The World And His Wife

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The family circle gathers 'round from very far and near
To pass around the same remarks they passed away last year
The little girl you dangled on your knee without mishap
Stirs something in your memory and something in your lap

Chorus:
But it's a living
This is the life
For the world and his wife
The world and his wife

The kissing cousins slip outside to cuddle and confess
She says sweet nothing at all, it's much more of a mess
The conversation melts like chocolate down their open jaws
As the juniper berry slips down just like last night's drawers

(Chorus)

To tell the truth our Mum ran off with someone else's father
Went for two weeks' holiday in Taramasalata
Daddy went out with the rubbish and he kept on walking
Between Mum and the walls
God only knows who does the talking

(Chorus)

But later on in the evening through the tears and fol-de-rol
Come the sentimental feelings for the lure of vitriol
Longing thoughts go hankering for the old home overseas
With a blindfold and a national anthem sung in different keys

(Chorus)

The World And His Wife
Written byElvis Costello
Performed byElvis Costello & The Attractions (with The TKO Horns)
Produced byClive Langer & Alan Winstanley
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
Jim Paterson - trombone
Jeff Blythe - alto saxophone
Paul Speare - tenor saxophone
Stuart Robson - trumpet, flugelhorn
RecordedJanuary-April 1983, AIR Studios, London & Genetic Studios, Reading
ReleasedAugust 5, 1983
AlbumsPunch The Clock, 1983
SinglesShipbuilding, 1983 (Japan)
Length3:24

First known performance:
December 21, 1982, Liverpool, England
Last known performance:
December 3, 1984, London, England
     (53 known performances)


Alternate versions

The World And His Wife (Live 1982)
Performed byElvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
RecordedDecember 24, 1982, London, England
ReleasedFebruary 28, 1995
AlbumsPunch The Clock (Rykodisc/Demon reissue), 1995
Length3:11

The World And His Wife (Solo Version)
Performed byElvis Costello
Produced byClive Langer & Alan Winstanley
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
RecordedJanuary-April 1983, AIR Studios, London
ReleasedJuly 28, 2003
AlbumsPunch The Clock (Rhino/Edsel reissue), 2003
Length2:41
Punch The ClockPunch The Clock Rhino album cover.jpg

Single: ShipbuildingShipbuilding Japan 7" single front sleeve.jpg

Covers

no known covers

Internal links

External links