Elvis Costello has written hundreds of songs in a dizzying array of styles over the last 25 years, but at least one element has been a constant: insults. Sure, he's capable of gorgeous, delicate songs of love and loss ("So Like Candy" and "Almost Blue" are a good start), but a steady stream of clever vitriolproceeding from his first album, 1977's My Aim Is True, through 2002's When I Was Cruelmakes clear that irritating this guy means risking a verbal ass-whipping no one else this side of Don Rickles could deliver. Be it eloquent or blunt, no one knows more ways to say "You suck" than Elvis. Here are a few.
You're So Stupid
talk like you don't have a brain in your head.
they keep you hanging on until you're well hung
twitching impulses to speak your mind
do you talk such stupid nonsense
be the last to know who's fooling who.
said that she was working for the ABC News
can't say more, it would only confuse you.
You're So Ugly
you were ten feet taller and almost handsome, I might pay this king's
thought she was young up until I saw her last night in close detail.
need a back to break or a back to stab
wanna chop off your head and watch it roll into the basket
chairman of this boredom is a compliment collector
you give us all a break?
said "I'm so happy, I could die"
they finally put you in the ground
nothing I love better than a free-for-all
if you still don't like my song, then you can just go to hell.
Love Gone Bad
love you just as much as I hate your guts.
I say I love you, then I must be delirious.
putting ideas in your head
determined to make me as miserable as you can.
don't wanna kiss you, I don't wanna touch
the girl that used to have it and the girl I still have.
wine you drink has never seen a grape.
remember a time when you would have seemed so superior
you're talking like a duchess, but you're still a waitress.
there's newsprint all over your face
you say now sounds like it was ghost-written.
movie, that's all you are to me
can take the truthful things you've said to me
a bright future for all you professional liars.
tell the truth sometimes, but you wouldn't know it if it hit you.
You Talk Too Much
could have kept her knees together
teeth are perfect but her mouth is loose.
I wish that I could stop you from talking
told the same joke to me too many times
it's the force of habit
acting innocent and proud still you know what he's after
never be a man
the tired toy that everyone enjoyed
Miscellaneous Disgust & Loathing
you for the flowers
a swine, and I'm saying that's an insult to the pig.
small children is just about your only weakness.
lack lust, you're so lackluster
I'd rather be an outlaw than an in-law to you.
easily led, but you're much too scared to follow.
fear you have mistaken me for somebody who cares.
wish you luck with a capital 'F'.