Frenz

Lyrics

Da da da da da da da da
My friends (1)
Gonna tell you about my friends: 

My friends ain't enough for one hand, 
My friends ain't enough for one hand, 
My friends don't amount to one hand, 
One hand

My friends don't add up to one hand, 
My friends don't amount to one hand, 
One hand

Tell ya 'bout my friends.
(Why do you count them?)

My friends don't count up to one hand, 
My friends cannot count on one hand 
My friends don't amount to one hand

Tell ya 'bout my friends. 

My friends don't add up to one hand, 
My friends don't count up to one hand. 
Tell ya 'bout my friends. 

My friends don't amount to one hand, 
My friends ain't enough for one hand, 
One hand
Tell ya 'bout my friends. 

(Do you count them?
How many are there?)

Da da da da da da da da

Notes

1. This is that rare Fall song that doesn't seem to call for much explanation. The song, which is the opening number on The Frenz Experiment, kicks off the album in a low-key and almost offhand way, and sets the tone perfectly for the oddball and relaxed set of songs that follows. With this song we are put on notice that the album to come will not be a grand statement but rather, as the title makes explicit, an experiment, or more accurately a series of experiments. Riffs and ideas will be followed where they lead, allowed to breathe and grow, but not pushed too hard or worked up into anything like a unified artistic statement (unless, of course, the variety itself is the statement, a rock tradition at least since The White Album). The lyrics of this song are a perfect example of the approach; a simple idea is stated, and the words are toyed with and switched around a bit, and then the song ends. There is no chorus or bridge, no 'B' part, just a relaxed groove and a simple set of words that keeps going until it stops. At the time the song was recorded the Fall had been enjoying their greatest chart success to date (and the band would experience even more success: Bend Sinister went to number 36 in the U.K., while Frenz reached number 19, and both "VIctoria" and "There's a Ghost in My House" from this period would crack the top 40). The Fall were in their Beggar's Banquet period, working for a larger and more successful label than any they had previously been associated with. Thus, it is perhaps no coincidence that at this moment MES is reflecting on who his genuine friends are (see also David Scott's remarks on Reformation).   

Dan found the following:

From "Drunken driver causes chaos - In a JCB!" James Brown interview with MES, NME 31 October 1987, p45:
 


MES: "I went through a thing about six months ago when I thought 'F--ing hell, I've been nice to a lot of people and they're not my friends anymore.' and I started to crave company again. There's a song on the LP, which we do live called 'My Friends You Can Count On One Hand', and you can. It's funny who you regard as your friends."


From "How Many Friends" by the Who (Who By Numbers):

How many friends have I really got?
You can count 'em on one hand
How many friends have I really got?
How many friends have I really got?
That love me, that want me, that'll take me as I am?

^

Comments (4)

dannyno
  • 1. dannyno | 19/11/2013

That last line before the final "One hand", it's not "My friends don't count up to one hand", it's "My friends ain't enough for one hand."

dannyno
  • 2. dannyno | 23/06/2014

Typo in fourth verse up from the bottom:

"My friends don't count up to hand"

A missing "one"?

dannyno
  • 3. dannyno | 17/11/2015

From "Drunken driver causes chaos - In a JCB!" James Brown interview with MES, NME 31 October 1987, p45:


MES: "I went through a thing about six months ago when I thought 'F--ing hell, I've been nice to a lot of people and they're not my friends anymore.' and I started to crave company again. There's a song on the LP, which we do live called 'My Friends You Can Count On One Hand', and you can. It's funny who you regard as your friends."

dannyno
  • 4. dannyno | 07/05/2016

Brix's perspective, from The Rise, The Fall, and The Rise:


I really like this plaintive song, a curious and gentle opener to an album, and it was revealing of both of us. We were mired in solitude, but whereas I really had no friends (except when we toured with Marcia), Mark's isolation came from a different place - he was surrounded by hangers-on.


MES gets the sole writing credit on this song, but Brix says it was a collaboration.

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