Song of the Day #1,905: ‘The Ugly Things’ – Elvis Costello

spikeFor the second weekend in a row, the Random iTunes Fairy has selected an Elvis Costello tune. This one is a bonus disc cut from the 2001 reissue of Spike.

Written by Nick Lowe, ‘The Ugly Things’ was originally recorded by Lowe and his band Brinsley Schwarz (named after the group’s guitarist, one Brinsley Schwarz). Why anybody would name a band, or a child, that escapes me.

You can hear the original here and it’s clear that Costello didn’t take many liberties in laying down his own version.

Costello and Lowe have long had a working relationship, of course, with Lowe serving as producer on Costello’s first five albums (as well as Blood & Chocolate) and playing instruments on several others. And Lowe penned (also for Brinsley Schwarz) one of Costello’s biggest hits, ‘(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding.’

Oh, I’m gonna make it up to you somehow
For all I put you through
For the ugly little things I do

Oh, I’m gonna make it up to you somehow
‘Cos you understand so well
When something I can’t tell is on my mind

I’m gonna try to get a hold of myself
And ask for one more chance
‘Cos for you I got so much romance

I’m gonna try to get a hold of myself
And this time I really will
‘Cos if you want me still
Baby say you will, you will be mine
One more time

‘Cos baby it’s wrong expecting you
To understand all the things I do
And baby I want you to remain
‘Cos if you don’t, girl
I know, I know I’m to blame

I’m gonna make it up to you somehow
And this time I really will
‘Cos if you want me still
We can climb any hill
And those ugly things, those ugly things
Those ugly things, I’ll make them up to you

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,905: ‘The Ugly Things’ – Elvis Costello

  1. cuvajr@yahoo.com says:

    Bring in Stew and TNP! Great site by the way

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Dana says:

    I think it’s very cool how similar lowe’s songwriting sensibility is to Costello’s that it becomes hard to know when Elvis is performing a song he wrote or not. “Peace, Love and Understanding” so feels like an Elvis penned song that I sometimes forget he didn’t write it.

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