Groundsboy

Lyrics

(1)

He goes back now

Every day on the airstrip
Noticed by none
Noticed by none!
Downed enemy pilots
They were dispatched!

Groundsboy
Groundsboy
Treated like scum
Groundsboy
Checker! Checker!
Groundsboy
Checker! Checker!

Property!
Property
R.R.A.A.F. (2)
Say cut it, grass...
Cut the grass!
Cuh-cuh-cuh-cuh-huh-huh-huh-
He's so boss!
Groundsboy

Groundsboy
Groundsboy
Noticed by none
At least he was...
He was the last lad to turn
And the rock stars who had judges as fans
And shoots as many as me
Groundsboy
Groundsboy
Checker! Checker!
Checker! Checker!
Groundsboy
Checker! Checker!
Checker! Checker!
Groundsboy

Oo, duh doo...
Ow! Ow! Ow!
Property R.A.A.A.F.
 

Notes

1. Some have pointed out the fact that Steve Hanley's post-Fall job was groundskeeper at a school as a possible inspiration for the title, if not the song. 

This was originally titled "Groundsboy and the Two Amendments." Dan points out that the protagonist would seem to occupy some kind of junior position at an airstrip. Russell Richardson suggests a possible connection to the US Second Amendment (to the Constitution), which involves the right to bear arms. Whether in his mind or in reality, the "Groundsboy" seems to bear them...

It seems like the Groundsboy might be a Walter Mitty-type daydreamer, working at an air field while fantasizing about dogfights...

Some ideas from brownsocketspurpleseyes:

"I don't know whether this is another blow your own trumpet style song.
The groundsboy is portrayed as being an overlooked hero, downing enemy pilots, noticed by none and treated like scum - the underdog, not gaining the recognition he deserves.
In that way it's a bit of a 'Hip Priest' - not appreciated.
A few strained, perhaps, 'Hip Priest' parallels - 'noticed by none'/'he is not appreciated' and 'checker checker'/'check the guys track record.'
A few people have commented that 'New Facts Emerge' is a bit of a grab-bag Fall album - lots of homages to past career stylings, knowing it was potentially his last record, so this might be read as a overview of his career - 'he goes back now.'
'everyday on the air-strip'/'and shoots as many as me' - The Fall's productivity.
'noticed by none' - again the cult and lack of commercial recognition - in keeping with the 'Hip Priest' throwback.
'downed enemy pilots'/'he was the last lad to turn' - many of his 'peers' gone, or gone only to reform, which from 'The Remainderer' we know he resents.
Just a thought/my reading.

^

2. R.A.A.F.=Royal Australian Air Force. Earlier the groundsboy is said to be laboring on an airstrip...

^

SaveSave

More Information

Comments (21)

bzfgt
  • 1. bzfgt (link) | 05/08/2017
"He goes back now"

Maybe.
bzfgt
  • 2. bzfgt (link) | 05/08/2017
"Checker! Checker!"

Also maybe, it may be nonsense like Cheka! Cheka! or Chucka! Chucka!
bzfgt
  • 3. bzfgt (link) | 05/08/2017
I want to say it could be the sound of fire from the Aussie air force, like "chukka! chukka!"

No?
dannyno
  • 4. dannyno | 05/08/2017
Steve Hanley would more commonly be known as a caretaker, rather than a groundskeeper. So "groundsboy" probably isn't inspired by his post-Fall job.
dannyno
  • 5. dannyno | 05/08/2017
"Groundsboy" would seem to be some kind of junior position on an airstrip.

We should note that the song was originally listed as "Groundsboy and the Two Amendments".
dannyno
  • 6. dannyno | 05/08/2017
... I mean, "groundsboy" isn't only used of airstrip connected positions, but since there's an air theme to the lyrics, that definition seems to fit.
Maldoror
  • 7. Maldoror | 06/08/2017
I definitely hear "Eat some grass!"
Could be in an attempted Aussie accent?
Rik
  • 8. Rik | 06/08/2017
I hear - piss on graaasss. Not -he's so boss.
bzfgt
  • 9. bzfgt (link) | 16/09/2017
I would usually take "caretaker" to mean either someone sort of "grounds-sitting," or someone taking care of an old person...I don't know, but he was sort of a groundskeeper, wasn't he? Or a maintenance man?
bzfgt
  • 10. bzfgt (link) | 16/09/2017
I don't know, this may be another one where I wind up outvoted but it really sounds much more like "He's so boss!" to me. I mean, he says "grass" numerous times, and none of the others seem to end in "-oss" except this one.
Tonmeister
  • 11. Tonmeister | 01/11/2017
"At least he was... He was the last lad to turn" - might reinforce this as at least partly referring to Steve Hanley...
dannyno
  • 12. dannyno | 02/11/2017
Hanley was in the Air Cadets at school, of course. I'm a bit suspicious of linking this kind of thing to old bass players so long after they left the group. It's a bit like the idea you sometimes get that any song about a woman must be about Brix, as though MES never met another woman. And Hanley's book came out in 2014. It all feels a bit too long ago, really. But that doesn't mean there's no link at all, just that there's not really much textual evidence to support a link.
bzfgt
  • 13. bzfgt (link) | 11/11/2017
Dan, you're really obsessed with this idea lately that MES will not address anything over a year old in his lyrics.
bzfgt
  • 14. bzfgt (link) | 11/11/2017
In any case didn't MES say something like this, like "I never expected Hanley to turn" or "At least he stuck it out for so long," or both? It has a nagging familiarity.
dannyno
  • 15. dannyno | 14/11/2017
bzfgt, comment #9:


I would usually take "caretaker" to mean either someone sort of "grounds-sitting," or someone taking care of an old person...I don't know, but he was sort of a groundskeeper, wasn't he? Or a maintenance man?


Ah, well maybe this is a British thing. Hanley was a school caretaker, I think - a position still commonly found, but I suppose it's a role that is changing. Not untypically they lived in a house or flat within the school grounds, and their job was indeed a mixture of groundskeeper and maintenance man. They would open and close the school, fix radiators, cut the grass, mend broken windows, act as security, etc etc. I guess "site manager" would be a modern description, except traditionally caretakers were very hands on - it was a manual or technical role, I suppose, rather than a managerial one.
dannyno
  • 16. dannyno | 14/11/2017
Would "janitor" be an equivalent term, at least partly? Maybe "building superintendant"?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janitor

Here's a job description from the uk: http://www.skillsforschools.org.uk/roles-in-schools/caretaker-site-manager
Russell Richardson
  • 17. Russell Richardson | 01/02/2018
well, here we all are now, scriving in the dark.
not then that it matters, but my reading of this is (until new facts emerge) there's a reference to a US style shooting spree, carried out by (or stopped by?) an unassuming groundsboy/ groundskeeper / janitor

I'd read the Two Amendments as a clear reference to the US constitutions 2nd Amendment which is the one about gun control and the "right to bear arms" which the US right is so smoked up about.... even though the amendment itself is not about citizens being allowed to stockpile assault rifles, but specifically to make it legally possible for an anti-government dissenting militia to form its own army and overthrow the current incumbents.

So, some floating of the idea of how that idea of tough liberty is currently being used to allow loners to attack schools, etc etc

still now seems a bit pointless arguing the toss, eh?

RIP MES
dannyno
  • 18. dannyno | 11/03/2018
Airstrip... enemy pilots.... RAF..... not seeing many reasons to think it's about school shootings in particular, but certainly a hint of someone going postal in there. "Rock stars with judges as fans" looks like some kind of clue to a real world reference.
brownsocketspurpleseyes
  • 19. brownsocketspurpleseyes | 30/08/2018
I don't know whether this is another blow your own trumpet style song.
The groundsboy is portrayed as being an overlooked hero, downing enemy pilots, noticed by none and treated like scum - the underdog, not gaining the recognition he deserves.
In that way it's a bit of a 'Hip Priest' - not appreciated.
A few strenuous, perhaps, 'Hip Priest' parallels - "noticed by none"/"he is not appreciated" and "checker checker"/"check the guys track record".
A few people have commented that 'New Facts Emerge' is a bit of a grab-bag Fall album - lots of homages to past career stylings, knowing it was potentially his last record, so this might be read as a overview of his career - "he goes back now".
"everyday on the air-strip"/"and shoots as many as me" - The Fall's productivity.
"noticed by none" - again the cult and lack of commercial recognition - in keeping with the 'Hip Priest' throwback.
"downed enemy pilots"/"he was the last lad to turn" - many of his 'peers' gone, or gone only to reform, which from 'The Remainderer' we know he resents.
Just a thought/my reading.
bzfgt
  • 20. bzfgt (link) | 01/09/2018
Yeah, great thoughts, fellers. I think he could be a Walter Mitty type, no? Anyway, is there a connection to U2 again? Are there any notable judges in their stable of fans? It doesn't have to be them, but for some reason it seems like it might be. Having lame establishment fans seems to fit with his general disdain for U2...
bzfgt
  • 21. bzfgt (link) | 01/09/2018
bspe, I hope you don't mind but with my usual intrusive editing style, I changed "strenuous" to "strained"...

Add a comment