Saturday, May 19, 2007

Music Video Theatre - Veronica by Elvis Costello...

I am a HUGE Elvis Costello fan and have been since 1977. I remember his performance on Saturday Night Live when he stopped playing his planned song (sorry, I don't remember which one) and switched to Radio Radio, an indictment of the radio industry. Because of that he was banned from Saturday Night Live for many years. Anyway, for as good a songwriter and performer as he is, he is not known for his music videos. Somehow, I think he felt that music videos were just commercials for the songs and wasn't that interested in them.

There is one that is very good, and it's Veronica. It's the story of an old woman (aunt? grandmother?) that he knows and the song is her dealing with Alzheimers and living in the past with little making it through to the current outside word. Elvis does a good job of personalizing the song before and after the song, but you will notice while most artists lip synch to the song he is purposely singing along slightly out of synch, like you or I would do if we were singing along with a song on the radio. Ah, always the rebel. I don't know who the woman is who plays the old Veronica, but she does a good job. The song is from 1986 - has it really been that long? Elvis has never been a Top 40 artist, but this is probably his second biggest commercial success, after Every Day I Write the Book.

Little known fact: The song was co-written by Elvis and Paul McCartney at a time that they were doing some collaborating - Elvis co-wrote two songs from NcCartney's album of the time, Flowers in the Dirt. But to my ear it sounds so much like a Costello song that I personally doubt that McCartney had much input.




Veronica

Is it all in that pretty little head of yours?
What goes on in that place in the dark?
Well I used to know a girl and I could have sworn
that her name was Veronica
Well she used to have a carefree mind of her own
and a delicate look in her eye
These days I'm afraid she's not even sure if her
name is Veronica

Chorus:

Do you suppose, that waiting hands on eyes,
Veronica has gone to hide?
and all the time she laughs at those who shout
her name and steal her clothes.
Veronica, Veronica, Veronica


Did the days drag by? Did the favours wane?
Did he roam down the town all the while?
did you wake from your dream, with a wolf at
the door, reaching out for Veronica
Well it was all of sixty-five years ago
When the world was the street where she lived
And a young man sailed on a ship in the sea
With a picture of Veronica

On the "Empress of India"
And as she closed her eyes upon the world and
picked upon the bones of last week's news
She spoke his name outloud again

Chorus:

Do you suppose, that waiting hands on eyes,
Veronica has gone to hide?
and all the time she laughs at those who shout

her name and steal her clothes.
Veronica, Veronica, Veronica


Veronica sits in her favorite chair
she sits very quiet and still
when they called her a name that they never get right
and that they'l know nobody else will

well she used to have a carefree mind of her own
with a devilish look in her eye
saying you can call me anything you like
but my name is Veronica

Chorus:

Do you suppose, that waiting hands on eyes,
Veronica has gone to hide?
and all the time she laughs at those who shout

her name and steal her clothes.
Veronica, Veronica, Veronica