“Everyday I Write The Book” by Elvis Costello & The Attractions (1983)

“Everyday I Write The Book” was the first of three (count ‘em, three) Elvis Costello singles to hit the U.S. Top 40. It’s the first Costello song I remember hearing, and needless to say I still have a soft spot for it. It’s smoother and more soulful than Elvis’s first run of singles, and it’s got a memorable video also.

We are all aware that Elvis knows how to turn a phrase with panache, but I’m still impressed by “Everyday I Write The Book”’s lyrics:

Chapter One we didn’t really get along
Chapter Two I think I fell in love with you
You said you’d stand by me in the middle of Chapter Three
But you were up to your old tricks in Chapters Four, Five and Six

Even when Elvis’s music isn’t really my jam, his lyrics look really great on paper. In this case, I’m a fan of these words whether they are written or sung.

Bonus points for a pre-Soul II Soul Caron Wheeler as one of Elvis’s background vocalists in the video. There must’ve been a pretty big promo push behind this, as I was familiar with this clip despite not having MTV at the time.

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