Strict Time

by Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello (born Declan Patrick MacManus, 25 August 1954) is an English singer-songwriter. He began his career as part of London's pub rock scene in the early 1970s and later became associated with the first wave of the British punk/New Wave movement of the mid-to-late 1970s. Steeped in word pl…




There's a hand on a wire that leads to my mouth
I can hear you knocking but I'm not coming out
Don't want to be a puppet or a ventriloquist
Cause there's no ventilation on a critical list
Fingers creeping up my spine are not mine to resist
Strict time

Toughen up, toughen up
Keep your lip buttoned up
Strict time

Oh the muscles flex and the fingers curl
And a cold sweat breaks out on the sweater girl
Strict time
Oh he's all hands, don't touch that dial
The courting cold wars weekend witch trial
Strict time
All the boys are straight laced and the girls are frigid
The talk is two-faced and the rules are rigid 'cause it's strict time
Strict time

Toughen up, toughen up
Keep your lip buttoned up
Strict time

You talk in hushed tones, I talk in lush tones
Try to look Italian through the musical Valium
Strict time
Thinking of grand larceny
Smoking the everlasting cigarette of chastity
Cute assistants staying alive
More like a hand job than the hand jive
Strict time

Toughen up, toughen up
Keep your lip buttoned up
Strict time

Written by: ELVIS COSTELLO

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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