Song of the Day #3,323: ‘…And in Every Home’ – Elvis Costello vs. Taylor Swift

Our third Round Four matchup pits Elvis Costello against Taylor Swift. Swift has been a giant slayer in the contest thus far, propelled by some major fans and a whole lot of debate. She took out David Byrne in Round One, Tom Petty in Round Two and Simon & Garfunkel in Round Three (72/28).

Costello topped Carly Rae Jepsen, then John Mayer and finally Michael Jackson (with a commanding 90% of the vote).

Swift’s path has been a generational war, Millennials vs. Boomers, and that won’t change in this round. Can she continue to topple the oldsters on her way to the Final Four? Or will Costello prove too tough a foe?

Swift is a formidable talent. I’ve sold her short over the past few rounds, harping on her self-aware lyrics and not giving her enough credit for her diversity in musical styles and lyrical dexterity. She is a superstar who has earned that status not (just) through smart marketing but by creating resonant art.

Still, I’m sure there’s little suspense as to my vote. Costello has been a favorite artist of mine since I was gifted two of his albums as a birthday present in my late teens (by my most loyal blog fan, no less). Over 40 years and more than 30 albums, he has put his distinctive stamp on every conceivable genre. He is one of the most prolific and talented songwriters to ever strap on a guitar.

You turn to the sinister when you get the boot
Sliding down the banister in your Sunday suit
Lying on a slag-heap of blankets and magazines
She’s only thirty-five going on seventeen
You’d better roll over and go to sleep if you don’t come clean

And in every home there will be lots of time
I will be all yours you might have been admired
(And in every home there will be lots of time)
They say they’re very sorry but you are not desired
Oh heaven preserve us
Oh heaven preserve us
Oh heaven preserve us
Because they don’t deserve us

Holding your life in your hand
With an artificial limp wrist
And so a young blade becomes a has-been
Looking for a new twist

A year after the wedding he broke all their china plates
He’s in prison now she’s running with his mates
Sees him every Sunday
And he asks her where she’s been
She’s only thirty-five going on seventeen
She’s going to cop a packet if he ever finds her
In between the sheets


13 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,323: ‘…And in Every Home’ – Elvis Costello vs. Taylor Swift

  1. Dana says:

    Well, there is no suspense or consternation on my vote here either. I’m proud of Swift for having fought the battles and for my kids for taking up arms (and currying votes) on her behalf, but she has now run up against arguably my favorite artist.

    I’m not sure who Elvis will, be taking on in the final round, but I don’t think there is anybody who will get my vote over him.

  2. Amy says:

    First things first…Where’s the voting box?

  3. Amy says:

    I was going to commend you, Clay, on your masterful post today. You’re ready to write political speeches or craft closing arguments with such finesse ;). Then I realized that perhaps you simply intend to deny us the ability to vote as a way to be certain which artist will advance to the next round.

    I was leaning Costello until reading Dana’s comment assuming he will be in the final four, which provided me with the reminder that a) Swift is our only chance to have a female representative there, and b) I’m likely to vote for any of the other remaining contestants over either of these two (both artists I adore and am happy to have seen come this far), so… if and when I’m able to vote, I’m going Swift for one more round.

  4. Amy says:

    (Dana has the voting box on his phone and just cast what is certainly a second vote for Costello while I remain unable o cast my vote at all… how’d you pull off that neat trick, Clay?!)

  5. Peg says:

    The vote box is on my phone.

  6. Madison says:

    No voting box here either. This is some high class trickery.

  7. Peter says:

    It is so easy to vote for Elvis. A salute to Glen Campbell! “Rhinestone Cowboy” was my first favorite country song in a time when I used to listen to Jazz. I felt a bit uncomfortable and ashamed due to “not intellectual”, but what the heck, I f…n’ liked it!

  8. The Cool Guy (Daniel) says:

    Here personal preference takes over. Though I like Elvis Costello much more than in the past when I used to wonder who this guy with the weird voice was that my dad was so intent on my appreciating. However, even though now I realize what an amazing and prolific artist Elvis Costello, I guess you could say Taylor Swift got a head start. Since her debut album I can remember belting out every track with my mom and sister in the car. I felt her breakups and her loves and that vulnerability pervading all her records which makes me feel that connection amplified is precisely why I have to go with her here.

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