Worthless Thing

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How many times can you jump out of the cupboard
Before someone gets suspicious or someone gets discovered
You can live forever in a split second of fame
Come on down, the price is right, what's your name
While a crocodile makes good shoes and a dog may change his coat
I can't change what's written on your face tonight and I quote

Oh I wish you could see
Quite how much you could mean to me
You worthless thing
If you were ten feet taller and almost handsome
I might pay this king's ransom
You worthless thing

They commit blue murder along Union Avenue
Then they sell you souvenir matches
Nightclubs full of grave robbers from Memphis, Tennessee
And Las Vegas body snatchers
And he's carrying a warning, can't you see how his eyes glint?
Keep your bloody hands off my life, your affectionate fingerprint


All the cars and pills and girls who tore his shirt to tatters
Do you know how tall he was 'cos that is all that really matters?
Do you know his mother's last name, do you think that he's divine?
You've seen the film, you've read the book
You're drinking vintage Elvis Presley wine

Bored out of your tiny mind while life is twice as large
They'll cut her down to size on television
She's available and beautiful, but with more time to devote
They're going to take this cable now and stick it down your throat
So this is an obituary which should be right and fitting
For every clockwork cat and conceivable kitten


Worthless Thing
Written byElvis Costello
Performed byElvis Costello & The Attractions
Produced byClive Langer & Alan Winstanley
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, guitar
Maurice Worm (a.k.a. Steve Nieve) - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
see Goodbye Cruel World credits for possible additional musicians
RecordedFebruary 1984, SARM West Studios, London
ReleasedJune 18, 1984
AlbumsGoodbye Cruel World, 1984
SinglesI Wanna Be Loved, 1984
CollectionsGirls Girls Girls, 1989 (CD only)
The Very Best Of Elvis Costello & The Attractions, 1994
PromosSelections From Almost Blue, Goodbye Cruel World, Kojak Variety, 2004

First known performance:
April 10, 1984, Charlottesville, VA
Last known performance:
March 5, 2015, Kansas City, MO
     (100 known performances)

Alternate versions

Worthless Thing (Live 1984)
Performed byElvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
RecordedApril 28, 1984, San Francisco, CA
ReleasedFebruary 28, 1995
AlbumsGoodbye Cruel World (Rykodisc/Demon reissue), 1995
Goodbye Cruel World (Rhino/Edsel reissue), 2004
Goodbye Cruel WorldGCW album cover large.jpg


Erich Sellheim home studio production, sung in German 2019 YouTube

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