Feeling Numb

Lyrics

Post-festivities
I'm feeling numb now
From remedies and Prozac
I'm kinda two-tone

I'm feeling numb now
I'm feeling numb
I'm feeling numb now
I'm feeling numb
Prozac (1)

Don't touch that phone dial
Stick with kindred
Welcome in (2)
I'm on automation
And family
Is cerebral caustic (3)

I'm feeling numb now
I'm feeling numb
I'm feeling numb now
I'm feeling numb

(I'm feeling numb now
I'm feeling numb)

Everything is broken
because of grist that curtails
Get the Western on
Stick with family
At the lodge
At the lodge
At the lodge

I'm feeling numb now
I'm feeling numb
I'm feeling numb now
I'm feeling numb
I'm feeling numb now
I'm feeling numb
I'm feeling numb now
Don't touch that phone dial
I'm feeling numb
Stick with kindred

(Feeling numb now)/At the lodge
(Feeling numb)/At the lodge
(Feeling numb now)
The grist that curtails 
will make us strong
(Feeling numb)
And you'll be dead
before I'm born

PUH!

 

Lyrics

1, Prozac, a trade name (the actual drug name is Fluoxetine) is an anti-depressant, and is indeed reported to make people feel emotionally numb. Prozac hit the market in the late 80s and was still a topic of much discussion when Cerebral Caustic was released in 1995.

^

2. MES actually says "velcome in" here; on the Peel version (called "Numb at the Lodge") the line is "willkommen in."

 

^

3. A caustic burns, corrodes, or destroys organic tissue; "prozac" may be considered, figuratively, a cerebral caustic in this context.

Jim Sullivan of the Boston Globe claims to have handed MES the phrase in his review of [i]Middle Class Revolt[/i] (9/8/94), which reads:

What's winding up the Fall's Mark E. Smith now? Hard to tell, as this rapping/singing/slurring Mancunian's vocalizing style renders many of the lyrics on"Middle Class Revolt" impenetrable. As always. But we'd guess the usual petty grievances and societal injustices that has fueled the Fall since the mid-'70s. Enough caustic barbs and wry witticisms snake through the dense mix to provide cerebral fun for those who like to carp along.

It's a little less than a smoking pistol, since Sullivan doesn't actually use the phrase. It is possible that if it wasn't a direct lift, MES got it sumbliminally somehow, or that it's a coincidence, although I don't see how the question between those could two options ever be settled...

^

Comments (6)

dannyno
  • 1. dannyno | 18/06/2014

"The grist that curtails":

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gristmill, for a little enlightenment

Joseph Mullaney
  • 2. Joseph Mullaney | 05/07/2014

`Cerebral caustic' could also serve as a pretty good description of MES himself.

Ian Edmond
  • 3. Ian Edmond | 30/12/2015

I note that this article - https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-8357630.html - includes a claim by the author that the title Cerebral Caustic comes from a review he wrote of Middle Class Revolt.

bzfgt
  • 4. bzfgt | 05/01/2016

Great catch, Ian. I wish there were a source for the original quote but I can't find it online....

dannyno
  • 5. dannyno | 05/01/2016

I can help you with this.

The review Sullivan is referring to is this, from the Boston Globe of 8 September 1994 (p19):


What's winding up the Fall's Mark E. Smith now? Hard to tell, as this rapping/singing/slurring Mancunian's vocalizing style renders many of the lyrics on"Middle Class Revolt" impenetrable. As always. But we'd guess the usual petty grievances and societal injustices that has fueled the Fall since the mid-'70s. Enough caustic barbs and wry witticisms snake through the dense mix to provide cerebral fun for those who like to carp along. Smith's vocals are surrounded by this expansive spread of crazy sound -- grinding guitars, floating keys, relentless rhythms, giddy pop hooks, pounding percussion. "Hey! Student" is riotous, hectic punk 'n' bile; the title track is a meandering agit-prop sneer; "The $500 Bottle of Wine" expresses a certain distaste for said subject. The Fall still finds joy in repetition and bliss in bizarre juxtaposition. Again, the Fall lays a rickety rackety bridge over the melody/abrasion chasm. It's nasty, it's gleeful, it's the Fall still twisting the ironic/angry knife.


So the word "cerebral" is there, and the word "caustic" is there, just not as a phrase.

But Sullivan likes the word "caustic" (and other words beginning with 'c'), and uses it about The Fall whenever possible:

Boston Globe 6 August 1993, "The Fall: The Crankiest Band From The UK", which refers to "the crankiest, most caustic band the United Kingdom has ever produced."

Boston Globe "The Fall remains true to the slacker creed", 10 September 1994, p71: "a cacophonous mix of wily cynicism"; "convoluted".

Boston Globe, Review of Axis gig, 23 August 1993, p31: "a clattering wall of riff-based guitar rock"; "Still caustic and brutally minimal";

Boston Globe. Sound Choices, 20 August 1993 [preview of Axis gig], p 53: "Cranky, crabby, caustic and cantankerous"

Boston Globe, Review of The Infotainment Scan, 3 June 1993, p6: "10 tracks of caustic wit"

bzfgt
  • 6. bzfgt | 19/01/2016

Yeah, I could see that warranting "Did he get it from me?" more than "he got it from me."

Add a comment

You're using an AdBlock like software. Disable it to allow submit.