New Lace Sleeves

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Bad lovers face to face in the morning
Shy apologies and polite regrets
Slow dances that left no warning of
Outraged glances and indiscreet yawning
Good manners and bad breath get you nowhere
Even presidents have newspaper lovers
Ministers go crawling under covers
She's no angel
He's no saint
They're all covered up with whitewash and grease paint
And you say...

The teacher never told you anything but white lies
But you never see the lies
And you believe
Oh you know you have been captured
You feel so civilized
And you look so pretty in your new lace sleeves

The salty lips of the socialite sisters
With their continental fingers that have
Never seen working blisters
Oh I know they've got their problems
I wish I was one of them
They say daddy's coming home soon
With his sergeant stripes and his Empire mug and spoon
No more fast buck
When are they gonna learn their lesson
When are they gonna stop all of these victory processions
And you say...


New Lace Sleeves
Written byElvis Costello
Performed byElvis Costello & The Attractions
Produced byNick Lowe in association with Roger Bechirian
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
Recorded1980, DJM Studios and/or Eden Studios, London
ReleasedJanuary 1981
AlbumsTrust, 1981
CollectionsThe Man (The Best Of Elvis Costello), 1985
Girls Girls Girls, 1989
The Very Best Of Elvis Costello, 1999
The Best Of Elvis Costello The First 10 Years, 2007
Unfaithful Music & Soundtrack Album, 2015
Promos4 Tracks From The Trust LP, 1981
Q-102-EP, 1981
UK Elvis Costello, 2002
Punch The Clock, Trust & Get Happy!! Sampler, 2003
VideosThe Right Spectacle: The Very Best Of Elvis Costello - The Videos, 2005

First known performance:
September 29, 1980, London, England
Last known performance:
March 2, 2023, Kingston, NY
     (353 known performances)

Alternate versions

New Lace Sleeves (Alternate Version)
Performed byElvis Costello
Produced byElvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, all instruments except bass & drums
Paul "Bassman" Riley - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedMarch 1980, Am-Pro Studios, London
ReleasedJuly 28, 2003
AlbumsGet Happy!! (Rhino/Edsel reissue), 2003
TrustTrust album cover large.jpg

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

Girls Girls GirlsGGG album cover 300.jpg

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

Get Happy!!GH album cover large.jpg

The Right Spectacle: The Very Best Of Elvis Costello - The VideosTRS dvd 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


Dan Bourdeaux performed live, 2014-06-21, The Music Cafe, Damascus, Maryland 2014 YouTube
Radio Costello performed live, 2023-10-01, The Rhodehouse, Sutton Coldfield, England 2023 FaceBook
Erich Sellheim home studio production, sung in German 2016 YouTube
Victor Stranges home recording, 2019-01-03 Melbourne, VIC, Australia 2019 YouTubeinfo
Jenny Toomey Better Things BeginningVarious artists 2003 infoMP3 sample

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