National Ransom (song)

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Running pell-mell and harum-scarum
Running as hot as they do or dare
Stick out your tongue
And drink down all the venom
From Cut-Throat Cuthbert
And Millicent St. Cyr

From the real old Macau
To the new False Americas
In the liberated territories

Unusual suspects shake down, shake down, shake down various dubious characters

Mother’s in the kitchen picking bones for breakfast
Boiling them down by the bushel and the score
Pull out your thumb and count what’s left of your fist
There’s a wolf at the window with ravening maw

Did you find how to lie?
Did you find out just how to cheat?
The elite bleat, their obsolete
But are your prospects?
Exact, perfect object
Now, if you’d only genuflect

They’re running wild
Just like some childish tantrum
Meanwhile we’re working every day
Paying off the National Ransom

Woe betide all this hocus-pocus
They’re running us ragged at their first attempt
Around the time the killing stopped on Wall St.
You couldn’t hold me, baby with anything but contempt

Letters peal slowly from our speech
The claxton attempts to preach
Stretching for stars still out of reach

Drowning
Flailing
Outside someone’s wailing

They’re running wild
Just like some childish tantrum
Meanwhile we’re working every day
Paying off the National Ransom

1929 to the Present Day

National Ransom
Written byElvis Costello
Performed byElvis Costello
Produced byT Bone Burnett
MusiciansElvis Costello - lead and harmony vocals, Gibson L-00 acoustic guitar (1937), Ampeg AEB-1 bass guitar, reverse piano
Pete Thomas - drums
Dennis Crouch - double bass
Jerry Douglas - lap steel
Stuart Duncan - electric violin
Marc Ribot - electric guitars
Steve Nieve - Vox Continental organ
T Bone Burnett - reverse piano
Buddy Miller - vocal harmonies
AlbumsNational Ransom, 2010
The Return Of The Spectacular Spinning Songbook, 2011
Length4:05

First known performance:
October 3, 2010, San Francisco, CA
Last known performance:
September 29, 2012, San Luis Obispo, CA
     (59 known performances)


National RansomNational Ransom album cover.jpg

The Return Of The Spectacular Spinning SongbookThe Return Of The Spectacular Spinning Songbook album cover.jpg

Covers

no known covers

Internal links

External links