When I Was Cruel (No. 1)

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You talk your way out of this
Did someone flip your switch?
Now there is only right or wrong
Can you tell which is which?
But it was so much easier
When I was cruel

Why did you leave, you had a home
Why did you travel far abroad -
So you could sleep with strangers?
You must have heard just how absurd
The words poured out of you, you fraud
I guess you don't know what pain is

So don't pretend you're innocent
Do I look like a fool?
I guess you have forgotten
When I was cruel

Oh when I was cruel and I could make you so unhappy
Lonely cowards followed me like ghouls
And you liked me too
When I was cruel
Oh you know you did

But if you should feel anything,
A signal from within
Go back in your laboratory
And try to dial it in
But if you should feel anything,
A signal from without
Abandon your dreams of vengeance

So don't protest your innocence
The truth is hard to judge
Perhaps you have forgotten when
I held a grudge

Oh when I was cruel and I could make you very sorry
Lonely cowards followed me like ghouls
And you liked me too
When I was cruel
Oh you know you did
When I was cruel

When I Was Cruel (No. 1)
Written byElvis Costello
Performed byElvis Costello (& The Imposters)
Produced byThe Imposter: Elvis Costello, Ciaran Cahill, Leo Pearson & Kieran Lynch
Horn arrangementElvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Davey Faragher - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
Recorded2001, Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin
ReleasedApril 8, 2002
AlbumsWhen I Was Cruel - Collectors Edition, 2002
Cruel Smile, 2002
SinglesTear Off Your Own Head (It's A Doll Revolution), 2002
Length4:16

First known performance:
October 1, 1999, Oakland, CA
Last known performance:
November 3, 2002, Clearwater, FL
     (16 known performances)


Alternate versions

see also: When I Was Cruel No. 2

Tear Off Your Own Head (It's A Doll Revolution) singleTear Off Your Own Head (It's A Doll Revolution) UK 7" single front sleeve.jpg

When I Was Cruel - Collectors EditionWhen I Was Cruel Collectors Edition album cover.jpg

Cruel Smile2002 Cruel Smile Album small.jpg

Covers

Template:Elvis Costello covers: When I Was Cruel (No. 1)

Chords

E                 B
You talk your way out of this
     E
Did someone flip your switch?
      E            B
Now there is only right or wrong
     E
Can you tell which is which?
    A   g# f#       E   C#m     
But it was so much easier
F#m           B
 When I was cruel
   
             C#m 
Why did you leave, you had a home
              G#m              A   
Why did you travel far abroad -
                           B  Bsus4 B
So you could sleep with strangers?
               C#m
You must have heard just how absurd
           G#m                         A
The words poured out of you, you fraud
                             B  Bsus4 B       
I guess you don't know what pain is
 
    A     g# f#         E
So don't pretend you're innocent
   A  g#   f#     C#m  e eb c# e eb c# e eb c#
Do I look like a fool?
   A     g#  f#         E 
I guess you have forgotten
 F#m         B
When I was cruel
 
A       g#      E                B
Oh when I was cruel and I could make you so unhappy
 A      g#     E                  B  Bsus4 B
Lonely cowards followed me like ghouls
     F#m G#m      A
And you liked me too
[tacet]             
When I was cruel
E B A
        Oh, you know you did
E B A

    E                  B    
But if you should feel anything,
   E
A signal from within
    E              B
Go back in your laboratory
      E
And try to dial it in
    E                  B
But if you should feel anything,
   E
A signal from without
C#m                       B  Bsus4 B
  Abandon your dreams of vengeance
    A     g# f#        E   
So don't protest your innocence
      A   g#  f#      C#m e eb c# e eb c# e eb c#
The truth is hard to judge
    A    g#  f#      E
Perhaps you have forgotten when
F#m         B  
 I held a grudge

A       g#      E                B
Oh when I was cruel and I could make you very sorry
 A      g#     E                  B  Bsus4 B
Lonely cowards followed me like ghouls
     F#m G#m      A
And you liked me too
[tacet]             
When I was cruel
E B A
       Oh, you know you did
E B A   E B A
                  When I was cruel
E B A   E

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External links