Crap Rap 2/Like to Blow

Lyrics

(1)  

 

We are the Fall
Northern white crap that talks back (2)
We are not black, tall
No boxes for us
Do not fuck us
We are frigid stars
We were spitting, we were snapping "Cop Out, Cop Out!"
as in from heaven

 

Sucker sucker sucker sucker sucker sucker sucker sucker
 

No stars in the zone
I stay at home
I live on snacks
Potatoes in packs

 

I like to blow...
I like to blow....
I like to blow
Concentration zone (3)

 

The years go in circles,
the years go in circles
Hopes goes, I'm gone
Smoke comes, i go

 

A Spurs fan, a warrior, (4)
happy no-hoper
Dull, manage,
I think slow.

 

Sucker, blow.

(5)

 

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Notes

1. Crap Rap preceded several songs live (see note 4 below).

 

Martin:

25 November 1978 Prestwich Hospital Social Club: MES: "The next one's about the old marijuana..." (introducing Like To Blow)

^

2. From Rip it Up and Start Again:

 [I]n a later interview (January 1980 NME), [MES} says "the 'white crap that talks back' thing was due to people in London being told that people in the North are thick, or warm, friendly people. A lot of bands masquerade, pretend that they're the 'Northern thing'.... We're neither white crap, nor like 'We're talking about Art here, aren't we?'"

^

3. From Kenji Yamada:

"Concentration Zone" may be alluding to Frank Zappa's "Concentration Moon" off of We're Only In It For The Money, an album that Mark E. Smith has expressed admiration for in the past. Both songs are clear stabs at certain kinds of lethargic music fans, essentially the same despite about ten years of separation. "Concentration moon" can even be misheard as "concentration zone" if you strain yourself enough.

^

4. Presumably a reference to Tottenham Hotspur; this would be an indication that MES, a Manchester City fan, is writing in character. 

^

5. I'm not always sure of the best way to organize things; sometimes when songs are paired on an LP I put them together, sometimes not. In this case, there seem to have been several "Crap Rap"s, which was a standard introductory blast for much of the Fall's early career, before being more or less displaced by "C 'n' C-S Mithering." Here are a few lyrics, with the ensuing song indicated in the heading:

07/29/1979 Marquee, London ("Before the Moon Falls")

Good evening, all the groups imitate us but they always underrate us. We are The Fall, hello, hello, a scratchy wall of sound. White crap talks back. Witch Trials, brandy, Dragnet, Dragnet...

11/4/1979 Rock Garden, Middlesborough ("Printhead")

One, one... aaaaaaah! Futuristic aides on long legs... good evening, we are The Fall. Northern white crap but we talk back... we were spitting, we were stepping. Cop out, cop out! As in from Heaven. You can get wise at half the price... get wise at half the price. We are The Fall... as in from Heaven.

11/16/1979 Porterhouse, Retford ("Psykick Dancehall")

Good evening, we are The Fall. Interesting (?) on long legs. We are The Fall. (...) white crap talks back. Up here in the North, there is no wage package jobs for us, thank Christ. As the junior clergy demand more cash and (...) couples discuss their trap. We spit in their plate. We are The Fall, as in from heaven.

[The "wage packet" line turns up in "Before the Moon Falls" on Dragnet)

10/27 1979 Bircoats Leisure Center, Doncaster (Totale's Turns, labeled "Intro.")

We are Northern white crap that talks back 
We are The Fall we were spinning we were stepping
Cop out, cop out as in from heaven 
The difference between you and us is that we have brains
Cos we are Northern white crap 
But we talk back 
Uh oh, uh oh 
Bang fucking bang, The Mighty Fall 
The Fall, we are back, we are back 
And this next number is Fiery Jack

[The "Bang bang, the mighty fall" is the refrain of a clever but slight 1979 hit by BA Robertson entitled "Bang Bang," which peaked at #2 two months before first half of Totale's Turns was recorded. John Peel subsequently dubbed the band "the mighty Fall," and journalists and fans often use his sobriquet for the group, analogously to the way Grateful Dead fans say "The Good Ol' Grateful Dead." The line echoes the proverb "Pride goeth before a fall," a condensation of the biblical "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18).]

^

 

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Comments (28)

Andrew
  • 1. Andrew | 21/01/2015
I always read that line as "Acid from heaven"
Kenji Yamada
  • 2. Kenji Yamada | 09/02/2016
"Concentration Zone" may be alluding to Frank Zappa's "Concentration Moon" off of We're Only In It For The Money, an album that Mark E. Smith has expressed admiration for in the past. Both songs are clear stabs at certain kinds of lethargic music fans, essentially the same despite about ten years of separation. "Concentration moon" can even be misheard as "concentration zone" if you strain yourself enough.
stephe
  • 3. stephe | 18/03/2016
I always thought the line was "we are not black/tall/no nazis for us/do not fuck us- a reference probably to both Rock Against Racism, and the notion that Smith is well aware that 'rap' is a Black idiom he's riffing on. Essentially "I know I'm a white boy, but I'm gonna do this rap thing but note- this is not some form of minstrel mockery." I know racism was a big issue in the UK at the time, and Smith is an avowed reggae fan.
bzfgt
  • 4. bzfgt | 19/03/2016
Was "rap" a well known genre term in 1979, though? I know it existed, but I don't remember calling it that...
bzfgt
  • 5. bzfgt | 19/03/2016
"Boxes" sounds clear to me. You may be right with the punctuation of "tall."
Martin
  • 6. Martin | 25/03/2017
25 November 1978 Prestwich Hospital Social Club:

MES: "The next one's about the old marijuana..." (introducing Like To Blow)
dannyno
  • 7. dannyno | 23/04/2017
A note on the punning "the mighty fall".

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/188450.html


This expression derives from the Bible. The earliest version in English is found in the Great Bible, Samuel 1:19, 1539:

Oh howe are the myghtie ouerthrowen.

The currently used 'fallen' version is found in the King James Version, 1611 and is a demonstration of David's lament over Saul and Jonathan:

1:19 The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!
dannyno
  • 8. dannyno | 23/04/2017
And from Alexander Pope's translation of Homer's "Iliad" (1714-1720):


This day, this dreadful day, let each contend;
No rest, no respite, til the shades descend;
Till darkness, or till death, shall cover all:
Let the war bleed, and let the mighty fall!
dannyno
  • 9. dannyno | 23/04/2017
I wonder is it "bang! bang!" as in shots from a gun, causing the mighty to fall, or is it "bang! bang!", the noise the mighty make when they fall?
bzfgt
  • 10. bzfgt (link) | 13/05/2017
Shit, I thought I hadn't realized this before you pointed it out, but it was already in my notes, you have to look at note 4 under Bircoats. My note-penning self has forgotten more than I'll ever know...
ex worker man
  • 11. ex worker man | 08/04/2018
The distinctive "no boxes for us " line also occurs in Adam & the Ants "Press Darlings" from a year or two later - is there source in common for it, or was Ant a fan of early Fall? - the drumming at the start of Press Darlings sounds like a slowed down Psycho Mafia.
bzfgt
  • 12. bzfgt (link) | 22/04/2018
No idea about Mr. Ant (as the NYT would have it, and doubtless has at some point)
Fit and Working Man
  • 13. Fit and Working Man | 01/08/2018
"A Spurs fan, a warrior" bothers me as not quite from the right vein, and I can hear a "but" in there.
The best alternative I can come up with is "Asperse but a worrier" which at least is an image in keeping with the frightened/paranoid theme elsewhere on this record. Someone who castigates others openly but then secretly fears retribution and wishes they'd kept their mouth shut.
bzfgt
  • 14. bzfgt (link) | 06/08/2018
FAWM (are you the same person as FAWA? gets confusing with attributions) that is too much of a stretch. However, it makes me uneasy, because if we've been wrong about "Spurs fan" that is very significant (more than you'd think--the idea that he's narrate a song like this as a fan of a different team seems really important if true, and I've made much hay out of it--in my mind, I mean, I don't think there's much about it strewn through the notes, fortunately, at least that I recall)
Fit and Working Again
  • 15. Fit and Working Again | 22/08/2018
Fair-do's, I'll save "Aspersive but a worrier" for my epitaph. Yeah, I was Ex-Worker Man then Fit and Working Again with a brief interregnum as VEJ. I'm putting them to bed now, henceforth : Bazhdaddy! I've listened t'Fall at least weekly for thirty years but never so closely as in last six months, this site of yours has been hugely illuminating and helped cast new light on old tunes and am glad to have made some contribution, so for that thanks.
bzfgt
  • 16. bzfgt (link) | 25/08/2018
Thank you, you've made some great contributions here. I wish you'd pick a handle and stick to it, though...no one will ever know the magnitude of your contributions this way.
Chris Cohen
  • 17. Chris Cohen | 23/08/2019
stephe:
I always thought the line was "we are not black/tall/no nazis for us/do not fuck us- a reference probably to both Rock Against Racism, and the notion that Smith is well aware that 'rap' is a Black idiom he's riffing on. Essentially "I know I'm a white boy, but I'm gonna do this rap thing but note- this is not some form of minstrel mockery." I know racism was a big issue in the UK at the time, and Smith is an avowed reggae fan.

It sounds like "no Nazis for us" to me as well, and I think that it makes more sense than "no boxes for us".
bzfgt
  • 18. bzfgt (link) | 31/08/2019
It's hard to settle these lyrical questions...half the time it sounds like both
Ian F
  • 19. Ian F (link) | 25/03/2020
US slowcore band Codeine called their first album "Frigid Stars" after line 6.
dannyno
  • 20. dannyno | 26/03/2020
Comment #19.

Nice if true, but how do we know? It's on the relevant wikipedia cite, but tagged as unsourced.
bzfgt
  • 21. bzfgt (link) | 27/03/2020
But it seems very likely that this lyric would be their source. If not, there may be another "frigid stars" inspired both, of course...

Vexingly, Google knows no source other than Wikipedia, at least when I search "'frigid stars' Codeine 'the fall'"

Not much comes up with minusing Codeine, this is probably the most interesting: https://www.spoonflower.com/en/fabric/1472795-frigid-stars-by-cheerful-madness-by-cheerfulmadness_cartoons

or anyway, it's not interesting, but it's not obviously related to Codeine of the Fall
Ian F
  • 22. Ian F | 30/03/2020
I have every admiration for your thoroughness. That said, I saw Codeine quite a few times live and they were obviously influenced by early post-punk. Frigid Stars sounds in many places like Joy Division when they were still Warsaw. As you say, it's just about possible there was a common ancestor to both usages of 'Frigid Stars' but, that being the case, it would be astonishing if it had disappeared from Google entirely.
dannyno
  • 23. dannyno | 03/04/2020
"Frigid stars" is quite a common phrase.

Try a google books search, for example.

Google books search for "frigid stars", 1800-1977
dannyno
  • 24. dannyno | 03/04/2020
I mean, I'm not saying there's no way Codeine took the title from the lyric. Perfectly possible. I'm merely saying that at this point we do not know that they did, and that the phrase is not unique to the lyric but can be found in scientific, poetical and other contexts.
bzfgt
  • 25. bzfgt (link) | 03/04/2020
It seems likely to me they got it either partially or entirely from the Fall, I think. I mean, the Fall seem a likely touchstone for someone playing a certain sort of music. Either way I'm not that fussed about it, as this isn't The Annotated Codeine, so the information being here in the comments seems adequate...now, if the Fall had a song called "Codeine" and mentioned one of their song titles or something, we would have a different story.
dannyno
  • 26. dannyno | 16/05/2020
Codeine: Selfish
Chris
  • 27. Chris | 22/07/2020
Does anyone know why it was 'Crap Rap 2' rather than just 'Crap Rap' - the second take perhaps like on the back sleeve credits for 'Spiral Scratch' E.P. by Buzzcocks?
dannyno
  • 28. dannyno | 31/08/2020
Comment #27.

Yeah, I think it's an alternate take or version.

See also:

Wrong Place, Right Time No. 2

No Bulbs 3

Slang King 2

Psykick Dancehall #2

Shoulder Pads 1# and Shoulder Pads 2# and Shoulder Pads #1B

M5 #1

Theme From Sparta F.C. #2

Recovery Kit 2#

The Past #2

Open the Boxoctosis #2

Weather Report 2

There are also Fall songs with "parts", i.e. [Hot Cake, Bury, Black Monk Theme, Hit the North, and Winter. So could be something like that. Zagreb, on the other hand, has "movements".

Other songs seem to distinguish takes or versions with alternate spelling or alphabetication or other typographical indications: see c.r.e.e.p. / C.R.E.E.P. and Oh! Brother / O! Brother

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