An Older Lover Etc.

Lyrics

You'd better take an older lover (1)
You'd better take an older lover


You'll soon get tired of her
 

To take an older lover
Get ready for old stories
Of teenage sex
From the early sixties
Under cover
Behind office desks
Old divorces
Children's faces

 

You'd better take a younger lover
You'd better take a younger lover
Or take an older lover
You'll soon get tired of her
(She'll shag you out on the table)

Dear girls
Doctor Annabel lies! (2)
Doctor Annabel lies!
Doctor Annabel lies!
You raced before
It's been done
Tripped and stepped on

You'd better take an older lover
You'd better take an older lover
Or take a younger monster
But deserve better

You'd better take a younger lover
You'd better take a younger lover
You'll miss your older lover
Her love was like your Mother's
With added attractions
You'd better take a younger lover 
You'd better take an older lover
You'd better take an older lover
You'd better take a younger lover

 

Doctor Annabel lies!
Doctor Annabel lies!
Doctor Annabel lies!
Doctor Annabel lies!
On the colour page
French fries spread on her face
On the future autolytic enzyme son (3)

Notes

1. Mark Smith's lover at the time was Fall manager Kay Carroll, 11 years his senior; reportedly, she was not amused.

^

2. Doctor Annabel may be a real person, but I have not figured out who she is. From the context she seems to have been some sort of provider of advice. Some have suggested that she is Alan Wise, a promoter sometimes associated with the Fall, although in context I don't know what he would be doing in the song. Supermercado points out that it sounds like a pun on "Doctor, analyze!" which is as plausible as anything. See note 3 below.

^

3. An autolytic enzyme is an enzyme that destroys the cell in which it was produced ("autolysis" is self-digestion); thus the son would be destroying his mother from the inside. From reference to a color page housing french fries, it would appear that Dr. Annabel is a character in a magazine, and perhaps the page is seen lining a basket of fish and chips.  From Michael F: "I think this refers to the Sun (not son) newspaper who I'm pretty sure had a doc/agony aunt called Annabel. The Sun always referred to itself with superlatives in S 'super soaraway,' etc. I think the line may be a take off of that. It fits with the french fries (but they're not known as this in the North as you rightly point out)." I haven't found any documentation of this, though, thus it seems unlikely that the columnist was called Annabel. Dan points out that since 1980 the Sun's agony aunt has been named "Deidre" (née June Deidre Sanders).

^

Comments (14)

dannyno
  • 1. dannyno | 03/04/2013

I posted this on the Fall Forum some time ago... Kay Carroll is obvious, perhaps this less so:

In praise of older women: the amorous recollections of Andras Vajda.
Stephen Vizinczey

originally published in 1965, it became a best seller, and has recently come out as a Penguin classic.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0141192062/

For more, see:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/mar/1...lliam-skidelsky

and

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertai...en-1914793.html

dannyno
  • 2. dannyno | 03/04/2013

"On the colour page
French fries spread on her face"

It's obvious to interpret this as somehow being about someone called Dr Annabel who is a liar. But what about these french fries all over her face?

I think there's another plausible interpretation: newspaper fish and chips wrapping - and this Dr Annabel is either author of a dubious magazine advice column, or else "Dr Annabel lies" is a headline. This has the advantage of explaining what on earth the french fries are doing in the song. I did wonder if there was a magazine photo of a woman in a lying down pose with chips all over her face, but it seems less plausible.

bzfgt
  • 3. bzfgt | 03/04/2013

Re: fish and chips; that's what I was getting at in my note, I've made it more explicit above. Am looking into the other thing.

cdriver
  • 4. cdriver | 14/07/2013

Dr Annabel is Anna Raeburn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Raeburn). She had a phone-in programme on (I think) Capital Radio in London in the late 1970s and early 1980s. MES would have heard her when visiting London and obviously had her on his mind after exiting the roman shell.

dannyno
  • 5. dannyno | 19/07/2013

I don't think it's any more likely to be Anna Raeburn than it is to be Alan Wise, who has also been suggested as the real subject of that line. Anna Raeburn doesn't have a doctorate. although her Capital show was called "Anna and the doc". Nor is it necessarily the case that MES would have heard the programme. though certainly he could have done.

Martin
  • 6. Martin | 20/02/2014

I'm just wondering if the expression "french fries" was widely used in early 80s Salford. I never knew, at the time, any way to describe them other than "chips". But I probably grew up in the wrong circles...

bzfgt
  • 7. bzfgt | 22/02/2014

Yes, that would explain much.

Supermercado
  • 8. Supermercado | 31/10/2014

I've always taken "Dr Annabel Lies" to be a play on "Doctor, analyze"

Michael F
  • 9. Michael F | 20/08/2015

I think this refers to the Sun (not son) newspaper who I'm pretty sure had a doc/agony aunt called Annabel, the Sun always referred to itself with superlatives in S 'super soaraway etc' I think the line may be take off of that. Fits with the french fries but not known as this in the North as you rightly point out.

dannyno
  • 10. dannyno | 25/08/2015

The Sun's agony column has been "Dear Deidre" since November 1980 (i.e around the first live appearance of this song):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dear_Deidre

dannyno
  • 11. dannyno | 12/02/2017

Just to note the thought that "Annabel" could be a surname, not necessarily a first name.

It could be "Dr Barry Annabel".

bzfgt
  • 12. bzfgt | 18/02/2017

But my dear chap, everyone knows it's Alan Wise.

dannyno
  • 13. dannyno | 19/02/2017

pfffffft.

bzfgt
  • 14. bzfgt | 25/02/2017

That has to be the ultimate in "It's true because everyone knows it's true." I have no idea why the first person who said "This is about Alan Wise" said it, except for the presence of the sounds "'Ah'" and "'Ize,'" which is just slightly too thin to be a solid reason for the conjecture. It's the kind of thing that someone like Son of Always would get really mad at me for questioning.

For all that, it may be about Alan Wise...

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