Who's Gonna Help Brother Get Further?

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We may seem happy like everything's alright
But from the outside looking in
Everything's uptight
But deep down inside we're covering up the pain
It's an old thing
It's a soul thing
But it's a real thing

Pray tell what’s gonna happen to brother
Who’s gonna help him get further
One another
One another

There's old dude standing on the corner
Waiting for a fox to pass
The only thing he's got to go by
Is this is where he saw her last
And there's old John, two dollars in his pocket
Talking loud and thinks he's rich
And look for little fool, too cool to go to school
Get a job, in two days he quits

Pray tell what’s gonna happen to brother
Who’s gonna help him get further
One another
Is that the truth?
One another
Yeah, you're right

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Pray tell what’s gonna happen to brother
Who’s gonna help him get further
One another
One another

Mama get up early, early in the morning
Papa's already gone
Going out a-working for half of what he's worth now
You know that it's wrong
What happen to the Liberty Bell I heard so much about?
Did it really ding-dong?
It must have dinged wrong
It didn't ding long

Pray tell what’s gonna happen to brother
Who’s gonna help him get further
One another
Is that the truth?
One another
Yeah, you're right

Mama get up early, early in the morning
Papa's already gone
Working two jobs for half of what he's worth now
You know that it's wrong
What happen to the Liberty Bell I heard so much about?
Did it really ding-dong?
It must have dinged wrong
It didn't ding long

Pray tell what’s gonna happen to brother
Who’s gonna help him get further
One another
Is that the truth?
One another
Yeah, you're right

Pray tell what’s gonna happen to brother
Who’s gonna help him get further
One another
Is that the truth?
One another
Yeah, you're right

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah

Did it really ding-dong?
It didn't ding long
Did it really ding-dong?
It didn't ding long

Who's Gonna Help Brother Get Further?
Written byAllen Toussaint
Performed byElvis Costello & Allen Toussaint
(featuring The Imposters, Anthony "AB" Brown & The Crescent City Horns)
Produced byJoe Henry
Horn arrangementAllen Toussaint
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal
Allen Toussaint - vocal, piano
Steve Nieve - Hammond B3 organ, second piano (live breakdown)
Davey Faragher - bass, backing vocals
Pete Thomas - drums
Anthony "AB" Brown - Fender Telecaster guitar
Carl Blouin - baritone saxophone
Amadee Castenell - tenor saxophone
Joe "Foxx" Smith - trumpet
Sam "Big Sam" Williams - trombone & solo
RecordedNovember 27 - December 10, 2005, Sunset Sound, Hollywood, and/or Piety Street Recorders, New Orleans
ReleasedMay 27, 2006
AlbumsThe River In Reverse, 2006
Length5:04

First known performance:
February 20, 2006, New York, NY
Last known performance:
April 28, 2016, New Orleans, LA
     (57 known performances)


Alternate versions

Who's Gonna Help Brother Get Further? (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 - vocal, piano
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Davey Faragher - bass, backing vocal
Pete Thomas - drums
Anthony "AB" Brown - guitar
Brian "Breeze" Cayolle - saxophone
Amadee Castenell - saxophone
Joe "Foxx" Smith - trumpet
Sam "Big Sam" Williams - trombone
RecordedJuly 3, 2006, Montreal, QC, Canada
ReleasedDecember 5, 2006
VideosHot As A Pistol, Keen As A Blade, 2006
The River In Reverse2006 The River In Reverse Album small.jpg

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


Recordings by other artists

This list may be incomplete.

Internal links

External links