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In the Arrivederci Roma nightclub, bar and grill
Standing in the fiberglass ruins watching time stand still
All your troubles you confess to another faceless, backless dress

Schnapps, chianti, porter and ouzo
Pernod, vodka, sambuca--I love you so

There's a tatty beauty talking in riddles
Rome burns down and everybody fiddles
But a thousand dollars won't buy you a Yankee wife, alas
There's a thousand years of history ground in this chaser glass
And how I wish that she was mine
I could have been the King in Six Eight Time

Oh, it's a brittle charm, but she's had enough
Still she wrote her name upon his paper cuff
And you don't where to start or where to stop
All this pillow talk is nothing more than finally talking shop

When I came here tonight my pockets were overflowing
They took my return ticket without me even knowing
Well, I pray to the saints and all the martyrs
For the secret life of Frank Sinatra
But none of these things have come to pass
In America the law is a piece of ass

So it's Schnapps, chianti, porter and ouzo
Pernod, vodka, sambuca--I love you so
Poor Deportee

Written byElvis Costello
Performed byElvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
RecordedApril 15, 1985, Red Bus Studios, London
ReleasedFebruary 28, 1995
AlbumsGoodbye Cruel World (Rykodisc/Demon reissue), 1995

First known performance:
April 25, 1985, London, England
Last known performance:
September 7, 2023, Dublin, Ireland
     (33 known performances)

“Between the completion and the release of this record I discovered some of the mistakes I'd made. During that time I played my first professional solo concerts on a tour of the United States. I got a chance to reclaim several old tunes that had got lost in the studio but most of all I began to rescue my newest songs from the recorded fog. I even went so far as to re-compose the music of Deportees Club. Stripping off the over-wrought racket I found a tune more in keeping with an exile's lament. Several years later Christy Moore cut a great version of it for his album The Voyage.” Goodbye Cruel World (1995) liner notes

Alternate versions

Deportee (Solo Demo)
Performed byElvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
RecordedJuly 21, 1985, Ocean Way, Los Angeles
ReleasedApril 25, 2005
AlbumsKing Of America (Rhino/Edsel reissue), 2005

see also: The Deportees Club

Goodbye Cruel WorldGCW album cover large.jpg

King Of America (Rhino/Edsel reissue)King Of America Rhino album cover.jpg


Christy Moore Voyage 1989 AllMusicAmazon
Christy Moore Bespoke Songs, Lost Dogs, Detours & RendezvousVarious artists 1998

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