Miracle Man

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You never asked me what I wanted. You only asked me why.
I never thought that so much trouble was restin' on my reply,
I could say it was the nights when I was lonely
and you were the only one who'd come.
I could tell you that I like your sensitivity,
when you know it's the way that you walk.

Why do you have to say that there's always someone
who can do it better than I can?
But don't you think that I know that walking on the water
won't make me a miracle man?

Baby's gotta have the things she wants.
You know she's gotta have the things she loves.
She's got a ten-inch bamboo cigarette holder
and her black patent leather gloves.
And I'm doing everything just tryin' to please her,
even crawling around on all fours.
Oh, I thought by now that it was gonna be easy,
but she still seems to want for more.

(chorus)

I hear they're givin' you a bad reputation
just because you've never been denied.
You try to say you've done it all before.
Baby, you know that you just get tired.
Yet everybody loves you so much, girl.
I just don't know how you stand the strain.
Oh, I, I'm the one who's here tonight,
and I don't wanna do it all in vain.

(chorus)


Alternate lyrics

Alternate third verse from Pathway Studios demo:

You know seven men that want to be monkeys
And six that never get denied
And five that say they've done it all before
And four that say they just get tired
And three of the handsomest men in the country
And two that can do it again and again
But I'm the one who's here tonight
And I don't want to do it all in vain

Also see

Baseball Heroes and Miracle Man (Flip City version)

Miracle Man
Written byElvis Costello
Performed byElvis Costello
Produced byNick Lowe
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, guitar
John McFee - guitar
Sean Hopper - keyboards
Johnny Ciambotti - bass
Mickey Shine - drums
Recordedlate 1976-early 1977, Pathway Studios, London
ReleasedJuly 22, 1977
AlbumsMy Aim Is True, 1977
Viva England, 1982 (Spain)
Collections2½ Years, 1993
Rock And Roll Music, 2007
In Motion Pictures, 2012
SoundtracksThe Godfather Part III, 1990 (listed in film’s credits but doesn't appear on soundtrack)
PromosOur Aim Is True, 1978
Length3:32

First known performance:
July 21, 1977, Manchester, England
Last known performance:
July 25, 2017, Providence, RI
     (128 known performances)


Alternate versions

Miracle Man (Pathway Studios Demo)
Performed byElvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Recordedlate 1976, Pathway Studios, London
ReleasedSeptember 11, 2007
AlbumsMy Aim Is True: Deluxe Edition, 2007
Length2:22

Miracle Man (Live 1977 - London)
Performed byElvis Costello & The Attractions
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedAugust 7, 1977, London, England
Released1977
AlbumsMy Aim Is True: Deluxe Edition, 2007
SinglesAlison, 1977
CollectionsSingles, Volume 1, 2003
Length3:53

Miracle Man (Live 1977 - Leicester)
Performed byElvis Costello & The Attractions
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedOctober 22, 1977, Leicester, England
ReleasedFebruary 1978
Various Artists collectionsLive Stiffs, 1978
PromosArista AOR Sampler, 1978
Length3:56

Miracle Man (Live 1978 - Washington)
Performed byElvis Costello & The Attractions
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedFebruary 28, 1978, Washington, DC
ReleasedMarch 4, 2008
AlbumsThis Year's Model: Deluxe Edition, 2008
Length4:24

Miracle Man (Live 1978 - Toronto)
Performed byElvis Costello & The Attractions
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedMarch 6, 1978, Toronto, ON, Canada
Released1978 (promo-only release)
October 15, 1993 (commercial release)
AlbumsLive At The El Mocambo, 1978
Collections2½ Years, 1993
Length3:59
My Aim Is TrueMAIT UK initial album cover large.jpg

Single: AlisonAlison US 7" single front sleeve.jpg

Live StiffsStiffs Live Stiffs album cover.jpg

Live At The El MocamboLive At The El Mocambo album cover.jpg

2½ Years2½ Years album cover.jpg

Singles, Volume 1Singles Volume 1 album cover.jpg

Rock And Roll MusicRock And Roll Music album cover.jpg

This Year's ModelTYM album cover large.jpg

In Motion PicturesIn Motion Pictures album cover.jpg

Covers

Tom Hambridge - with The Long Players performed live, My Aim Is True tribute show, 2006-01-13, Nashville 2006 TheLongPlayers.com
Liquor Box Guilty Treasures 2009 Amazon
The Outlaws In The Eye Of The Storm 1979 AllmusicAmazon
The Outlaws performed live, 1979-11-23, Civic Arena, Pittsburgh, PA 1979 The Pittsburgh Press
Parallax Project performed live, 2002-08-10, Brilliant Mistakes tribute, Albany, NY 2002 reviewinfo
Erich Sellheim home studio production, sung in German 2013 YouTube
Nan Turner performed live, 2003-09-22, The Hoot, New York 2003 link

Chords

Intro
| E | C#m7 | play two times

E		      C#m7	       E 				C#m7
You never asked me what I wanted. You only asked me why.
E		      C#m7	                   E            B         E
I never thought that so much trouble was a-rested on my reply.
	A			      E
I could say it was the nights when I was lonely
A				C#m7
and you were the only one who'd come.
A				E
I could tell you that I like your sensitivity,
F#				        B	 
when you know it's the way that you walk.

A					E 
Why do you have to say that there's always someone
A				E 
who can do it better than I can?
A				       E
But don't you think that I know that walking on the water
         B			
won't make me a miracle man?

Baby's gotta have the things she wants.
You know she's gotta have the things she loves.
She's got a ten-inch bamboo cigarette holder
and her black patent leather gloves.
And I'm doing everything just tryin' to please her,
even crawling around on all fours. 
Oh, I thought by now that it was gonna be easy,
but she still seems to want for more.

(chorus)

| E | C#m7 | play two times

I hear they're givin' you a bad reputation
just because you've never been denied.
You try to say you've done it all before.
Baby, you know that you just get tired.
Yet everybody loves you so much, girl.
I just don't know how you stand the strain.
Oh, I, I'm the one who's here tonight,
and I don't wanna do it all in vain.

(chorus)

| E | C#m7 | repeat to fade

Internal links

External links