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Elvis Costello

Battered Old Bird

The landladys husband came up to town today
Since he left them both ten years ago to serve the ministry
The dark down road of his approach in constant rain was drenched
The tenants boy said how dya do then swore in french
Did you teach this little child these curses on my soul
You should both be shut down in the coal-hole
Thats the way to treat a child who cries out in the night
And a woman who teaches wrong from right
Chorus: hes a battered old bird
And hes living up there
Theres a place where time stands still
If you keep taking those little pink pills
Hush your mouth you hypocrite
His humour cut her deep
The tight lipped leer of judgement
That had seen her love desert her just like sleep
Filthy words on childrens lips are better, my dear spouse
Then if I were to speak my mind about this house
Chorus
On the first floor there are two old maids

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Tramp The Dirt Down

I saw a newspaper picture from the political campaign
A woman was kissing a child, who was obviously in pain
She spills with compassion, as that young childs
Face in her hands she grips
Can you imagine all that greed and avarice
Coming down on that childs lips
Well I hope I dont die too soon
I pray the lord my soul to save
Oh Ill be a good boy, Im trying so hard to behave
Because theres one thing I know, Id like to live
Long enough to savour
Thats when they finally put you in the ground
Ill stand on your grave and tramp the dirt down
When england was the whore of the world
Margeret was her madam
And the future looked as bright and as clear as
The black tarmacadam
Well I hope that she sleeps well at night, isnt
Haunted by every tiny detail
cos when she held that lovely face in her hands

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Alibi

You did it 'cause you wanted
Alibi, alibi
And you took it
Cause you need it
Alibi, alibi
But if I've done something wrong there's no "ifs and buts"
'Cause I love you just as much as I hate your guts
Alibi, alibi, alibi...
And you don't need anybody
Alibi, alibi
But you are the only one that knows this
Alibi, alibi
You deserve it 'cause you're special
Alibi, alibi
Maybe Jesus wants you for a sunbeam
Alibi, alibi
But if I've left something out
I apologize
But if you look in my eyes
Then I'm sure you'll see...

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This Offer Is Unrepeatable

Dont send any money!
Fate has no price
Ignore at your peril this splendid advice
An invaluable link in an infinite chain
An offer like this will just not come again
You wish you had women to charm and bewitch
Power of life and death over the rich young girls will be swooning
Because youre exciting them
And not only fall at your feet but be biting them
Guaranteed, guaranteed to capture your breath
Or just possibly scare you to death
Sign it and seal it and send it to friends
But dont mention my name
Dont make any long term plans
In thirty-six hours your fortunes will change
Your best friends wont know you
And neither will strangers
Do not keep this letter
It must leave your hand
You have been selected from over five thousand

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I Want You

I want you
Oh my baby baby I love you more than I can tell
I dont think I can live without you
And I know that I never will
Oh my baby baby I want you so it scares me to death
I cant say anymore than I love you
Everything else is a waste of breath
I want you
Youve had your fun you dont get well no more
I want you
Your fingernails go dragging down the wall
Be careful darling you might fall
I want you
I woke up and one of us was crying
I want you
You said young man I do believe youre dying
I want you
If you need a second opinion as you seem to do these days
You can look in my eyes and you can count the ways
I want you

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Stalin Malone

I'm going to make you even fear the dream you dream
So don't even think about it don't make a wish
You think that i don't see you as you trawl those young weak fish
Hooked on those poor wonders, 'til they want you alone
Though they can't tell a cuckoo-clock from the squeals of saxophones
That's when they'll fear my name
Stalin malone
I'm telling you the day will come when this man gets what he merits
Though people still wear animal skins to ward off evil spirits
Only wife-swapping and witchcraft woke the dormitory town
'til horse's heads up in the trees came dripping down
Yes, horse's heads up hung in the trees after the bird had flown
Did you wonder of my whereabouts as the barrack-room was blown
Did anybody call my name?
Stalin malone
In a room called creation, where you all obey my laws
Where seconal is gravity and pain is like applause
You think that this phenomenon is some coincidence
But i've got people everywhere, you're under
My surveillance, in the pocket of my pants

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Tokyo Storm Warning

The sky fell over cheap korean monster-movie scenery
And spilled into the reservoir of the crushed capsule hotel
Between the disney abattoir and the chemical refinery
And I knew I was in trouble but I thought I was in hell
So you look around the tiny room and you wonder where the hell you are
While the k.k.k. convention are all stranded in the bar
They wear hoods and carry shotguns in the main streets of montgomery
But theyre helpless here as babies cause theyre only here on holiday
Chorus: what do we care if the world is a joke
(tokyo storm warning)
Well give it a big kiss
Well give it a poke
(tokyo storm warning)
Death wears a big hat cause hes a big bloke
(tokyo storm warning)
Were only living this instant
The black sand stuck beneath her feet in a warm sorrento sunrise
A barefoot girl from naples or was it a barcelona hi-rise
Whistles out the tuneless theme song on a hundred cheap suggestions
And a million false seductions and all those eternal questions

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The Night Before Larry Was Stretched

The night before larry was stretched
Oh, the night before larry was stretched
Well the boys they all paid him a visit
A bit in their sacks too they fetched
For they sweated their duds till they ris it
For larry was always the lad
When a boy was condemned to the squeezer
Would fence all the duds that he had
For to help his poor friend to a sneezer--
-- and warm his ol gob fore he died
Well the boys they came crowding in fast
And they threw all their stools round about him
Six glims round his trap-case was placed
For he couldnt be well-waked without them
When one of them asked, could he die
Without having duly repented?
Said larry, thats all in me eye
And first by the clergy invented--
--for to get a fat bit for themselves
Oh and Ill be cut up like a pie:

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