God's Comic

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I wish you'd known me when I was alive, I was a funny fella
The crowd would hoot and holler for more
I wore a drunk's red nose for applause
Oh yes, I was a comical priest
"With a joke for the flock and a hand up your fleece"
Drooling the drink and the lipstick and greasepaint
Down the cardboard front of my dirty dog-collar

Now I'm dead, now I'm dead, now I'm dead, now I'm dead
And I'm going on to meet my reward
I was scared, I was scared, I was scared, I was scared
He might of never heard God's comic

So there he was on a waterbed, drinking a cola of a mystery brand
Reading an airport novelette, listening to Andrew Lloyd-Webber's "Requiem"
He said, before it had really begun, "I prefer the one about my son"
"I've been wading through all of this unbelievable junk
And wondering if I should have given the world to the monkeys"

(Repeat Chorus)

I'm gonna take a little trip down Paradise's endless shores
They say that travel broadens the mind, till you can't get your head out of doors

I'm sitting here on the top of the world, I hang around in the longest night
Until each beast has gone to bed and then I say "God bless" and put out the light

While you lie in the dark, afraid to breathe
And you beg and you promise and you bargain and you plead
Sometimes you confuse me with Santa Claus
It's the big white beard, I suppose
I'm going up to the Pole, where you folks die of cold
I might be gone for a while if you need me

Now I'm dead, now I'm dead, now I'm dead, now I'm dead
And you're all going on to meet your reward
Are you scared? Are you scared? Are you scared? Are you scared?
You might have never heard, but God's comic

God's Comic
Written byDeclan MacManus
Performed byElvis Costello
Produced byElvis Costello, Kevin Killen & T Bone Burnett
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, Hofner bass
Marc Ribot - Spanish guitar, banjo
Mitchell Froom - Chamberlain, Indian harmonium
Buell Neidlinger - double bass, cellos
Jim Keltner - snare drum
Michael Blair - xylophone, marimba, snare drum, Magic Table
Recorded1988, Ocean Way, Los Angeles
ReleasedFebruary 6, 1989
AlbumsSpike, 1989
Various Artists collectionsT Bone Burnett: The Producer, 2011
PromosSpike Album Sampler, 1989
UK Elvis Costello (2006), 2006

First known performance:
November 5, 1987, Atlanta, GA
Last known performance:
September 20, 2023, Berlin, Germany
     (333 known performances)

Spike1989 Spike Album.jpg

T Bone Burnett The Producer album cover.jpg


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Cliff Hillis & John Faye performed live, 2002-08-10, Brilliant Mistakes tribute, Albany, New York 2002 archive.org
Steve Nieve performed live, 2020-04-07, The Daily Improvisation, France - instrumental 2020 Facebook - 13:30
Oliver's Army (Dallas) performed live, Dallas-area Costello tribute band 2003 archive.org
Erich Sellheim home studio production, sung in German 2019 YouTube

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