Green Eyed Loco Man

Lyrics

To wear Chanel, you have to shave first   (1)
And be a man; where do you stand, huh?

A green eyed loco-man
A green eyed loco-man

Where you're standing, I don't see you
Your reflected green eyes take two foot off you
I'm moving fast but you are tight
Your fractured eyes force me through the night

A green eyed loco-man
A green eyed loco-man

G-g-g-g-green eyed loco-man
Green eyed loco-man

And riddle me this, who are you?   (2)
Through a helmet your hair grows right to the ground
That will soon enfold you
Green eyed loco-man where do you stand, huh?

A green eyed loco-man
A green eyed loco-man

With a rabbit's skull on my right
You may be shocked but I'll make you late
For your greedy past, cold on a plate

Loco man

 

Notes

1. Chanel makes clothing, fashion accessories and perfume; the lyric probably refers to aftershave or possibly clothing. The more heavily guitar-based Peel version begins with "Groovin' With Mr. Bloe," a hit 1970 instrumental recorded by a one-off studio band called Mr. Bloe. MES ad libs a line that seems appropriate for "Mr. Bloe," although the original is completely instrumental: "Baby, you're feeling the rhythm, you're moving and grooving," and the band shouts some things that sound like Spanish, and MES reponds with some gibberish that includes "Chewbacca" and something that sounds like "there's only one chef"...the rest of the lyrics are almost identical with the album version, although there is more interjected gibberish and the lines "Say goodbye to Glastonbury, I got a rabbit skull..." and "The Bank of England will see to you, their tertiary notes [or "tissue notes?"] will swirl around you."

The 2003 movie A Mighty Wind, which parodies the early-60s folk scene, contains a song called "Loco Man," performed by fictional combo "The Folksmen" (Harry Shearer, Michael McKean and Christopher Guest, who are also the members of Spinal Tap). This "Loco Man" is apparently a send-up of Carribean music as interpreted, or aped, by folk revivalists.

Courtesy of Reformation, we have the (remarkable!) lyrics to an early version "Green Eyed Loco Man" called "Iodeo":

I was doing the (deed)
All the toughs, hip, the (wait)
I felt good in my hood
It was a night of the howling mates
Night of the housemates
I felt good in my red hood

I felt so deep within my red hood

A tin bottomed (sea bottom) came out
Serpentine in a marble (sepulchre)
Chasing me up the beach
I said goodbye to my boyhood
I said goodbye to my green hood in the red hood in the (green)

The weather fantasy thrashed against
Thrashing into the rocks of reality

Red glass path
The serpentine sea came out of the sea and told me

I felt so good in my green hood
It was the night of the room mates
(Red) fantasies thrashing into the rocks of reality
Behind me

The sea is in your dreams (within) the closed dreams of your dress sense everywhere (talked of)

Usually alone as possible
Scottish style (...)
Tin hat, (turn over)
(...)

And the skylights lit up on the skylight lit up on the serpentine came out of the sea
The waves crashing behind me

The (sheer) sixty in the dreams of the ten best Britons coming out of the sea
Coming up over rocks
Rock
Shock
Blackpool rock
Shock

Usually as possible
Scottish

[Female voices start again]

This (caught black quiet murk)
This (caught black-side mill)
It's three and sixteen
Sixteen
Not not not not not not not not serpentine
It looked like a one octopus eight

I told the (wave ...)
Officer (...)

Dan says:

"Iodeo: 'Iodeo,' or Iuddew/Iddew/(Iudeu according to wikipedia), is apparently an ancient name for the settlement at Stirling Castle Rock, Scotland. 'Merin Iuddew' was what is now the Firth of Forth. This may be a clue, or it may be that the song evolved away from anything to do with Stirling and that's why the title changed.

I would also add that, especially in the case of a working title, this title may not have had anything to do with the contents of the song...

 

Antoine points out: The "green-eyed monster" is a symbol of jealousy, I remember coming across the phrase in a variety of children's shows and books when I was young, and, more tellingly, in Othello: "O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; it is the green-ey'd monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on." It would certainly click with lines like "Where you're standing, I don't see you/Your reflected green eyes take two foot off you."

"Loco" of course means "crazy" in Spanish, and Dan points out that marijuana is sometimes called "loco weed" (or "locoweed") and this is sometimes shortened to just "loco." MES an interview with Pitchfork:

[T]here's a lot of skunk damage in Manchester, I'll tell you that.

Pitchfork: Skunk damage?

MES: Yeah, skunk. The weed, yeah.

Pitchfork: Did you say skunk damage, though?

MES: Yeah, there's a lot of damage there.

Pitchfork: How do you mean, "damage"?

MES: Well, I've got a lot of young mates, and the skunk is like 30 times more powerful, isn't it... I'm not a pothead, you see, so I don't fucking know about it, I'm just commenting on it. It's weird, that thread, though.

Connell suggests the title is a play on Chuck Berry's "Brown Eyed Handsome Man."

The song is likely based on the verse riff of "Old Man Going" by the Pretty Things.

^

2. "Riddle me this" was the catchphrase of the archvillain Riddler from Batman. The Riddler was Batman's archnemesis, and he was archcool. As Danny points out, the phrase is much older than Batman:

For example: John Dryden (1693):

"Riddle me this, and guess him if you can,
Who bears a nation in a single man?"

^

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Comments (32)

dannyno
  • 1. dannyno | 17/06/2013
There's also Johnny Cash's song "Locomotive Man",

I got a gal in Dallas, I wave at when I go through
I got a gal in Tulsa, that I toot my whistle to
(Say how do)
I got 'em all over the land, I'm a locomotive man

Left my heart in Omaha Omaha, and I never did quite get it back
I got a Sue in Sioux City, waitin' by the railroad track
(Keeps her money in a 'tater sack)
I got 'em all over the land, I'm a Locomotive man

Well, I left a little switch engine, 'bout forty miles south of Bangor Maine
Couldn't keep the wheels a turnin', shouldn't try to pull my train
I got 'em all over the land, I'm a Locomotive man

Well, I had a gal in Jackson, and it sure broke my heart to turn her loose
When I checked my time and moved on, she's hooked on my caboose
I got 'em all over the land, I'm a locomotive man
dannyno
  • 2. dannyno | 17/06/2013
There's also Johnny Cash's song "Locomotive Man",

I got a gal in Dallas, I wave at when I go through
I got a gal in Tulsa, that I toot my whistle to
(Say how do)
I got 'em all over the land, I'm a locomotive man

Left my heart in Omaha Omaha, and I never did quite get it back
I got a Sue in Sioux City, waitin' by the railroad track
(Keeps her money in a 'tater sack)
I got 'em all over the land, I'm a Locomotive man

Well, I left a little switch engine, 'bout forty miles south of Bangor Maine
Couldn't keep the wheels a turnin', shouldn't try to pull my train
I got 'em all over the land, I'm a Locomotive man

Well, I had a gal in Jackson, and it sure broke my heart to turn her loose
When I checked my time and moved on, she's hooked on my caboose
I got 'em all over the land, I'm a locomotive man
bzfgt
  • 3. bzfgt | 17/04/2014
There's also one by WASP, if you remember them:

I write to claim a lost identity of me
And I leave a message for you all
Written here the fear that are my destiny you see
Come behold madness you never saw

No love for killer babies
My blood is written on your walls
Oh, it's time I leave you now
Mama look what you made me
Oh no, you never heard me call
Oh, I know you'll hear me now, now

'Cause I'm gone to meet my maker
'Cause I'm locomotive man
One killer baby's come to call
'Cause I'm gonna meet my maker
I am your loco man
I'm coming down to take you all

I feel the rage that brings
The fame of that I need
I've now a face forever more
Living with the fears
That hear those fantasies in me
Come an see sadness you never saw

No love for killer babies
My pain is written on your walls
Oh, it's time I leave you now
Mama look what you made me
Your locomotive killer calls
Oh, I know you hear me now

'Cause I'm gone to meet my maker
'Cause I'm locomotive man
One killer baby's come to call
'Cause I'm gonna meet my maker
I am your loco man
I'm coming down to take you all

Don't wait for me
Don't hate for me
Don't ask of what went wrong
Don't pray for me or wonder why

You've known this all along
I've sinned for you
I envy you
Your pain I'll never know
I wanted love, you gave me none
I've come to take you home

'Cause I'm gone to meet my maker
'Cause I'm locomotive man
One killer baby's come to call
'Cause I'm gonna meet my maker
I am your loco man
I'm coming down to take you all

'Cause I'm gone to meet my maker
'Cause I'm locomotive man
One killer baby's come to call
'Cause I'm gonna meet my maker
I am your loco man
I'm coming down to take you all

Oh god I'm coming
Read my words I'm coming
I got a gun I'm coming
You won't hear me coming

And The Folksmen have one called "Locomon" ("Loco Man"):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8LpQRwmf3c

If you aren't hip to the Folksmen, it's basically the Spinal Tap people...
bzfgt
  • 4. bzfgt | 17/04/2014
Not that I think the WASP is a likely source of inspiration, mind...It is possible that he saw A Mighty Wind, which came out 4/16/03. GELM was first played in March according to Reformation!, but I don't know if it was called that yet or had the lyric...musically it's actually slightly similar in a way...
dannyno
  • 5. dannyno | 17/04/2014
"Riddle Me This"

The phrase is way older than Batman, though MES would be a Batman fan.

For example: John Dryden (1693):

"Riddle me this, and guess him if you can,
Who bears a nation in a single man?"

From: Translations from Juvenal, The third satire of Juvenal:
http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Texts/dryden3.html
bzfgt
  • 6. bzfgt | 18/04/2014
I had no idea, nor do I remember why I wrote that (whether it was based on perceived lack of evidence elsewhere or whether someone led me astray).
Sark/Smirk
  • 7. Sark/Smirk | 09/01/2015
The Bank of England issues tertiary notes in the peel version.
bzfgt
  • 8. bzfgt | 31/01/2015
Great! Thanks, Sark/Smirk!!
Antoine
  • 9. Antoine | 15/09/2015
The "green-eyed monster" is a symbol of jealousy, I remember coming across the phrase in a variety of children's shows and books when I was young, and, more tellingly, in Othello: "O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; it is the green-ey'd monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on." It would certainly click with lines like "Where you're standing, I don't see you/Your reflected green eyes take two foot off you."
bzfgt
  • 10. bzfgt | 15/11/2015
Antoine, that is always at the back of my mind with this song, I'm frankly amazed that I don't have it in the notes already, it's one of those things that seems obvious until someone mentions it...
Antoine
  • 11. Antoine | 16/11/2015
Yeah, my apologies for sometimes stating the obvious, (and sometimes in a hectoring tone, now that I look back on some comments...) I just feel that they're points worth noting in the general spirit of completeness. Someone might check the page without knowing the expression, after all! I've learned quite a few new things reading through the website.
bzfgt
  • 12. bzfgt | 23/11/2015
No apology needed, hector away...I've pissed people off here from time to time as it's easy to come off as a jerk in internet comments, it's a hazard of the game.
Zack
  • 13. Zack | 28/02/2017
I hear "tertiary notes" quite clearly as "tissue notes" in the Peel version, COTC version and multiple live recordings.
dannyno
  • 14. dannyno | 18/04/2017
Iodeo:

"Iodeo", or Iuddew/Iddew/(Iudeu according to wikipedia), is apparently an ancient name for the settlement at Stirling Castle Rock, Scotland. "Merin Iuddew" was what is now the Firth of Forth.

This may be a clue, or it may be that the song evolved away from anything to do with Stirling and that's why the title changed.
jensotto
  • 15. jensotto | 23/12/2017
Date encoding (pluss Caesar, ROT-13) is popular in the MES (and my) Universe.
GELM yields 75-12-13 and BBC Genome for 13/12-1975 has an episode of Bob Symes' Model World, discussing locos....

The late Bob Symes was a model and miniature railway enthusiast, and Wikipedia mentions a program om N.Tesla (BBC Two, 20/12-82).

Again: BBC Genome, and Peel.wikia are useful for deciphering MES' universe (and the universes og many other inspired folk around the World)
dannyno
  • 16. dannyno | 24/12/2017
"Loco" is Spanish for "crazy".

"Loco" is also a shortened form of "locoweed", US slang for marijuana.

Hence, the phrase "go loco", and I guess, Busta Rhymes' "You know I'm like a loco man", from Get Out!.
bzfgt
  • 17. bzfgt (link) | 04/01/2018
Yeah I guess that's one of those things that was too obvious for me to notice that it should be mentioned ("crazy").
bzfgt
  • 18. bzfgt (link) | 04/01/2018
OK, well, here's another one for the "skunk damage" interview then.....this time I waybackéd it.
Connell
  • 19. Connell | 29/01/2018
The title seems to be a play on Chuck Berry's "Brown Eyed Handsome Man".

The lyrics of the two songs don't have anything in common beyond "stand" appearing in the second line of each.
Paul Go
  • 20. Paul Go | 29/11/2018
The peel session was just amazing for me at the time, Went off like a mental explosion. So good it took the edge off the album versions, impossible to be objective now, so they'll always sound over-mixed.

A little conflicted over the lyrical differences of this track, the Bloe/Loco session's are far richer, but next to the pared back album version, that caffeine fueled madness seems only to distract from its elusive and dreamy main character.... Chewbacca, obviously! ...naked and fully shaved, naturally.

In context,
'...will see to you,
their tissue notes, will swirl round you'
Like a weightless yet inescapable force, think ~Marvel special effect~.
Paul Go
  • 21. Paul Go | 03/12/2018
Loco also means location, or connected locations. For example, where someone might stand, in principle and/or place.

You folks need an etymology dictionary.
Paul Go
  • 22. Paul Go | 03/12/2018
'fractured eyes' points to '...eyes take two forths off you', for me.
Paul Go
  • 23. Paul Go | 03/12/2018
'make you late' makes no sense. I heard 'make you pay', apart from the 'p' 'p' 'p' structure, a pagan curse makes you pay, not late for the bus.
dannyno
  • 24. dannyno | 03/12/2018
Paul Go. comment 21. I've got an "etymology dictionary". More than one in fact. I have Chambers Dictionary of Etymology in front of me now. Obviously "loco-" as a prefix means "place" in Latin. We know that. But I don't find support for your specific assertion about the English word "loco" there.

I wonder if you've not confused "loco" with "locus".

"Loco" meaning "mad/insane" comes out of Spanish, not French/Latin. "Loco" as short for "locomotive" comes out of French/Latin.
Paul Go
  • 25. Paul Go | 04/12/2018
Not sure what you're disagreeing with:

loco- word-forming element meaning "from place to place," from combining form of Latin locus "a place"

I tried to apply it to the lyrics, 'where do you stand' for example.
Paul Go
  • 26. Paul Go | 04/12/2018
I wasn't contradicting the spanish/mexican crazy
Paul Go
  • 27. Paul Go | 05/12/2018
No points for the shaved chewbacca joke? ...tough crowd. Pretty sure now you decide 'solving the puzzle' is impossible before you start. My worry is that future google researchers won't have the living memories to make the connections. What am I saying, this is the future.
Paul Go
  • 28. Paul Go | 06/12/2018
Off the top of my head, Bloe peel version madness had, in no particular order:
"L? coco-bean-ahh ... chube-ca ... L? gita .. coco(a) bar ... "

'L? gita' - la le or lo, can't remember now, at the time I had it as a trip or song, Coco, mad grim/grin face, plus the whole thing sounds like way too much caffeine all round, so cocoa, chocolate, coffee, both go with bar... and then there's coco chanel/clown...whatever that's worth.

More importantly, as we ascend into Loco-man, Mark sings:
"There's only, one shape, for more... [transition] ...darlin'... the city".

This is from memory, there could be an 'it's' before 'the city'.
Paul Go
  • 29. Paul Go | 06/12/2018
All that madness only begins to make the slightest bit of sense on the return journey, even then it's a weird angle, and besides, the album lyrics provide all you need.

Still stand by the fractions in eyes, having trouble with late, unless he means dead. just sounds a bit weak.
Paul Go
  • 30. Paul Go | 06/12/2018
It's rare, but I just don't like his final verse next to big images like 'tissue notes', something awkward about the whole ending, rushed and closing off too quickly. May be late works in some way I don't get... and it fully rhymes with plate... uchh, even worse.
Paul Go
  • 31. Paul Go | 06/12/2018
May be his heart wasn't in it by the time the album was recorded. Out of interest Danny, have you got any easy way of looking at the pattern over time of live performances of this track?
Paul
  • 32. Paul | 06/12/2018
Just found your database, looks like up to 2004 then the last performance in 2006. Cheers.

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