Blame It On Cain

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Once upon a time, I had a little money.
Government burglars took it long
before I could mail it to you.
Still, you are the only one.
Now I can't let it slip away.
So if the man with the ticker tape,
he tries to take it,
well this is what I'm gonna say.

Blame it on Cain.
Don't blame it on me.
Oh, oh, it's nobody's fault,
but we need somebody to burn.

Well if I was a saint with
a silver cup
and the money got low
we could always heat it up
or trade it in.
But then the radio that heaven will be wired to your purse.
And then you can run down the wave band,
coast to coast, hand in hand.
Bad to worse, curse for curse,
don't be dissatisfied.
So you're not satisfied.

(Chorus)

I think I've lived a little too long
on the outskirts of town
I think I'm going insane
from talking to myself for so long.
Oh but I've never been accused.
When they step up on your face,
you wear that good look grin.
I gotta break out one weekend
if I do somebody in.
But every single time
I feel a little stronger,
they tell me it's a crime.
Well how much longer?

(Chorus)

Blame it on Cain.
Please don't blame it on me.
It's nobody's fault,
but it just seems to be his turn.

Blame It On Cain
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
ReleasedJuly 22, 1977
AlbumsMy Aim Is True, 1977
Viva England, 1982 (Spain)
Collections2½ Years, 1993
Length2:50

First known performance:
July 21, 1977, Manchester, England
Last known performance:
October 18, 2016, Atlanta, GA
     (224 known performances)


Alternate versions

Blame It On Cain (Honky Tonk Demo)
Performed byElvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Recordedlate 1975-early 1976, Elvis' bedroom, London
ReleasedOctober 15, 1993
AlbumsMy Aim Is True (Rykodisc/Demon reissue), 1993
My Aim Is True (Rhino/Edsel reissue), 2001
Length3:31

Blame It On Cain (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
ReleasedOctober 14, 1977
AlbumsMy Aim Is True: Deluxe Edition, 2007
SinglesWatching The Detectives, 1977
CollectionsStiff Box Set No. 2, 1981
Singles, Volume 1, 2003
Length2:53

Blame It On Cain (Live 1978)
Performed byElvis Costello & The Attractions
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedFebruary 28, 1978, Washington, DC
ReleasedMarch 4, 2008
AlbumsThis Year's Model: Deluxe Edition, 2008
Length4:05

Blame It On Cain (Live 2004)
Performed byElvis Costello & The Imposters
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Davey Faragher - bass, backing vocal
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedSeptember 17, 2004, Hi-Tone Cafe, Memphis, TN - either early or late show
ReleasedApril 19, 2005
VideosClub Date: Live In Memphis, 2005
My Aim Is TrueMAIT UK initial album cover large.jpg

Single: Watching The DetectivesWatching The Detectives UK 7" single front sleeve.jpg

2½ Years2½ Years album cover.jpg

Singles, Volume 1Singles Volume 1 album cover.jpg

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

This Year's ModelTYM album cover large.jpg

Covers

Julie Adams performed live, 2012-12-14, Mountain Stage radio program 2012 NPR - starts at 15:00
Alice Wonders Mod Tea Diary 2002 AllmusicAmazon
Boondogs Roots Pop For Now People  (EP) 2001 websiteBandcamp.com
Dustin Kensrue performed live, 2007-06-19, House of Blues, New Orleans 2007 YouTube
House Of Teeth unreleased demo recording 2010 Facebook
Larkin Poe performed live, 2011, Treorchy, Kelvedon, and London 2011 infoYouTube
Larkin Poe performed live, 2012-01-27, Glasgow 2012 YouTube
Peter Mulvey performed live 2003 website
Oliver's Army (Dallas) performed live, Dallas-area Costello tribute band 2003- OliversArmyBand
Paper Or Plastic Come Again 2003 AllmusicAmazon
Doug Powell - with The Long Players performed live, 2006-01-13, My Aim Is True tribute show, Nashville 2006 TheLongPlayers.com
Real Cheese performed live 2002 info
Erich Sellheim home studio production, sung in German 2013 YouTube
Solipsistics performed live, 2003-03-27, Knitting Factory tribute, Los Angeles 2003 infoMySpace

Chords

Tabbed by Roy M. Randall
G
Once upon a time, I had a little money.

Government burglars took it long before I could mail it to you.
                 C7
Still you are the only one.
                             G
Now, I can't let it slip away.
          D
So if the man with the ticker tape, he tries to take it,
D7                            G
Well, this is what I'm gonna say:

            Em7                     G
Blame it on Cain.  Don't blame it on me.
               C              D         C                G
Oh, oh, oh, it's nobody's fault, but we need somebody to burn.


Well, if I was a saint with a silver cup
And the money got low, we could always heat it up or trade it in.
But then the radio that heaven will be wired to your purse.
And then you can run down the wave band, coast to coast, hand in hand.
D7                                                C
Bad to worse, curse for curse, don't be disatisfied.
           D           G
So, you're not satisfied.
           Em7                      G
Blame it on Cain.  Don't blame it on me.
               C              D
Oh, oh, oh, it's nobody's fault,
       C                   G
But we need somebody to burn.


I think I've lived a little too long on the outskirts of town.
I think I'm goin' insane from talking to myself for so long.
Oh, but I never been accused.
When they step upon your face, you wear that good luck grin.
         D7
I gotta break out one weekend if I do somebody in.

But ev'ry single time I feel a little stronger,
     C                           D
They tell me it's a crime.  Well how much longer?
           Em7                        G
Blame it on Cain.  Don't blame it on me.
               C              D
Oh, oh, oh, it's nobody's fault,
       C                   G
But we need somebody to burn.
            Em7                       G
Blame it on Cain.  Don't blame it on me.
               C              D
Oh, oh, oh, it's nobody's fault.
       C                    G
But it just seems to be his turn.

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