The Puppet Has Cut His Strings

Album: Wise Up Ghost (2013)
  • songfacts ®
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  • Lyrics
  • This song is Costello's account of the death of his father, Ross McManus, who passed away in 2011 at age 84. It came together very quickly: Elvis wrote the song in one draft and sang it into his computer that night in one take.

    Ross McManus was a bandleader and trumpet player who helped instill a love of music in Elvis.
  • Speaking with Uncut Elvis Costello called this song, "A deeply upsetting series of images about my father's last breath, which I could only let myself utter in the company of new friends."
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