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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.

Taylor Swift vs. Elvis Costello: Who Should Advance?

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