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 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."

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 (14)

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.

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