Interpreting Costello’s Early Music
The first chapter introduced the time and place of our interest and the two key players for our focus. Something was said about their characters and the ideologies expressed. In particular a cultural product, the song ‘Tramp the Dirt Down’ was adopted as an initial illustration of some of these points. The period in Britain from the late 1970s to the resignation of Margaret Thatcher in 1990 sets the wider context of time and place for understanding the tension between Costello’s musical production and Thatcherism. In part it explains the artist’s motivation to write, what he wrote and how he performed his song. In the introduction to the book we mentioned something about our interpretive premises and in this chapter we revisit and extend them here for clarity for the reader.