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I read by line by line by line
Some words of yours, some words of mine
Some sentiments are best forgot
Some letters read then folded shut

The profile on a postage stamp
I traced it by my reading lamp
Remembered when I'd sit in wait
Then marked our parting from that date

I read by line by line by line
That old sarcastic Valentine
That you denied you'd sent to me
Then took it back

It's a thought that we shared, a careless phrase
A curse or a joke, some words of praise
But I didn't write
Did you wonder why?
It was the easiest way to say "Goodbye"

You'll see my photo beside the article
"That's just some guy I used to know
I was never his
He was always mine
But I wrote him off by line by line"
By line by line by line by line by line by line
By line by line

Written byElvis Costello
Performed byElvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - voice
Steve Nieve - piano
Mickaël Gasche - flugel horn
Renaud-Gabriel Pion - bass clarinet
Pierre-François "Titi" Dufour - cello
AJUQ - drums & choral bridge
RecordedFebruary 2020, Les Studios Saint Germain, Paris, France
ReleasedOctober 30, 2020
AlbumsHey Clockface, 2020

Only known performance:
February 16, 2023, New York, NY
     (1 known performance)

Hey ClockfaceHey Clockface album cover.jpg


Steve Nieve, AJUQ &Muriel Teodori performed live, 2020-11-29, The Immobile Tour, webcast, France 2020 FaceBook

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