Girls! Girls! Girls!- “Alison”- Elvis Costello. “Alison” one of Elvis Costello’s most famous and well loved songs- came out on his debut album- My Aim Is True [the album title is in “Alison” repeated over and over}- Elvis wrote the song as an ode to a woman he saw working at a supermarket. Supposedly. Elvis over the years [ the song came out in 1977} has said little about it other than to say it was a song about ‘disappointing somebody” and “Much could be undone by saying more.” In his 2015 memoir [a good one} he said of the song “I’ve always told people that I wrote the song ‘Alison’ after seeing a beautiful checkout girl at the local supermarket. She had a face for which a ship might have once been named. Scoundrels might once have fought mist-swathed duels to defend her honour. Now she was punching in the prices on cans of beans at a cash register and looking as if all the hopes and dreams of her youth were draining away. All that were left would soon be squandered to a ruffian who told her convenient lies and trapped her still further”.
Rolling Stone ranked it at #318 on their 500 Greatest Songs Ever list. Linda Ronstadt covered it in 1978 and as a single for Linda it went to #30. Years later EC said of Ronstadt covering it Years later, Costello joked that he might have been publicly derisive of Ronstadt’s version, “but I didn’t mind spending the money that she earned me”