Carry Bag Man

Lyrics

I'm in love with the Carrier Bag Man
I love the Carrier Bag Man 
Carrier bags strewn all around the room
Ah, the Carrier Bag Man-- I am him
Coz I am the Carrier Bag Man -- I am the carrier bag man (1)

I've no time to sit comfortable down
But I still need armchairs round my home
To put carrier bags on

I am the Carrier Bag Man
Carry a bag man!

I don't make waves, I hide bags in graves
No cash is earned straight nowadays anyways
Please all you onlookers understand
So make gangway for Carrier Bag Man

I am Carrier Bag Man

[megaphone rant]

When in town I keep head down
Kneel on the croft when the mariah comes round (2)
Fat-assed workmen, I scurry around
There's few good places to hide bags behind

Coz I am Carrier Bag Man.
Carry a bag man!

 

 

Notes

1. A "carrier bag" is a plastic shopping bag; apparently, Mark Smith is in the habit of toting one around with him (courtesy of Reformation):

(From "Various Artists: The Disparate Cogscienti, Sounds, article by Jonh Wilde): Brix Smith: " Mark's always walking around with carrier bags. My parents have bought him a gorgeous leather satchel and a nice briefcase but he always stuffs things in carrier bags. In the streets, to concerts, everywhere. It's good in a way because you can put lots of valuable things in carrier bags and no-one will think of stealing them. Mark carries all sorts around, he's not fussy. Liquor store, Sainsbury's, Boots. As long as it's a certain size and shape."  

The man himself, however, begs to differ (from Dan):

"With the proviso that MES sometimes gives us competing accounts of what a song is about, I just noticed this helpful snippet from an interview: "‘Carry Bag Man’ isn’t about me. I don’t go around with carrier bags full of drugs, do I?'"

^

2. A croft is a small enclosed field, usually housing a tenant farmer. A mariah, often called a "black mariah," is a paddy wagon.

 

From Dan:

I think this represents a particular place. There are references to apparently different local places called "the croft" in the comments on this John Cooper Clarke article. Presumably these would be patches of waste land in Lancashire dialect.

See the comments below...

^

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Comments (5)

Karl B
  • 1. Karl B | 16/11/2014

Theres a story about nick cave carrying the handwritten document that would become when the ass saw the angel around in a carrier bag for many years apparently.in a wasted state he left from a dealers house and took the rubbish carrier bag with him by mistake.he retrieved his carrier later on when he realised.is this song some sort of inside joke about the perils of carrir bag culture.im not sure where i read the story but i think it happened whilst cave was in L.A Visiting henry rollins.also smith and cave were quite friendly at this time.just a thought.

dannyno
  • 2. dannyno | 13/03/2015

"The Croft" - I think this represents a particular place. There are references to apparently different local places called "the croft" in the comments on this John Cooper Clarke article: http://www.salfordstar.com/article.asp?id=106

Presumably these would be patches of waste land in Lancashire dialect.

dannyno
  • 3. dannyno | 13/03/2015

So for example in the book "The Salford Lancaster", telling the story about a world war 2 plane crash in the area, there is this:

"The land had originally been used as a tip but in more recent times men played pitch-and-toss on the croft and boys were given sixpence to look-out for the local bobby."

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=7PyRAwAAQBAJ&lpg=PA96&dq=%22the%20croft%22%20salford&pg=PA96#v=onepage&q=croft&f=false

Or this from "What a Life! The autobiography of Jim Whelan" (This seems to be Jim Whelan: http://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2011/oct/01/good-to-meet-you-jim-whelan), who also grew up in the Broughton area

"Over the road was a patch of waste ground which had been bombed and this site, which we called the 'croft', was our playground as we were growing up."

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=51q5BAAAQBAJ&lpg=PT8&dq=%22the%20croft%22%20salford&pg=PT8#v=snippet&q=croft&f=false

dannyno
  • 4. dannyno | 13/03/2015

"Pitch and toss", by the way, was an illegal form of gambling.

dannyno
  • 5. dannyno | 24/08/2016

With the proviso that MES sometimes gives us competing accounts of what a song is about, I just noticed this helpful snippet from an interview:


‘Carry Bag Man’ isn’t about me. I don’t go around with carrier bags full of drugs, do I?


https://kevinegperry.com/2012/04/14/mark-e-smith-and-the-mystery-jet/

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