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There’s something so sweet and sincere about this clip of Elvis Costello performing “The Scarlet Tide” that it seems like a perfect valentine — despite the fact that it’s more of an anti-war song than a love song.


Written by Costello and T-Bone Burnett, and covered by Alison Krauss in the movie Cold Mountain, the ballad is penned from a war widow’s point of view as she tries to find hope in the face of sorrow. Costello recorded a ukulele version on his 2004 album, The Delivery Man, as a duet Emmylou Harris.

Check out the chords at this Elvis Costello fan site, which says the song is played on ukulele in the key of D.