Song of the Day #985: ‘You Little Fool’ – Elvis Costello

More Elvis Costello?? I’m sure those of you tiring of the Elvis Costello weekends won’t welcome this mid-week appearance by Mr. MacManus. To hell with ya! I can’t list my favorite albums without giving a nod to 1982’s Imperial Bedroom.

But as I’ve written about the album extensively on this blog already, I won’t clutter the tubes with a further exploration of its greatness.

Instead, I’ll let Costello make that argument for me with ‘You Little Fool,’ the album’s penultimate track. This has long been a favorite of mine, both on this album and in Costello’s catalog in general.

As bright and peppy as the music is, this is a pretty depressing track lyrically. It concerns a young girl who rebels against her overprotective father and neglectful mother and winds up in a loveless relationship with a bum. But he makes it all sound so damn good.

Daddy’s best girl in the world is not supposed to have a boyfriend
But she’s never wanted at home
Other girls are allowed to wear their makeup
She sneaks out her lipstick powder and comb

She surrounds his name with hearts and flowers
Talks on the telephone for hours and hours
But with the bird in his hand
And two on a string
The words of love have an imitation ring

You little fool, you little fool
I suppose that your going to stay all night
You little fool
Don’t look at me that way you know it isn’t right
You little fool

They say no news is good news
The little girl wants information
Mother just gives her some pills to choose
And says go and use your imagination

Daddy’s best girl in the world says just look what I got
As she sits beside him on the high stool
With his arm around her neck snowball in one hand
And the other full of imitation jewels

She fingers a string of pearls
An imitation but he’ll never know it
Imitation lashes flutter above
Looking for an imitation of love

You little fool
I suppose that your going to stay all night
You little fool
So don’t look at me that way you know it isn’t right
You little fool

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One thought on “Song of the Day #985: ‘You Little Fool’ – Elvis Costello

  1. Dana says:

    Boy what happened to Peg? She only covered for 2 days? Come on! The blog needs you as I will be in open sea without Internet for the rest of the trip.

    But thank god I logged in for today’s entry. All I can say is Yes, Yes, Yes!!! This album is pure genius, pure heaven and, for my money, can convert almost anyone into a Costello fan.

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