American Gangster Time

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One, two, three, four

Somewhere downtown a pretty girl kneels
Offers her soft lips and a handful of pills
Peels off her dress and then the rest of her skills
It buys what she wants and the rest she just steals

He speaks between deep swallows of rum
While her head is beating like a big bass drum
And she wishes he were mute and not just dumb
When the trick asked her quick, "Did you come?"

It's a drag
Saluting that starry rag
I'd rather go blind
For speaking my mind
Or use it just like a gag
So raise it in anger
Just let it hang
American Gangster Time

He sits back and starts to invent
All about some Saigon correspondent
"'Til the carbine fell silent and spent
I never knew it could be so eloquent"

Next week there'll be some fashionable new sin
For each harlot and each Puritan
Pull off their wings stick them on a pin
And just watch the money roll in

It's a drag
Saluting that starry rag
I’d rather go blind
For speaking my mind
Or use it just like a gag
So raise it in anger
Just let it hang
American Gangster Time

What you got hidden up your sleeve?
The tracks of the train that were bidding you to leave
When they say that you should flatter to deceive
Don't count on any reprieve

The hands of the helpless are raised
Your dead little secrets are praised
The people stand dumbstruck and dazed
By the inches that you have erased

It’s a drag
Saluting that starry rag
I'd rather go blind
For speaking my mind
Or use it just like a gag
So raise it in anger
Just let it hang
American gangster time
Committing the perfect crime
In American Gangster Time

Here we go
Bye bye
American Gangster Time

American Gangster Time
Written byElvis Costello
Performed byElvis Costello & The Imposters
Produced byElvis Costello & Jason Lader
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, Magnatone Typhoon guitar
Pete Thomas - drums
Davey Faragher - bass
Steve Nieve - Vox Continental organ
RecordedFebruary 7-14, 2008, Sound City Studios, Van Nuys, CA
ReleasedApril 22, 2008
AlbumsMomofuku, 2008
Various Artists collectionsThe Coolest Songs In The World! Vol. 7, 2008 -
Length3:45

First known performance:
October 6, 2006, San Francisco, CA - guest appearance at T Bone Burnett concert
Last known performance:
April 29, 2017, Washington, DC
     (60 known performances)



MomofukuMomofuku album cover.jpg

The Coolest Songs In The World! Vol. 7The Coolest Songs In The World! Vol. 7 album cover.jpg

Covers

no known covers

Internal links

External links