When It Sings

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All the words you say to me
Have music in them
All the sorrows and the joys like magnetism
And a selfish boy looks through a prism
And says what is
But never asks what isn't

But a voice contains many precious things
It laughs
And then it sings
And all the lies that we can tell
To our foolish selves

Maybe this is the love song that I refused to
Write her when I loved her like I used to
And I fear my heart may spin and fracture
Like tears of stone falling from a statue

But a voice contains all that's true and false
Then cries for someone else
And for some honest tenderness
So I must confess

All the words you say to me
Have music in them

All the sorrows and the joys like magnetism
And a selfish boy looks through a prism
And says what is
But never asks what isn't

When It Sings
Written byElvis Costello
Performed byElvis Costello
Produced byElvis Costello & Kevin Killen
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, guitar
Steve Nieve - piano, Hohner pianet, celesta
Peter Erskine - drums
Michael Formanek - bass
Bill Ware - vibraphone
RecordedApril-May 2003, Nola Studios and/or Avatar Studios, New York
ReleasedSeptember 11, 2003
AlbumsNorth, 2003
Length3:55

First known performance:
March 29, 2003, Los Angeles, CA
Last known performance:
September 27, 2014, Randers, Denmark
     (53 known performances)



NorthNorth album cover large.jpg

Covers

Pettinen & Viinikainen Searching For Melodies 2007 link

Chords

This song will likely sound better on guitar in drop D tuning.


D A/C# D/C  Bm Bb A

G  F#m Em   G  F#m Em

         D               A/C#     D/C
All the words you say to me have music in them
         Bm              Bb         A
All the sorrows and the joys, like magnetism
       G            F#m    Em          
And a selfish boy looks through a prism
     C        Bm      Bb   A         D
And says what is but never asks what isn't

                Bm                   G
But a voice contains many precious things
    C#m                F#m
It laughs and then it sings
             F(/D) F7             Gm(/D)
And all the lies     that we can tell
    Bb Bbsus4 A+ A6   A-5  
e||----------------------||
B||-6---------6--7-------||
G||----8--------------8--||
D||----------------------||
A||----------------------||
D||-8*--------7*---------||  *let ring
   To our    foolish selves

        D          A/C#          D/C 
Maybe this is the love song that I refused to
  Bm              Bb        A
Write her when I loved her like I used to
       G              F#m Em    
And I fear my heart may spin and fracture
      C        Bm    Bb       A      D
Like tears of stone falling from a statue

                Bm                        G
But a voice contains all that's true and false
       C#m             F#m
Then cries for someone else
              F(/D) F7       Gm(/D)
And for some honest   tenderness
Bb Bsus4 A+   A6 A-5
So I    must confess

          D               A/C#     D/C
All the words you say to me have music in them
         Bm              Bb         A
All the sorrows and the joys, like magnetism
       G            F#m    Em          
And a selfish boy looks through a prism
     C        Bm      Bb   A         D
And says what is but never asks what isn't

Internal links

External links