Just Another Mystery

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Starting out from the mortuary platform
While the band played a lachrymose refrain
They hung two green flags on the engine
They swore it was a solid gold train

The people lined up by the side of the tracks
As the carriage rolled away in the dark
Through the long hours of uncertainty
He was the hammer who beat out the spark

Hammer and anvil, tears and pain
Stoke up the coals and rattle the chains
Don't cry anymore
It's just another mystery

They packed away his manuscript and metronome
His jackdaw quill pen was lost
His pocket watch was closed
The eviction notice was secretly burned
While they threw dice for the rest of his clothes

The train left the Grand Central Station
Bound for Washington, D.C.
But instead flew straight 'cross the ocean
For Vienna, Stockholm and Paris

Kings, queens, the pashas and potentates
Assembled to wish him god speed
But when you've been resting as long as him
It's not really something you need

Everywhere he went they had a word for him
On his way back to where he belonged
They stood him up, they gathered around and took photographs
While a ventriloquist sang all of his songs

They said that we're sending a free man
From his long-lost country of birth
Now that we've had the best of him
They can put him in their loving earth

When they heard they were sending the body back
They gathered from near and from far
Another flag, another band, another banner
Saying "Welcome home, whoever you are"

There was a joke, but nobody spoke
The graveyard decidedly odd
Where all the dead people turn into big trees
Like hands pointing fingers at God

Hammer and anvil, tears and pain
Stoke up the coals and rattle the chains
Don't cry anymore
It's just another mystery train

All aboard!

Just Another Mystery
Written byDeclan MacManus
Performed byElvis Costello
Produced byMitchell Froom, Kevin Killen & D.P.A. MacManus
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal
additional musicians unknown
Recordedlate 1990-early 1991, Ocean Way, Los Angeles, and Westside Studios, London
ReleasedNovember 18, 2002
AlbumsMighty Like A Rose (Rhino reissue), 2002
PromosSelections From Armed Forces - Imperial Bedroom - Mighty Like A Rose, 2002
Length4:13

Only known performance:
October 24, 2014, Budapest, Hungary
     (1 known performance)


Alternate versions

Just Another Mystery (Home Demo)
Performed byElvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, all instruments
Recordedca. 1990, Elvis' home
ReleasedNovember 18, 2002
AlbumsMighty Like A Rose (Rhino reissue), 2002
Length3:41
Mighty Like A RoseMLAR album cover large.jpg

Covers

no known covers

Internal links

External links