Alison

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Oh it's so funny to be seeing you after so long, girl.
And with the way you look I understand
that you were not impressed.
But I heard you let that little friend of mine
take off your party dress.
I'm not going to get too sentimental
like those other sticky valentines,
'cause I don't know if you've been loving some body.
I only know it isn't mine.
Alison, I know this world is killing you.
Oh, Alison, my aim is true.

Well I see you've got a husband now.
Did he leave your pretty fingers lying
in the wedding cake?
You used to hold him right in your hand.
I'll bet he took all he could take.
Sometimes I wish that I could stop you from talking
when I hear the silly things that you say.
I think somebody better put out the big light,
cause I can't stand to see you this way.

Alison, I know this world is killing you.
Oh, Alison, my aim is true.
My aim is true.

Alison
Written byElvis Costello
Performed byElvis Costello
Produced byNick Lowe
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, guitar
John McFee - guitar
Sean Hopper - keyboards
Johnny Ciambotti - bass
Mickey Shine - drums
Recordedlate 1976-early 1977, Pathway Studios, London
ReleasedMay 27, 1977
AlbumsMy Aim Is True, 1977
Viva England, 1982 (Spain)
SinglesAlison, 1977
Alison, 1978 (Germany/Holland)
Less Than Zero, 1985 (12" single)
Accidents Will Happen (US "Hall of Fame" 3" CD single), 1989
CollectionsStiff Box Set No. 2, 1981
The Best Of Elvis Costello & The Attractions, 1985
The Man (The Best Of Elvis Costello), 1985
Girls Girls Girls, 1989
2½ Years, 1993
The Very Best Of Elvis Costello & The Attractions, 1994
The Very Best Of Elvis Costello, 1999
Singles, Volume 1, 2003
The Best Of Elvis Costello The First 10 Years, 2007
Unfaithful Music & Soundtrack Album, 2015
SoundtracksMetroland, 1998
Easy Listening: Music Inspired By The ITV Series Big Bad World, 1999
Get Over It: Music From The Miramax Motion Picture, 2001
Various Artists collectionsHeroes & Cowards, 1978 (Italy)
Win-Centive '80: The McRock Album, 1980 (Canada)
New Rock Champions, 1981 (Italy)
New Wave Disco d'Ouro, 1981 (Portugal)
Happy Rock: O Maximo Da New Wave, 1981 (Portugal)
Stiff 15 Stupefaction, 1985
The Stiff Records Box Set, 1992
That Loving Feeling Volume VI, 1993
A Hard Night's Day, 1997
On The Wave, 1997 (Spain)
Greatest Pop Ballads, 1999
Modern Rock: The 70's, 1999
Burning Hearts: The New Sad Songs, 2000
Oor 1971-1980: 10 Jaar Popmuziek, 2001
The Love Album: Classics, 2002
Simply Acoustic, 2002
New Woman 2002 Vol. 2 (The Autumn Collection), 2002
The Best Chillout Ever, 2002
I'm Not In Love, 2002
Chill Out In Ibiza 5: Dusk Till Dawn Ibiza 2003, 2003
Natural Acoustic, 2003
The Essential Acoustic Album, 2004
Acoustic 80s, 2004
Rock Spirit - The Golden Age: 1967-1984, 2005
...With Love: 18 Romantic Classics, 2005
The Best Album Tracks ...Ever!, 2005
20th Century Masters: Best of Love, Vol. 2, 2007
Have You Ever Been Experienced? SHM-CD Compilation: Rock Edition, 2008
Promos4 Track Sampler From My Aim Is True, 1977 (Australia)
Excerpts From Stiff's Greatest Hits, 1978 (excerpt only)
Our Aim Is True, 1978
Timothy White's Rock Stars, 1989
UK Elvis Costello, 2002
UK Elvis Costello (2006), 2006
Length3:24

First known performance:
July 21, 1977, Manchester, England
Last known performance:
2017
     (1539 known performances, 4 as a snippet)


Alternate versions

Alison (US Version)
Performed byElvis Costello
Produced byNick Lowe
Released1977
SinglesAlison, 1977 (US)
Watching The Detectives, 1977 (US)
Alison (US/Canada "Hall of Fame" reissue), 1981
CollectionsSingles, Volume 1, 2003
Length3:05
NoteThis remix adds synth-strings, background singers and echo.

Alison (Live 1977)
Performed byElvis Costello & The Attractions
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedAugust 7, 1977, London, England
ReleasedSeptember 11, 2007
AlbumsMy Aim Is True: Deluxe Edition, 2007
Length3:33

Alison (Soundcheck 1977)
Performed byElvis Costello & The Attractions
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedAugust 7, 1977, London, England
ReleasedSeptember 11, 2007
AlbumsMy Aim Is True: Deluxe Edition, 2007
Length3:25

Alison (Live 1978)
Performed byElvis Costello
Produced byNick Lowe
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedJune 4, 1978, Los Angeles, CA
ReleasedJanuary 5, 1979
AlbumsAlmost New, 1982
Armed Forces (Rykodisc/Demon reissue), 1993
Armed Forces (Rhino/Edsel reissue), 2002
SinglesLive At Hollywood High (bonus single with Armed Forces LP), 1979
Collections2½ Years, 1993
Length3:08

Alison (Live 1990)
Performed byElvis Costello
Produced byJohn Hanlon
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Neil Young - vocal
RecordedOctober 26, 1990, Mountain View, CA
ReleasedNovember 18, 1997
Various Artists collectionsThe Bridge School Concerts Vol. One, 1997
DownloadsThe Bridge School Collection, Vol. 2, 2006 (iTunes)
Length3:19

Alison / Living A Little, Laughing A Little / Tracks Of My Tears / Tears Of A Clown / No More Tearstained Make-Up / Clowntime Is Over (Live 1996)
Performed byCostello & Nieve
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
RecordedMay 22, 1996, New York, NY
ReleasedDecember 3, 1996
AlbumsCostello & Nieve, 1996
PromosLive At The Supper Club, New York, 1996
Length6:16

Alison (Live 1999)
Performed byElvis Costello (with Steve Nieve)
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
RecordedJuly 25, 1999, Rome, NY
ReleasedOctober 19, 1999
Various Artists collectionsWoodstock 99, 1999
VideosWoodstock 99 (DVD), 1999
Length2:52

Alison / Suspicious Minds (Live 2004)
Performed byElvis Costello & The Imposters
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Davey Faragher - bass, background vocal
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedSeptember 17, 2004, Hi-Tone Cafe, Memphis, TN
ReleasedApril 19, 2005
VideosClub Date: Live In Memphis, 2005

Alison / Tracks Of My Tears (Live 2006)
Performed byElvis Costello & Allen Toussaint
featuring The Imposters, Anthony "AB" Brown & The Crescent City Horns
Horn arrangementElvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Allen Toussaint - Hammond B3 organ
Steve Nieve - piano
Davey Faragher - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
Anthony "AB" Brown - guitar
Amadee Castenell - flute
Brian "Breeze" Cayolle - saxophone
Joe "Foxx" Smith - trumpet
Sam "Big Sam" Williams - trombone
RecordedJuly 3, 2006, Montreal, QC, Canada
ReleasedDecember 5, 2006
VideosHot As A Pistol, Keen As A Blade, 2006
My Aim Is TrueMAIT UK initial album cover large.jpg

Alison singleAlison UK 7" single front sleeve.jpg

Single: AlisonAlison US 7" single front sleeve.jpg

Single: AlisonAlison Germany 7" single front sleeve.jpg

Single: Live At Hollywood HighAflhh.jpg

Almost NewAlmost New album cover.jpg

The Best Of Elvis Costello & The AttractionsBOEC album cover 200.jpg

The Man (The Best Of Elvis Costello)TMBOEC album cover 170.jpg

Single: Less Than ZeroLTZ Stiff 12inch.jpg

Girls Girls GirlsGGG album cover 300.jpg

Armed ForcesArmed Forces Rykodisc album cover.jpg

2½ Years2½ Years album cover.jpg

The Very Best Of Elvis Costello & The Attractions, 1994The Very Best Of Elvis Costello And The Attractions album cover.jpg

Costello & NieveCostello & Nieve album cover.jpg

The Bridge School Concerts Vol. OneThe Bridge School Concerts Vol. One front.jpg

The Very Best Of Elvis Costello, 1999The Very Best Of Elvis Costello (2CD) album cover.jpg

Woodstock 99Woodstock 99 album cover.jpg

Singles, Volume 1Singles Volume 1 album cover.jpg

Club Date: Live In MemphisClub Date Live In Memphis dvd cover.jpg

Hot As A Pistol, Keen As A BladeHot As A Pistol Keen As A Blade DVD cover.jpg

The Bridge School Collection, Vol. 2The Bridge Collection.jpg

The Best Of Elvis Costello The First 10 YearsThe Best Of Elvis Costello The First 10 Years album cover.jpg

Unfaithful Music & Soundtrack AlbumUnfaithful Music & Soundtrack Album album cover.jpg

Covers

American Football performed live, The A.V. Club 2015 YouTube
Billie Joe Armstrong performed live (with EC), 2006-05-19, Atlantic City, NJ 2006 Dailymotion
The Baby Skins performed live, 2002-07-03, Boog City Costello tribute, New York 2002 info needed
Martin Belmont The Guest List 2009 websiteAmazon
Betsy Blue (formerly Betty Blue) performed live 2001 info
Betty Blue 10 Live Years 1997 website
The Big Delicious performed live 2003 MySpace
The Big Wu performed live, 2006-05-28, Harmony Park, Geneva, Minnesota 2006 Archive.orgArchive.org
Scott Blasey Don't Try This At Home 1995 websiteAmazon
Nate Blaustein First 2012 AllmusicAmazon
John Brodeur / John Faye performed live, 2002-08-10, Brilliant Mistakes tribute, Albany, NY 2002 info
Jon Brion performed live, 2003-02-08 2003 info needed
Brandon Boyd Favorite SongsVarious Artists 2005 AllmusicAmazon
Channel Cats performed live 2001 link
Vic Chesnutt, Jack Logan Almost You: The Songs Of Elvis CostelloVarious Artists 2003 AllmusicAmazonAmazon.uk
Barry Christian Alison 7" single  (Mercury 6007 161) 1977 link
Holly Cole Yesterday & Today 1998 AllmusicAmazon
Holly Cole Treasure 1998 AllmusicAmazon
Colleen Collins performed live info
The Common performed live 2000 infoAmazon
The Commons About A Girl 2007 myspace
Cooper performed live 2004 info needed
Cooper Si No Es Stiff... No Merece Un Tributo 2009 info
Cooper RSGo! 2011 Amazon.ukeMusic
Cord performed live, 2001-12-22, Bürgerhaus Kalk, Köln 2001 review
Lou Dalgleish performed live 2000 info needed
Joe Dolan Joe's 90's 1998 AllmusicAmazoninfo
Eddie and the Otters performed live info needed
Everything But The Girl Acoustic 1992 AllmusicAmazon
Free Pony Rides performed live 2003 info needed
Gail And Jimm Alison  digital single 2013 CDBabyAmazon
Lluis Gavaldà performed live, Figueres, Spain 7 August 2009 2009 reviewinfo
Joe Goldmark Steelin' From His Past 1996 AllmusicAmazon
Green Day unreleased infoinfoinfo
Warren Haynes performed live, Mariaville, NY, 2002-07-05 2002 infoinfo
Janas Hoyt And The Mary Janes The Stiff Generation 2002 AllmusicAmazonAmazon.uk
Tomio Inove info needed
Laurence Juber Pop Goes Guitar 2008 AllmusicAmazon
The Kielbasa Kings Polka Band Fresh & Smoked websitereviewcdbabymp3
Happy Kreter and Rueben deGroot performed live, 2004, Falmouth, Maine 2004 Archive.org
Kenichi Kurosawa Tribute To Elvis Costello 2007 AmazonAmazon.co.jp
Jeff Lash Trio performed live, 2003-04-17, Pop's Blue Moon, St Louis 2003 websitemp3
Lydia Loveless performed live, 2011-2012 2011- YouTubeYouTubeYouTube
Lydia Loveless Bad Way To Go - single 2012 DustyGroove.com
Nick Lowe performed live, 2010-10-01, RDSHP benefit, San Francisco, CA 2010 Richard de Lone Special Housing Project
Nick Lowe performed live, 2011-09-06, Simon Mayo Show, BBC Radio 2 2011
Nick Lowe performed live, 2011-09-20, Wang Theater, Boston, MA 2011
Nick Lowe performed live, European Tour 2012 YouTube
Robert Duncan McNeill performed live, Grand Slam Convention, Pasadena 2001 info
Pat McGee Band performed live, 2004-05-22, 9:30 Club, Washington, DC 2004 Archive.org
Ann McWilliams performed live, 2003-11-21, Tonic Ball 2, Indianapolis 2003 info needed
The Pete Moore Orchestra Massive Hits 2010 Amazon
Moxy Früvous performed live, 1997-06-18, Cincinnati, OH 1997 info
Matt Nathanson performed live, 2011, Austin, TX, Park City, Utah 2011 YouTubeYouTube
Nato Born To Love 2007 AllmusicAmazon
Hal Negro performed live, 2001, El Rey, Los Angeles 2001 info needed
Michael Novick performed live, 2003-04-01, Session 73, New York 2003 info
Hugh O'Neill TV, RTE Class Act 2007 YouTube
Oliver's Army (Dallas) performed live, Dallas-area Costello tribute band 2003- OliversArmyBand
Oliver's Army (San Diego) studio recording by San Diego-area tribute band ~1999 info needed
Yosuke Onuma Nu Jazz 1997 AllmusicAmazon
Of A Revolution performed live 2003 link
The Paris Match Our Favourite Pop 2007 WikipediaAmazonYouTube
Simon Petty performed live, 2003-03-27, Knitting Factory tribute, Los Angeles 2003 info
Liz Phair performed live, 1998-11-30, Avalon Ballroom, Boston 1998 info needed
John Pizzarelli Double Exposure 2012 websiteAllmusicAmazon
Punk Jones Never Mind The Stones - Here's Punk Jones 2009 Amazon
Marcelo Rezende Punk Hits In BossaVarious Artists 2008 Amazon
Linda Ronstadt Living In The USA 1978 AllmusicAmazonAmazon.ukYouTube
Linda Ronstadt Alison7" single 1978 Discogs
Linda Ronstadt performed live, 1978-08-07, Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, New York 1978 Billboard Aug 26, 1978
Linda Ronstadt performed live 1979 etree MP3
Beth Scalet Roadwork 2006 AllmusicAmazon
Greg Schlotthauer performed live website
Erich Sellheim home studio production, sung in German 2013 YouTube
Hitomi Shimazaki Sings UK Classics 2011 Amazon
Darden Smith performed live websiteinfo
Matthew Sweet Beyond Belief: A Tribute To Elvis Costello 2014 Facebook: Costello Tribute
Rachel Sweet performed live, July 1979, Cleveland, Boston, New York 1979 etree.orgetreeetreeYouTube
Tim Tamashiro I Take Requests 2009 Bandcamp.com
Patrik Tanner A Tribute To Elvis Costello 2004 AllmusicAmazonAmazon.uk
Glenn Tilbrook performed live, 1997, 2000 1997 infoinfo
Noa Tishby & Gal Asher Nona 1997 fanwebsiteimdb bio
Joshua Tyler The Loser's Lounge Tribute to Elvis CostelloVarious Artists 2002 LosersLounge
Frank Vignola Déjà Vu 1999 AllmusicAmazon
Butch Walker Cover Me Badd (EP) 2005 WikipediaAmazon
Butch Walker performed live, 2002, Jammin' Java, Vienna, VA 2002 etree
Charles Walker Number By Heart 2003 AllmusicAmazonAmazon.uk
Sean Wayland Stolen Van 2007 Allmusiccdbaby
Who's Your Daddy Paternity Suit 2012 Amazon
The Wild Truth Cryptomnesia 1992 info
Josh Woodward performed live, 2003-2007 2003+ info

Chords

[Chords you will need:] 

 Abm7    Abm    B7sus4  B7sus
--4--   --4--   --2--   --2-- 
--4--   --4--   --5--   --5--
--4--   --4--   --2--   --4--
--4--   --6--   --4--   --4--
--6--   --6--   --2--   --2--
--4--   --4--   -----   -----

[Intro]
Bsus4  B  |  Abm A C#m B   | F#m Abm  |  Abm  B

            A                            E
Oh it's so funny to be seeing you after so long girl

              A                              Abm7           C#m    B
And with the way you look I understand that you are not impressed

A                                   Abm7     C#m 
  But I heard you let that little friend of mine

D                         B7sus4  B7
  Take off your party dress

A                       Abm7     C#m    B         
  I'm not going to get too sentimental like those 

A                       Abm7  C#m  B
other sticky valentines 

A                                 Abm7       C#m
  Cause I don't know if you were loving somebody

  D                       B7sus4  B7
I only know it isn't mine

[CHORUS]

A    E  Abm7 A    C#m B    F#m Abm Ab7   C#m
Alison  I  know this world is kil-ling  you

B  A   E  A    B       E
Oh Alison  My aim is true

[Verse 2]
[Chorus]

Repeat and fade on this: 

D    B        E  A
  My aim is true
----------------------------------------------------------------------
from: Christian Korbanka, Cologne, Germany
e-mail: Christian_Korbanka@msn.com
lyrics and chords of: Alison by Elvis Costello  

Suggestions and corrections are always welcome!
date: 95/10/15

Bsus4  B
G#m  A  C#m  B
F#m  G#m
B

             A                            E
Oh, it's so funny to be seeing you after so long, girl
              A
And with the way you look I understand that
G#m7            C#m       B
You are not impressed
A                                 G#m7     C#m
But I heard you let that little friend of mine
D                         B7sus4  B7
Take off your party dress

A                  G#m7     C#m
I'm not gonna get too sentimental
 B         A                       G#m7  C#m  B
Like those other sticky valentines
A                              G#m7       C#m
`Cos I don't know if you were loving somebody
  D                       B7sus4  B7
I only know it isn't mine

A   E        A        B        G#m G#7/D# C#m
Alison - I know this world is kill-ing    you
B   A   E   A    B       E
Oh, Alison - my aim is true

A                      E
 Well I see you gotta husband now
        A
Did he leave your pretty fingers lying
G#m7            C#m  B
In the wedding cake?
A                          G#m7     C#m
You used to hold him right in your hand
          D                     B7sus4  B7
I bet he took all he could take

 A                              G#m7         C#m    
Sometimes I wish that I could stop you from talking
  B     A                              G#m7  C#m  B
When I hear the silly things that you say
A                        G#m7            C#m
I think somebody better put out the big light
        D                              B7sus4  B7
`Cos I can't stand to see you this way

A   E        A        B        G#m G#7/D# C#m
Alison - I know this world is kill-ing    you
B   A   E   A    B       E
Oh, Alison - my aim is true

D    B       E   A
 My aim is true.

Internal links

External links