Elvis Costello - American Without Tears

Artist: Elvis Costello

Song: American Without Tears

Album: King Of America (1986)

When Elvis Costello's first record was released in 1977, his bristling cynicism and anger linked him with the punk and new wave explosion. A cursory listen to My Aim Is True proves that the main connection that Costello had with the punks was his unbridled passion; he tore through rock's back pages taking whatever he wanted, as well as borrowing from country, Tin Pan Alley pop, reggae, and many other musical genres. Over his career, that musical eclecticism distinguished Costello's records as much as his fiercely literate lyrics. Because he supported his lyrics with his richly diverse music, Costello emerged as one of the most innovative, influential, and best songwriters since Bob Dylan.

The son of British bandleader Ross McManus, Costello (born Declan McManus) worked as a computer programmer during the early '70s, performing under the name D.P. Costello in various folk clubs. In 1976, he became the leader of country-rock group Flip City. During this time, he recorded several... Read More


Outside in new orleans the heat was almost frightening
But my hotel room as usual was freezing and unkind
On tv they prosecute anyone who's exciting
So i put on my overcoat and went down to find

In revlon and crimpelene they captured my heart
To the strain of a piano and a cocktail murderess
She was singing that "it's too late", i agreed with that part
For two english girls who had changed their address


Now it seems we've been crying for years and for years
Now i don't speak any english, just american without tears
Just american without tears

One had been a beauty queen and the other was her friend
They had known rogues and rascals and showbiz impresarios
While the boys were licking hitler they had something to defend
>from men armed with chewing gum and fine nylon hose
By a bicycle factory as they sounded the siren
And returned into the dancehall she knew he was the one
Though he wasn't tall or handsome she laughed when he told her
"i'm the sheriff of nottingham and this is little john"


At a dock in southampton full of tearful goodbyes
Newsreel commentators said "cheerio, g.i. brides"
Soon they'll be finding the cold facts and lies
New words for suspenders and young girls backsides

Now i'm in america and running from you
Like my grandfather before me walked the streets of new york
And i think of all the women i pretend mean more than you
When i open my mouth and i can't seem to talk

Now it seems we've been crying for years and for years
Now i don't speak any english just american without tears
Just american without tears

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