Who Are These People?

Album: At This Time (2005)
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Songfacts®:

  • This song features vocals by the English singer-songwriter Elvis Costello. The pair previously worked together on the 1998 collaborative album, Painted from Memory.
  • Burt Bacharach's At This Time album found the legendary songwriter deviating from the love songs for which he is best known and expressing himself not only musically but lyrically. This anti-violence ode, for instance, was an attack on the George W Bush administration. American singer-songwriter Tonio K, who helped Bacharach with the lyrics, told Songfacts: "This was the first time Burt contributed lyrically to songs, because it was going to be his own record and he had some stuff he wanted to say. So he'd have an idea and lay it on me, and then I'd flesh it out and he and I would edit back and forth until he was happy with it. The one Elvis sang was called 'Who Are These People,' and was very political. Burt was in the middle of some political thing during the Bush era, and he just went, 'Who are these people that keep telling us these lies?' And I went, 'Well, there's your line right there, who are these people, keep telling us lies.' And then my contribution was, 'And how did these people get control of our lives?' And it went from there." (For more check out our interview with Tonio K.)

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