Category Archives: Elvis Costello

Radio XXXV, side A, track 1: “Veronica” by Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello - VeronicaOh, Elvis Costello, what a way to kick off a brand new tape, huh?!?!  When this song came out, I instantly fell in love with it, even though I didn’t pay any attention to the lyrics so all I really knew was “Veronica” and “Do ya suppose. . .” which I would then follow up with gobbledygook as I sang along with it.  At the time, I didn’t realize that this would be the second song that would lead me to the eventual destination that was They Might Be Giants.  I didn’t know who you were at the time, Elvis Costello, other than that you had the best amalgamation of names ever:  part King of Rock and Roll, part half of one of the best comedy duos of all time.  And you had that nasally, pop-wonderful voice that I apparently can’t get enough of, since I would eventually latch on to the kings of that particular sound, my beloved TMBG.

The best part of this project is revisiting and rediscovering songs that I haven’t thought about in 25 years and learning new things about them and getting surprised by them.  Back in the day, not paying attention to the lyrics, I assumed this was a crazy good pop explosion of a love song for a girl named Veronica.  Which it kinda is.  But it’s of course way more than that, Elvis Costello; it’s a beautiful three-minute poetic story of such sweetness, set to such wonderful music, that I got just a titch verklempt as I was listening to it again.

In the last several years as I’ve been writing this blog, there have been a few songs that have bloomed anew in my heart and become new old favorites or old new favorites or however you want to call them, for instance one of Tracy Chapman’s gems that snuck up on my tear ducts like yours did.  And now Veronica joins that exclusive club.  Thanks for re-introducing us, Elvis Costello.

“Veronica”

Is it all in that pretty little head of yours
What goes on in that place in the daark
Well, I used to know a girl and I could have sworn
That her name was Veronica

Well, she used ta have a carefree mind of her own
And a delicate loook in her eyyyye

These days, I’m afraid she’s not even sure
If her name is Veronica

Do ya suppose that waitin’ hands on eyes, Veronica has
Gone ta hide and
All the time she laughs at those who shout her name and steal her clothes
Veronicaaa

Veronicaaaa

Veronicaaaaaaa

Did her days drag by, did the favors wane
Did he roam down the town all the whiiile
Will you wake from your dream with a wolf at the door
Reaching out for Veronicaaa

Well, it was all of 65 years ago
When the world was the street where she lived
And a young man sailed on a ship in the sea
With a picture of Veronicaa

On the Empress of Indiaaaaa
And as she closed her eyes upon the wooorld

And picked upon the bones of last week’s neeews
She spoke his name out loud agaaain

Do ya suppose that waitin’ hands on eyes, Veronica has
Gone ta hide and
All the time she laughs at those who shout her name and steal her clothes
Veronicaaa

Veronicaaaa

Veronicaaaaaaa

Veronica sits in the favorite chair
She sits very quiet and still

And they call her a name that they never get right
And if they don’t, then nooobody else will

But she used ta have a carefree mind of her own
With a devilish look in her eye
Saying, “You can call me
Anything you like
But my name is Veronica”

Do ya suppose that waitin’ hands on eyes, Veronica has
Gone ta hide and
All the time she laughs at those who shout her name and steal her clothes
Veronicaaa

Veronicaaaa

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh, Veronicaaaa

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