Coach and Horses

Lyrics

I looked through the 1860's window pane (1)
I see coaches and horses moving around in the slashing rain
No fun
Coaches and horses movin' around
Coaches and horses movin' around
I go down and swear in every Inn
I need the enter no service for you

I swear

The coaches and horses move around
I followed it into the lake for delivery
Coaches and horses had their plumes on again
They say you can't come in, your coat infused
I swear to you everything I enter refused
They say no chemicals have been invented yet
In the 1860's again

Notes

1. These very simple lyrics seem to be a loose and suggestive time traveling fantasy. The song is as short and sweet as the lyrics need it to be; if the Fall were a jammier band there would be an extended coda, but as it is it clocks at under two minutes. It is typical of the wonderful but confounding Reformation Post TLC that one of the chordally most thought out, tightest (both instrumentally and compositionally), and most accessible songs on the album seems to be almost a throwaway, in terms of how short it is and how little interest MES seems to have in adding any other sections or allowing the band to explore, whereas the longest songs all consist of repetitions of a single hastily composed riff. 

There is a pub in Salford called the Coach and Horses which MES is said to have visited (thanks to dj hollerbusch); it was not built until 1913, so would not have literally been the setting of an 1860s tale. It seems to be a very common name, however, with numerous pubs called Coach and Horses in Greater Manchester, including Salford, Bury, Cadishead and Denton, and scads of them in northern England more generally. It's entirely possible that MES has one of these in mind, and it seems equally possible that the song is not making reference to a specific pub but has adopted a common name for a fictional location. And, of course, it could be that MES is talking about a real pub that is no longer in operation. Finally, since the lyrics seem to be referring to actual coaches and horses every time the phrase appears, it may be that no allusion to a pub is intended. 

^

Comments (8)

dj hollerbusch
  • 1. dj hollerbusch (link) | 11/09/2013

hi mate! great blog! this may be of interest, this is also a pub in salford mes was heard of visiting...(no service for ya), http://img01.beerintheevening.com/4a/4a3b5877d3b465bd99f145cac3c37ded.jpg cheers!

dannyno
  • 2. dannyno | 07/08/2016

Is the narrator inside looking out, or outside looking in?

Also, nowhere is it clearly stated that the window belongs to a pub or inn. We are assuming so based on the mention of inns and the association of inns with coaches/horses.

".. and swear in every inn"

This could be literal, but perhaps it could also be a reference to this kind of tradition: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swearing_on_the_Horns?

dannyno
  • 3. dannyno | 07/08/2016

Phantom coaches and horses are a common thing:

Whitby: https://www.whitbyonline.co.uk/whitbyhistory/phantomcoach.php

Dartmouth: http://www.haunted-britain.com/royal_castle_hotel.htm

Pluckley: http://www.ghostconnections.com/The%20Phantom%20Coach%20and%20Horses.htm

more: http://www.paranormaldatabase.com/reports/horse.php

Maybe there is a story of a coach and horses which enters a lake? Of course, the song might not have "real"-world sources.

bzfgt
  • 4. bzfgt | 03/09/2016

"Finally, since the lyrics seem to be referring to actual coaches and horses every time the phrase appears, no allusion to a pub of that name may be intended."

So you see, I never said he was talking about a pub...

dannyno
  • 5. dannyno | 15/10/2016

"So you see, I never said he was talking about a pub..."

of that name, you said, so the explicit implication is nonetheless that he's talking about a pub. Ner.

bzfgt
  • 6. bzfgt | 15/10/2016

The implication to me is that he may not be talking about a pub at all. Why would it be about a pub of a different name, when the point is "Coach and Horses" may refer to actual coaches and horses?

bzfgt
  • 7. bzfgt | 15/10/2016

But I changed it. Better to be right than wrong but better to be clear than right.

bzfgt
  • 8. bzfgt | 15/10/2016

Note that none of those scenarios involve me being wrong. Urg, except the one in which I'm wrong. It all makes sense I think...

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