American Without Tears

From The Elvis Costello Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Outside in New Orleans the heat was almost frightening
But my hotel room as usual was freezing and unkind
On TV they prosecute anyone who's exciting
So I put on my overcoat and went down to find
In Revlon and Crimpelene they captured my heart
To the strain of a piano and a cocktail murderess
She was singing that "It's Too Late", I agreed with that part
For two English girls who had changed their address

Chorus:
Now it seems we've been crying for years and for years
Now we don't speak any English, just American without tears
Just American without tears

One had been a beauty queen and the other was her friend
They had known rogues and rascals and showbiz impresarios
While the boys were licking Hitler they had something to defend
From men armed with chewing gum and fine nylon hose
By a bicycle factory as they sounded the siren
And returned into the dancehall she knew he was the one
Though he wasn't tall or handsome she laughed when he told her
"I'm the Sheriff of Nottingham and this is Little John"

(Chorus)

At a dock in Southampton full of tearful goodbyes
Newsreel commentators said "Cheerio, G.I. brides"
Soon they'll be finding the cold facts and lies
New words for suspenders and young girls' backsides
Now I'm in America and running from you
Like my grandfather before me walked the streets of New York
And I think of all the women I pretend mean more than you
When I open my mouth and I can't seem to talk

(Chorus)

Now it seems we've been crying for years and for years
Now I don't speak any English just American without tears
Just American without tears
Just American without tears

American Without Tears
Written byDeclan MacManus
Performed byThe Costello Show
Produced byJ. Henry (T-Bone) Burnett & Declan Patrick Aloysius MacManus with Larry Kalman Hirsch
MusiciansThe Little Hands Of Concrete - vocal, acoustic guitar
Jo-El Sonnier - French accordion
James Burton - electric guitar
Jerry Scheff - string bass
Ron Tutt - brushes & drums
RecordedJuly 1985, Ocean Way and/or Sunset Sound and/or Sound Factory, Los Angeles
ReleasedFebruary 21, 1986
AlbumsKing Of America, 1986
SinglesBlue Chair, 1987
CollectionsGirls Girls Girls, 1989
Length4:31

First known performance:
June 20, 1985, Sydney, Australia
Last known performance:
October 7, 2016, Overland Park, KS
     (138 known performances)


Alternate versions

see American Without Tears No. 2 (Twilight Version)

King Of America1986 King Of America Album.jpg

Blue Chair singleBlue Chair UK 7" single front sleeve.jpg

Girls Girls GirlsGGG album cover 300.jpg

Covers

Michael Eck performed live, 2002-08-10, Brilliant Mistakes tribute, Albany, NY 2002 info
Tim Timebomb single 2012 WikipediaAmazonYouTube

Chords

Bb Dm Bb F C F

G                           C                G
Outside in New Orleans the heat was almost frightening
        G                        A7          D
But my hotel room as usual was freezing and unkind
   G                    C            G
On TV they prosecute anyone who's exciting
      G                      D            G
So I put on my overcoat and went down to find
    G                          C           G
In Revlon and Crimpelene they captured my heart
          G                     A7            D
To the strain of a piano and a cocktail murderess
         G                                 C              G
She was singing that "It's Too late", I agreed with that part
     G                          D              G
For two English girls who had changed their address

        C                           G
Oh, it seems we've been crying for years and for years
        Em
Now we don't speak any English
       C               G
Just American without tears
       C               G
Just American without tears

Accordion melody:
     G                 C                 G          D          G
e||---------------------------------------------------------------||
B||---------------------------------------------------------------||
G||---0-2-/4-4--4-5-4--2-0--2-0---0-2-0-/4-4--4-5-4-2-0-/4-2p0-0--||
D||-2-------------------------------------------------------------||
A||---------------------------------------------------------------||
E||---------------------------------------------------------------||

G                                   C               G
One had been a beauty queen and the other was her friend
           G                            A7          D
They had known rogues and rascals and showbiz impresarios
           G                                 C              G
While the boys were licking Hitler they had something to defend
      G                              D          G
From men armed with chewing gum and fine nylon hose
     G                       C           G
By a bicycle factory as they sounded the siren
       G                              A7            D
And returned into the dancehall she knew he was the one
           G                           C               G
Though he wasn't tall or handsome she laughed when he told her
           G                        D              G
"I'm the Sheriff of Nottingham and this is Little John"

        C                           G
Oh, it seems we've been crying for years and for years
        Em
Now we don't speak any English
       C               G
Just American without tears
       C               G
Just American without tears

G C G D G

      A                           D           A
At a dock in Southampton full of tearful goodbyes
     A                            B7         E
Newsreel commentators said "Cheerio G.I. brides"
 A                           D              A
Soon they'll be finding the cold facts and lies
     A                              E          A
New words for suspenders and young girls' backsides
     A                  D            A
Now I'm in America and running from you
          A                                 B7           E
Like my grandfather before me walked the streets of New York
        A               A7         D                   A
And I think of all the women I pretend mean more than you
         A                  E             A
When I open my mouth and I can't seem to talk

        D                           A
Oh, it seems we've been crying for years and for years
        F#m
Now we don't speak any English
       D               A
Just American without tears
       D               A
Just American without tears

        D                           A
Oh, it seems we've been crying for years and for years
        F#m
Now we don't speak any English
       D               A
Just American without tears
       D               A
Just American without tears

Repeat accordion melody (one tone higher) and fade
A D A E A

Internal links

External links