Hetty O'Hara Confidential

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Hetty said if you ask me nicely
I'll write you up well
Don't tell me twice
Or quote you directly
Or you'll pay the price
I'll peel off your skin like a thin veneer
If someone tells me something that I didn't hear from you

Who's got the dope?
Who's got the potential?
Hetty O'Hara Confidential

Those were different days
Those were different drugs
From a gold-plated palace with the half-mast flags
To a chalk lined body that was full of slugs
She was trading favours for footnote plugs
Who's got the needle?
Who is fit to burst?
A morphine tattoo on an unquenchable thirst

Who's got your girlfriend?
And who had her first?
Reading her column was essential
Hetty O'Hara Confidential

She could kill a man with a single stroke
She is not the one you want to provoke
If you can't take the heat
Or you can't take a joke

Who's got the dope?
Who's got the potential?
Hetty O'Hara Confidential

If there was a gentleman caller
To a comely wench
And a snooping peeper
In a coat of trench
She'd place a line or two
At the foot of the page
A cue or a clue
To the latest rage
With your true dimensions
And your actual age
Trade a life of scandal
For a career on the stage

These little things seem inconsequential
Except to Hetty O'Hara Confidential

On the night he came home
From the debutante ball
Passed out drunk on the bathroom floor
Call-girl called after taking a peek
At the secret drawer of atomic secrets
Repeating something that I whispered about
They have to take it
But they can't dish it out

Who's cleaning up his act?
And breaking the bank?
But unfortunately didn't remember to thank me
But now the rumour is doing the rounds
That his only friends
Are villains and scoundrels
Her reputation curled like yellow smoke
She named the wrong man in the story she broke

She had an unfortunate character trait
The irresistible impulse to assassinate
But the damage she did was quite substantial
Hetty O'Hara Confidential

They've got witch trials now
With witches to spare
And a jukebox jury full of judgement and fury
With bright neon dresses and porn star hair
She was thrown to the wolves
Or the dogs or the foxes
Once they'd had their fill of shares and stocks
Their gaze is unforgiving
If your morals are lax
Pointing manicured fingers and making a mockery
With voices that sound like broken crockery
Hetty said "I'm powerless and I feel alone..."
Now everyone has a megaphone

Who's got the dope?
Who's got the potential?
Hetty O'Hara Confidential

Hetty O'Hara Confidential
Written byElvis Costello
Performed byElvis Costello
Produced byElvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - mouth, Hammond organ, Fender Jazzmaster, upright piano, Rhythm Ace & all other noises
RecordedFebruary 2020, Suomenlinnan Studio, Helsinki, Finland
ReleasedJuly 10, 2020 (download/stream)
October 30, 2020 (album)
AlbumsHey Clockface, 2020
Singlesdownload/stream, 2020
Length4:14

First known performance:
     (0 known performances)


Eye.jpg
“The tale of a tattler who outlives her time.” elviscostello.com

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