Heathen Town

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They used to call it Sin City
Now it's gone way past that
Painting the town and then burning it down
Now even that's old hat
Now there's a choir of angels at the fall of Rome
Singing "Ave Maria" or "Home Sweet Home"

It's just a heathen town
I hear only evil as my tongue is tightened
I used to be god-fearing, now I'm so frightened
'Cause the devil will drag you under
By the sharp tailfin of your checkered cab
And I can't sit down, I'm going overboard
in this heathen town

It starts as a flirtation
And ends up as an expensive habit
With one eye on her place in debtor's prison
And the other on a girl dressed as a rabbit
Now you can live forever
Endure fits and starts
But the only stake you cannot raise
Is the one driven through your heart

It's just a heathen town
I hear only evil as my tongue is tightened
I used to be god-fearing, now I'm so frightened
'Cause the devil will drag you under
By the sharp tailfin of your checkered cab
And I can't sit down, I'm going overboard
In this heathen town

And I can't sit down, I'm going overboard
In this heathen town
In this heathen town
In this heathen town
In this heathen town
In this heathen town

Heathen Town
Written byElvis Costello
Performed byElvis Costello & The Attractions
Produced byClive Langer & Alan Winstanley
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedJanuary-April 1983, AIR Studios, London
ReleasedJune 1983
AlbumsPunch The Clock (Rykodisc/Demon reissue), 1995
Punch The Clock (Rhino/Edsel reissue), 2003
SinglesEveryday I Write The Book, 1983
CollectionsOut Of Our Idiot, 1987
Singles, Volume 3, 2003
PromosPunch The Clock, Trust & Get Happy!! Sampler, 2003
Length3:05

First known performance:
September 12, 1983, Boulder, CO
Last known performance:
November 19, 2013, Orono, ME
     (36 known performances)


Alternate versions

Heathen Town (Demo)
Written byElvis Costello
Performed byElvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, all instruments
Recordedca. 1982-1983, Elvis' home
ReleasedJuly 28, 2003
AlbumsPunch The Clock (Rhino/Edsel reissue), 2003
Length2:16
Single: Everyday I Write The BookEveryday I Write The Book UK 7" single front sleeve.jpg

Single: Everyday I Write The BookEveryday I Write The Book US 7" single front sleeve.jpg

Single: Everyday I Write The BookEveryday I Write The Book US 12" single front sleeve.jpg

Out Of Our IdiotOut Of Our Idiot album cover thumbnail.jpg

Punch The ClockPunch The Clock Rhino album cover.jpg

Singles, Volume 3Singles Volume 3 album cover.jpg

Covers

Michael Penn live, Knitting Factory tribute, 2003-03-27 2003 info

Internal links

External links