Dead Beat Descendant

Lyrics

Shout!

Here's a dance that is pure hell
Enter at your peril
Take five dead beat steps
Do a stroll
Act like you just got outta jail (1)
You must be repellant
Dance dead beat descendant (2)

Dead beat descendant
Shout!

Come back here
Come back here

Turn left shout and shout come back here
Then hot-tail it right outta there
You are now descendant
You are a now descendant

Dead beat descendant
Shout!

Make out your head is in a bell
And you got a man on your trail
And you are descendent, of a vicious criminal

Dead beat descendant's
Dawn!
Dawn!
Dawn!


 

Notes

1. The lyrics are in the style of the dance craze songs that were popular in the late 50s and early 60s, like "The Twist," "The Loco-Motion," "Mashed Potatoes," "The Stroll," etc. "The Aphid" is another example of MES writing in--and perhaps parodying--this style.  ^

2. The origin of this line was tracked down by damoncreed and reported on the Fall online forum:

"Received an email from [a friend] today as follows: 'The title of The Fall's Dead Beat Descendant is a Flintstones reference. From the "Long, Long, Long Weekend" episode (season 6). After Fred criticizes a novel about the future that Barney is reading, The Great Gazoo sends Fred, Barney, Betty, and Wilma into the 21st Century (Wilma and Betty will remember nothing when getting back). This happens during a four day weekend that Fred and Barney have off from work.'

So the future they go to is very Jetsons-like. Fred's company still exists and the owner looks just like Mr Slate. Fred asks some questions about the old company and it turns out the $4 Fred took as an advance has now ballooned to 23 million dollars owed. The George Slate the 8000th chases them out yelling, 'Come back here, you dead beat's descendent!' [Fred is pretending to be his own descendant]

Thus, Fall history was made."

^

Comments (3)

heystudent
  • 1. heystudent | 27/03/2013

apparently this is a satire about madchester happy mondays type bands (dead beat descendants) which was the contemporary scene. 'head in a bell' could be the baggy haircut, the dance that is pure hell is the bez shuffle.

great resource this - good luck with it

dannyno
  • 2. dannyno | 03/06/2015

No, I think it's at least a year early for satire of the baggy/Madchester scene. You'd look a couple of years later and songs like Idiot Joy Showland for that. MES wasn't talking about Happy Mondays/Stone Roses et al in interviews in 1988/1989. The song was recorded in early 1989, and it was the autumn of 1989 before those bands really kicked off, with attention building over the summer. Happy Mondays first NME front cover was December 1989. The "Never Mind the Pollocks" Stone Roses front cover was in November 1989.

More significantly, the song was originally written for the Kurious Oranj ballet (note - ballet is a form of dance) soundtrack, but omitted from the album. It dates to the spring of 1988, and appears for example on the I Am As Pure As Oranj live album, recorded at Kings Theatre, Edinburgh, 17 August 1988.

dannyno
  • 3. dannyno | 03/06/2015

The Stone Roses had been going since 1983, but their iconic first album wasn't released until the spring of 1989, and it took a while for it to really take off.

The word "Madchester" itself wasn't coined until 1989.

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