The Misfit

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I have received a letter that is requesting my consent
To give my voice to one poor man’s confession
If only he would repent
The date of my departure is coming very near
You ask I sing in private, my dear friend
Some songs composed in secret with a tender hand

For you know words once written down
Fade from the page or are misunderstood
And so the eye may search in vain
For their meaning
Or something more that is worth the keeping
He fell to uncontrollable weeping
Over terrors that come to you while sleeping

Lind sings from Andersen's memoir

“Once there was a boy, came dancing to my door
He wore a threadbare beggar’s suit
Flinging all his limbs in each direction
Reciting verse with perfect diction
Such wretched grammar
Such melodrama

Next year he returned, his lessons not quite learned
Flashing eyes for my affection
Reciting verse out loud
Declaiming to the gathering
A voice that some called ‘immature’
Though it was plain to see
That like a child spoke honestly”

Lind returns to her own thoughts

And yet his grasp was frail
So deathly pale and bound to fail
Loving someone unattainable

Now the chill of night is warmed
The fever on his brow is calmed
His neck stretched like a proud young swan
Transfigured and transformed

And this poor unfortunate
His hopes were crushed or slim
At another’s whim
Seeking someone
Someone similar

Still less a duckling than a gull
Believing every word that falls
From each promise and each spell
Fearing all the fires of hell

And it was I, who recognized his calamity
How promiscuity lives next door to poverty

So through that holy vow and our manners prim
My beating heart became contained in him
My beating heart became contained within him

The Misfit (unreleased song)
Written byElvis Costello
Performed byGisela Stille with Elvis Costello

 Written for Elvis' unfinished chamber opera The Secret Songs. Elvis has yet to sing it publicly. The performances below are sung by Gisela Stille.
Known performances:
October 8, 2005, Copenhagen, Denmark
October 9, 2005, Copenhagen, Denmark
October 10, 2005, Aarhus, Denmark
     (3 known performances)

Category:Unreleased songs1999-00-00 live.jpg

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