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Radio Radio Lyrics

Artist: Elvis Costello
Album: This Year's Model

I was tuning in the shine on the light night dial
Doing anything my radio advised
With every one of those late night stations
Playing songs bringing tears to my eyes
I was seriously thinking about hiding the receiver
When the switch broke 'cause it's old
They're saying things that I can hardly believe
They really think we're getting out of control

(CHORUS) Radio is a sound salvation
Radio is cleaning up the nation
They say you better listen to the voice of reason
But they don't give you any choice 'cause they think that it's treason
So you had better do as you are told
You better listen to the radio

I wanna bite the hand that feeds me
I wanna bite that hand so badly
I want to make them wish they'd never seen me

Some of my friends sit around every evening
And they worry about the times ahead
But everybody else is overwhelmed by indifference
And the promise of an early bed
You either shut up or get cut up, they don't wanna hear about it
It's only inches on the reel-to-reel
And the radio is in the hands of such a lot of fools
Tryin' to anaesthetise the way that you feel


Wonderful radio
Marvelous radio
Wonderful radio
Radio, radio


by Red Ruffensore on 1/28/2009 11:51am
Isn't it "shut up or get cut *out*"?

As in the cut out bin?

That's what I've thought for 30 years. Mayhaps I was wrong?
by Rusty Nailz on 7/16/2009 7:42pm
It IS indeed "Cut out" as in "cut out of the recorded track" (an edit).
by JimTheSoundman on 2/15/2010 10:51pm
I always though it was Cut-Out also. I though it refered to the "Cut-Out" bin, where the discounted and discontinued records went. Of course it could also refer to being cut out of the playlist rotation at a radio station.
by Zymugy on 5/28/2010 12:21am
I just watched a live version and he does say "cut up". I never really paid particular attention to that but I think by cut up he means "censored" having your lyric bleeped or cut out.
by Jeffrey Ellis on 9/13/2010 6:32pm
Yes, and it's "Sad" salvation, BTW.
by David on 1/24/2011 6:10pm
Are you sure? The song is about radio so it would seem fitting for it to be "Sound Salvation." Also, Cut out seems accurate; like the signal is cut out. Just an observation.
by Bob on 4/5/2011 2:58pm
Cut up. He refers to the reel to reel. The tape on the reel would be cut up and spliced together leaving out the "offensive" section of the tape.
by alain on 5/29/2011 6:17pm
I'd vote "out" because he rhymes it with the "about" in the next line, "they don't wanna hear about it"
by Cindy on 9/5/2011 12:39pm
I'm listening to the song now, I believe he says "cut out" in the recorded version...
by Person on 1/4/2012 10:44pm
It sounds like he said, "cut out" and "sound salvation" to me.
by Sean on 3/25/2012 11:58am
No, it is indeed sound salvation, sad salvation just wouldn't make sence.
by Ph on 3/25/2012 12:02pm
by KB on 5/26/2012 1:55am
No, it's definitely cut up. I've been listening to this song for almost two days straight for a school project. He's rhyming shut up with cut up.
by Wanker on 6/9/2012 6:27am
"cut up" is a British expression that is the equivalent of "cut off" in American English.

It usually refers to traffic, where someone prevents you from continuing in your line of travel by rudely and dangerously steering in front of you and preventing your progress, often casuing you to stop short. Here I think it means your music career will be halted and your promotion by the record company and with radio airplay will cease.
by BikeVeganarchist on 1/17/2013 8:29pm
These lyrics are brilliant. To think that they were sung on Saturday Night Live's third season giving American youth hope that they were understood.
by Dean on 2/4/2013 7:51pm
it is "cut out"
by Emil on 2/17/2013 6:21pm
I thought it was "cut up," but I just listened again and it's definitely "cut out." Also, definitely "sound salvation."

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