'a newspaper picture..A woman was kissing a child'

Pretty self-explanatory
Paul B
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Re: 'a newspaper picture..A woman was kissing a child'

Postby Paul B » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:44 pm

To me he played it as movingly as ever on the 2012 wheel tour. Gut wrenching stuff, 'filled up with dreams and poured down the drain'. Absolutely I agree it should be played a the funeral if it's a state one and we're paying for it. The only alternative they should be offered is, as Ken Loach said today, to privatise the ceremony, put it out for tender and take the lowest bid - after all it's what she would have wanted.

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Re: 'a newspaper picture..A woman was kissing a child'

Postby Jack of All Parades » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:54 pm

Paul B wrote:To me he played it as movingly as ever on the 2012 wheel tour. Gut wrenching stuff, 'filled up with dreams and poured down the drain'. Absolutely I agree it should be played a the funeral if it's a state one and we're paying for it. The only alternative they should be offered is, as Ken Loach said today, to privatise the ceremony, put it out for tender and take the lowest bid - after all it's what she would have wanted.


I love that- quite a poetic justice were it to come to pass.
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Re: 'a newspaper picture..A woman was kissing a child'

Postby Top balcony » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:56 pm

When he sang it in Liverpool last year he said something like " I never expected to have to sing this again..." which tends to bear out what UB says about his relationship with the song since he wrote it originaly. He's always said it's his call on the setlist not the audience's - spinning songbook excepted obviously.
But he did bring it out again for the last UK tour, and justified this by saying something like that "the events which had provoked the song in the first place i.e. political abominations, were being manifested on us again".He trotted out a list of all the subsequent Thatchers, John + Tony etc, right up to the present day. Nobody expected Tramp ahead of the tour and it sounded pretty heartfelt to me.

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Re: 'a newspaper picture..A woman was kissing a child'

Postby redlandmark » Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:00 pm

I can understand Costello being uncomfortable about discussing or performing this song when he doesn't feel it's the occasion to discuss or perform it, but I think it's a misrepresentation to imply that the song has somehow been disowned or grown out of - particularly as it's been performed numerous times since 1999.

For me personally, the song stands not because I take any joy in the death of an 87 year old woman. It stands today as a profound reflection on how the political becomes personal; on the feeling of helplessness and contempt of seeing politicians cynically divide and diminish the society they serve (anyone following the UK press in the last week will find some choice examples).

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Re: 'a newspaper picture..A woman was kissing a child'

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:51 pm

Paul B wrote:Absolutely I agree it should be played a the funeral if it's a state one and we're paying for it. The only alternative they should be offered is, as Ken Loach said today, to privatise the ceremony, put it out for tender and take the lowest bid - after all it's what she would have wanted.

That's brilliant! That should be on Twitter and retweeted till the cows come home.

For me TTDD was one of the absolute highlights last May. Yes, total conviction. And a brilliant song. Good to think of it now as a corrective to all the inevitable guff about how full of belief she was blah blah, alongside the footage of protesters being tramped down like dirt by police horses. Long live Elvis.
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Re: 'a newspaper picture..A woman was kissing a child'

Postby Dr. Luther » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:23 pm

redlandmark wrote:...the song stands not because I take any joy in the death of an 87 year old woman. It stands today as a profound reflection on how the political becomes personal; on the feeling of helplessness and contempt of seeing politicians cynically divide and diminish the society they serve...


Well said.

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Re: 'a newspaper picture..A woman was kissing a child'

Postby Heats101 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:55 pm

Clearly the event that was hoped for has actually materialised and as such the day of reckoning for Elvis has also arrived. By that I mean his lyrics will be referenced plenty and his opinion sought.

Last night on an Australian political panel programme it was mentioned immediatetly by the (well informed) host ! There is a danger that he will be associated with all the extreme comments/celebrations of her demise that are inevitable.

Yes it was written for a time and has since been introduced but following the actual death I find myself thinking that ( whatever your politics ) its a particularly vicious and very direct and personnel "view" ( he names names ) which is not his normal style.

Simply put if my 9 and 14 year old sons asked me if Elvis meant what he sang and would really want to carry out this deed, I would struggle with a satisfactory answer and I suspect/hope Elvis would likewise with his young sons.
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Re: 'a newspaper picture..A woman was kissing a child'

Postby johnfoyle » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:56 am

The Google news feed is listing, as of a minute ago, 2864 references to Elvis in coverage of the death.

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Re: 'a newspaper picture..A woman was kissing a child'

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:20 am

Time for Elvis to weigh in and say he still stands by every word of the song.

A necessary corrective to all the 'misapplied death etiquette' of the most hateful British politician of my lifetime:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree ... -etiquette
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Re: 'a newspaper picture..A woman was kissing a child'

Postby Paul B » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:13 am

That's an interesting article Otis. I can imagine Elvis rolling his eyes when he heard the news. He's booked to come here soon and the prospect of journos asking about it and gig goers shouting for it might not seem wonderful.The song is not a Maggie Maggie Maggie Out Out Out vitriolic chant that the Daily Mail etc paint it as, it's bloody tragic. Still, plenty of time for EC to come up with some honest and barbed responses of the type he excels at. It was lovely how he reclaimed the song last year here, the Leveson enquiry and all vindicating how a lot of us still feel about Thatcher's 80s decade and its impact. Who knows, if he does play it this year he might adapt the lyric.

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Re: 'a newspaper picture..A woman was kissing a child'

Postby verbal gymnastics » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:53 am

He may well adapt the lyric. I personally hope it's left out of the setlist.

And I agree that it's almost inevitable that whatever promotion Elvis is afforded for the tour (which might work to his advantage) he will be asked about this. Cynically I think he will get more publicity and interviews for the tour.
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Re: 'a newspaper picture..A woman was kissing a child'

Postby paysfortheprivilege » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:38 am

Currntly #23 on the list of downloads on amazon uk
Feck

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Re: 'a newspaper picture..A woman was kissing a child'

Postby sheeptotheslaughter » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:23 am

I watched The Late Show clip of Elvis singing last night on youtube. It might sound a strange this to say but you could feel the hatred coming off him.

The song is mentioned in many of the UK press today following George Galloway's tweet.

I dont know how these things work does it mean because its 23 in the amazon chart it is likely to be in the top 40 Sunday?

I work quite close to St Pauls I am thinking about having a walk down there to see what sort of atomsphere there is there. Will the anti Thatcher brigade be out in force.

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Re: 'a newspaper picture..A woman was kissing a child'

Postby Paul B » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:02 am

Fantastic idea, let's all buy the download (come on its cheap compared to the reissues we've shelved out for over the years) and get it in the charts. I hope some newcomers to EC are downloading it out of interest and probably being quite surprised and struck by what they hear.

This just in: 79 on iTunes uk chart as of last night, according to the Independent.

Everyone, inc Moz, issuing statements. I'm sure EC will keep his counsel, the song does indeed say it all.
Longer serving fans might remember how Tracey Macleod asked him about the song in 89 - he replied that's like being asked to have the same migraine twice. Or the same year Mavis Nicholson quoting a Financial Times concert review to him which said 'he sings about stamping on the Prime Minister's grave as though he really means it'. EC dismissed the FT as spiritually dead and having no understanding of what he did. Can't really argue with either assertion there.

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Re: 'a newspaper picture..A woman was kissing a child'

Postby verbal gymnastics » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:23 am

Remember the Lonely World part 2 tour in 1999 because of the success of She?

Perhaps the new tour will see him promoting his new hit single Tramp the Dirt Down.

Wouldn't it be great if Top of the Pops were still around to have him on the show with some of their dancers shaking their booty in the background.

I'm sure stranger things have happened...
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Re: 'a newspaper picture..A woman was kissing a child'

Postby Neil. » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:46 pm

I hope he doesn't talk about it, too, Verbal - the song speaks for itself. The pain and despair is just as strong as the anger, as someone else pointed out. But I do dread some journo asking him 'well - are you going to tramp down the dirt on her grave as you said you would?'

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Re: 'a newspaper picture..A woman was kissing a child'

Postby verbal gymnastics » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:51 pm

There'll be a whole load of different radio interviewers asking that.
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Re: 'a newspaper picture..A woman was kissing a child'

Postby nicola76 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:57 pm

Saw this played at both the Glasgow and Liverpool gigs last year. Thought the reception at Glasgow was fairly raucous by comparison with Liverpool a bite more muted than I expected.

When paired with Shipbuilding, it's a remarkably powerful suite of political songs. The line 'while we could be diving for pearls' always causes a massive lump in my throat

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Re: 'a newspaper picture..A woman was kissing a child'

Postby Ulster Boy » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:16 pm

redlandmark wrote:I can understand Costello being uncomfortable about discussing or performing this song when he doesn't feel it's the occasion to discuss or perform it, but I think it's a misrepresentation to imply that the song has somehow been disowned or grown out of - particularly as it's been performed numerous times since 1999.

For me personally, the song stands not because I take any joy in the death of an 87 year old woman. It stands today as a profound reflection on how the political becomes personal; on the feeling of helplessness and contempt of seeing politicians cynically divide and diminish the society they serve (anyone following the UK press in the last week will find some choice examples).


Agree your 2nd para. Don't agree the "performed numerous times since 1999" line, though - the wiki shows it was performed on and off up to 1995 - and then not at all until 2012: http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/inde ... _Dirt_Down

I referenced 1999 as he was heckled at the Royal Albert Hall show by people who called it, and his response was something like, "I don't do that one anymore", I taped the show and must dig it out to get the exact quote. The sense at the time was definitely that he had disowned it.

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Re: 'a newspaper picture..A woman was kissing a child'

Postby Azmuda » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:39 pm

Ulster Boy wrote:the wiki shows it was performed on and off up to 1995 - and then not at all until 2012:

http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/index.php/Performances_of_Tramp_The_Dirt_Down
Also noteworthy is that it was played at all 13 UK dates last year:

Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Brighton, Newcastle, Nottingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, London, London, Cambridge, and the Cornbury Festival.

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Re: 'a newspaper picture..A woman was kissing a child'

Postby Ulster Boy » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:55 pm

Yet not in Dublin, the town it was recorded in, and where it would have a strong resonance. A mate remined me earlier on that we were at a Billy Bragg concert in Belfast the night she stopped being Prime Minister, there was a celebratory mood that night that was appropriate. Celebrating an old lady's death 22 years later isn't.

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Re: 'a newspaper picture..A woman was kissing a child'

Postby Ulster Boy » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:59 pm

Top balcony wrote:When he sang it in Liverpool last year he said something like " I never expected to have to sing this again..." which tends to bear out what UB says about his relationship with the song since he wrote it originaly. He's always said it's his call on the setlist not the audience's - spinning songbook excepted obviously.
But he did bring it out again for the last UK tour, and justified this by saying something like that "the events which had provoked the song in the first place i.e. political abominations, were being manifested on us again".He trotted out a list of all the subsequent Thatchers, John + Tony etc, right up to the present day. Nobody expected Tramp ahead of the tour and it sounded pretty heartfelt to me.

Colin Top Balcony

I don't doubt it was heartfelt - coming from a man who hasn't lived in the UK for over 20 years. Just who is the "us" that these political abominations are being manifested on? Would that extend to Obama, given the special relationship?

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Re: 'a newspaper picture..A woman was kissing a child'

Postby Paul B » Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:49 pm

Agree re 2012 UK tour, it was the right time to revive it given sickening Cameron and sickening nature of what Leveson revealed / confirmed about years of Thatcher's rule and the years since. Now the old lady has died it's different, the song imagines that poetically, it doesn't actually enact tramping the dirt down. So I'm almost looking forward to some EC and heckler shouting matches like a few of us here witnessed at Albert Hall in 1999. I remember at the end of it the bloke protesting at EC's refusal shouting 'but you f-ing wrote that song' and EC replying 'yeah but I'm still not going to f-ing play it'. If you can get the exchange off the tape I'd be keen to be reminded what came before.

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Re: 'a newspaper picture..A woman was kissing a child'

Postby Jack of All Parades » Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:40 pm

Paul B wrote:That's an interesting article Otis. I can imagine Elvis rolling his eyes when he heard the news. He's booked to come here soon and the prospect of journos asking about it and gig goers shouting for it might not seem wonderful.The song is not a Maggie Maggie Maggie Out Out Out vitriolic chant that the Daily Mail etc paint it as, it's bloody tragic. Still, plenty of time for EC to come up with some honest and barbed responses of the type he excels at. It was lovely how he reclaimed the song last year here, the Leveson enquiry and all vindicating how a lot of us still feel about Thatcher's 80s decade and its impact. Who knows, if he does play it this year he might adapt the lyric.
Otis Westinghouse wrote:Time for Elvis to weigh in and say he still stands by every word of the song.

A necessary corrective to all the 'misapplied death etiquette' of the most hateful British politician of my lifetime:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree ... -etiquette

I am in full agreement with these two posters and their thoughtful posts. I truly hope EC takes full ownership of the song and willingly utilizes it as he tours up and down the countryside in the coming months. Her impact upon your country needs to be seriously called into question as his song forcefully does- the devastation she let loose upon the Northern shires[hell through out the island] is still palpable and will be so for many years to come as any student of her 'revolution' can see by studying the graphs and economic reports and by reading the histories. The Guardian piece that Otis shares argues reasonably for why EC and others need to speak out now- the hagiography that is underway needs to be countered. I have a friend who takes it a step further as he has stated that if EC "somehow disowns the song, then he will have officially crossed the line from 'repentant former irritant' to 'complacent kiss ass.'" Could not agree more.

People could use a little bit of this type of spirit and EC could provide it:

http://youtu.be/UASyS-jUKKI

EC needs to take these lines to heart:

"Now get yourself a song to sing and sing it 'til you're done
Yeah, sing it hard and sing it well"
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

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Re: 'a newspaper picture..A woman was kissing a child'

Postby Fishfinger king » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:09 pm

I have very mixed feelings about all of this.
When I heard she had died the first thing I thought was "Tramp the Dirt Down". Though when you do you feel you are at least partially celebrating the death of an 87 year old with dementia, which isn't that positive an emotion!
I always loved the passion and the political point of the song back in the day. It was a well considered and balanced lyric - it made it very clear that it wasn't meant to hasten her death or celebrate in any way - but at the same time railed against a political regime of such divisiveness thay I hope we never encounter anything similar again.
So the lyrics were always fantastic to me but the tune was never one of my favourites and so it would never have gotten into my top 100 countdown - I've actually always preferred the early version Betrayal that was on the miner's strike support bootleg from 85 approx and that later appeared on the KOA bonus disc.
I don't agree with any of the comments that it was time to revive it during the UK Tour last week. How is a song about a leader deposed 22 years before of any relevance to the coalition, Leveson, Osborne, recession etc? To even compare a Blairite patsy like Cameron to anything Mrs T put us through in the 80s is to miss the point by a country mile. To succeed now you have to be centrist as Blair and Cameron have realised. We wouldn't buy such right wing politics as Maggie's now - the pity is that a huge proportion of the UK population did very readily back then and greed ruled as a result.
So I have no desire to see it reach number one.
Like Verbal I have no desire to hear it on the next tour.
Let's play it once more next Wednesday then consign it to history.
Is that so surprising nowadays?


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