Dice Man

I am the dice man (1)
And I take a chance, huh
Do you take a chance, huh?

Where you two going?
Where you two going?
Is this a branch on the tree of showbusiness? (2)

Do all these musicians
Have a social conscience?
Well, only in their front rooms

But I am the dice man
And I take a chance man
Do you take a chance, huh?

They stay with the masses
Don't take any chances
End up emptying ashtrays

But I push, push, push, push
Throw the bones and the poison dice
No time for small moralists

Cos I am the dice man
And I take a chance, huh
Do you take a chance, fan?

They say music should be fun
Like reading a story of love
But I wanna read a horror story
Where are you people going?
Where are you people going?
Is this a branch on the tree of showbusiness?  

But I am the dice man
A balls-on-the-line man
Do you take a chance, baby?

Notes

1. The song is named after the novel The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart (the pen name of George Cockcroft). All the major decisions of the protagonist, a psychiatrist, are determined by a throw of the dice; apparently it was based on experiments Cockcroft himself made in this manner. From Reformation

In an interview with Jon Wilde published in Jamming, MES said, 'That song was one of the most truthful. I based it on the book because I loved the idea that this guy would throw dice in the morning to decide how he'd be that day. I believe you have the right to change. We don't have a deliberate policy of keeping people guessing - that's just the way I am. You only look at life through your own eyes. I thrive on being outside the pop mess but not many people see that. I'm dead proud that The Fall aren't just another branch on the tree of show biz. Basically, rock music isn't very interesting, so it's only people like me who can make it interesting.' (Full interview here)

The first recorded live performance ends with MES shouting, 'I ain't no fucking musician, baby!' Musically, the song has a Bo-Diddley-type riff."  

The comedian Andrew "Dice" Clay was commonly known as "The Dice Man," but his heyday came after this...

^

 

2. From the Step Forward press release announcing the single "Rowche Rumble"/"In My Area" (double A side):

"ANOTHER BRANCH ON THE TREE OF SHOW BUSINESS ?

The new single. Double-A side. Songs: 'ROWCHE RUMBLE' (Look At What The People Around You Are Taking) This is a great dance number and combines a cheek-in-tongue put down of a popular sweetie with The Fall's tribute to Racey. Dig it."

Thanks to Dan for finding this. The press release dates from July 1979, and "Dice Man" was first played at the end of the month, and included this lyric from the beginning.

^

Comments (5)

Robert
  • 1. Robert | 06/05/2013
Note for this song from the album sleeve insert:

"To all ex-Fall members and also from the book. Don't read it, the song is much safer."

http://s.pixogs.com/image/R-371281-1321778353.png
Macker
  • 2. Macker | 28/09/2015
There is some spoken word at one point during the song (I believe it's MES) can anyone decipher please?
bzfgt
  • 3. bzfgt | 15/11/2015
Sorry Macker, I can't make out a single syllable of that, if anyone can then please submit your results!
dannyno
  • 4. dannyno | 28/03/2017
From the "Rowche Rumble" press release (http://thefall.org/gigography/79jul00.html):

ANOTHER BRANCH ON THE TREE OF SHOW BUSINESS ?


"Rowche Rumble" was first played at the end of June 1979, and the single released at the end of July.

"Dice Man" was first played at the end of July 1979, and appeared on "Dragnet", released at the end of October.

It would be interesting to know if the early lyrics included the "branch of showbusiness" line, given its appearance in this other context.
Martin
  • 5. Martin | 01/04/2017
"'Dice Man was first played at the end of July 1979, and appeared on "Dragnet", released at the end of October`.

It would be interesting to know if the early lyrics included the "branch of showbusiness" line, given its appearance in this other context."


Yes, from the very first performance: 29 July 1979; Marquee, London

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