Harpies Bizarre

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He selects the plainest face from a spiteful row of girls
Elegant insulted women, a flaw of cultured pearls
He drops a name or two, she fails to catch
At last he's met his match
Unspoiled and unaffected, he wants her so much

She puts up half-hearted resistance, like she was taught to do
She's heard some of those small town playboys but this is something new
His promise seems dangerous, she'd like to believe
He says "You'd better leave"
"You've only got yourself to blame, shame, or deceive"

The waiting lines are long
They never get too far
Everyone wearing that medal with pride
Harpies Bizarre

I looked on but hesitated, I failed to interrupt
You're so hard to tell the truth to, so easy to corrupt
I'll memorize your face, your tragic smile
The hurt look in your eyes
As you betrayed yourself to the part of him that dies

The waiting lines are long
They never get too far
They're shining up their shoes to kick a falling star
You think you should be somebody
But you don't know who you are
Everyone wearing that medal with pride
Harpies Bizarre

Harpies Bizarre
Written byDeclan MacManus
Performed byElvis Costello
Produced byMitchell Froom, Kevin Killen & D.P.A. MacManus
Windband arrangementFiachra Trench (from original melody by MacManus)
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, electric guitar
T-Bone Wolk - hung upside down Rickenbacker tremelo bass
Larry Knechtel - harpsichord, tack piano
Mitchell Froom - Vox Continental
Pete Thomas - drums, tambourine, finger cymbals
Nicholas Bucknall - clarinet
Richard Morgan - oboe
Andrew Findon - flute
Simon Rayner - French horn
Neil Levesley - bassoon
Recordedlate 1990-early 1991, Ocean Way, Hollywood & Westside Studios, London
ReleasedMay 10, 1991
AlbumsMighty Like A Rose, 1991

First known performance:
June 12, 1991, Cleveland, OH
Last known performance:
October 3, 2023, Lucerne, Switzerland
     (12 known performances)

Mighty Like A RoseMLAR album cover large.jpg


Erich Sellheim home studio production, sung in German 2020 YouTube
Marcelo Uboldi and Claudio Agrelo performed live 2011 YouTube

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