The Other End Of The Telescope

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Shall we agree that just this once I'm gonna change my life
Until it's just as tiny or important as you like
And in time we won't even recall that we spoke
Words that turned out to be as big as smoke
As smoke that disappears in the air
There's always something that's smoldering somewhere

I know it don't make a difference to you
But oh, it sure made a difference to me
You'll see me off in the distance, I hope
At the other end, at the other end of the telescope

The promise of indulgence in my confidential voice
Approached immortal danger but you'll never know how close
Then down the hall, I overheard such a heavenly choir
They interrupted my evil designs
One day you're up in the clouds
The next thing you're down with the Sweet Adelines

I know it don't make a difference to you
But oh, it sure made a difference to me
You'll see me off in the distance, I hope
At the other end, at the other end of the telescope

Lie down baby, now don't say a word
There, there baby, your vision is blurred
Your head is so sore from all of that thinking
I don't want to hurt you now, but I think you're shrinking

You're half-naked ambition and you're half out of your wits
Or several tiny fractions that this portrait still omits
And it's so hard to pick the receiver up when I call
I never noticed you could be so small
The answer was under your nose, but the question never arose

I know it don't make a difference to you
But oh, it sure made a difference to me
'Cos late in the evening, as I sit here moping
With a bamboo needle on a shellac of Chopin
And the cast-iron heart that you failed to tear open
At the other end, at the other end of the telescope



Alternate lyrics

As recorded by 'Til Tuesday on Everything's Different Now (1988)

Shall we agree that just this once I'm gonna change my life
Until it's just as tiny or important as you like
And in time, we won't even recall that we spoke
Words that turned out to be as big as smoke
Like smoke disappears in the air
There's always something smouldering somewhere

I know it don't make a difference to you
But oh, it sure made a difference to me
You'll see me off in the distance, I hope
At the other end, at the other end of the telescope

There was a time not long ago I dreamt the world was flat
And all the colors bled away and that was that
And in time, I could only believe in one thing
The sky was just phosphorous stars hung on strings
And you swore that they'd always be mine
When you can pull them down anytime

I know it don't make a difference to you
But oh, it sure made a difference to me
You'll see me off in the distance, I hope
At the other end, at the other end of the telescope

There, there baby now, don't say a word
Lie down baby, your vision is blurred
Your head is so sore from all of that thinking
I don't want to hurt you now, but I think you're shrinking

You're half-naked ambition and you're half out of your wits
And though your wristwatch always works, your necktie never fits
Now it's so hard to pick the receiver up and when I call
I never noticed you could be so small
The answer was under your nose, but the question never arose

I know it don't make a difference to you
But oh, it sure made a difference to me
When you find me here at the end of my rope
When the head and heart of it finally elope
You can see us off in the distance, I hope
At the other end, at the other end of the telescope

The Other End Of The Telescope
Written byDeclan MacManus & Aimee Mann
Performed byElvis Costello & The Attractions
Produced byGeoff Emerick & Elvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedAugust-September 1995, Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin
February 1996, Westside Studios, London
ReleasedMay 13, 1996
AlbumsAll This Useless Beauty, 1996
SinglesThe Other End Of The Telescope, 1996
Various Artists collectionsGuide May 1996, 1996
Length4:06

First known performance:
April 1, 1989, Kingston, RI
Last known performance:
2013
     (70 known performances)


Alternate versions

The Other End Of The Telescope (Live 1996)
Performed byCostello & Nieve
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Steve Nieve - piano
RecordedMay 18, 1996, Chicago, IL
ReleasedDecember 3, 1996
AlbumsCostello & Nieve, 1996
PromosLive At The Park West, Chicago, 1996
The Other End Of The Telescope, 1996
Length4:32
All This Useless BeautyATUB album cover large.jpg

The Other End Of The Telescope singleThe Other End Of The Telescope UK CD single front cover.jpg

Costello & NieveCostello & Nieve album cover.jpg

Covers

Stuart Davis Davis Does Elvis  (internet-only release) 2004 website
J Goodin Don't Come Out Of The Hills, Boys 2007 websiteAllmusiccdbaby
Billy Gewin River Of Stone 2010 AllmusicBillyGewin.com
Rachael Harryman performed live, 2007, The Cat Club, West Hollywood, CA 2007 YouTube
Aimee Mann Stupid Thing  #2 [EP] (live version) 1993 Allmusic
Aimee Mann Ultimate Collection  (live version) 2000 AllmusicAmazon
Aimee Mann & Michael Penn performed live 2000 info
Aimee Mann UK Elvis Costello (2006)  (promo) 2006
Sleeper Statuesque  [CDS #2] 1996 Wikipedia
Sleeper All This Useless Beauty  Elvis Costello EP 1996 AllmusicAmazon
'Til Tuesday Everything's Different Now 1988 AllmusicAmazon
'Til Tuesday Coming up Close: A Retrospective 1996 AllmusicDiscogsAmazon
'Til Tuesday Bespoke Songs, Lost Dogs, Detours & RendezvousVarious Artists 1998 AllmusicAmazonAmazon.uk

Internal links

External links