I Can't Turn It Off

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Basement babies strangling saxophones
They got twisted motives, they got eyes of stone
And it's a terminal condition that is tattooed on their shoes*
It's not that they don't need you
They're too mixed up to choose

Broken noses hung up high on the wall
Back-slapping drinkers cheer the championship brawl
But they're so punch drunk they don't understand the word defeat
They can take you out and shoot you
They can't confiscate that beat

Steam engineer breaks down in the newsreel
He's seen the future of the diesel wheel
Listen to the hammers falling in the breaker's yard
When you're used to the glamour it comes at you twice as hard

Sometimes I think that I have had enough
Sometimes I scare myself by giving up
Oh you know that I can't turn it off

Young girl rehearses all her blackmail faces
She's looking for a love that lasts
She'd never break the heart of any aces
But she's learning pretty fast

I've seen those clowns running all over town
Trying to satisfy all of their carnival desires
They start out looking for their own melody
They end up in the closing time choirs

All you lucky people crying in your beer
When it comes down to silence not even tears
You're in real trouble between the two
When it comes down to me
When it comes down to you

But there must be something you're allowed to keep
In between all of these pantomimes
Oh it's very easy to let love fall asleep
When you are worrying about hard times

Sometimes I think that I have had enough
Sometimes I scare myself by giving up
Oh you know that I can't turn it off
Oh you know that I can't turn it off


* In live versions 2007 and later: But it's a terminal condition that is tattered through and through

I Can't Turn It Off
Written byD.P. Costello
Performed byD.P. Costello
MusiciansD.P. Costello - vocal, guitar
Recorded1975
ReleasedOctober 9, 2015 (download)
October 23, 2015 (CD)
CollectionsUnfaithful Music & Soundtrack Album, 2015
Length3:41

Background:
 Some lyrics later appeared in Watch Your Step. A line similar to "young girl rehearses all her blackmail faces" turned up many years later in Sulky Girl.
First known performance:
November 8, 2007, San Francisco, CA (early show)
Last known performance:
October 3, 2016, Cedar Rapids, IA
     (12 known performances)


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


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