Sunday, January 01, 2006

Time For Us To Speak Up Again


“Monkey To Man” came out in ’04, but I didn’t hear it until a couple of months ago. According to Elvis, it is a follow-up / response to an obscure song by Dave Bartholemew, titled “The Monkey.” I’ve included the lyrics at the end of this post.

I have to say that I absolutely love this song. I have it on a “mix CD” that I’ve been playing in my car. It is classic Elvis Costello. He is angry and he rocks the house down, with lyrics that just scream what many of us have been feeling.

Crank it up!

Monkey To Man
By Elvis Costello
From The Delivery Man

A long time ago, our point of view
Was broadcast by Mr. Bartholomew
And now the world is full of sorrow and pain
And it's time for us to speak up again

You're slack and sorry
Such an arrogant brood
The only purpose you serve is to bring us our food
We sit here staring at your pomp and pout
Outside the bars we use for keeping you out

You've taken everything that you wanted
Broke it up and plundered it and hunted
Ever since we said it
You went and took the credit
It's been headed this way since the world began
When a vicious creature took the jump from Monkey to Man

Monkey to Man

Every time man struggles and fails
He makes up some kind of fairytales
After all of the misery that he has caused
He denies he's descended from the dinosaurs

Points up to heaven with cathedral spires
All the time indulging in his base desires
Ever since we said it
He went and took the credit
It's been headed this way since the world began
When a vicious creature took the jump from Monkey to Man

Monkey to Man

Big and useless as he has become
With his crying statues and his flying bomb
Goes 'round acting like the chosen one
Excuse us if we treat him like our idiot cousin

He hangs up flowers and bells and rhymes
Hoping to hell someone's forgiven his crimes
Fills up the air with his pride and praise
He's a big disgrace to our beastly ways

In the fashionable nightclubs and finer precincts
Man uses words to dress up his vile instincts
Ever since we said it
He went and took the credit
It's been headed this way since the world began
When a vicious creature took the jump from Monkey to Man


The Monkey
By Dave Bartholomew

Three monkeys sat in a
coconut tree
Discussing things as they are
said to be
Said one to the other, now
listen you two,
There's a rumor around that
can't be true
That man has descended from our
noble race
The very idea is a great
disgrace
No monkey has ever deserted
his wife
Starved her babies and ruined
her life
And you've never known a
mother monk
To leave her babies with others
to bunk
Or pass from one on to another
Till they scarcely know who is
their mother
Here's another thing a monkey
won't do
Go out at night and get on a
stew
Or use a gun or club or knife
To take some other monkey's
life
Yes, man descended, the
onery cuss
But brother, he didn't descend
from us.

2 Comments:

Blogger Neil Shakespeare said...

Great lyrics, but I gotta say that there's three guys I just can't stand to listen to, and I realize I'm almost alone in this, and that's Elvis Costello, Neil Young and Bono. Well, and Pat Boone, and John Denver, and Donny Osmond, and Slim Whitman, and Kenny Rogers...but nobody can listen to those...

2:30 PM  
Blogger Kevin Wolf said...

Al, this is a good EC tune but sadly there are fewer as we go along. I was actually familiar with the Dave Bartholomew record, being a devotee of New Orleans music, so I realized EC's was an answer record. The video is fun too.

I'm working on a probable EC post but mine needs more time as well...

1:49 PM  

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