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Elvis Costello – After The Fall lyrics

In an anonymous rendezvous
Where the forbidden lovers repair
They're burning down another damn candle
They're melting the tables and chairs
Beneath them applause from the balcony
Whenever they accomplished making love
Other times they thought they heard laughter
Coming from the balcony above

She lies to his right and she carelessly recites
All of her brand new appetites
She seems brittle and small, it don't sound like her at all
Since she came back to him after the fall

She said "You never visit the countryside"
"So I've made you a country to order"
She put up a little tent in the bedroom
Crickets played on a tape-recorder
The ceiling was festooned with phosphorous stars
She noticed his skin turning cold
Burning all his clothes on the bonfire
"Relax" she whispered and tightened the blindfold


You've changed but not for the better babe
I'd tell you why but what's the use
Cause it's the same kind of pity
A drunkard gives as his excuse
You were sharp and ideal as a bobby pin
Now your eyes are deserted and quiet
We both look like those poor shattered mannequins
Thrown through the window in the riot

She lies in his arms and without any qualms
Revels in shallow delights
She seems brittle and small, it don't sound like her at all
Since she came back to him after the fall

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    The sentiment in the song is fear. Fear of going back once you had drifted that you would just not regain what you had. The 'she' wants more attention from the other before and after the fall, and the sense of bereavement is expressed in the song as well as the intensity of what was lost. She has invested so much thought and feeling in a future promise to herself. The magic it describes, attempting to recreate reality in a limited way rather than the real freedom of outdoors and real experiences, is still light and expressive of what she wants for them. If you don't attempt to go back you have the memories of the real life but you lose the chance for more. Perhaps the song is too cynical and that you can retrieve it especially if you have never lost the yearning. The song is about yearning for the loss of what you wanted in an intense relationship.
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