Shabby Doll

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Giving you more of what for
Always worked for me before
Now I'm a shabby doll
What's going on behind the green elevator door
With just a shabby doll

There's a hit man facing
A compromising situation
With just a shabby doll
And a very neat line in character assassination
She's just a shabby doll

Chorus:
She's just a shabby doll
She's putting him off and putting you on
She's just a shabby doll
She's just the shabby doll
You're swearing upon, you know in your heart
She's gone, you know in your heart
She's just a shabby doll

There's a girl in this dress
There's always a girl in distress
She's just a shabby doll
She's so sure she's self-possessed
Then again she's half undressed
She's just a shabby doll

The boy that I used to be
Showed no sign of sympathy
For just a shabby doll
I have betrayed you and me
And paid for my own bribery
With just a shabby doll

(Chorus)

He's the tired toy that everyone's enjoyed
He wants to be a fancy man but he's nothing but a nancy boy
He's all pride and no joy

And being what you might call a whore
Always worked for me before
Now I'm a shabby doll
Untie the gag, the cat's out of the bag
But won't show his claws
He's just a shabby doll

She said you must be joking
Some things are left unspoken
You're just a shabby doll
He's lying limp and soaking
He was openly broken
By just a shabby doll

(Chorus)

Shabby Doll
Written byElvis Costello
Performed byElvis Costello & The Attractions
Produced byGeoff Emerick from an original idea by Elvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedNovember 1981, AIR Studios, London
ReleasedJuly 2, 1982
AlbumsImperial Bedroom, 1982
SinglesShabby Doll, 1982 (France)
CollectionsGirls Girls Girls, 1989 (CD/cassette)
PromosA Conversation With Elvis Costello, 1982
Visa Sampler, 2007
Length4:45

First known performance:
December 21, 1981, Guildford, England
Last known performance:
2017
     (317 known performances)


Alternate versions

Shabby Doll (Demo)
Performed byElvis Costello
Produced byElvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, all instruments
RecordedAugust 21-22 1981, Pathway Studios, London
ReleasedAugust 30, 1994
AlbumsImperial Bedroom (Rykodisc/Demon reissue), 1994
Imperial Bedroom (Rhino/Edsel reissue), 2002
Length4:17
Imperial BedroomIB album cover large.jpg

A Conversation With Elvis CostelloA Conversation With Elvis Costello album cover.jpg

Girls Girls GirlsGGG album cover 300.jpg

Visa SamplerVisa Sampler front.jpg

Covers

Calexico Maybe On Monday 2013 websiteAllmusic Amazon.uk
Calexico performed live, 2013-07-18, Paris 2013 YouTube
John Faye & Cliff Hillis performed live, 2002-08-10, Brilliant Mistakes tribute, Albany, NY 2002 info
Ian Tanner MP3 website
Fiona Apple Decades Rock Live, 2006-05-19, Atlantic City, NJ 2006 YouTube

Internal links

External links