The Monkey

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The monkey speaks his mind

And three monkeys sat in a coconut tree
Discussing things as they are said to be
Said one to other now listen, you two
“There’s a certain rumour that just can’t be true
That man descended from our noble race
Why, the very idea is a big disgrace, yea”
No monkey ever deserted his wife
Starved her baby and ruined her life

Yea, the monkey speaks his mind

And you’ve never known a mother monk
To leave her babies with others to bunk
And passed them on from one to another
‘Til they scarcely knew which was their mother
Yea, the monkey speak his mind

And another thing you will never see
A monkey build a fence around a coconut tree
And let all the coconuts go to waste
Forbidding other monkeys to come and taste
Why, if I put a fence around this tree
Starvation would force you to steal from me

Yea, the monkey speaks his mind

Here’s another thing a monkey won’t do
Go out on a night and get all in a stew
Or use a gun or a club or a knife
And take another monkey’s life
Yes, man descended, the worthless bum
But, brothers, from us he did not come

Yea, the monkey speaks his mind

Yea, now the monkey speaks his mind

The Monkey
Written byDave Bartholomew & Pearl King
Performed byElvis Costello & The Imposters
Produced byDennis Herring & Elvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - recitation, Gibson Super 400 guitar
Steve Nieve - upright piano
Davey Faragher - Hofner bass
Pete Thomas - drums
Dennis Herring - Magnatone Typhoon electric guitar
RecordedApril 15, 2004, Delta Recording, Clarksdale, MS
ReleasedSeptember 22, 2004
AlbumsThe Delivery Man (bonus track on vinyl & Japan CD), 2004
The Clarksdale Sessions, 2005
The Delivery Man (Deluxe Edition), 2005
SinglesMonkey To Man, 2004
Various Artists collectionsLost Highway Sampler Vol. 4, 2004
Length2:37

First known performance:
September 17, 2004, Memphis, TN
Last known performance:
September 20, 2005, New York, NY
     (31 known performances)


Alternate versions

The Monkey (Live 2004)
Performed byElvis Costello & The Imposters
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Davey Faragher - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedSeptember 17, 2004, Hi-Tone Cafe, Memphis, TN
ReleasedApril 19, 2005
VideosClub Date: Live In Memphis, 2005

The Monkey (Live for iTunes)
Performed byElvis Costello & The Imposters
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Davey Faragher - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedSeptember 23, 2004, Avatar Studios, New York
ReleasedNovember 30, 2004
DownloadsFuturama Sessions, 2004
Length2:22

The Monkey (Live 2005)
Performed byDave Bartholomew & Elvis Costello with Diana Krall & The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal
Dave Bartholomew - vocal, trumpet
Diana Krall - piano
Gregory Davis - trumpet
Roger Lewis - saxophone
Kevin Harris - saxophone
Terence Higgins - drums
Jamie McLean - guitar
Efrem Towns - trumpet
Michael Foster - sousaphone
Revert Andrews - trombone
RecordedSeptember 20, 2005, New York, NY
ReleasedAugust 22, 2006
VideosFrom The Big Apple To The Big Easy: The Concert For New Orleans, 2006


The Delivery ManTdm.jpg

The Delivery ManThe Delivery Man Deluxe Edition album cover.jpg

The Clarksdale SessionsTCS.jpg

Monkey To Man singleMtm.jpg

Club Date: Live In MemphisClub Date Live In Memphis dvd cover.jpg

Futurama SessionsFuturama sessions.jpg

From The Big Apple To The Big Easy: The Concert For New OrleansFrom The Big Apple To The Big Easy DVD cover.jpg


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External links