You Gave Me The Answer – Stephen From Australia Asks…
In celebration of the release of the Flowers In The Dirt reissue this month we felt it was the perfect time to go deeper into one of Paul’s songs with Elvis Costello. There were lots of questions around the Paul and Elvis collaboration, but one from Stephen in Australia really caught our attention:
"I always wondered what the song ‘That Day Is Done’ is about. It sounds to me like it is someone talking from the grave?"
‘That Day Is Done’ - which features the lyric “She sprinkles flowers in the dirt” - is a real fan favourite (you have to listen to the demo version from the reissue!) so we spoke with Paul to shed some light on the track…
“Thanks for your question, Stephen. Well, when I was working with Elvis Costello, he told me about a funeral of a favourite relative of his and it became the inspiration for this song. It really was Elvis’ story that I empathised with and we eventually took the lyric, ‘Flowers In The Dirt’ for the title of the album. I suggest actually on this one you talk to Elvis…”
So of course, that’s what we did! And here’s Elvis’ take on the origins of the track:
“The starting point of the lyric for ‘That Day Is Done’ came from my anxiety about possibly not being there for the funeral of my Grandmother (or Nana as I called her). By the way, she was also the subject of ‘Veronica’ (her third name). Odd that the question mentioned voices from the grave. That device was taken from William Kennedy's book, ‘Ironweed’, rather than a ‘Halloween’ idea.”
So there we have it - a very touching song about a very touching subject.
Flowers In The Dirt can be picked up from your local record store, or online via the below links: