The Sharpest Thorn

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I wore my finest suit of clothes
The sharpest thorn defending the rose
Hot as a pistol
Keen as a blade
The sharpest thorn upon parade

And it's the same most every year
Ghosts of the dear departed are near
We raise our glasses and we cheer
Should old acquaintance disappear
Just as we wipe away a tear

Archangel Michael will lead the way
Archangel Gabriel is ready to play
Although we know we must repent
We hit the scene and look for sins
That haven't even been invented

The strongest cage that guards the prize
The longest lash that covers your eyes
A sight no eyes are meant to know
Then on the third day he arose

Archangel Michael will lead the way
Archangel Gabriel is ready to play
Although we know we must repent
We hit the scene and look for sins
That haven't even been invented

So Good and Evil were having a fight
It lasts much longer than any one night
It may last longer than a life
And turn a mistress into a wife

And so confetti fills the air
My head is aching
My pockets are bare
I didn't recognise their warning
Then I wasn't born the sharpest thorn
I wasn't born the sharpest thorn
I wasn't born the sharpest thorn
I wasn't born the sharpest thorn
I wasn't born the sharpest thorn

The Sharpest Thorn
Words byElvis Costello & Allen Toussaint
Music byElvis Costello
Performed byElvis Costello & Allen Toussaint
(featuring The Imposters & The Crescent City Horns)
Produced byJoe Henry
Horn arrangementAllen Toussaint
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, Gibson J-50 guitar, tambourine, Hammond B3 organ (bridge)
Allen Toussaint - piano
Steve Nieve - Hammond B3 organ
Davey Faragher - bass
Pete Thomas - drums, parade bass drum
Brian "Breeze" Cayolle - baritone saxophone
Amadee Castenell - tenor & soprano saxophone
Joe "Foxx" Smith - baritone euphonium, trumpet
Sam "Big Sam" Williams - trombone
RecordedNovember 27 - December 10, 2005, Sunset Sound, Hollywood, and/or Piety Street Recorders, New Orleans
ReleasedApril 7, 2006
AlbumsThe River In Reverse, 2006
Various Artists collectionsVerve Today 2006, 2006
Length4:16

First known performance:
February 20, 2006, New York, NY
Last known performance:
February 28, 2017, Bergen, Norway
     (53 known performances)


Alternate versions

The Sharpest Thorn (Live 2006)
Performed byElvis Costello & Allen Toussaint
featuring The Imposters, Anthony "AB" Brown & The Crescent City Horns
Horn arrangementAllen Toussaint
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal
Allen Toussaint - piano
Steve Nieve - keyboards, melodica
Davey Faragher - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
Anthony "AB" Brown - guitar
Amadee Castenell - flute
Brian "Breeze" Cayolle - saxophone
Joe "Foxx" Smith - trumpet
Sam "Big Sam" Williams - trombone
RecordedJuly 3, 2006, Montreal, QC, Canada
ReleasedDecember 5, 2006
VideosHot As A Pistol, Keen As A Blade, 2006


The River In Reverse2006 The River In Reverse Album small.jpg

Verve Today 2006Verve Today 2006 album cover.jpg

Covers

Willi Resetarits & Stubnblues Ois Offn(sung in German as De Dornen Bleibm) 2012 websiteAllmusic
Willi Resetarits & Stubnblues performed live, 2012-04-12, Vienna, Austria 2012 YouTube

Chords

Approximately:

Intro: F - Csus4 - C // G - C

Verses [I wore, The strongest]: F - Csus4 - C // G - C

F - Csus4 - C // G

F - Csus4 - C // G - F

F - Csus4 - C // G - C 

Bridge [Archangel Michael...] : G - F - G

F  - Am 

G - Am

C - F

Am - G

Internal links

External links