Take it easy, I think you’re bending me

The Beat,” from This Year’s Model, is one of my favorite Elvis Costello songs.*

I recently sent the CD as a gift to my friend Rick.

When I called him earlier to wish him (a belated) happy birthday, he put his 4-year-old son, Dean, on the phone and asked him to sing for me.

In the best E.C. impression a boy of 4 could possibly muster–nailing the phrasing and tempo–Dean sang “It takes two to tumble/It takes two to tango…”

Now the song won’t stop running through my mind:

I don’t want to disease you
But I’m no good with machinery
Oh, I don’t wanna freeze you
Stop looking at the scenery
I keep thinking about your mother
Oh, I don’t wanna lick them
I don’t wanna be a lover
I just wanna be your victim
I don’t go out much at night
I don’t go out much at all
Did you think you were the only one
Who was waiting for a call?
On the beat

* Despite the critical and popular consensus in favor of it, I’m not in love with the latest album. Sure, it features a couple of good tunes, but it’s not consistently masterful like, say, My Aim is True or This Year’s Model or Imperial Bedroom. It’s not even at the level of King of America or Punch the Clock or Spike or Blood & Chocolate or … (Yes, I’m a fanatic. Somewhat reformed, but only barely.)


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