Pay It Back

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Stop thief; you're gonna come to grief
If you don't take a little more care
You're gonna get more than the family plan
From this one shoestring affair
I may be crazy but I can't contemplate
Being trapped between the doctor and the magistrate

Chorus:
One of these days I'm gonna pay it back, pay it back,
one of these days
One of these days I'm gonna pay it back, pay it back,
one of these days

And then they told me I could be somebody
If I didn't let too much get in my way
And I tried so hard just to be myself
But I keep on fading away
And then the lights went out, I didn't know what to do
If I could fool myself, then maybe I'd fool you

(chorus)

I wouldn't say that I was raised on romance
Let's not get stuck in the past
I love you more than everything in the world
I don't expect that will last
They told me everything was guaranteed
Somebody somewhere must've lied to me

(chorus)

Pay It Back
Written byElvis Costello
Performed byElvis Costello
Produced byNick Lowe
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, guitar
John McFee - guitar
Sean Hopper - keyboards, backing vocals
Johnny Ciambotti - bass, backing vocals
Mickey Shine - drums
Nick Lowe - backing vocals
Recordedlate 1976-early 1977, Pathway Studios, London
ReleasedJuly 22, 1977
AlbumsMy Aim Is True, 1977
Viva England, 1982 (Spain)
SinglesMystery Dance, 1977 (Belgium/France)
Collections2½ Years, 1993
Length2:33

First known performance:
July 21, 1977, Manchester, England
Last known performance:
October 26, 2014, Linz, Austria
     (9 known performances)


Alternate versions

Pay It Back (Soundcheck 1977)
Performed byElvis Costello & The Attractions
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedAugust 7, 1977, London, England
ReleasedSeptember 11, 2007
AlbumsMy Aim Is True: Deluxe Edition, 2007
Length2:23
My Aim Is TrueMAIT UK initial album cover large.jpg

Single: Mystery DanceMystery Dance Belgium 7" single front sleeve.jpg

2½ Years2½ Years album cover.jpg

Covers

Danny Flowers - with The Long Players performed live, My Aim Is True tribute show, 2006-01-13, Nashville 2006 TheLongPlayers.com
Erich Sellheim home studio production, sung in German 2013 YouTube

Chords

Intro  | G | G | C | C |
 
G
Stop thief; you're gonna come to grief
		C
if you don't take a little more care.
 		G            Em7	C	G
You're gonna get more than the family plan
 			C	G
from this one shoestring affair.
Em 	A			C	G
I may be crazy but I can't contemplate
F					      C	     Bm		
being trapped between the doctor and the magistrate.

G
One of these days I'm gonna pay it back, pay it back,
C
one of these days.
G
One of these days I'm gonna pay it back, pay it back,
C
one of these days.

And then they told me I could be somebody
if I didn't let too much get in my way.
And I tried so hard just to be myself,
but I keep on fading away.
Until the lights went out, I didn't know what to do.
If I could fool myself, then maybe I'd fool you too.

chorus

I wouldn't say that I was raised on romance.
Let's not get stuck in the past.
I love you more than everything in the world.
I don't expect that will last.
They told me everything was guaranteed.
Somebody somewhere must've lied to me.

Chorus, repeat to fade

Internal links

External links