Choc-Stock

Lyrics

(1) 

Pop stock, mix my pop stock
Pop stock, mix my pop stock
Pop stock, mix my pop stock 

We like pop-stik stickers
We like weak TV
We like chocolate animals
We eat pork piggies  (2)

Pop stock, mix my pop stock
Pop stock, mix my pop stock
Pop stock, try my pop stock
Pop stock, buy my pop stock

Now all the bourgeoisie
They hate our crazy scene
'cause we dig pop-stik stickers
We like weak tea (3)

But they're the product of the same systems
Beyond their control
They stayed on at school
And tolerate bad manners

Pop stock, mix my pop stock
Pop stock, mix my pop stock
Pop stock, try my pop stock
Pop stock, buy my pop stock

Now come on kids
Lets get this thing together
Lets get this thing together (4)
And make it bad
We don't need these three chords
and big boots or this cosmic crap
He's bust his guitar (5)

Lets get this thing together
Forget Lee Cooper (6)
Lets get this thing together

Why are you smiling
Why are you laughing
At or with this song
It's not like your scene, your scene

Pop stock, mix my pop stock
Pop stock, mix my pop stock
Pop stock, try my pop stock
Pop stock, buy my pop stock

Notes

1. (Dan) From an interview/feature on The Fall in Claude Bessy's "Slash" magazine, vol 3 iss 1 Jan/Feb 1980, p.28:
 


"Pop-stock mix my pop-stock / We like pop-stick stickers / we like weak TV / we like chocolate animals / we eat pork piggies / pop stock mix my pop-stock / pop-stock try my pop-stock / pop-stock buy my pop-stock".. this strange nursery rhyme stuff is out of Choc-Stock, a tune on Dragnet. The song was written in defense of straight pop music. Why did Mark, whose personal tastes go more towards the Beefheart and Residents type of sound (though much of the experimental fringe he dismisses, calling Henry Cow and their likes "a load of fuckin' wankers) feel commercial pop must be defended? "Chock Stock started as a propop song cos all the people into the Fall, the Pop Group, Gang of Four, Throbbing Gristle and who fuckin' laugh at pop fans are patronizing, that's all. At least the kids into pop are being honest." I remained dubious. Honest perhaps but still dumb. But I do agree with the need to demistify the glory of elitism in musical allegiance, all customers are the same in the eye of the industry. Later in the song comes a variable tirade that drives his point home: "Now all the bourgeoisie / they hate our crazy scene / cos we like pop stock stickers / but they're the product of the same system beyond their control / THEY stayed on at school and tolerate bad manners... Come on kids why don't you get this thing together and make it bad / you don't need..." At which point Mark improvises on what the particular kids he is singing to that night don't need. here at Hope Street he listed a few problems he has spotted with the night's festivities but the bad acoustics and his Manchester accent scrambled the message and most of the open-mouthed speculators remained unenlightened.

^

 

2. "Choc-Stock" in the title may be a mix of the "pop-stik" and "chocolate" found in this verse. "Pop-stik" stickers were stickers with the faces of pop stars on them. "Pop stock" could be a further permutation of all this; in the chorus MES seems to be equating the band's output with a confection they are selling. The song is very bouncy and deliberately vapid, and seems to be aimed at pop music that is crafted with the aim of maximum popularity, a theme MES would explore more thoroughly in "C'n'C-S Mithering."

The music comes from a song Craig Scanlon wrote for the band he and Steven Hanley played in while they were roadies for the Fall, Staff 9, called "Pop Stock.". Many of the lyrics are taken from a much less bouncy Fall song called "Pop Stickers."  

^

3. A play on "weak TV" in the first verse (or vice versa); it isn't always clear what is being mocked, and what is being identified with, in this song. The narrator sees himself and his cohort as a threat to the bourgeoisie; at the same time they all seem a bit insipid, and the song may be mocking certain tendencies in the pop scene of the time.  

^

4. The band has indeed just fallen apart, so these lyrics seem like could be ad-libbed, but the same lines (unaccompanied by a musical breakdown) already appear in "Pop Stickers."  

^

5. This is tossed off quickly and may refer to someone's breaking a string.

^

6. Lee Cooper jeans were associated with the rock scene to one extent or another, and the company even sponsored a tour by the Rolling Stones. On this part of the live version of "Choc-Stock" on Totale's Turns MES adds "You don't need '77."  

^

Comments (5)

Philip Cartwright
  • 1. Philip Cartwright (link) | 10/12/2013
Regarding footnote 2 - I have my doubts about this because I think the lyric is actually "We like weak tea". It sounds a bit like "weaker tea" because of MES's habit of adding an "ah" at the end of words. So he sings it "we like weak-ah tea". An English person might say "I like strong tea" or "I like weak" tea, but I've never heard anyone say "I like weaker tea" - it's just not part of the "grammar" of tea-liking.

If I'm right then it's mocking a British tendency to take a macho pride in drinking strong tea (often called "builder's tea") and it's in keeping with the rather whimpish aesthetic (chocolate animals, good manners etc) that the song is advocating/satirising.
bzfgtI
  • 2. bzfgtI | 16/12/2013
That sounds right, PC, so I'll change it. I'm not British, so I don't know anything about this tea stuff. In any case, though, I don't see how that throws the footnote into doubt--it seems like I can leave that how it is, can't I?
Mark
  • 3. Mark | 25/05/2014
"He's bust his guitar": perhaps refers to that part in the song where it sounds like either Craig or Marc are tuning their guitar?
dannyno
  • 4. dannyno | 30/06/2017
From an interview/feature on The Fall in Claude Bessy's "Slash" magazine, p.28 (available online here: http://www.circulationzero.com/

[quote]
"Pop-stock
dannyno
  • 5. dannyno | 30/06/2017
Let's try that again:

From an interview/feature on The Fall in Claude Bessy's "Slash" magazine, vol 3 iss 1 Jan/Feb 1980, p.28 (available online here: [url]http://www.circulationzero.com/[/iurl]


"Pop-stock mix my pop-stock / We like pop-stick stickers / we like weak TV / we like chocolate animals / we eat pork piggies / pop stock mix my pop-stock / pop-stock try my pop-stock / pop-stock buy my pop-stock".. this strange nursery rhyme stuff is out of Choc-Stock, a tune on Dragnet. The song was written in defense of straight pop music. Why did Mark, whose personal tastes go more towards the Beefheart and Residents type of sound (though much of the experimental fringe he dismisses, calling Henry Cow and their likes "a load of fuckin' wankers) feel commercial pop must be defended? "Chock Stock started as a propop song cos all the people into the Fall, the Pop Group, Gang of Four, Throbbing Gristle and who fuckin' laugh at pop fans are patronizing, that's all. At least the kids into pop are being honest." I remained dubious. Honest perhaps but still dumb. But I do agree with the need to demistify the glory of elitism in musical allegiance, all customers are the same in the eye of the industry. Later in the song comes a variable tirade that drives his point home: "Now all the bourgeoisie / they hate our crazy scene / cos we like pop stock stickers / but they're the product of the same system beyond their control / THEY stayed on at school and tolerate bad manners... Come on kids why don't you get this thing together and make it bad / you don't need..." At which point Mark improvises on what the particular kids he is singing to that night don't need. here at Hope Street he listed a few problems he has spotted with the night's festivities but the bad acoustics and his Manchester accent scrambled the message and most of the open-mouthed speculators remained unenlightened.

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