Song of the Day #1,745: ‘Kid About It (alternate version)’ – Elvis Costello

imperialbedroomRandom Weekends are looking a lot like Elvis Costello Weekends this week.

Today’s track is another of the many bonus tracks Costello has released on the numerous reissues of his back catalog. I will let the man himself describe this version of the Imperial Bedroom track ‘Kid About It,’ as well as the story behind the writing of the song.

The odd song out on the second half of the record is “Kid About It”. Originally, styled as a slow r’n’b ballad, I made the decision to pitch the recorded vocal in my lowest octave for greater intimacy. An early run-through take of the first draft appears on CD 2.

The song is a rejection of tarnished and jaded games of adulthood. There is even a small, improbable sense of hope at the end of the second verse. It was composed on the morning after John Lennon’s murder. I went out walking to clear my head of the dreadful news reports, and this song came to me. I wouldn’t have done anything as presumptuous as write a song “about” the event and even edited out a passing reference to it in the original second verse. However, the line “Singing the ‘Leaving Of Liverpool’ and turning into Americans” seems to be about a place where dreams begin and end.

He saw no tears in her eyes
Say you wouldn’t kid about it
She’s telling all of those lies
She swore she’d never told before
But I doubt it

So he bit his tongue
And tried hard to capture his breath
When she said I waited all my life
For just a little death

Say you wouldn’t kid about it
Say you wouldn’t kid about it
Say you wouldn’t kid about it

Sometimes he takes himself so seriously
She makes her movements mysteriously
Slow fast or furiously
It’s a big responsibility
With a face full of mixed ability
Big dreams of elegance
Singing the leaving of Liverpool
And turning into Americans

Say you wouldn’t kid about it
So what if this is a man’s world
I want to be a kid again about it
Give me back my sadness
I couldn’t hide it even if I tried girl

We fight so frail
Making love tooth and nail
You gave me the kiss of my life
I might even live to tell the tale



One thought on “Song of the Day #1,745: ‘Kid About It (alternate version)’ – Elvis Costello

  1. Dana says:

    I never knew the line was “singing the ‘Leaving of Liverpool.” I always thought he was singing something about liberty.

    Very interesting version of this song, but I so love the version that it ultimately became on the album.

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