Who Sang Miss Macbeth? Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello Spike cover art
Release information
Release Date: 1989-2-6
Genre: Rock Folk, World, & Country
Style: Alternative Rock/Rock & Roll
length: 4:26
lead vocals: Elvis Costello
trumpet: Efrem Towns and Gregory Davis
mixer: Kevin Killen
engineer: Kevin Killen
fiddle: Steve Wickham
tenor saxophone: Kevin Harris
trombone: Charles Joseph
baritone saxophone: Roger Lewis
snare drum: Jerry Marotta
drums (drum set): Pete Thomas
uilleann pipes: Davy Spillane
horn arranger: Declan Patrick MacManus and The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
mandolin & electric guitar & acoustic guitar: Elvis Costello
sousaphone: Kirk Joseph
bodhrán & bouzouki: Dónal Lunny
chamberlin & organ & electric piano: Mitchell Froom
bell & snare drum & percussion & tambourine & glockenspiel: Michael Blair
composer: Declan Patrick MacManus
lyricist: Declan Patrick MacManus
All the children testified that Miss Macbeth
Wore a fishbone slide in her cobweb tresses
Her eyes were black like first foot coal, clutched as white as chalk-dust
Her fingers sweated India-ink and poison-pen letters
There is a hungry hanging tree, just below your bedroom window
You can hear her take a broom to beat out a tattoo on the ceiling
Her bloodless face ran red inside but was she
Really evil, was she only pantomime

Now the chalk on the wall says that somebody
Saves, that somebody`s face has just been washed off the pavement
Into a puzzle where petrol will be poisoned by rain
Miss Macbeth saw her reflection
As confetti bled it`s colors down the drain

And everyday she lives out another love song
It`s a tearful lament of somebody done wrong
Well how can you miss what you`ve never possessed?
Miss Macbeth

Well we all should have known when the children paraded
They portrayed her in their fairy tales, sprinkling deadly Nightshade
And as they tormented her she rose to the bait
Even a scapegoat must have someone to hate

And everyday she lives out another love song
"You`re up there enjoying yourself, and I know it`s wrong"

Well how can you miss what you've never possessed
Miss Macbeth

Sometimes people are just what they appear to be
With no redemption at all
We try to walk upright when we can`t even crawl

Miss Macbeth has a gollywog she chucks under
The chin and she whispers to it tenderly Then sticks it on a pin
And it might be coincidence, but a boy down
The lane, that she said "went white as he could do," then doubled over in pain


CD 1
  • 1 …This Town…
  • 2 Let Him Dangle
  • 3 Deep Dark Truthful Mirror
  • 4 Veronica
  • 5 God’s Comic
  • 6 Chewing Gum
  • 7 Tramp the Dirt Down
  • 8 Stalin Malone
  • 9 Satellite
  • 10 Pads, Paws and Claws
  • 11 Baby Plays Around
  • 12 Miss Macbeth
  • 13 Any King’s Shilling
  • 14 Coal‐Train Robberies
  • 15 Last Boat Leaving