Song of the Day #3,810: ‘Nothing Clings Like Ivy’ – Elvis Costello

Here’s a lovely track from Elvis Costello’s 2004 album The Delivery Man, which started as a concept album about a quartet of characters in the deep south but ended up as a collection of loosely connected rock songs and ballads.

Ivy was presumably one of the characters in that original narrative, and her presence is felt in the backing vocals of the wonderful Emmylou Harris, who shows up on a couple of tracks. Lucinda Williams sits in on the raucous ‘There’s a Story in Your Voice,’ delivering a wild and passionate performance.

The Delivery Man was one of eight albums Costello released in the 00s, including an album of piano jazz standards and an orchestral ballet score. It sits shoulder to shoulder with the other rock albums, 2002’s When I Was Cruel and 2008’s Momofuku.

Nothing clings like Ivy
Frightened by the dark
Though she cuts deep
It never leaves a mark

No one quite like Ivy
Ever gets it straight
What she believes
She won’t negotiate

All the words of tenderness
That never quite got through
She said “You know how young girls are
From my contempt for you”

Outside in the hollow
She may dare herself
For there may be
A serpent in the grass

Nothing clings like Ivy
Trying to scare herself
And it may strike or
Wait for her to pass

All the words of tenderness
That she never possessed
“So what’s the use of promises?
I had my fingers crossed

All the words of tenderness
That never quite got through
She said, “I laughed behind your back
When I told them to you

Nothing clings like Ivy
Frightened by the dark
Though she cuts deep
It never leaves a mark

One thought on “Song of the Day #3,810: ‘Nothing Clings Like Ivy’ – Elvis Costello

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I agree, this is a very solid album. Haven’t heard it in a long time though, so thank you Random ITunes Fairy!

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