Big Sister's Clothes

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Sheep to the slaughter, oh I thought this must be love
All your sons and daughters in a stranglehold with a kid glove
She's got eyes like saucers oh you think she's a dish
She is the blue chip that belongs to the big fish

But it's easier to say "I love you"
Than "Yours sincerely" I suppose
All little sisters like to try on big sister's clothes
Big sister's clothes

The sport of kings, the old queen's heart
The prince in darkness stole some tart
And it's in the papers, it's in the charts
It's in the stop press before it all starts

With a hammer on the slap and tickle under grisly garments
With all the style and finesse of the purchase of armaments
Compassion went out of fashion
That's all your concern meant
Sweat it out for thirty seconds on home improvements


Big Sister's Clothes
Written byElvis Costello
Performed byElvis Costello
Produced byNick Lowe not to blame for this one
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, all instruments
RecordedOctober-November 1980, DJM Studios and/or Eden Studios, London
ReleasedJanuary 1981
AlbumsTrust, 1981
CollectionsGirls Girls Girls, 1989

First known performance:
November 13, 1980, Stockholm, Sweden
Last known performance:
July 26, 2011, Red Bank, NJ
     (191 known performances)

Alternate versions

Big Sister's Clothes / Stand Down Margaret (BBC Session)
Performed byElvis Costello & The Attractions
Produced byJohn Porter
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedJune 9, 1983, Maida Vale Studios (Studio 4), London
ReleasedJuly 28, 2003
AlbumsPunch The Clock (Rhino/Edsel reissue), 2003
PromosPunch The Clock, Trust & Get Happy!! Sampler, 2003

see also: Big Sister

TrustTrust album cover large.jpg

Girls Girls GirlsGGG album cover 300.jpg

Punch The ClockPunch The Clock Rhino album cover.jpg


Erich Sellheim home studio production, sung in German 2016 YouTube

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