C.R.E.E.P.

Lyrics

(1)

He reads books; of the list book club
And after two months--his stance a familiar hunch
It's that same slouch - you had the last time he came around

 

His oppression abounds, his type is doing the rounds
He is a scum-egg; a horrid trendy wretch

 

C.R.E.E.P. C.R E.E.P. (2)

Black saucers at the back of your neck
Interruptions, from the side when you talk
in the presence, of this ugly gawk,
is offending, make sure you're not absorbed
(With hideous luck - he'll absorb all your talk)

 

CR E.E.P. C.R.E.E.P. 
 

From the bright sun, he came one fine morn
"Populist" - as well in his class at least
But then came real age, and for that we all must pay
(and for that we all do pay)

 

C.R.E.E.P. C.R.E.E.P.

And he wants world peace! (and for that we all must pay)

He likes ABC! (C.R.E.E.P.) (3)

C.R.E.E.P. C.R.E.E.P. 

Notes

1. It has often been assumed that this song is about Marc Riley, who apparently was nicknamed "creep" as a youth. RIley himself has stated that the song is about him. Both Mark and Brix Smith, however, deny this:

"As Mark points out, the song seemed to have an unsettling effect on people.

'I'm so proud of that song. I didn't see it as pure pop because it hasn't been accepted like that. It's got good words in it and that throws people off - their brains are so degenerate now, that if they hear something they don't understand ... they just drop it. I always thought it would appeal to children and it does. A lot of very young kids (seven or eight) seem to like it. I never thought, though, that the creep was the guy who smelt bad at school; it was always the most popular guy in the class, 'cos you knew damn well he wouldn't do well in life, the sort who'd cry when the exam results came out.'

Brix:- "Everyone always thinks that Fall songs are about themselves and that was especially so with "Creep." Some people thought it was about Morrisey which it wasn't. Marc Riley, our old guitarist, thought it was about him, which it wasn't. It's about every creep in the world.'"

By the time of her memoir, however, the song is about someone specific all right:

Dan: "According to Brix in her autobiography, The Rise, The Fall, and The Rise, 'Everyone assumed it was about Marc Riley, but Mark's lyrics were a takedown of the previous tour manager, Scumech ("He is a scum-egg, a horrid trendy wretch").'"

Elsewhere, she says "The European tour manager's name was Scumech. He was a trendy and Mark referred to him as a 'dickhead'. For some reason, Mark took great offence at Scumech. Perhaps it was because he would keep the tour money in his briefcase and handcuff it to radiators. He was robotic, which also annoyed Mark, He had the facade of being hip, but was actually quite bureaucratic, in a German way."

Dan has determined that the man in question is probably one Scumeck Sabottka, who is still active as a concert promoter.

From the sleeve of the single:

"This pool of disgusting smarm/The pool of luke warm/This mod effete of capricious green ham/Who is everybody, yet everybody is him/The mard blow of suck-poet's biro./The mud of everybody's mate/The pap he complains of is just the grease-reflection/On his empty pariah plate."

The title is spelled as though it is an acronym, although it is not known what, if anything, it would stand for. The only use of C.R.E.E.P. I am familiar with is the 1972 Richard Nixon campaign's "Committee to Re-Elect the President," which was officially known by the initialism "CRP" but was universally mocked with the acronym "CREEP."

Thanks to Zack:

The single version includes the following spoken word introduction by Brix: "Propositions are integrated within/Gen up to electric dog status/We pat you on the back/Your ears prick up/We call you Hitler/And then kick you around like homogenized milk."

^

2. The periods here indicate that the letters are sounded out; the title is apparently not an acronym.

^

3. ABC was one of the New Romantic bands popular in the 1980s. New Romantics are mentioned in "Hard Life in Country."  

^

 

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Comments (19)

dannyno
  • 1. dannyno | 24/03/2013

"He likes ABC! "

A reference to the band, obviously.

bzfgt
  • 2. bzfgt | 02/04/2013

Definitely, good eye. I put it in above.

dannyno
  • 3. dannyno | 10/04/2013

"Black saucers at the back of your neck"

Eyes like black saucers? Like being watched from behind?

danny
  • 4. danny | 02/08/2013

at the time R Reagan was president of the US and got re elected by a support commitee which abreviated wa aslso C R E E P, commitee for the reelection of the President, i liked to think back then (1984?) the song was referring to that

bzfgt
  • 5. bzfgt | 02/08/2013

CREEP was Nixon, I'm pretty sure the acronym was retired after that.

dannyno
  • 6. dannyno | 07/03/2016

My feeling is that the C.R.E.E.P. acronym works exactly like the D.I.V.O.R.C.E. acronym in the Tammy Wynette song, or D.I.S.C.O. in the Ottowan song, rather than like the Y.M.C.A. in the Village People song or S.O.S. in the Abba song.

Dan

bzfgt
  • 7. bzfgt | 19/03/2016

Right, if I understand you that's what my note says (the former aren't really acronyms).

dannyno
  • 8. dannyno | 04/05/2016

According to Brix in her autobiography, The Rise, The Fall, and The Rise


Everyone assumed it was about Marc Riley, but Mark's lyrics were a takedown of the previous tour manager, Scumech ('He is a scum-egg, a horrid trendy wretch').

dannyno
  • 9. dannyno | 07/05/2016

Bit more about Scumech from Brix's book:


The European tour manager's name was Scumech. He was a trendy and Mark referred to him as a 'dickhead'. For some reason, Mark took great offence at Scumech. Perhaps it was because he would keep the tour money in his briefcase and handcuff it to radiators. He was robotic, which also annoyed Mark, He had the facade of being hip, but was actually quite bureaucratic, in a German way.

bzfgt
  • 10. bzfgt | 24/06/2016

Do we know of a Scumech, or, what's just as likely, something close, independently-like?

bzfgt
  • 11. bzfgt | 24/06/2016

Sorry, that's what I get reading the comments via email vs. looking at them all here, I see we at least have more from Brix about Scumech. Of course it's quite possible that MES more than one person in mind, and that he kept his own counsel about it. But anyway the other quote for some reason makes me more confident that someone with a name at least close to "Scumech" existed at the time.

dannyno
  • 12. dannyno | 17/09/2016

I think "Scumech" is actually Scumeck Sabottka, still active as a concert promoter:

http://www.freundevonfreunden.com/workplaces/scumeck-sabottka/


For three decades the work of Scumeck Sabottka has revolved around the “concert experience,” as he says, to create the “perfect evening.”

After a few wild years in West Berlin’s punk scene, he founded the concert firm, MCT – “Music Consulting Team,” who in their early years organized tours for punk bands like the Ramones or King Kurt, but also for avant-garde musicians like John Cale, and later for international alternative rock giants like R.E.M., Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nick Cave, as well as pop singers such as Lenny Kravitz and Robbie Williams.

dannyno
  • 13. dannyno | 17/09/2016

Quote from the same place:

"I started out working as a driver, then increasingly as a tour manager for German concerts, at the time for London indie label Rough Trade: mainly with post-punk bands like The Smiths or Cabaret Voltaire."

It has to be him!

bzfgt
  • 14. bzfgt | 15/10/2016

Yep, case closed (at least for now).

Zack
  • 15. Zack | 07/12/2016

The single version ("c.r.e.e.p.") includes the following spoken-word introduction by Brix:

Propositions are integrated within
Gen up to electric dog status
We pat you on the back
Your ears prick up
We call you Hitler
And then kick you around like homogenized milk

bzfgt
  • 16. bzfgt | 27/12/2016

Thanks, Zack. Is that compiled anywhere? I am listening to 458489 A sides and it is not on that one.

Zack
  • 17. Zack (link) | 28/12/2016

Bzfgt, it was included in the old Beggars Banquet CD release of Wonderful and Frightening and can be found on YouTube (link above).

dannyno
  • 18. dannyno | 11/02/2017

I'd forgotten about that, good call from Zack.

So then of course I went looking....

and, has MES been reading linguistics?

I ask because in Roger Van De Velde's "Prolegomena to Inferential Discourse Processing" (1984), the following line appears (p.38):


Semantic-logical inferences can also make transparent how individual ideas entrenched in propositions are integrated within the complex propositional structure of discourse.


Or maybe he read it quoted elsewhere, like in a Private Eye pseud's corner column or some-such (not that it seems a particularly bad example), or else read some other linguistics text with a similar line?

I'm not being entirely serious. But I bet there's a source along these lines.

bzfgt
  • 19. bzfgt | 18/02/2017

Well, that would possibly explain "Gut of the Quantifier," if he was into logic...

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