The Comedians

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I fell under such gentle persuasion
You can't refuse it's like a home from home
Meanwhile in the motorcar kingdom
They're finding that all that glitters is not chrome
The social circle have these cardiac complaints
Their hearts are empty when their hands are full
All these new found fond acquaintances
Turn out to be the red rag to my bull

Chorus:
And I'm up while the dawn is breaking
Even though my heart is aching
I should be drinking a toast to absent friends
Instead of these comedians

I've looked into these eyes upon reflection
They've seen the face of love, they've seen a few
What kind of love is this upon inspection
You'll be the last to know who's fooling who

(Chorus)



Alternate lyrics

From the demo version on All This Useless Beauty (Rhino reissue)

I sat there alone upon the Ferris wheel
A pastel coloured carriage in the air
I thought you'd leave me dangling for a minute or two
A silly twist upon a childish dare
Below I saw you whispering to another man
Who held the lever that could bring me down
He'd stop the world from turning at your command
It's always something cruel that laughter drowns

Chorus:
And I'm up while the dawn is breaking
Even though my heart is aching
I should be drinking a toast to absent friends
Instead of these comedians

I can hardly hear the music from the carousel
As the wind picks up the carriage starts to sway
As one by one the lights go out, it's closing time
I see you take his hand and walk away
Walk away

They say that you will always be the last to know
They say that all that glitters is not gold
It's not just that you're never coming back to me
It's the bitter way that I was told

(Repeat Chorus)

The Comedians
Written byElvis Costello
Performed byElvis Costello & The Attractions
Produced byClive Langer & Alan Winstanley
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, guitar
Maurice Worm (a.k.a. Steve Nieve) - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
see Goodbye Cruel World credits for possible additional musicians
RecordedFebruary 1984, SARM West Studios, London
ReleasedJune 18, 1984
AlbumsGoodbye Cruel World, 1984
SinglesThe Only Flame In Town, 1984
CollectionsSingles, Volume 3, 2003
PromosPeace In Our Time, 1984 (France)
Length2:32

First known performance:
December 27, 1982, London, England
Last known performance:
May 10, 2016, London, England
     (33 known performances)


Alternate versions

The Comedians (Demo) (#1)
Performed byElvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, all instruments
Recordedca. 1982-1983, Elvis' home
ReleasedJuly 26, 2004
AlbumsGoodbye Cruel World (Rhino/Edsel reissue), 2004
Length2:24

The Comedians (Demo) (#2)
Performed byElvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, all instruments
Recordedca. 1987, unknown location
ReleasedAugust 21, 2001
AlbumsAll This Useless Beauty (Rhino reissue), 2001
Length3:05
Goodbye Cruel WorldGCW album cover large.jpg

The Only Flame In Town singleThe Only Flame In Town UK 7" single front sleeve.jpg

All This Useless BeautyATUB album cover large.jpg

Singles, Volume 3Singles Volume 3 album cover.jpg

Covers

Kristofer Holz performed live 2013-10-20,Cranky Cabaret,The Black Box at Joria Studios, NYC, NY 2013 "The Comedians" on YouTubeThe Comedians
Roy Orbison Mystery Girl 1989 AllmusicAmazon
Roy Orbison Black & White Night Live 1989 AllmusicDiscogsAmazon
Roy Orbison Bespoke Songs, Lost Dogs, Detours & RendezvousVarious Artists 1998 AllmusicAmazonAmazon.uk
Roy Orbison UK Elvis Costello (2002)  (promo) 2002
Roy Orbison UK Elvis Costello (2006)  (promo) 2006
Roy Orbison T Bone Burnett: The Producer 2011 StarbucksStore.com
Stijn Schellart recording posted to YouTube 2012 "The Comedians" on YouTubeThe ComediansThe Could Have Should Haves
Hal Sherfey Band Angel & Devil 2004 Allmusiccdbaby

Internal links

External links