The Juliet Letters lyrics

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Deliver Us


For Other Eyes

I don't know what I would do
If this letter should fall into
Other hands than it should pass through
For other eyes

He said, "It was's over and done"
The rotten worm was burrowing still
Its spirit invades me, bleeding me white
For other replies

I searched his pockets
I searched his eyes
I searched his wallet for clues or lies
And I found a number that I somehow dialed
A woman answered, a woman smiled
And she hung up on the silence unperplexed
Innocently spun her rolodex
I dialed again, I could not resist
Revealing just the dentist's receptionist

One day we'll laugh about this or maybe we'll curse
But there's one thing and it's making it worse
And it's the lack of forgiveness that I can't disguise
No matter how well he lies

And we don't know each other anymore
And when we touch our lips feel sore
I question the longing left in his sighs
For other eyes


You're a swine
And I'm saying that's an insult to the pig
In the foul furrow that you dig
Why don't you lay your head down
In that unconsecrated ground?

Well, was she your mother
Or was she your bride?
To defile and to blister
To gnaw at her side
Is this the end of the world?
Now that you've finished your life
This riddle is the work of my little pen-knife

Expert Rites

I marvel at the wonder of it in our souless age
Fast flow the tears upon the page
Don't be alarmed, I am her friend
Will I be excused if I presume
As it's more than disappointment that we share
We share the same sorry life, the families fight
That unhappy blade you both invite
This romantic ideal has a lonely appeal

I once loved someone the way that you do
But I had to let her go
I lived with my regret
Don't despair, my would-be Juliet

Dead Letter


I Almost Had A Weakness

Thank you for the flowers
I threw them on the fire
And I burned the photographs that you had enclosed
God, they were ugly children
So you're that little bastard of that brother of mine
Trying to trick a poor old woman
'Til I almost had a weakness

Last week Cousin Florence bit your Uncle Joe
Hit him on the forehead with a knife and a fork
Said that he looked like the devil
Then she said... "pass the vinegar", I'm beginning to think
That I'm the only one who hasn't taken to the drinking of it
Though I almost had a weakness

It pains me to mention
These delicate concerns
But while I have to tolerate you family jewels
I really mustn't grumble
'Cause when I die, the cats and dogs will jump up and down
And you little swines will get nothing
Though I almost had a weakness


Why is Daddy not here?
Are you crying?
Does he still love me?
Will you take care of me?
If you both love me so
Why don't you love each other?

Mummy's gone missing
Daddy's on fire
Daddy's on fire
Daddy's on fire

Who Do You Think You Are?

The hunted look, the haunted grace
The empty laugh that you cultivate
You fall into that false embrace
And kiss the air about her face
Who do you think you are?

The tres bon mots you almost quote
From your quiver of literary darts
A thousand or so tuneless violins
Thrilling your cheap little heart
Who do you think you are?

The cigarette burns right down to the ash
My coffee cup is unstained
The waiter hovers close at hand
His courtesy strained
Who do you think you are?

I close with my regards
Well I'm the red-faced gentleman
Caught in this picture postcard
Who do you think you are?

Trying my best to make the best of your absence
Though the joke gets tired and sordid
And sea-shell hearts get trampled under foot
Punchlines unrewarded

But even at this distance, it's not easy to accept
The vision that I chase returns when I least expect it
I've fallen from your tired embrace
I kiss the air about the place that should be your face

Taking My Life In Your Hands

My dear impulsive darling, I suspect my letter got to you too late
And it's really just a silly fragment of paper
But it means so much to those who wait
All the suffering days and nights till I dare dream again
There you suddenly stand and I'll be damned
If you didn't disappear with the dawn

Hours pass and darkness comes
Soon I will close my eyes
Will you return?
If you don't reply, you'll be taking my life in your hands
You'll be taking my life in your hands
Taking my life in your hands

I don't know why, my dearest darling
I can't tell you how I feel when you are near
When I see you have returned my letters unopened
I will tear them up, your voice ringing in my ears
But you're kidding yourself if you think this correspondence will end
I can always pretend words I don't have the courage to send reach you

Hours pass and darkness comes
Soon I will close my eyes
Will you return?
If you don't reply, you'll be taking my life in your hands
You'll be taking my life in your hands
Taking my life in your hands

This Offer Is Unrepeatable

For fate has no price
Ignore at your peril this splendid advice
An invaluable link in an infinite chain
An offer like this will just not come again

You wish you had women to charm and bewitch
Power of life and death over the rich
Young girls will be swooning because you're exciting them
Not only fall at your feet but be biting them

Guaranteed, guaranteed to capture your breath
Or possibly scare you to death
Sign it and seal it and send it to friends
Don't mention my name
Don't make any long term plans

In thirty-six hours your fortunes will change
Your best friends won't know you and neither will strangers
Do not keep this letter, it must leave your hand
You have been selected from over five thousand

A twister and dupe will bamboozle or hoodwink you
I can't say more, it would only confuse you
The wine they will offer will go to your head
And you'll start to see double in fishes and bread

Guaranteed, guaranteed for a lifetime or more
Guaranteed, for this world and the next
Guaranteed, guaranteed for the world and its mother
Cherish this life as you won't get another one

UNLESS you should take up this fabulous offer
Don't leave it too late or you'll be bound to suffer
Woebetide anyone so woebegone
You won't know you're born or about to pass on

You'll never get tired
You'll never get bored
By the way, I just hope you're insured
If you're not satisfied
If you want more
We can always provide an improved overture
Guaranteed at a price that is almost unbeatable
This offer is unrepeatable

Your troubles will vanish
Your tears will dry
Your blessings will just multiply
Guaranteed at a price that is almost unbeatable
This offer is unrepeatable

Guaranteed, guaranteed to bring fortune and favour
In a riot of colours and flavours
Guaranteed at a price that is almost unbeatable
This offer is unrepeatable

Would I lie to you?
Would I sell you a dud?
Just sign on the line
Could you possibly write it in blood?

Dear Sweet Filthy World

Dear sweet filthy world, my wife or whoever reads this,
I think that I've lived too long
With all of my promise unfulfilled
But there is a veil drawn over all of that

I know you'll probably say, "Spare us the melodrama"
"I don't know how he chose the pills or the stupid revolver"
I'm out of luck
I'm not that strong
My hands, your neck
I might have wrung

Don't try to find me
I'm not worth anything anymore
I am not leaving you with all of your problems
'Cause the biggest one is me
Life is dark and cold as the sea

Embrace me in my anguish
Put seaweed in my hair
And vow that you won't cry because I've gone
I can't go on, I can't go on, I can't go on
I must close now

The Letter Home

c/o St. Ignatus House, Willoughby Drive,
Parrametta, New South Wales
This fifth day of July, in the year of Our Lord
Nineteen hundred and thirty five

Why must I always apologize every time that I sit down to write?
Through my own fault, I may find you're no longer living at this address
Please excuse the lack of news, the feeling of strange privilege
For the hour of trial, in these times of distress
Mean more than years imprisoned by etiquette

I can remember when we were children
Though I could never imagine this day
Your brother told me we'd live forever
"I'll go one better," I heard myself say
And it seems so strange, now that he's gone
To recall all these games
Though the years have divided us
Friendships have strained and broken

Oh, by the way, how's that girl that you wed?
I hated you then, but I'm over the worst of it
I can't come home, I might as well say
Life is short, I shall not write again

Jacksons, Monk And Rowe

Sisters 4 and Brothers 3
Hanging off the family tree
Practising for getting old
Do you want your fortune told?
They're looking for you high and low
Now there's nowhere for you to go
So you'll just have to come out and face the music
Jacksons, Monk and Rowe

Long ago when we were kids and we cut your hair to bits
As we carried off like spoils
The heads we'd smash right off your dolls
The wind is changing, you know
Are you sure of your friends and your foe?
Have you got what it takes to carry it off
Jacksons, Monk and Rowe?

As the sun beats down and life begins to complicate
Will we both incinerate if we touch that brass name-plate?

Messrs. All, and noble Sirs,
Highly paid solicitors
Find enclosed my signed divorce
Sad proceedings you endorse
The burden of pity will show
In the people that we used to know
Have you got enough strength to carry it off
Jacksons, Monk and Rowe?

Jacksons, Monk and Rowe

This Sad Burlesque

I write in hope by the time you get this letter
We may live to see a change for the better
Or are we so devoted to these wretched selfish motives?
When the cold facts and figures all add up
They cannot contradict this sad burlesque

This sad burlesque
With miserable failures making entertainment of our fate
Laughter cannot dignify or elevate this sad burlesque

Now can they recall being young and idealistic
Before wading knee-deep in hogwash and arithmetic?
The pitying smirk
The argument that runs like clockwork
Will run down eventually and splutter to a stop

P.S. Well, by now you know the worst of it
And we've heard all the alibis that they've rehearsed
The smug predictions
If it's not a contradiction
Please have faith in human nature
And have mercy on the creatures in this sad burlesque

This sad burlesque
With miserable failures making entertainment of our fate
Laughter cannot dignify or elevate this sad burlesque

Romeo's Seance

Is anyone there I can talk to?
Give us a sign if you're with me
Can't you see that I'm dying to hear you?

Everyone else has lost interest
And I'm all alone in this dream house
Though you're gone, I don't feel like crying
Romeo is calling you

Knock once or twice if you're out there
Send me a message, my sweetheart
When I'm out and about, I'll be coming to see you

It isn't easy to live with this matronly face at the window
Try to contact me if you can see how I'm suffering
Romeo is calling you

Scatter the paper and thimbles
You can take care of the candles
An unplugged radio plays, she is close now

Me and my hand-holding baby are walking the floor and the ceiling
And this is the song she dictated this evening
Romeo is calling
Romeo is calling you

I Thought I'd Write To Juliet

I thought I'd write to Juliet, for she would understand
And when someone is already dead they can no longer let you down
Instead I find myself talking to you, as my oldest friend
Tell me how I can advise someone that I don't even know to welcome death?
For I received a letter that is worth reporting
And though it may raise a cynical smile, it leaves a sinking feeling
Like when a soldier in a story says to the sergeant
"Have you seen my pride and joy?..."
You know the rest, and it's no joke
Forgive me please as I quote...

"This is a letter of thanks, as I'm so bored here in I can't say where
So I'm writing to people that I may never meet
And I was thinking of something you said..."

"I'm a female soldier, my name is Constance
I enlisted in the military, needing funds for college
I'm twenty-three years old and if I do get home alive
I imagine I may think again..."

"I'm sleeping with my eyes open for fear of attack
Your words are a comfort, they're the best things that I have
Apart from family pictures and, of course, my gas mask
I don't know why I am writing to you"

Last Post


The First To Leave

I should open with a kiss
For if you're reading this
You must have opened up your case
And found this letter where I placed it
In between the silk and lace
There were other clues, like your walking shoes
But I still refused to believe
That you were meant to be the first to leave

Everybody here sends you their love
How could I forget you still walk above
Or below
Perhaps you'll never know this Purgatory
We never could agree
There's a thought, there's a pause
No time to repent
Eternally yours in a permanent Lent

But if I should give you up
If you're right and life just stops
And I never see your face again
Then from unearthly pleasures, proud and plain
I shall abstain
'Til you realise, my loss is your surprise
Unless you know otherwise, then don't grieve
You see I had to be the first to leave

Damnation's Cellar

Did anybody notice, over marmalade and eggs
In between the Princess' legs
What with wars and floods and beggars
Not to mention stocks and shares
Well, if you have a moment to spare
Can you write and reassure me that I have seen
That they're constructing a time machine
There will be no need for the obituary pages
We can have any hero from the bygone ages
'Til the truth emerges, an argument rages

The major and the minor turn from tallow into tar
Should we leave them in their place down in damnation's cellar?

When any form of deity that you might enjoy
Can be conjured with a test-tube and a flame
If it's out there then science can explain it
Or at least remove the blame
And if there is anyone you'd like to see again
Then speak up quickly
Send us back Da Vinci then we don't have to ponder
The maddening smile of "La Giaconda"
The critics say Nijinsky, the dancer, of course
While the punters would probably prefer the horse
You'll find it's quicker than history, cheaper than divorce

The major and the minor turn from tallow into tar
Should we leave them in their place down in damnation's cellar?

Bring back Liberace or Ollie and Stan
Shakespeare will have to wait his turn
Elvis Presley and Puccini shall return
I suppose we live and learn
Though it's hard to believe as we cheerfully burn
It's curious
Some will call for justice, there are murders to solve
What about Hitler? Or at least Lee Harvey Oswald
Give us this day and everything we squander
Anyone beautiful, somebody blonder
They'll never please mankind, so lie back and enjoy it
Stop press: They've just decided to destroy it

The major and the minor turn from tallow into tar
Should we leave them in their place down in damnation's cellar?

The Birds Will Still Be Singing

Summertime withers as the sun descends
He wants to kiss you, will you condescend?
Before you wake and find a chill within your bones
Under a fine canopy of lover's dust and humourous bones
Banish all dismay, extinguish every sorrow

Eternity stinks, my darling, that's no joke
Don't waste your precious time pretending you're heartbroken
There will be tears and candles, pretty words to say
Spare me lily-white lily with the awful perfume of decay

Banish all dismay, extinguish every sorrow
If I'm lost or I'm forgiven, the birds will still be singing

It's so hard to tear myself away
Even when you know it's over
It's too much to say

Banish all dismay, extinguish every sorrow
If I'm lost or I'm forgiven, the birds will still be singing

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The Juliet Letters
The Juliet Letters album cover.jpg
ReleasedJan 15, 1993
ProducerKevin Killen, Elvis Costello & The Brodsky Quartet
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