Bournemouth Runner

Lyrics

(1)

Consumed with premonition
Of trouble on horizon
By my remarks I was certain
I was destined persecution

But then I took a chase after the Bournemouth Runner!
Bournemouth Runner!
C-c-could dare
Bournemouth Runner!
First night

Bournemouth Runner!
He was a Bournemouth Runner!

Bournemouth Runner!
Didn't get far
Bournemouth Runner!
First night
Bournemouth Runner!
But the second night
He got away with our guiding light (2)

Was chilled to the bone
At 8am 
On a Bournemouth morn
There was a drum deck
Outside room 51
Two nights before
Bristol ball
A runner took backdrop, exit hall

Bournemouth Runner!
Raced a couple of hundred yards
Bournemouth Runner!
Barman clipped his ears
Bournemouth Runner!
Spitted and shifted
Bournemouth Runner!
Backdrop dissipated
Bournemouth Runner!
He was the Bournemouth Runner!

How could we k
now it was the Bournemouth Runner?

Bournemouth Runner!
Raced a couple of hundred yards
Bournemouth Runner!
Barman clipped his ears
Bournemouth Runner!
Spitted and shifted
Bournemouth Runner!
Backdrop dissipated
Bournemouth Runner!
He was the Bournemouth Runner!

Took away our guiding light
Took away our guiding light
Took away our guiding light
He took away our guiding light 

Our backdrop was friendly and heavy
Often it would rumble into hotel
And partake with us
In diluted drink and dogmeat 
Of RAC recommended hostelry (3)

Bournemouth Runner!
Shifted and twisted (4)
Bournemouth Runner!
On beach sand sifted
Bournemouth Runner!
In the best home
Bournemouth Runner!
Locks picked
Bournemouth Runner!

Should've known better
Than to underrate
Bournemouth sucker
Took away our guiding light

Bournemouth Runner!
Calendar
Bournemouth Runner!
I've forgotten the date
Bournemouth Runner!
No plot
Bournemouth Runner!
You're welcome
Bournemouth Runner!
It was coated in poison
Bournemouth Runner!

Have to buy a new one...

(5)  

Notes

1. The story as related on the Fall online forum runs as follows:

"'After the encore, Terry Stoate who like myself has been a Fall fan since the seventies, jumped on to the stage and pulled off the backdrop, which was at the back of the stage (The Fall surrounded by the swirly circle like on the Wonderful and Frightening album cover). He jumped off the stage, said to me come on and ran out of the side door.

A couple of bouncers chased after him and after about 200 yards, they caught him and I arrived just in time to see the last punch thrown and the backdrop being taken back. Terry was still smiling though! He was smiling even more when the track "The Bournemouth Runner" was released and for a while, ran a removals firm under the same name. The backdrop though was never seen again.

I met Mark E Smith in the George Hotel having a pint before the Poole gig and asked him about it and he said they never saw it again!'

--Mick Cunningham/Bournemouthrunner, FOF.

 

From "Drunken driver causes chaos - In a JCB!" James Brown interview with MES, NME 31 October 1987 (Dan):

"Did I ever tell you we found out who it was? We got a letter off him which said (adopts creepy voice) 'I am the Bournemouth Runner' and it turns out he's like the biggest football hooligan in Bournemouth, and he's a Fall fan coincidentally.

"And he bought 'Bend Sinister' and put it on and this track comes on and he couldn't believe it. And he went round telling everybody, and he painted it on his back apparently, and he's one of these people who get put in jail every week for fighting.  

"He tried every night of the Southern tour to nick the backdrop and on the last f-ing night, in five minutes whilst no one was looking, he got it. Good on him actually. Ha ha ha."

^

2. Dan points out this is a Television song (from Marquee Moon); it's also the name of the longest running American soap opera. Dan traces it to the Bible, somewhat:

Psalms 119 : 105 [KJV]
 


Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

^

 

3. RAC (Royal Automobile Club) Limited is a roadside assistance company, pretty much the equivalent of AAA in the United States.

^

4. Some of the lyrics here echo lines from "Backdrop," which had its last appearance almost three years prior to the debut of "Bournemouth Runner." Since the former was never recorded in the studio, MES may have just decided to salvage a few lyrics, although they are both, in one sense or another, about backdrops. "The steak was friendly and bendy/ and lumbered into the hotel" becomes "The backdrop was friendly and heavy/ often it would rumble into hotel..." And "The Backdrop shifted and drifted..." finds an echo in "Bournemouth runner/ Shifted and twisted..." 

^

5. Ben Pritchard, in a post-Fall interview, attributes the breakup of that particular lineup of the Fall in 2006 to MES's attachment to the band's backdrops (although much of this has been contested by Smith himself in Renegade):

[W]hat started it all, the tour didn’t get off to the greatest start because we’d just had some new backdrops made, y’know the backdrops that we have behind us, Fall Heads Roll and all this. We had three made, Mark paid for them and they’re about three or four thousand pounds worth of backdrops done by this artist. And Mark flew on a different plane over from Chicago than us. We flew British Airways, he flew the ones that go to Atlanta, I can’t remember who they are. And he gave us Eleni’s keyboard and the backdrops. The backdrops never made it to Austin. They made it to Chicago… and he was like, “You fuckin make sure, you take care of them fuckin’ backdrops, they’re fuckin’ money, them! I won’t be fuckin’ happy if they’re not there!”

So the worst thing that could have happened, I mean if I hadn’t have turned up or if Spencer hadn’t have turned up that would have been fine, as long as the backdrops were there… those backdrops were absolutely everything to him and they didn’t turn up. And when he eventually arrived in Austin, Texas it was like, “Well somebody’s gonna have to tell him. Who’s gonna tell him?” So I told him and he was like, “Right. Ok. Alright.” And I thought at the time, I thought, he’s took that a bit too well. That’s not gonna be the end of this…

Then it started coming out, it was all our fault the backdrops had got lost and it was just kind of… every day peoples heads were just getting lower and lower. It was just like, sat in the dressing room before a gig like that (puts head in hands). Fookin hell…  

^

Comments (9)

dannyno
  • 1. dannyno | 27/04/2013

"Two nights before
Bristol ball"

So the Bournemouth gig was, according to the gigography, on 23 OCtober 1985, at Bournemouth Town Hall. The Fall indeed played Bristol University two nights later, on 25 October.

the27points
  • 2. the27points | 12/04/2016

How could we know it was the Bournemouth Runner?

bzfgt
  • 3. bzfgt | 19/05/2016

Yep.

dannyno
  • 4. dannyno | 08/06/2016

From the NME, 31 October 1987, p.52 (last page of the article, "DRUNKEN DRIVER CAUSES CHAOS IN A JCB!", by James Brown):


"Did I ever tell you we found out who it was? We got a letter off him which said (adopts creepy voice) 'I am the Bournemouth Runner' and it turns out he's like the biggest football hooligan in Bournemouth, and he's a Fall fan coincidentally.

"And he bought 'Bend Sinister' and put it on and this track comes on and he couldn't believe it. And he went round telling everybody, and he painted it on his back apparently, and he's one of these people who get put in jail every week for fighting.

"He tried every night of the Southern tour to nick the backdrop and on the last f-ing night, in five minutes whilst no one was looking, he got it. Good on him actually. Ha ha ha."


Dan

bzfgt
  • 5. bzfgt | 29/06/2016

Dan, is that MES speaking? What's he doing in an article about a drunken driver? And don't you all call it a "drink driver" or something?

EDIT: Ha, I googled that and found somewhere I (you) used it in a different song ("Frenz"). What a weird name for an interview!

dannyno
  • 6. dannyno | 02/07/2016

It's very peculiar. I suppose it's supposed to indicate MES's verbal chaotic destructiveness, or something.

dannyno
  • 7. dannyno | 21/03/2017

"Guiding light". A Television song, of course, though I doubt that's anything to do with it. I really just want to observe that I think the phrase seems to owe its origins to the Bible, specifically Psalms 119 : 105 [KJV]


Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

bzfgt
  • 8. bzfgt (link) | 23/03/2017

Also a soap opera. I should get a note in.

dannyno
  • 9. dannyno | 23/04/2017

"Bristol ball"

In comment #1, I confirm the chronology. I was just thinking: was it the Fresher's Ball? It's right kind of time of year, and would explain the word "ball".

Add a comment

You're using an AdBlock like software. Disable it to allow submit.