Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Help Me Out Here -- What the %#^$#*&$^ is "Clubland" About ?

SO I, like you, can hear the lyrics of Clubland by Our Man Elvis Costello.

But what the fuck is it about

What's his motivation? Was he centered? Tell me the arc and the backstory. . . .

I include the video below, but videos have nothing to do with what a song's about, so watch it *after* you answer.

But enjoy.

PS at 3:14, when he turns around, he is

not Brando


Little Johnny Jewel said...

it's about 3 minutes and 41 seconds.

My favourite song in the whole world. Today.

mister muleboy said...

It's at, or near, the top o' my list.

As always, today.

I also think Nick Lowe and Roger Bechirian and Elvis Costello should get big hugs for the production. . . . .

Mythical Monkey said...

I've long been a fan of Elvis Costello, but nine times out of ten, I have no idea what he's talking about.

Not that that's a bad thing.

mister muleboy said...

I know that New Lace Sleeves is about Maggie Thatcher, and that Shipbuilding is about NASCAR.

The Jestaplero said...

I always thought it was about life on the dole. But, I don't really know what he's saying about it.

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Well it's about this long, and it's about this wide, and it's about this country about which we're singing about. Ah, New Amsterdam, it's become much too much.

Little Johnny Jewel said...

With a handful of backhanders and a bevy of beauty
You're going off limits
Going off duty
Going off the rails
Going off with booty
They tell tales of fiction found on all the criminal types
Lead to a higher ranking man or a face with thin red stripes
The boys next door
The mums and dads
New weds and nearly-deads
Have you ever been had in Clubland?

There's a piece in someone's pocket to do the dirty work
You've come to shoot the pony
They've come to do the jerk
They leave him half way to paradise
They leave you half way to bliss
The ladies' invitation never seemed like this


The long arm of the law slides up the outskirts of town
Meanwhile in Clubland they are ready to pull them down

The right to work is traded in for the right to refuse admission
Don't pass out now, there's no refund
(when) Did you find out what you were missing
The crowd is taking forty winks minus ten percent
You barely get required sleep to go lingering with contemptment
Thursday to Saturday
Money's gone already
Some things come in common these days
Your hands and work aren't steady

Seems like a pretty straightforward sketch of the comings and goings of the denizens of a working class nightclub, with a few lines making less than literal sense in the service of a cool sounding image.

Pete Thomas should be given a knighthood for this track.

Tomanonymous said...

It's a simple song about a land of clubs. Let's move on to something with a guitar solo in it, fer chrissakes.