God Box

Lyrics

(1)

MES: It's good that one innit. What is it?
BES: It's something I'm working on
MES: Right

Couldn't handle, had to be
I turned on US TV
Early empires sleeping, Pacific time frame
Redhead skinny with back leg-brace
He danced behind a singer
Who sung just like

God box
God box
God box
God box

Gimme god box
I say god box
God box, early
Tube stop, lazy
Cut off, early
God box
Gimme God box
I said
God box
Narco tube stops
Gimme god box

I was taken under the sea
Water, water coming in over me
I'm gulping water under the lake
Oh my god give me sleep, inundate

God box
God box

Gimme god box
I say god box
God box, early
Tube stop, lazy
Cut off, early
God box
Gimme God box
I said
God box
Narco tube stops
Gimme god box

Thousand evils indefinitely
Womb shapes by a cold sea
At 9, UK time
We dropped off before god box documentary (2)

Notes

1. The Story of the Fall summarizes the apparent story here:

The press release for this one, announces Brix's full-time debut as a member of The Fall. And, indeed, there she is chatting with her hubby at the beginning of the song. Utilising 'I've Gone Mental' by The Ramones, this one was apparently inspired by Fall-ing asleep in front of the telly - a method of inspiration I'm sure informs many a Fall ditty, judging by the amount of televisual references in their songs. Onywise, on this occasion, the programme in question, from an American religious channel has induced a womb-like dream. Again, MES takes a well known phrase (God Box), and, like when you repeat a word and it becomes nonsensical or strange, revitalises it.

In fact, "God Box" is not merely a common phrase; the title of the contemporary documentary that MES and Brix presumably saw is God-in-a-Box (see note 2 below).

From Dan:

According to Brix's autobiography, The Rise, The Fall, and The Rise, this song started life as "Can't Stop the Flooding" - a song Brix wrote for her band Banda Dratsing, but "Mark rewrote the lyrics".

From Sounds magazine 9 June 1984, p.24. "Rough Justice", interview with Brix and MES by Edwin Pouncey: "Mark: 'God Box,' the music is something we took from Brix's last band and I rewrote the lyrics. What the lyrics are about is religion on TV. At Christmas we went to visit Brix's grandparents and like American TV, you have it on all of the time. I watch these religious programmes forever, they're fantastic I think. What I found though was every time I put a religious programme on, no matter how much I wanted to watch it and laugh at it, I'd fall asleep. I thought it must be staying up late or something, but when we got back to England they had a documentary on TV about these American religious shows, we were watching it half past eight at night and I fell asleep again with my tea in front of me. That's the appeal of these shows, that's why they're successful, they comfort people. That's what 'God Box' is about really, it's not criticising or anything.
I mention one show I saw in the song. This man, he had my voice, he sang exactly like I do. He had these really weird bell-bottom pants and a jacket that was too short on and he had an afro haircut, a moustache and he was dead fat. Behind him he had this red haired lad in a red jumpsuit holding one of those braces you wear when your spine's broken. And he's dancing around, obviously after being cured, waving it behind this singer with my voice. It took a while for it to sink in." 

 

 
2. From Dan again:
 
 At 9:25pm on 10 January 1984, BBC 2 showed the following documentary (from The Guardian): "GOD-IN-A-BOX: In America salvation is available at the flick of a switch 24 hours a day through the hundreds of cable TV stations that specialise in evangelical material - and which collect millions of dollars a week in donations from grateful sinners. Is the coming of cable going to mean a similar message for Britain? Colin Morris, the BBC's Head of Religious Broadcasting, reports from the States."
 
Colin Morris wrote a book also called God-in-a-Box, published in September 1984. 
 
 

Comments (8)

dannyno
  • 1. dannyno | 04/05/2016
According to Brix's autobiography, The Rise, The Fall, and The Rise, this song started life as "Can't Stop the Flooding" - a song Brix wrote for her band Banda Dratsing, but "Mark rewrote the lyrics".
dannyno
  • 2. dannyno | 14/07/2016
"Redhead skinny with back leg-brace
He danced behind a singer
Who sung just like"

Vague shades of the 1959 Danny Kaye movie, "The Five Pennies"? Not quite, but... must refer to some film or TV programme or other.
dannyno
  • 3. dannyno | 14/07/2016
Leg braces in movies:
https://sites.google.com/site/abasioinfo/Home/movies
dannyno
  • 4. dannyno | 27/09/2017
From Sounds magazine 9 June 1984, p.24. "Rough Justice", interview with Brix and MES by Edwin Pouncey.


Mark: "God Box", the music is something we took from Brix's last band and I rewrote the lyrics. What the lyrics are about is religion on TV. At Christmas we went to visit Brix's grandparents and like American TV, you have it on all of the time. I watch these religious programmes forever, they're fantastic I think. What I found though was every time I put a religious programme on, no matter how much I wanted to watch it and laugh at it, I'd fall asleep.

"I thought it must be staying up late or something, but when we got back to England they had a documentary on TV about these American religious shows, we were watching it half past eight at night and I fell asleep again with my tea in front of me. That's the appeal of these shows, that's why they're successful, they comfort people. That's what 'God Box' is about really, it's not criticising or anything.

"I mention one show I saw in the song. This man, he had my voice, he sang exactly like I do. He had these really weird bell-bottom pants and a jacket that was too short on and he had an afro haircut, a moustache and he was dead fat. Behind him he had this red haired lad in a red jumpsuit holding one of those braces you wear when your spine's broken. And he's dancing around, obviously after being cured, waving it behind this singer with my voice. I took a while for it to sink in."
dannyno
  • 5. dannyno | 27/09/2017
Tsk, that last line of the quote should be "It took a while for it to sink in."
dannyno
  • 6. dannyno | 27/09/2017
A breakthrough discovery!

So bearing in mind the title of the song, "God Box", and remembering that the first airing of the song live was in March 1984, and bearing in mind what MES says above about the UK documentary, and bearing in mind these lines:

"At 9, UK time
We dropped off before god box documentary"

I think we can say a bit more than that MES was adopting a "well known phrase" as "The Story of The Fall" has it in note #1.

At 9:25pm (followed by Newsnight at 10:40pm) on 10 January 1984, BBC 2 showed the following documentary (info from The Guardian for that date):


GOD-IN-A-BOX

In America salvation is available at the flick of a switch 24 hours a day through the hundreds of cable TV stations that specialise in evangelical material - and which collect millions of dollars a week in donations from grateful sinners. Is the coming of cable going to mean a similar message for Britain? Colin Morris, the BBC's Head of Religious Broadcasting, reports from the States.


Colin Morris wrote a book with the same title, published in September 1984.

See also: http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/33e912b14ea14818bce52b810f125401:


Presented by Colin Morris
If you want to be healed, have the nuclear arms race justified, belong to an extended family, or are in need of a quick psychotherapy fix, just tune in to the Electronic Preacher who performs on American television. He promises to fulfil all your personal needs, guarantees you instant salvation, and for a small contribution - millions of dollars pour in every week - you can help him save the world. That is, if you live in the United States. However, very soon, thanks to cable and satellite, these commercial religion pushers could be selling their God-in-a-Box in Britain.
COLIN MORRIS, the BBC's Head of Religious Broadcasting, went to the States and visited five of the top evangelists to give us a preview of what is to come.
Production assistant SUE PERCY Film editor PAT O'GRADY Producer OLGA EDRIDGE
dannyno
  • 7. dannyno | 07/10/2017
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51WSf6rChlL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
bzfgt
  • 8. bzfgt (link) | 11/11/2017
Thanks Dan, you've done near-miraculous work once again.

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