Enigrammatic Dream

Lyrics

(1)


MES: Modernity. Moderninity, (2)
water lane 01715599 dream sat may tents and  tomatoes at Blackpool where Jimmy Bloomfield (3)
has been brought back to host  jousts in moderninity. One of the many football grounds that have been converted  to hold this revived sport.  

 Voice 1: From today and forthwith, jousts at moderninity  

 MES: Joust in moderninity. Charred landscape, watching the female bouts at  the beginning on the tent bedecked terraces I exclaim out aloud "It's too drafty in here, those girls will certainly catch their death of cold" and shoved to left by bearded steward but every movement my companion catches reprimands me. I am completely deaf so cannot gauge my own voice volume.  

  <at various speeds>  

The large tomatoes and gold and beige striped tents plunked on brand new  soccer terracing seem to symbolise a clean shaven sick new decadence. The  Lancashire northern western quarter had seemed to materialise overnight,  its citizens plump, voyeuristic. Slowly they watch every movement by anybody  or anything. I bless my uncanny ability to blend. My friend Matthew       (4)  
is not  so lucky, his wife is home at last from hospital. It is his first day out  (in weeks) always energetic he too shouts and is obviously thought drunk, borrowed a massive decrepit Jaguar car. <tape cut> soccer  terracing seemed to symbolise a new clean shaven but chip greasy new decadence.  The Lancashire northern western quarter seemed to materialise overnight, its citizens plump, voyeuristic, slowly they watch every movement.  

There is no reason to this. This makes New York look Athenic. For LNWQ read (Romandy) for the East read Sparta.

 

 

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Notes

1. This MES spoken word piece from 1998's The Post Nearly Man qualifies as a Fall song since the band played it in 2001 and 2002, often as a short introduction to another song, and it made it on to the Fall albums 2G+2 and Live in San Francisco. I wouldn't know where to begin interpreting lyrics like this, they just are what they are.

"Enigrammatic," which seems to be a portmanteau of "epigram" and "enigmatic," seems to have been coined by the Irish poet Mary Tighe, whose poem "A Letter from Mrs. Acton to Her Nephew Mr. Evans" tells of a house called Rossana where some of Tighe's relatives lived. "Mrs. Acton" advises her nephew that the inhabitants are more than usual learned, so to speak:

Whatever you learned at school or at college 
Brush up for your use at this seat of all knowledge

Even the servants at Rossana are fearsomely lettered:

When you hear fifteen languages spoken at table,
Or venture in English to ask for some beer
At the poor ignoramus the butler will sneer.

For us, the payoff line concerns the muse-beloved "Camilla"; we are told that

She now and then ventures lines enigrammatic  

[.]

Dan:

"enigmatic dreams" are a thing. The word for them seems to be "somnium", as several texts attest. For example, "Medieval Dream-Poetry" by AC Spearing (1976): "The three types of dream which of prophetic value are as follows. The somnium, or enigmatic dream, 'conceals with strange shapes and veils with ambiguity the true meaning of the information being offered...' The quote in that passage is widely cited, and comes from Commentary on the Dream of Scipio by Macrobius."


^

2. MES liked this corruption of "modernity" enough to break it out again for 2005's "Bo Demmick."

^

3. Jimmy Bloomfield was an English football player who spent his prime with Arsenal. He never played for Blackpool, but the Blackpool stadium is on Bloomfield road, and a Jimmy Armfield was captain of the Blackpool team, and later a football broadcaster for the BBC (thanks to Martin and Joseph Mullaney). So "Jimmy Bloomfield" has a kind of dream logic about it, which seems appropriate.

^

4. Zack: "Live recordings from 2001 offer more details about MES's friend Matthew (sometimes called Mike or Michael): 'Always energetic - always laughing - the bat-eared little twat...' (San Fran) 'Always energetic - the bat-eared twat...' (Seattle) 'Always energetic - always cheerful - the bat-eared fucking twat...' (NYC) and 'He's cheerful and friendly, the bat-eared fucking bastard...' (2g+2)

^

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Comments (14)

Martin
  • 1. Martin | 13/10/2013

So what has Jimmy Bloomfield, who never played for Blackpool, to do with that town? Well, Blackpool's stadium is in Bloomfield Road. Maybe MES was confusing the two Bloomfields?

Joseph Mullaney
  • 2. Joseph Mullaney | 13/03/2014

Looks like a cross between Jimmy Armfield, legendary Blackpool full-back and captain, and Bloomfield Road. Armfield has worked for BBC radio as a football summariser for the last 30 years.

Antoine
  • 3. Antoine | 23/05/2016

This has long been one of my favourite Smith texts, and Enigrammatic might be my personal favourite of his made-up words, playing on Enigmatic, Grammatical, Engram and Enneagram, which I hadn't thought much about before today and might have everything or nothing at all to do with the content. Except for Enigmatic of course, no doubt there.

dannyno
  • 4. dannyno | 12/09/2016

So what's going on here? Jousting is medieval, of course, but what we seem to have here is a little story about modern times in which jousting makes a comeback in football grounds - hence "jousting in modernity". The tents etc are obviously the kind of tents you see on TV programmes featuring medieval jousting.

Might this be the bare bones of one of the scripts MES says he wrote for a X-Files type show? (see http://annotatedfall.doomby.com/pages/the-annotated-lyrics/the-quartet-of-doc-shanley.html).

dannyno
  • 5. dannyno | 12/09/2016

2001 saw the release of the comedy-anachronistic film "A Knight's Tale", starring Heath Ledger, which is about jousting tournaments.

dannyno
  • 6. dannyno | 12/09/2016

... so was jousting in the air around the turn of the century?

dannyno
  • 7. dannyno | 12/09/2016

Antoine:

"Enigrammatic might be my personal favourite of his made-up words"

But "enigrammatic" is not a made-up word, although it's not very common.

A quick google reveals that it appears in the work of the poet Mary Tighe. Most of the other hits you'll find are mis-scanned "epigrammatic"s. But still, it's there.

dannyno
  • 8. dannyno | 12/09/2016

... although, on double checking, Tighe's "enigrammatic" might be "epigrammatic" too. So it could be a made up word after all.

bzfgt
  • 9. bzfgt | 15/10/2016

I remember those days--there was music in the cafes at night, and jousting in the air...surely you joust?

bzfgt
  • 10. bzfgt | 15/10/2016

Dan, I take it that it is a portmanteau of "epigram"+"enigmatic" (if I'm wrong one of us will eventually figure it out, or we'll all die first and it won't matter). See my new note 1.

bzfgt
  • 11. bzfgt | 15/10/2016

I got a great note out of this, thanks fellers!

dannyno
  • 12. dannyno | 25/01/2017

So I still think what we have here is the bones of a story about jousting in modern day football stadiums, some kind of time slip or something like that.

Anyway, that aside I find that "enigmatic dreams" are a thing. The word for them seems to be "somnium", as several texts attest.

For example, "Medieval Dream-Poetry" by AC Spearing (1976):


The three types of dream which of prophetic value are as follows. The somnium, or enigmatic dream, 'conceals with strange shapes and veils with ambiguity the true meaning of the information being offered...'


The quote in that passage is widely cited, and comes from Commentary on the Dream of Scipio by Macrobius: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macrobius

I am pursuing various lines of enquiry based on that...

Zack
  • 13. Zack | 20/02/2017

"(city) new decadence" should be "sick new decadence." It's more clear in live recordings from 2001, which also offer more details about MES's friend Matthew (sometimes called Mike or Michael):

"Always energetic - always laughing - the bat-eared little twat..." (San Fran)

"Always energetic - the bat-eared twat..." (Seattle)

"Always energetic - always cheerful - the bat-eared fucking twat..." (NYC)

Zack
  • 14. Zack | 22/02/2017

"He's cheerful and friendly, the bat-eared fucking bastard..." (2G+2)

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