Monkey To Man

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A long time ago, our point of view
Was broadcast by Mr. Bartholomew
Now the world is full of sorrow and pain
And it's time for us to speak up again

You're slack and sorry, such an arrogant brood
The only purpose you serve is to bring us our food
We sit here staring at your pomp and pout
Outside the bars we use for keeping you out

You've taken everything that you wanted
Broke it up and plundered it and hunted
Ever since we said it
You went and took the credit
It's been headed this way since the world began
When a vicious creature took the jump from Monkey to Man

Every time that man struggles and fails
He makes up some kind of fairytales
After all of the misery that he has caused
He denies he's descended from the dinosaurs

Points up to heaven with cathedral spires
All the time indulging in his base desires
Ever since we said it
He went and took the credit
It's been headed this way since the world began
When a vicious creature took the jump from Monkey to Man

Big and useless as he has become
With his crying statues and his flying bomb
Goes 'round acting like the chosen one
Excuse us if we treat him like our idiot cousin

He hangs up flowers and bells and rhymes
Hoping to hell that someone's forgiven his crimes
Fills up the air with his pride and praise
He's a big disgrace to our beastly ways

In the fashionable nightclubs and finer precincts
Man uses words to dress up his vile instincts
Ever since we said it
He went and took the credit
It's been headed this way since the world began
When a vicious creature took the jump from Monkey to Man

Monkey To Man
Written byElvis Costello
Performed byElvis Costello & The Imposters
Produced byDennis Herring & Elvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, Gibson Super 400 guitar
Steve Nieve - upright piano, Vox Continental & Hammond organ, omnichord
Davey Faragher - Hofner bass, backing vocal
Pete Thomas - drums, tambourine
RecordedApril 15, 2004, Delta Recording, Clarksdale, MS, and April 2004, Sweet Tea, Oxford, MS
ReleasedSeptember 20, 2004
AlbumsThe Delivery Man, 2004
SinglesMonkey To Man, 2004
Various Artists collectionsMusic Guide Vol. 3, 2004 (extract)
Monitor This!, 2004 -
Grammy Nominees 2005, 2005
Length4:25

Background:
 Sequel to Dave Bartholomew's song The Monkey.
First known performance:
March 12, 2004, Santa Rosa, CA
Last known performance:
August 3, 2015, Camden, NJ
     (210 known performances)


Eye.jpg
“There’s a line about man constantly seeking to dress up his vile instincts. I think that defines all of art. It’s either in the service of God, or ego, or desire.” — British GQ, October 2009

Alternate versions

Monkey To Man (Live 2004)
Performed byElvis Costello & The Imposters
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Davey Faragher - bass, backing vocal
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedSeptember 17, 2004, Hi-Tone Cafe, Memphis, TN - either early or late show
ReleasedApril 19, 2005
VideosClub Date: Live In Memphis, 2005

Monkey To Man (Live for iTunes)
Performed byElvis Costello & The Imposters
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Davey Faragher - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedSeptember 23, 2004, Avatar Studios, New York
ReleasedNovember 30, 2004
DownloadsFuturama Sessions, 2004
Length4:50

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

The Delivery ManThe Delivery Man Deluxe Edition album cover.jpg

Monkey To Man singleMtm.jpg

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

Futurama SessionsFuturama sessions.jpg

Hot As A Pistol, Keen As A BladeHot As A Pistol Keen As A Blade DVD cover.jpg

Grammy Nominees 2005Grammy Nominees 2005 album cover.jpg

Covers

Elastic No-No Band (Previously Otherwise) Uncollected Songs 2005 website
Elastic No-No Band Every Elvis Has His Impersonators 2008 AmazonAMGwebsite
Bill Kirchen with Elvis Costello & Nick Lowe performed live, 2010-10-01, RDSHP benefit, San Francisco, CA 2010 Richard de Lone Special Housing Project
Kelley Ryan Beyond Belief: A Tribute To Elvis Costello 2014 YouTube

Internal links