Veronica (song)

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Single by Elvis Costello
from the album Spike
B-side "You're No Good" / "The Room Nobody Lives In" (12" single only)
Released 1989 (1989)
Format 7"
Recorded 1987–1988
Genre Rock
Length 3:09
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Elvis Costello, Paul McCartney
Producer(s) Elvis Costello, Kevin Killen, T-Bone Burnett
Elvis Costello singles chronology
"A Town Called Big Nothing"
"Baby Plays Around EP"

"Veronica" is a single from Elvis Costello's 1989 album Spike, co-written by Costello with Paul McCartney. The song "Veronica" was co-produced by T-Bone Burnett and Kevin Killen, and features Paul McCartney on his iconic Höfner bass. In 2004, Entertainment Weekly voted it one of Costello's top ten greatest tunes.[1]

The song focuses on an older woman who has experienced severe memory loss. Costello's inspiration for this song was his grandmother, who suffered from Alzheimer's. When talking about the song on a VH1 interview, Costello reminisced about his grandmother having "terrifying moments of lucidity" and how this was the inspiration for "Veronica". In his 2015 autobiography, Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, Costello wrote of his collaboration with McCartney, "I'd brought an early version of "Veronica" that you would have recognized […] All the words I'd already written were about my paternal grandmother, Molly, or more formally, Mabel Josephine Jackson. In fact, her Catholic confirmation name, Veronica, provided the very title of the song".[2]

"Veronica" was also Costello's highest-charting Top 40 hit in the United States, peaking at No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, No. 1 on its Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart, and No. 10 on its Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.

Music video[edit]

"Veronica" and its accompanying video depicts an aged woman, probably nearing the end of her life in a retirement home, engaging in detached reminiscences from her life from young girl to young womanhood (played by Zoe Carides). The video for "Veronica" featured Costello delivering a spoken-word monologue to the camera, and occasionally singing the song softly over the original vocal track from the recording. The video, co-directed by John Hillcoat and Evan English, earned an MTV Video Music Award for Best Male Video.[3]


Chart (1989) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[4] 27
Canadian Singles Chart 64[citation needed]
Irish Singles Chart 22[citation needed]
UK Singles Chart 31[citation needed]
US Billboard Hot 100[5] 19
US Billboard Album Rock Tracks 10[citation needed]
US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[5] 1

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Veronica". Pump It Up: Elvis Costello's 10 Greatest Tunes. Entertainment Weekly. 9 October 2004. 
  2. ^ Elvis Costello (13 October 2015). Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink. Viking. p. 484. ISBN 978-0241003466. 
  3. ^ "Elvis Costello Veronica". Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  4. ^ "ARIA singles charts - Elvis Costello 'Veronica'". Retrieved 2014-03-23. 
  5. ^ a b "Veronica" – Elvis Costello – Chart History. Retrieved 27 September 2010.

External links[edit]