Cary Grant's Wedding

Lyrics

(1)

(I said shut up!)
Everybody go Cary Grant's wedding
Everybody go Cary Grant's wedding

Champagne hip hip hooray
Thank you folks for coming today
How much was the price on the door?
Sure it's worth a whole lot more

I said go to Cary Grant's wedding
All you folks and fools  (2)
Cary Grant's Wedding

All you folks and fools
Have been invited to 
A new-wave personality 
Stumbles out of the ruins  
Cos he's been invited to 
Cary Grant's wedding

Buster Keaton he turned up
He wasn't a woman 
He didn't take hallucigens (3)

A poor mate for Cary Grant
Slaughterer of innocents  (4)
Add on 30 years 
And you've got Jake Burns  (5)
Joe Strummer

All you're going to
Cary Grant's wedding
A new-wave Hollywood
Where everybody's good
But not great

Cary Grant's wedding

SaveSave

Notes

1. According to Reformation, "Cary Grant was married five times, in 1935, 1942, 1949. 1965 and, most interesting for pre-cog specialists, on April 11 1981, about 18 months after the song was first played in concert." According to Raging Ostler, "The last lines are the key to this song. It's having a go at the post punk British music scene devolving into a sub-Hollywood star system, that kind of thing. Musicians falling back into the old thing of behaving like stars. Not sure of the relevance of Cary Grant, except as a chance to refer to LSD."

^

2. Dan: "There's an old blues song by Funny Papa Smith called "Fool's Blues", which has the lines: 'Some people tell me that god takes care of old folks and fools But since I been born they must 'ta have changed his rules.'"

This may not have anything to do with the lyrics here, but it's a darn good line anyway, isn't it?

^

3. Grant was really into LSD, which he said brought him inner peace.

^

4. The phrase "Slaughter (or "Massacre") of the Innocents usually refers to the story in the Bible that relates that Herod had all the male children in the Jerusalam area killed to avoid losing his kingdom to a prophesied King of the Jews who was about to be born.

^

5. Burns was the guitarist and singer of Stiff Little Fingers, and Strummer performed the same functions in the Clash.

^

SaveSave

Comments (19)

Raging zoster
  • 1. Raging zoster | 23/01/2015

Is it not "How much was the price on the door / Sure it's worth a whole lot more"?

The last lines are the key to this song. It's having a go at the post punk British music scene devolving into a sub-Hollywood star system, that kind of thing. Musicians falling back into the old thing of behaving like stars. Not sure of the relevance of Cary Grant, except as a chance to refer to LSD.

Raging Ostler
  • 2. Raging Ostler | 23/01/2015

PS thank you autocorrect, for making me spell my own name wrong there.

Raging Ostler
  • 3. Raging Ostler | 23/01/2015

PS thank you autocorrect, for making me spell my own name wrong there.

bzfgt
  • 4. bzfgt | 31/01/2015

Now that you mention it yes, definitely..."door."

dannyno
  • 5. dannyno | 28/03/2016

From the Daily Mail, 12 June 1979, "Nigel Dempster's Mail Diary" (p19):


Despite reports in America that Cary intends to make Barbara his fifth wife, there is no chance of it happening - he is happy to remain single, although he depends on her greatly for advice and companionship.


Oops.

bzfgt
  • 6. bzfgt | 30/04/2016

According to Wikipedia, he indeed married Barbara Harris in 1981...

dannyno
  • 7. dannyno | 12/06/2016

Exactly, ironic.

Dan

dannyno
  • 8. dannyno | 12/06/2016

The song was only played 9 times, first in November 1979. Were the lyrics complete in November 1979?

Dan

Martin
  • 9. Martin | 04/12/2016

In answer to Dannyno's question, yes, the lyrics were pretty much complete, as far as a couple of listens to very murky recordings (12 November 1979: Preston Polytechnic;18 November 1979: Marquee, London) has allowed me to tell. Buster Keaton's there, as is Jake Burns. No Joe Strummer, though. And there's a reference to the (I assume it's the "new wave personality" though this isn't at all clear "stumbling out of the ruins {having] "just played the Marquee". At least, I think that's what MES says.

There are a couple of lyrical variation - or maybe we should call them ad-libs - in one later performance:

November 80 London (exact date unknown)


- "A new wave personality stumbles out of the ruins... ten great Pole men and here he is, the man and his cronies... OK, maybe (...). And if I have a preference for Cary Grant, slaughterer of innocents. Add on thirty years and you've got Mark E Smith."

dannyno
  • 10. dannyno | 20/12/2016

A reference to Tenpole Tudor's frontman Ed Tudor-Pole, there?

bzfgt
  • 11. bzfgt | 27/12/2016

Whoa, that's a cool ad lib. "Cary Grant, slaughterer of innocents" is what jumps out as cool. Is that a reference to a particular movie or is he just being vicious?

bzfgt
  • 12. bzfgt | 27/12/2016

Also odd because I presume he means "take away 30 years and you've got..."?

dannyno
  • 13. dannyno | 28/12/2016

Cary Grant never played a villain, did he? So either MES is being obtuse, or he got the actor wrong. "Slaughterer of innocents" (or is it "innocence"?) sounds like Herod, or someone...

Dan

dannyno
  • 14. dannyno | 28/12/2016

... I see Herod is already in the notes.

dannyno
  • 15. dannyno | 22/02/2017

"All you folks and fools"

There's an old blues song by Funny Papa Smith called "Fool's Blues", which has the lines:


Some people tell me that god takes care of old folks and fools
But since I been born they must 'ta have changed his rules

dannyno
  • 16. dannyno | 22/02/2017

Or is it "Funny Paper" Smith. Anyway, it's definitely J.T. Smith.

Dr X O'Skeleton
  • 17. Dr X O'Skeleton | 17/05/2017

My reading of the Buster Keaton line was "he was a old woman" because he didn't take hallucinogens, old women being colloquially disapproving and risk-averse in UK parlance

bzfgt
  • 18. bzfgt (link) | 18/05/2017

Damn, Dr. X, all your comments throw the transcription into question! If you're not findimg egg corns, we're going to have to go back to the drawing board...as usual, can anyone corroborate, or think they can do the opposite?

dannyno
  • 19. dannyno | 19/05/2017

Comment #17: it could be "he was an old woman". Perfectly plausible. Works just as well, if not slightly better since Dr X O'Skeleton is right about the potential meaning of "old woman". But it's not completely certain to my ears.

Probably irrelevant, but there is a famous Buston Keaton scene from "Sherlock Junior" (1924), where he leaps from a window into an old woman disguise.

Add a comment

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