Stranger In The House


Stranger In The House.
Stranger In The House (live at Hollywood High, June 1978, with the Attractions).
Stranger In The House (with George Jones).
Stranger In The House (live in Boston, 4/18/84).
Stranger In The House (live at the Great American Music Hall, 11/8/07 late, with Clover).

A conversation I had recently, presented as a sort of amuse-bouche to today’s discussion:

In talking to Brian, perhaps my most music-savvy friend, I found myself mentioning Elvis Costello’s “Stranger In The House.” We were driving through a late-night stretch of fast-food joints somewhere in southern California, on our way back from a show, listening to garage rock bluetoothed tinnily off my phone, and in some context I can no longer recall I brought up the song. Brian couldn’t place the title at first. I could have cued it up, but poor guy, I tried to sing him a little of the chorus instead. My voice is awful, so it was a caterwaul, utterly tuneless over the clatter of those electric guitars on the stereo:

There’s a stranger in the house
Nobody’s seen his face
Everybody says he’s taken my place…

Luckily for all concerned, I didn’t have to continue beyond this point.

“Oh right!” Brian interrupted, a lightbulb going off. “That’s that one I always think is a cover.”

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