A Lot of Wind

Lyrics

(1)

Desperate for entertainment
So I turn the TV on
There's people jumping up and down
Then they have the panel on
And they talk a lot of wind
They talk a lot of wind

Then they have the weatherman on
He used to teach all our friends
He talked a lot of wind
He talks a lot about wind

Then they have Carl Lewis on
He's got a ponytail and he's a vegan (2)
He talks a lot of wind
He talks a lot about wind

I turn the tragic lantern on (3)
It's a program 'Good Morning' (4)
It's a lot of wind
They talk a lot about wind

I'm real sick and in distress
I got octagonals in my eyelids
From watching all that wind
I get horrible horrible horrible dreams
So I ring the TV line and get a lot of wind
They talk a lot of wind

You see them selling carpets
You see them in the shops
You see them on the kids programs
And they talk a lot of wind

Oh the boredom in my bones
From belching a lot of wind
They talk a lot about wind
They talk a lot about wind

I gotta forget about the wind
Has a lot of nerve
To talk a lot about wind

There's a roly-poly, roly-poly man
He's got a yak haircut (dick, dick, dick) (5)
They talk a lot about wind

Notes

1. From Reformation

The song is ostensibly about "Fred the Weather [Man]" from Granada TV amongst other pundits of that ilk. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Talbot. However, there were other programmes which inspired the track. The following is from an interview with Andrew Mueller ("Worker's Playtime", Melody Maker, 10 April 1991):
 
"There's one or two that I switch off automatically. That one that's really offensive ... 'Kilroy', that's it. Really offensive. Have you seen that? 'If you've ever been a child molester, ring "Kilroy"'... Bloody hell."
 
There should be laws, don't you think, against the general public from appearing on TV.
 
"No, the general public are all right. It's the people behind it who're the worry."
 

Talbot taught biology at Altrincham Grammar School For Boys in Trafford (Greater Manchester), which Simon Wolstencroft attended during Talbot's tenure. In 2013, Talbot was arrested for allegedly sexually abusing boys during his time at the school. 
 
 
2. Carl Lewis is an American track athelete who won 9 gold Olympic medals and is indeed a vegan, and at one point sported dreadlocks tied into a ponytail.  
 
3."Tragic lantern" means television, as Dan explains:
 

A "magic lantern" was an early projector, but the phrase came to be used to refer to television. "Tragic lantern" is therefore a disapproving pun on "magic lantern".

From the introduction to the Penguin Book of Horror Stories (1984), edited by J.A. Cuddon:


Nowadays, so efficient are the media, one can participate daily and vicariously in the horrific misfortunes which befall others. As one sits comfortably sipping a drink, pictures of death, agony and catastrophe, bounced off satellites between commercials, are skillfully presented on the tragic lantern. The results of the latest famine, earthquake, war or bomb outrage blend into weather forecasts, football scores and advertisements for cat food and breakfast cereals. The newspapers flourish on the offal of other people’s disasters. It has become easy to satisfy a fundamental, human, ghoulish instinct and appetite.
 
4. Note from the Lyrics Parade: "Refers to the UK mid-morning TV show "This Morning", which MES refers to again in "North West Fashion Show" (Cerebral Caustic track): 'Richard and Judy's [the presenters] bastard offspring!' The weatherman on the show who talked a lot about wind was Fred Talbot." There is also a probable reference to Richard and Judy in "Is This New."  

^
 
5. From a 1990 NME feature in which MES was part of a panel asked to discuss contemporary records:
 

THE SOUP DRAGONS: 'I'm Free'

Paul: Now here's a case in point. They were fine as an indie guitar band and they're fine now....There's no problem with that.

MES: I just find it embarrassing. I can't watch it. That geek with the yak haircut.

After Danny put me on to this interview, I compared some photos of the Soup Dragons with photos of yaks, and the line actually makes perfect sense--try it. 

This is strictly incidental, since it came out in 2006, but there is a children's book called Does A Yak Get a Haircut? 
 
According to "The Story of the Fall," "The version on Sinister Waltz contains the line, 'He's the king of Granadaland' removed from the album version, possibly because the roly poly presenter and carpet salesman was easily identifiable from this more precise description." "Granadaland" refers to the region covered by ITV Granada (formerly Granada Television), the regional television service for Northwest England and home of Fred Talbot and Richard and Judy. The "more precise description" may point to Talbot (the closest to "roly poly" out of the three), although in that case the omission would be odd since the lyrics above are less coy. On the other hand, CF suggests below that the line refers to Tony Wilson, the promoter, co-founder of Factory Records, and nightclub owner who was also a journalist for Granada Television. A Dan points out, MES may also have a guest in mind.
 

 

Comments (7)

dannyno
  • 1. dannyno | 05/05/2013

If Fred Talbot is the weatherman in question, and if he indeed "used to teach all our friends", then the following is relevant: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/apr/12/fred-talbot-police-appeal-to-former-pupils

nairng
  • 2. nairng | 16/08/2013

Richard & Judy ALSO mentioned in The CD In Your Hand from The Post Nearly Man...albeit familiarly referred to as Dick & Judy. I sometimes wish MES would switch the damn thing off, he writes too much about telly imo

dannyno
  • 3. dannyno | 07/09/2013

Carl Lewis became vegan in July 1990, according to his introduction to the book "Very Vegetarian". Shift-Work was released 15 April 1991. So somewhere between those two dates, we should be able to identify which edition of This Morning Lewis appeared on, and then see if that helps us with some of the other lyrics.

CF
  • 4. CF | 20/09/2013

"The King of Granadaland" = Tony Wilson

dannyno
  • 5. dannyno | 24/05/2014

MES also refers to yak haircuts in this interview:
http://www.visi.com/fall/gigography/90dec2229.html

dannyno
  • 6. dannyno | 30/05/2014

"There's a roly-poly, roly-poly man
He's got a yak haircut"

We need to be careful. The assumption everybody has is that the roly-poly yak-hair-styled man is a This Morning presenter. This may be so, but the song does not give us that information. He could, like Carl Lewis, have been a guest. Or MES may have imported him from another show.

After all, we're already making an assumption that all the references must be to "This Morning", because the weatherman's identity is a dead cert.

However, there was also the breakfast TV show "Good Morning Britain" (1983-1992: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Morning_Britain_(1983_TV_programme))

Tony Wilson had worked with Richard and Judy in the past, but he wasn't on daytime or morning TV in the early 1990s. Doesn't mean "King of Granadaland" isn't a reference to him, but since his nickname was actually "Mr Manchester", it's not clear cut.

The only person I can find who ever actually got called "King of Granadaland" was Sidney Bernstein: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidney_Bernstein,_Baron_Bernstein, who founded Granada TV.

dannyno
  • 7. dannyno | 08/04/2017

"tragic lantern"

A "magic lantern" was an early projector (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_lantern), but the phrase came to be used to refer to television. "Tragic lantern" is therefore a disapproving pun on "magic lantern".

A prior use of the phrase:


Nowadays, so efficient are the media, one can participate daily and vicariously in the horrific misfortunes which befall others. As one sits comfortably sipping a drink, pictures of death, agony and catastrophe, bounced off satellites between commercials, are skillfully presented on the tragic lantern. The results of the latest famine, earthquake, war or bomb outrage blend into weather forecasts, football scores and advertisements for cat food and breakfast cereals. The newspapers flourish on the offal of other people’s disasters. It has become easy to satisfy a fundamental, human, ghoulish instinct and appetite.


From the introduction to the Penguin Book of Horror Stories (1984), edited by J.A. Cuddon.
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=5ZoNAQAAMAAJ

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