Waiting For The End Of The World

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The man from the television crawled into the train
I wonder who he's gonna stick it in this time
Everyone was looking for a little entertainment
So they'll probably pull his hands off when they find out his name
And then they shut down the power all along the line
And we got stuck in the tunnel where no lights shine
They got to touching all the girls who were too scared to call out
Nobody was saying anything at all

We were waiting for the end of the world
Waiting for the end of the world
Waiting for the end of the world
Dear Lord, I sincerely hope you're coming
'cause you really started something

Things got back to normal as the train began to roll again
We got to the station about twenty minutes later
The legendary hitchhiker says that he knows where it's at
Now he'd like to go to Spain or somewhere like that
With his two-tone Bible and his funny cigarettes,
His suntan lotion and his castanets

He was waiting for the end of the world
Waiting for the end of the world
Waiting for the end of the world
Dear Lord, I sincerely hope you're coming
'cause you really started something

And then the bride, the groom, the congregation and the priest
All got onto the train when we were three stations east, yeah
Hiding from a scandal in the national press
They had been trying to get married since they stole the wedding dress
You may see them drowning as you stroll along the beach
But don't throw out the lifeline till they're clean out of reach

Waiting for the end of the world
Waiting for the end of the world
Waiting for the end of the world
Waiting for the end of the world

Waiting For The End Of The World
Written byElvis Costello
Performed byElvis Costello
Produced byNick Lowe
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, guitar
John McFee - guitar
Sean Hopper - keyboards
Johnny Ciambotti - bass
Mickey Shine - drums
Recordedlate 1976-early 1977, Pathway Studios, London
ReleasedJuly 22, 1977
AlbumsMy Aim Is True, 1977
Viva England, 1982 (Spain)
Collections2½ Years, 1993
Length3:22

First known performance:
May 27, 1977, London, England
Last known performance:
2017
     (288 known performances)


Alternate versions

Waiting For The End Of The World (Pathway Studios Demo)
Performed byElvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Recordedlate 1976, Pathway Studios, London
ReleasedSeptember 11, 2007
AlbumsMy Aim Is True: Deluxe Edition, 2007
Length2:25

Waiting For The End Of The World (Live 1977)
Performed byElvis Costello & The Attractions
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedAugust 7, 1977, London, England
ReleasedSeptember 11, 2007
AlbumsMy Aim Is True: Deluxe Edition, 2007
Length3:54

Waiting For The End Of The World (Live 1978 - Washington)
Performed byElvis Costello & The Attractions
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedFebruary 28, 1978, Washington, DC
ReleasedMarch 4, 2008
AlbumsThis Year's Model: Deluxe Edition, 2008
Length3:59

Waiting For The End Of The World (Live 1978 - Toronto)
Performed byElvis Costello & The Attractions
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedMarch 6, 1978, Toronto, ON, Canada
Released1978 (promo-only release)
October 15, 1993 (commercial release)
AlbumsLive At The El Mocambo, 1978
Collections2½ Years, 1993
Length3:53

Waiting For The End Of The World (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
My Aim Is TrueMAIT UK initial album cover large.jpg

Live At The El MocamboLive At The El Mocambo album cover.jpg

2½ Years2½ Years album cover.jpg

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

This Year's ModelTYM album cover large.jpg

Covers

John Easdale And Friends performed live, Knitting Factory tribute, 2003-03-27 2003 info
Ted Leo with Lemuria performed live, 2012-12-21, New York 2012 YouTube
Phil Pritchett performed live, 1999-05-16, Waco, TX 1999 archive.org
Erich Sellheim home studio production, sung in German 2013 YouTube

Chords

Intro | G C F | repeat four times

G                C   F      G                C 
The man from the television crawled into the train.
  F      G              C        F        G      C  F 
I wonder who he's gonna stick it in this time.
C            Bb      F    C            Bb 
Everyone was looking for a little entertainment,
F	    G		        C		
so they'll probably pull his hands off
F	      G		   C	
when they find out his name.
F             D			F	 C
And then they shut down the power all along the line,
 		D 		      F	        C
and we got stuck in the tunnel where no lights shine.
 	     D				    F	      C
They got to touching all the girls were to scared to call out.
D
Nobody was saying anything at all.

 	 G	 	 C   F  	G	C  F	
We were waiting for the end of the world,
G 		  C      F	G     C  F
waiting for the end of the world,
G 		  C      F	G     
waiting for the end of the world.
        Em          G
Dear Lord I sincerely hope you're coming
G					C  F	
'cause you really started something.

| G C F | repeat three times


Things got back to normal as the train began to roll again.
We got to the station about twenty minutes later.

| G C F | repeat two times

The legendary hitchhiker says that he knows where it's at.
Now he'd like to go to Spain or somewhere like that,
with his two-tone Bible and his funny cigarettes,
his suntan lotion and his castanets.

He was waiting for the end of the world,
waiting for the end of the world,
waiting for the end of the world.
Dear Lord I sincerely hope you're coming
'cause you really started something.

And then the bride, the groom, the congregation and the priest
all got onto the train when we were three stations east, yeah.
Hiding from a scandal in the national press,
they had been trying to get married since they stole the wedding dress.
You may see them drowning as you stroll along the beach,
but don't throw out the lifeline till they're clean out of reach.

G 		  C      F	G     C  F
Waiting for the end of the world.
G 		  C      F	G     C  F
Waiting for the end of the world.

Repeat to fade

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