Beyond Belief

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History repeats the old conceits
The glib replies, the same defeats
Keep your finger on important issues
With crocodile tears and a pocketful of tissues

I'm just the oily slick
On the windup world of the nervous tick
In a very fashionable hovel

I hang around dying to be tortured
You'll never be alone in the bone orchard
This battle with the bottle is nothing so novel

So in this almost empty gin palace
Through a two-way looking glass
You see your Alice

You know she has no sense
For all your jealousy
In a sense she still smiles very sweetly

Charged with insults and flattery
Her body moves with malice
Do you have to be so cruel to be callous

And now you find you fit this identikit completely
You say you have no secrets
And then leave discreetly

I might make it California's fault
Be locked in Geneva's deepest vault
Just like the canals of Mars and the Great Barrier Reef
I come to you beyond belief

My hands were clammy and cunning
She's been suitably stunning
But I know there's not a hope in Hades
All the laddies cat call and wolf whistle
So-called gentlemen and ladies
Dog fight like rose and thistle

I've got a feeling
I'm going to get a lot of grief
Once this seemed so appealing
Now I am beyond belief

I've got a feeling
I'm going to get a lot of grief
Once this seemed so appealing
Now I am beyond belief

Beyond Belief
Written byElvis Costello
Performed byElvis Costello & The Attractions
Produced byGeoff Emerick from an original idea by Elvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedNovember 1981, AIR Studios, London
ReleasedJuly 2, 1982
AlbumsImperial Bedroom, 1982
SinglesGreen Shirt, 1985
London's Brilliant Parade, 1994
CollectionsThe Best Of Elvis Costello & The Attractions, 1985
The Man (The Best Of Elvis Costello), 1985
Girls Girls Girls, 1989
The Very Best Of Elvis Costello & The Attractions, 1994
The Very Best Of Elvis Costello, 1999
The Best Of Elvis Costello The First 10 Years, 2007
Unfaithful Music & Soundtrack Album, 2015
PromosA Conversation With Elvis Costello, 1982
F-Beat EC-2, 1982
Man Out Of Time, 1982
Either Side Of The Same Town Sampler, 2010

First known performance:
December 23, 1981, London, England
Last known performance:
     (630 known performances)

Alternate versions

Imperial BedroomIB album cover large.jpg

A Conversation With Elvis CostelloA Conversation With Elvis Costello album cover.jpg

The Best Of Elvis Costello & The AttractionsBOEC album cover 200.jpg

The Man (The Best Of Elvis Costello)TMBOEC album cover 170.jpg

Single: Green ShirtGreen Shirt UK 7" single front sleeve.jpg

Girls Girls GirlsGGG album cover 300.jpg

The Very Best Of Elvis Costello & The Attractions, 1994The Very Best Of Elvis Costello And The Attractions album cover.jpg

London's Brilliant Parade singleLondon's Brilliant Parade (Part 2) UK CD single.jpg

The Very Best Of Elvis Costello, 1999The Very Best Of Elvis Costello (2CD) album cover.jpg

The Best Of Elvis Costello The First 10 YearsThe Best Of Elvis Costello The First 10 Years album cover.jpg

Unfaithful Music & Soundtrack AlbumUnfaithful Music & Soundtrack Album album cover.jpg


Jon Auer Almost You: The Songs Of Elvis Costello 2003
Jon Auer The Birthday Party(limited edition tour CD) 2003
Jon Auer Live At Maxwell's 2006 eMusiciTunes
Jon Auer Live At Schubas 2006 eMusiciTunes
Jon Auer performed live, 2001-2006 2001
Morley Bartnoff performed live, 2003-03-27, EC tribute, Knitting Factory, Los Angeles 2003
Jason Berk Live At High St. Station 2011
Matt Brown Theme Music Groupon Facebook 2013 YouTube
Vic Chesnutt with Lambchop backing performed live, 1999-02-26, Nashville 1999
Stuart Davis Davis Does Elvis(internet-only release) 2004 website
Jason Falkner performed live, 2002-02-08, La Boule Noire, Paris 2002 info
Mike Keaney single 2011
Kill Creek unreleased 1999 info
Lambchop Beyond Nashville: The Twisted Heart Of Country Music 2001 AllMusicAmazon
Lambchop Rainer On My Parade(tour CD) 2008 link
Julian Maile The Loser's Lounge Tribute to Elvis Costello 2002 LosersLounge
Bryan Master Moments Like This 2010
Rhett Miller performed live 1999 info
Steve Nieve and AJUQ instrumental, performed live, 2020-04-12, The Daily Improvisation, France 2020 Facebook - 65:10
Oliver's Army (Dallas) performed live, Dallas-area Costello tribute band 2003- OliversArmyBand
Radio Costello performed live, 2023-10-01, The Rhodehouse, Sutton Coldfield, England 2023 FaceBook
Erich Sellheim home studio production, sung in German 2016 YouTube
Suzanne Vega performed live, 1990, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, London, New Haven, Santa Cruz... 1990

Internal links

External links