This Is Hell

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This is hell, this is hell I am sorry to tell you
It never gets better or worse
But you'll get used to it after a spell
For heaven is hell in reverse

The bruiser spun a hula hoop while all the barmen preen and pout
The neon "i" of nightclub flickers on and off and finally blew out
The irritating jingle of the belly-dancing phony Turkish girls
The eerie glare of ultra violet perfect dental work

This is hell I am sorry to tell you
It never gets better or worse (it never gets better or worse)
But you'll get used to it after a spell
For heaven is hell in reverse

The failed Don Juan in the big bow-tie is very sorry that he spoke
For he's mislaid his punchline more than halfway through a very tasteless joke
The fräulein caught him peeking down her gown
He's yelling in her ear
And all at once the music stopped as he was intimately bellowing "My dear..."

This is hell, this is hell I am sorry to tell you
It never gets better or worse (it never gets better or worse)
But you'll get used to it after a spell
For heaven is hell in reverse

The shirt you wore with courage and the violent nylon suit
Reappear upon your back and undermine the polished line you try to shoot
It's not the torment of the flames that finally see your flesh corrupted
It's the small humiliations that your memory piles up
This is hell, this is hell, this is hell, this is hell
Hell

"My Favourite Things" are playing again and again
But it's by Julie Andrews and not by John Coltrane
Endless balmy breezes and perfect sunsets framed
Vintage wine for breakfast and naked starlets floating in Champagne
All the passions of your youth are tranquillised and tamed
You may think it looks familiar, though you may know it by another name

This is hell (this is hell), this is hell (this is hell) I am sorry to tell you
It never gets better or worse (it never gets better or worse)
But you'll get used to it after a spell
For heaven is hell in reverse
This is hell, this is hell

This Is Hell
Written byDeclan MacManus
Performed byElvis Costello (& The Attractions)
Produced byMitchell Froom & Elvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, guitar
Pete Thomas - drums
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Recorded1993, Olympic Studios, London
ReleasedMarch 8, 1994
AlbumsBrutal Youth, 1994
PromosWords And Music, 1994
Length4:26

First known performance:
May 3, 1994, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Last known performance:
November 3, 2003, Stockholm, Sweden
     (12 known performances)


Alternate versions

This Is Hell (Church Studios Version)
Performed byElvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, bass
Pete Thomas - drums, percussion
Steve Nieve - keyboards
RecordedDecember 11, 1992, Church Studios, London
ReleasedFebruary 19, 2002
AlbumsBrutal Youth (Rhino reissue), 2002
Length4:10
Brutal YouthBY album cover large.jpg

Covers

Ian Tanner MP3 website

Internal links

External links