Green Shirt

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There's a smart young woman on a light blue screen
Who comes into my house every night
And she takes all the red, yellow, orange and green
And she turns them into black and white

But you tease, and you flirt
And you shine all the buttons on your green shirt
You can please yourself but somebody's gonna get it

Better cut off all identifying labels
Before they put you on the torture table

'Cause somewhere in the "Quisling Clinic"
There's a shorthand typist taking seconds over minutes
She's listening in to the Venus line
She's picking out names
I hope none of them are mine

But you tease, and you flirt
And you shine all the buttons on your green shirt
You can please yourself but somebody's gonna get it

Never said I was a stool pigeon
I never said I was a diplomat
Everybody is under suspicion
But you don't wanna hear about that

'Cause you tease, and you flirt
And you shine all the buttons on your green shirt
You can please yourself but somebody's gonna get it

Better send a begging letter to the big investigation
Who put these fingerprints on my imagination?

You tease, and you flirt
And you shine all the buttons on your green shirt
You can please yourself but somebody's gonna get it
You can please yourself but somebody's gonna get it
You can please yourself but somebody's gonna get it

Additional Lyrics

Additional Verse from Greenshirt (demo):

There are wires in the windows, there are wires in the walls
There are wires in the kitchen and wires in the hall
There are wires on poles, there are wires in your face
There are wires in the holes coming out all over the place

Green Shirt
Written byElvis Costello
Performed byElvis Costello & The Attractions
Produced byNick Lowe
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedAugust-September 1978, Eden Studios, London
ReleasedJanuary 5, 1979
AlbumsArmed Forces, 1979
SinglesGreen Shirt (Canada), 1979
Green Shirt (UK), 1985
CollectionsAlmost New, 1982
The Man (The Best Of Elvis Costello), 1985
Girls Girls Girls, 1989
2½ Years, 1993
The Very Best Of Elvis Costello, 1999
PromosSelections From Armed Forces - Imperial Bedroom - Mighty Like A Rose, 2002
Visa Sampler, 2007
Length2:41

First known performance:
April 12, 1978, Portsmouth, England
Last known performance:
2017
     (469 known performances)


Alternate versions

Greenshirt (Demo)
Performed byElvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
RecordedJanuary 1978, Eden Studios, London
ReleasedOctober 15, 1993
AlbumsThis Year's Model (Rykodisc/Demon reissue), 1993
This Year's Model (Rhino/Edsel reissue), 2002
This Year's Model: Deluxe Edition, 2008
Collections2½ Years, 1993
Promos2½ Years (In 31 Minutes), 1993
Length2:20

Green Shirt (Remix)
Performed byElvis Costello & The Attractions
Produced byNick Lowe
Remixed byColin Fairley
ReleasedApril 1985
SinglesGreen Shirt, 1985
Length3:18
Armed ForcesArmed Forces Rykodisc album cover.jpg

Armed ForcesArmed Forces Rhino album cover.jpg

Almost NewAlmost New album cover.jpg

The Man (The Best Of Elvis Costello)TMBOEC album cover 170.jpg

Single: Green ShirtGreen Shirt UK 7" single front sleeve.jpg

Girls Girls GirlsGGG album cover 300.jpg

This Year's ModelTYM album cover large.jpg

2½ Years2½ Years album cover.jpg

The Very Best Of Elvis Costello, 1999The Very Best Of Elvis Costello (2CD) album cover.jpg

Visa SamplerVisa Sampler front.jpg

Covers

Jay Bennett & Edward Burch performed live, 2002 2002 infoinfo
Bouncing Souls performed live 1996 link
Nick Danger The Loser's Lounge Tribute to Elvis CostelloVarious Artists 2002 LosersLounge
Frankenstein 3000 Where Do We Go From Here? 2009 AllmusicAmazon
J Goodin Live Eleven Five 2008 websitecdbaby
Golden Boy performed live, 2003-03-27, Knitting Factory tribute, Los Angeles 2003 info
Hot Chocolate Class 1980 Allmusicdiscogs
Kevin Kane Neighborhood Watch 1996 Allmusicwebsite
Lucibel Crater multi-camera video, unreleased 2007 YouTube
The Loved Ones info needed
The Pieces performed live, 2003-11-21, Tonic Ball 2, Indianapolis 2003 info needed
PMC All-Stars Super Songs Of The 70's Vol. 8 2009 Amazon
Matt Pond PA Almost You: The Songs Of Elvis Costello 2003 AllmusicAmazonAmazon.uk
Phil Pritchett performed live, 1999, Waco, TX 1999 archive.org
Erich Sellheim home studio production, sung in German 2014 YouTube
Carl Smith performed live, 2002-08-10, Brilliant Mistakes tribute, Albany, NY 2002 review
Tiki King With A Twist 2003 cafepress.com
The Tremblers Twice Nightly 1980 AllmusicAmazon
The Tremblers performed live, 1980-09-27, My Father's Place, Roslyn, NY 1980 etreeFLACMP3MP3 w/ intro

Internal links

External links