Song of the Day #3,763: ‘Don’t Look Now’ – Elvis Costello

Continuing my track-by-track appreciation of Elvis Costello’s Look Now

Track two, ‘Don’t Look Now,’ is the first of three songs co-written by Burt Bacharach. This song slams on the brakes after the wild ‘Under Lime’ and takes us back to Painted From Memory territory. That Bacharach collaboration is not among my favorite Costello albums but it does have its charms, and this song does as well.

Costello sings from the perspective of a woman (a model, I assume) changing in front of a man (the photographer, perhaps). This is the first of many songs on Look Now written from a woman’s perspective.

It’s an interesting choice for Costello, who has given no quarter in the battle of the sexes for decades now. This is a man whose most popular love song contains the line “sometimes I wish that I could stop you from talking when I hear the silly things that you say.”

Is this Costello’s #metoo album? From the cover art to the subject matter to the feminine perspective used throughout, it’s hard not to view it in light of the past year’s cultural awakening.

Don’t look now
Don’t you dare
I’m not decent
Go sit over there
Would you rather I was draped
in priceless fur
As there’s nothing else to wear

Don’t look now
I saw you shoot that glance
I said “Don’t peek
At the sway of my dance
And the length of my limb
And the blush of my cheek”

Okay, look at me now
What do you see?
I see you looking at me looking
at how you’re looking at me

I know what you’re thinking
I can read your mind
Oh I promise, I’ll be good
this time

Now I wonder what you see
Will you be thinking of me
Later on, when you’re alone
Are you ever alone and longing

I’ll sit here
Silent and still
See if I am breaking your will
I see you looking at me looking
at how you’re looking at me

Oh, Don’t Look At Me Now…

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,763: ‘Don’t Look Now’ – Elvis Costello

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I’m with ya on the Bacharach collaborations. A whole album’s worth doesn’t hold my interest, while a few songs sprinkled on an album containing different styles is more compelling. I feel much the same about The Juliette Letters as well as, to a lesser extent, the “King of America” styled albums like National Ransom.

    This song, along with the closing track “You Shouldn’t Look at Me” are (almost) bookends to this album, with a lot of varied styles in between (and before in the case of the opening track).

  2. Peg Clifton says:

    I really like this song!

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