Ed's Babe

Lyrics

(1)

Edward lived with Mary
Like sister and brother
Till one night
Men are this, men are that (DIY)
Women too (DIY)  (2)
Then there was three (DIY, etc.)
A new start
A weird wake 
It all changed after Ed's babe 

Ed's babe
Ed's babe
Ed's babe 

See Ed on a plane 
White bundle 
In his arms  
Ed's baby
 
See him working away 
In bar working  
Folly is the cloak of knavery (3)

Ed's babe
Ed's babe
Ed's babe 

Ed's babe
See him working away
Working in a bar
Folly is the cloak of knavery
Cause on each arm, girls, twenty one

Ed's babies
Ed's babies
Ed's babies
Ed's babies
Ed's babies
Ed's babies 

[female vocalist]:

Life up in smoke 
Babe rolled like a joint 
Hunger in their home 

Ed's babe
Ed's babe
Ed's babe 

Notes

1. When people have children in Fall songs, the results are never exactly positive (see "Married, Two Kids" and "My Ex-Classmates' Kids"). According to Reformation, the lyrics were "allegedly [here I can't help but imagine a Wikipedia-style 'by whom?'] written by Craig Scanlon." Maybe this is so; the lyrics are reasonably clear by Fall standards, I suppose.

I'm not sure what the significance of the "D.I.Y." refrain is; it could suggest that Ed and his lot are punk-ish sorts, or maybe it's meant to signal that the "babe" is not adopted, I don't really know. Dolores suggests that Ed may be having to make home improvements now that he's settled down, and also he may have to jerk off because he isn't getting any now that they have a kid. This all sounds plausible enough.

In certain parts of the track a child can be heard faintly crying out in the background, as I concluded after the second time I ripped my earbuds out and went to check on my daughter, who seems to be sleeping soundly.

There is a female backing vocalist, presumably Cassell Webb who appears on "The Knight, the Devil and Death" on the Ed's Babe EP.

^

2. Was this what Mary was saying? If so, she seems to be more of a misanthrope than a feminist; or maybe "Women, too" is Ed's rejoinder. In any case, it seems like an odd conversation with which to kick off a love affair.

^

3. This line is one of the "proverbs of Hell" from Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. MES also quotes Blake in "Before the Moon Falls" and "W.B." (which is entirely based on Blake's "A Song of Liberty")  although in both cases he alters Blake's text. "Jerusalem" is also based on the famous hymn derived from the preface to Blake's Milton.

^

Comments (6)

Dolores
  • 1. Dolores | 29/10/2013

Re: DIY

A dual reading springs to mind here. When in a relationship, men often take - or are forced by their partner/wife - to doing many home improvements, or DIY. Also, in a long term relationship, especially when children come along, sex becomes a casualty, and love is a solo affair, hence Do It Yourself. I hope this helps.

dannyno
  • 2. dannyno | 12/11/2013

I hear rocking = working

Martin
  • 3. Martin | 25/01/2014

"Folly is the cloak of knavery" is a quote from William Blake's poem The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. The previous line in the poem is "If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise." I'll leave it to others to interpret MES's use of Blake's words in the context of the song.

Martin
  • 4. Martin | 25/01/2014

You're right, by the way, about the lack of evidence for Scanlon having written the lyrics. No idea why it was included in the entry on Reformation, but will look into it, when I get the chance!

bzfgt
  • 5. bzfgt | 15/02/2014

Danny, I can go for that; he somehow manages to say it so it sounds equally like both, but "rocking" seems to be the wrong idea in context, so I'll spurn the Lyrics Parade and go with your ears on this.

Mark
  • 6. Mark | 29/06/2014

The femals vocalist is - I assume - Cassell Webb, since she also provided vocals to "The Knight, The Devil And Death" on this EP.

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