Deep Dark Truthful Mirror

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One day you're going to have to face a deep dark truthful mirror
And it's going to tell you things that I still love you too much to say
The sky was just a purple bruise, the ground was iron
And you fell all around the town until you looked the same

(Chorus:)
The same eyes, the same lips
The same lie from your tongue trips
Deep dark, deep dark truthful mirror
Deep dark, deep dark truthful mirror

Now the flagstone streets where the newspaper shouts
Ring to the boots of roustabouts
And you're never in any doubt, there's something happening somewhere
You chase down the road 'til your fingers bleed on a fiberglass tumbleweed
You can blow around the town, but it all shuts down the same

(Repeat Chorus)

So you bay for the boy in the tiger-skin trunks
They set him up, set him up on the stool
He falls down, he falls down like a drunk
And you drink till you drool
Well, it's his story you'll flatter
You'll stretch him out like a saint
But the canvas that he splattered
Will be the picture that you never paint

Deep dark, deep dark truthful mirror
Deep dark, deep dark truthful mirror

A stripping puppet on a liquid stick gets into it pretty thick
A butterfly drinks a turtle's tears, but how do you know he really needs it?
'Cos a butterfly feeds on a dead monkey's hand
Jesus wept, he felt abandoned
You're spellbound baby, there's no doubting that
Did you ever see a stare like a Persian cat?

(Repeat Chorus)

Deep dark, deep dark truthful mirror

Deep Dark Truthful Mirror
Written byDeclan MacManus
Performed byElvis Costello featuring The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Produced byElvis Costello, Kevin Killen & T Bone Burnett
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal
Gregory Davis - trumpet
Efrem Towns - trumpet
Kevin Harris - tenor saxophone
Roger Lewis - baritone saxophone
Kirk Joseph - sousaphone
Allen Toussaint - piano
Jim Keltner - snare drum, Chinese cymbal
Michael Blair - parade drum, tambourines
Recorded1988, Southlake Studios, New Orleans & Ocean Way, Los Angeles
ReleasedFebruary 6, 1989
AlbumsSpike, 1989
SinglesDeep Dark Truthful Mirror, 1989
CollectionsExtreme Honey: The Very Best Of The Warner Bros. Years, 1997
Unfaithful Music & Soundtrack Album, 2015
Various Artists collectionsThe Piano Songs 3, 2005
Under The Influence Of Alice, 2010
PromosSpike Album Sampler, 1989
Timothy White's Rock Stars, 1989
Malice And Magic, 1995 (US)
Selections From My Aim Is True, Spike And All This Useless Beauty, 2001
Length4:03

First known performance:
February 6, 1989, RAI 2, Italy
Last known performance:
March 20, 2017, Sheffield, England
     (455 known performances, 2 as a snippet)


Alternate versions

Deep Dark Truthful Mirror (Demo)
Performed byElvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, guitars, piano, percussion
RecordedFebruary 16, 1988, Eden Studios, London
ReleasedAugust 21, 2001
AlbumsSpike (Rhino reissue), 2001
Length4:04

Deep Dark Truthful Mirror (Unplugged Version)
Performed byElvis Costello (& The Rude 5)
Produced byBiff Dawes
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Marc Ribot - guitar
Jerry Scheff - bass
Larry Knechtel - keyboards
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedJune 3, 1991, MTV Unplugged, Warner Hollywood Studios
ReleasedDecember 6, 1994
AlbumsMighty Like A Rose (Rhino reissue), 2002
Various Artists collectionsThe Unplugged Collection Volume One, 1994
Length4:43

Deep Dark Truthful Mirror (Live 2006)
Performed byElvis Costello & Allen Toussaint
featuring The Imposters, Anthony "AB" Brown & The Crescent City Horns
Horn arrangementAllen Toussaint
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Allen Toussaint - piano
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Davey Faragher - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
Anthony "AB" Brown - guitar
Amadee Castenell - saxophone
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
Spike1989 Spike Album.jpg

Single: Deep Dark Truthful MirrorDeep Dark Truthful Mirror Germany 3" CD single front.jpg

The Unplugged Collection Volume OneThe Unplugged Collection Volume One album cover.jpg

Extreme Honey: The Very Best Of The Warner Bros. YearsEH album cover 500.jpg

Mighty Like A RoseMLAR album cover large.jpg

The Piano Songs 3The Piano Songs 3 album cover.jpg

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

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

Covers

Tasmin Archer Shipbuilding  (EP) 1994 AllmusicAmazon
Julia Brown performed live, 2002-08-10, Brilliant Mistakes tribute, Albany, NY 2002 info
Elastic No-No Band Every Elvis Has His Army: ENB Does EC 2005 website with download
Gail George Beyond Belief: A Tribute To Elvis Costello 2014 YouTube
Hootie & The Blowfish performed live 199x info

Chords

G                     Bm   
One day you're gonna have to face  
   Am                 G     G/C G  
A deep dark truthful mirror   
D   
 And it's gonna tell you things that I still   
 C                    D  
Love you too much to say   
G                    Bm   
 The sky was just a purple bruise  
Am              G    G/C G   
 The ground was iron   
D   
 And you fell all around the town   
   C                  G    
Until you looked the same  
 
[Chorus:]  
C C G              B  
     The same eyes, the same lips 
Em                  C   
 The same lie from your tongue trips    
Horns:  
e||-------------||   
B||-----------1-||   
G||-------0-2---|| 
D||---0-2-------||   
A||-3-----------||   
E||-------------|| 
   
C    Am    C    C/B  Am   D/F# G    [Horns]  
Deep dark, deep dark truthful mirror   
C    Am    C    C/B  Am   D/F# G 
Deep dark, deep dark truthful mirror  
  
C C          G                          Bm   
   Now the flagstone streets where the newspaper shouts  
Am                      G         G/C G   
 Ring to the boots of roustabouts  
D 
 And you're never in any doubt   
         C                        D  
There's something happening somewhere  
      G                            Bm 
You chase down the road 'til your fingers bleed 
Am                G         G/C G   
 On a fiberglass tumbleweed  
D  
 You can blow around the town  
    C                      G    
But it all shuts down the same  
  
[Chorus]  
   
        Bm                     Em   
So you bay for the boy in the tigerskin trunks 
C C  G             C C      G   
   They set him up, set him up on a stool  
Bm                       Em    
He falls down, he falls down like a drunk 
C C          G                  C C G  
   And you drink till you drool   
C         Bm                G   
And it's his story you'll flatter   
C         Bm                   G   
You'll stretch him out like a saint   
C        Bm               Em  
But the canvas that he splattered 
 C                       D          C#dim    
Will be the picture that you never paint  
  
Em C G [Horns]   
   
C    Am    C    C/B  Am   D/F# G    [Horns]    
Deep dark, deep dark truthful mirror  
C    Am    C    C/B  Am   D/F# G    
Deep dark, deep dark truthful mirror 
   
G                         Bm   
 A stripping puppet on a liquid stick   
Am              G   
 Gets into it pretty thick   
   D   
A butterfly drinks a turtle's tears  
     C                         D  
But how do you know he really needs it   
  G                          Bm   
'Cos a butterfly feeds on a dead monkey's hand   
Am               G   
 Jesus wept, he felt abandoned  
         D    
You're spellbound, baby, there's no doubting that
                         (that's where it's at)   
        C                      D         G  
Did you ever see a stare like a Persian cat   
 
[Chorus]

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