He Pep!

Lyrics

(1)

I don't want to go back anymore
I don't wanna go to work in the rain 
No more toast grilled on the heater
No more of that A&R girl
And having to meet her (2)
My personage it writes everywhere

YOU PEP!

And I stick my Parker pen under my ear (3)
Beneath my own carefully scruffed hair.
What I wear
Have to check out of Moody's lair  (4)
Hang on!

Hang on, leaves your bad house with me
Into the room of the bass player.
Why won't you go up stairs?
YOU PEP!

Don't think he don't get in slippy
North-old-hamptonshire. (5)
I believe there's a new drug out
It's called speed, I wrote a song about it
Conceptually à la Bowie   (6)
But it's been lost in the vaults of the record company
By our manager  (7)

So instead our new 45 is 'Girlies'
And eyes on brown tongue
Yours, brattingly.
Everyone seems pleased with it
Anyway is a waste of life
Wait to say it in Lancashire
YOU PEP!

You had the best summer
And now it's wearing off.
No more excuses
For traitorism.

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Notes

1. The ever-helpful Dan has found the origins of the phrase "You Pep!":

From the book about Silvio Scionti by Jack Guerry: "Although Elio spoke no English, she taught him the old pep-rally chant: "Your pep! Your pep! You got it, now keep it, doggone it don't lose it!" - to be repeated indefinitely. Sixteen years later, Elio was still quoting that chant but in a shortened and comically pronounced version: "You pep! You pep! You got eet... dooon loose eet!" Also, top left p18, "Boy's Life" magazine, 1937: And the book, "Milton Brown and the founding of western swing", by Cary Ginell: "You haven't got the team That our school has! Your pep! Your pep! You've got it, now keep it! Dog-gone it, don't lose it! Your pep! Your pep! " Similar wording also in the books: "Hadacol Days" by Clyde Bolton; Hi-school Pep for Principals" by Daniel Ulysses Cochrane; Cheerleader Handbook by Carolyn Frances Bruce; Barefoot Boy, by Roy Suttie; Oh there's lots, just google "your pep! your pep!" in google book search.

There's also the line further down, "There's a new drug out/It's called speed..." This suggests there could be a secondary allusion to synthetic pep, particularly to "pep pills," intended (I owe this thought to someone on the Fall Online Forum, but I cannot remember whom or where).

Brix confirms both of these hypotheses in one stroke in her memoir The Rise, the Fall and the Rise:

"I loved singing the cheerleader backup on 'He Pep!', another one of Mark's odes to speed mixed with a rant about record companies."

This song has the wacked-out greatness of the best moments of The Light User Syndrome. The refrain pops back up later on the album on "Oxymoron."

^

2. This strikes me as a very un-MES rhyme, but it's not unwelcome for all that.

^

3. Parker effectively ended the age of blotting paper in 1931, when it unveiled "Quink," or quick drying ink. The ear maneuver would have come with a heavy price to pay in the days before this technological innovation.

Martin points out, however, that blotting paper was still in use in his school days in the 1970s, and is still used today, albeit less commonly.

^

4. Martin reports that on the version from 1996/10/08 at Worthing MES says "And what I wear is a secret in Mr Moody's lair in his attic." There's a 1971 book called The World in the Attic, by Wright Morris, featuring a Mr Moody.

^

5. There is actually a village named Old in Northamptonshire, a county in the East Midlands. The name is a corruption of "Wold," which means "forest."

^

6. Thanks to Dannyno's Fall concordance, we now know that Bowie also shows up in "Hard Life in Country," "Mere Pseud Mag. Ed.," and "Get A Summer Song Goin'."

^

7. Martin:

MES on the song: 27 April 1998 Dingwalls, London: - "Got a new song out. It's about (...) drugs and that. It's set in Lancashire. But it's been lost in the vaults of the record company by our manager. Our single is called 'I'm A Fucking Brown Tonguer'."

^

 

 

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Comments (22)

dannyno
  • 1. dannyno | 13/05/2014
It's "pep" as in "pep talk", I guess, but more specifically "pep rally", which we don't really have in the UK or not to the extent that it goes on in the US. So I think it comes from Brix who will have grown up with cheerleading and all that.

For example, from the book about Silvio Scionti by Jack Guerry:
http://tinyurl.com/yourpep

"Although Elio spoke no English, she taught him the old pep-rally chant: "Your pep! Your pep! You got it, now keep it, doggone it don't lose it!" - to be repeated indefinitely. Sixteen years later, Elio was still quoting that chant but in a shortened and comically pronounced version: "You pep! You pep! You got eet... dooon loose eet!"

Also, top left p18, "Boy's Life" magazine, 1937:
http://tinyurl.com/youpep2

And the book, "Milton Brown and the founding of western swing", by Cary Ginell:
"You haven't got the team That our school has! Your pep! Your pep! You've got it, now keep it! Dog-gone it, don't lose it! Your pep! Your pep! "

Similar wording also in the books: "Hadacol Days" by Clyde Bolton; Hi-school Pep for Principals" by Daniel Ulysses Cochrane; Cheerleader Handbook by Carolyn Frances Bruce; Barefoot Boy, by Roy Suttie;

Oh there's lots, just google "your pep! your pep!" in google book search.
A Friendly Visitor
  • 2. A Friendly Visitor | 01/08/2014
'Lost in the vaults of the record company' surely?
bzfgt
  • 3. bzfgt | 21/09/2014
I think so, we'll do it.
Junkman
  • 4. Junkman | 26/11/2015
Interesting difference between the the Peel and LP versions. Like many Fall songs, this one seems to have a programmed/DAT backing track at its core (consisting of programmed drums, bassline and that buzzing synth part), which the band played along to. This full band performance is heard on the Peel version, but the album version seems to present only the DAT itself, with no live drums or bass. The only overdub seems to be someone strumming a guitar with their hand muting the strings, creating that choppy rhythmic noise you hear in the verse. It's a testament to what a great tune this is, that the cheesy electronic rhythm section doesn't serve to hold it back at all, and it's still one of the classics on the LP.
Ian Edmond
  • 5. Ian Edmond | 30/04/2016
"Everyone says "please" " - I hear "Everyone seems pleased with it."

Was listening to this in the car a month ago, and suddenly heard the lines around this with stunning clarity and was all set to offer many insights... but I now can't discern or remember what I heard..
dannyno
  • 6. dannyno | 05/05/2016
According to Brix, in The Rise, The Fall and The Rise:


I loved singing the cheerleader backup on 'He Pep!', another one of Mark's odes to speed mixed with a rant about record companies.
bzfgt
  • 7. bzfgt | 19/05/2016
Ian, it's 7 AM and I am listening to "Iceberg" by Thee Oh Sees, which just came on my itunes player after the Fall song I was just annotating. I am stunningly happy to hear this song right now, and I am also impressed by your drug-assisted moment of clarity, so I am doing what I should not and taking your word for it...I trust someone will set me straight if we've made a mistake here.
bzfgt
  • 8. bzfgt | 19/05/2016
Ian, wait--you were driving around, doped out of your mind--which version were you listening to? This has the Peel sessions written all over it!
bzfgt
  • 9. bzfgt | 19/05/2016
OK, I did my due diligence and you're definitely right, plus it makes sense now which is always nice.
Ian Edmond
  • 10. Ian Edmond | 21/05/2016
I'd just like to add that moments of clarity can come about without any drug-induced assistance. Particularly to any law enforcement agencies reading this. (Seriously, I didn't mention drugs at all in my first post...)
Zack
  • 11. Zack | 20/11/2016
Hey! Junkman -

Don't miss the alternate version of "He Pep" on the Receiver compilation called Oxymoron - it's essentially the Light User Syndrome version (same vocal take) but with double drums courtesy of Burns & Funky Si.
bzfgt
  • 12. bzfgt | 24/11/2016
Thanks, Zack. One of these days I'll get that one...
Martin Peters
  • 13. Martin Peters | 03/03/2017
MES on the song:

27 April 1998 Dingwalls, London:



- "Got a new song out. It's about (...) drugs and that. It's set in Lancashire. But it's been lost in the vaults of the record company by our manager. Our single is called 'I'm A Fucking Brown Tonguer'." (amended lyrics to "He Pep")
Martin
  • 14. Martin | 03/03/2017
8 October 1696 Assembly Rooms, Worthing:


- "And what I wear is a secret in Mr Moody's lair in his attic." (amended lyrics to "He Pep")

There's a book called The World in the Attic, by Wright Morris, featuring a Mr Moody. Just saying, probably nothing to see here.
Martin
  • 15. Martin | 04/03/2017
Course I meant 1996.
Martin
  • 16. Martin | 14/03/2017
It might actually be a bit difficult to stick a pen under one's ear?
dannyno
  • 17. dannyno | 14/03/2017
Depends on one's ear, I suppose.
bzfgt
  • 18. bzfgt (link) | 19/03/2017
Martin, that seems more noteworthy to me than to you, I guess. But it could be a coincidence.
bzfgt
  • 19. bzfgt (link) | 19/03/2017
It would also depend on whether the character Moody had anything like a lair in an attic, which would make the connection much more likely.
bzfgt
  • 20. bzfgt (link) | 19/03/2017
It seems easy enough to me. Keeping it there, on the other hand...
Martin
  • 21. Martin | 26/03/2017
Nothing to do with the song, but can I just refute the claim made in note 3 above that the age of blotting paper effectively ended in 1931? As a schoolboy back in the 1970s, we certainly used it; and a brief search on the internet reveals that it's used in applications as varied as cleansing oily skin or as a phone screen degreaser. Evidently, it can also be used in the growing of cress. Plus, there are still those - a dwindling minority, of course, who use fountain pens which employ ink which doesn't dry quickly.
bzfgt
  • 22. bzfgt (link) | 01/04/2017
OK, Martin, I made a (clumsy_ amendment, but one could interpret "the age of blotting paper" more loosely, of course.

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