Motel Matches

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Somewhere in the distance I can hear "Who Shot Sam?"
This is my conviction, that I am an innocent man
Though you say I'm unkind
I'm being as nice as I can

Boys everywhere, fumbling with the catches
I struck lucky with motel matches
Falling for you without a second look
Falling out of your open pocketbook
Giving you away like motel matches

I wake with the siren in an emergency
Though your mind is full of love
In your eyes there is a vacancy
And you know what I'll do
When the light outside changes from red to blue

Boys everywhere, fumbling with the catches
I struck lucky with motel matches
Falling for you without a second look
Falling out of your open pocketbook
Giving you away like motel matches


Alternate lyrics

Live at the Palomino, North Hollywood, CA, February 16, 1979:

Somewhere in the distance I can hear "Who Shot Sam?"
Someone's crawling 'round your door
I suspect it is the insect man
Though you say I'm unkind
You'll find
I'm being as nice as I can

Boys everywhere, fumbling with the catches
I struck lucky with motel matches
Falling for you without a second look
Falling out of your open pocketbook
Giving you away like motel matches
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh

I remember thinking as I was crawling to the door
That I will make my move if I can only jump this chequered floor
And I know that quite soon
You'll see more of me than just a cartoon

Boys everywhere, fumbling with the catches
I struck lucky with motel matches
Falling for you without a second look
Falling out of your open pocketbook
Giving you away like motel matches
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh

Boys everywhere, fumbling with the catches
I struck lucky with motel matches
Falling for you without a second look
Falling out of your open pocketbook
Giving you away like motel matches
Giving you away like motel matches
Giving you away like motel matches
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh

Motel Matches
Written byElvis Costello
Performed byElvis Costello & The Attractions
Produced byNick Lowe
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedOctober 1979, Wisseloord Studios, Hilversum, Netherlands and/or Eden Studios, London
ReleasedFebruary 1980
AlbumsGet Happy!!, 1980
CollectionsGirls Girls Girls, 1989
PromosGet Happy!! (Promo Album), 1980
Length2:28

First known performance:
February 14, 1979, Long Beach, CA
Last known performance:
March 18, 2017, Edinburgh, Scotland
     (108 known performances)


Eye.jpg
“Upon my first motel night in Los Angeles I was hoaxed into believing that I had been assigned the very room where Sam Cooke had been murdered. I didn't sleep much until I found out in the morning that it had occurred in an entirely different location. Such innocence was short-lived, but the infamous Tropicana became the site of many less serious crimes, indiscretions and comedies.” Girls Girls Girls liner notes, 1989.

Alternate versions

Motel Matches (Live 1979)
Performed byElvis Costello & The Attractions
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
John McFee - guitar
RecordedFebruary 16, 1979, Los Angeles, CA
ReleasedJuly 26, 2004
AlbumsAlmost Blue (Rhino/Edsel reissue), 2004
Length2:21

Motel Matches (Alternate Take)
Performed byElvis Costello & The Attractions
Produced byNick Lowe
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedOctober 1979, Wisseloord Studios, Hilversum, Netherlands and/or Eden Studios, London
ReleasedJuly 28, 2003
AlbumsGet Happy!! (Rhino/Edsel reissue), 2003
PromosPunch The Clock, Trust & Get Happy!! Sampler, 2003
Length2:26

Motel Matches (Live 1984)
Performed byElvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, keyboard
RecordedApril 28, 1984, San Francisco, CA
ReleasedFebruary 28, 1995
AlbumsGoodbye Cruel World (Rykodisc/Demon reissue), 1995
Goodbye Cruel World (Rhino/Edsel reissue), 2004
Length2:39

Motel Matches (iTunes Originals Version)
Performed byElvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, organ
RecordedMarch 2007, Vancouver
ReleasedJune 19, 2007
DownloadsiTunes Originals, 2007
Length2:23
Get Happy!!GH album cover large.jpg

Girls Girls GirlsGGG album cover 300.jpg

Goodbye Cruel WorldGCW album cover large.jpg

Almost BlueAB album cover large.jpg

ITunes OriginalsITunes Originals.jpg

Covers

no known covers

Internal links

External links