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Elvis Costello recalls his favourite song from childhood


The other famous Elvis that everyone knows and loves: Elvis Costello! The ever-evolving British singer-songwriter has become one of the biggest and longest-lasting names in music today. He has basically a lifetime of music under his belt, which is why it’s so intriguing to look into his favourites from the past.

Elvis Costello went into depth about one of his favourite songs from his childhood in an interview in 2020. He revealed that when he was a kid, ‘Stay’ by The Hollies was one of his favourite songs, and now, it is bursting with rose-coloured nostalgia.

He said of the story behind his love of the song, “If I was off school, I used to go with my dad on a Friday morning to this theater under the arches of a railway bridge at Charing Cross, where the musicians from the band that my dad sang with were all reading the newspaper and smoking. And then these lads walked in. They didn’t look much older than me really. The guitar player had a sweater with a hole in the elbow. It was the Hollies.”

He continued, “They were carrying their own gear and they did a rehearsal and then disappeared. Then, at 1 o’clock, the Hollies came out wearing shiny suits with velvet collars, like the Beatles. Suddenly you’ve got an actual pop group onstage.” Even though he might have gone in a different direction with his inspiration, there’s still something to be said for the wide-eyed impressiveness of it all when you’re young.

He concludes the story, mentioning the song itself, “And that hit ‘Stay’ is a pretty startling thing. It made a big impression because the song was so immediate, and also because I saw them go through that transformation from the very mundane thing of carrying their own guitars to being a band you’d seen on television or in a magazine. It was amazing.”

It seems that the song, for Costello, represents so much more than the music itself. For him, it’s about realising what it actually means to be a musician and seeing others actually perform and make amazing music, but also exist as real people.

Costello definitely has an eclectic mix up his sleeve, and that’s a part of the charm of it all. If you want to hear one of his favourite childhood songs, you can listen to ‘Stay’ by The Hollies down below.