He Pep!

Lyrics

THE LIGHT USER SYNDROME

(1)

I don't want to go on my 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 it out of Moody's lair  (4)
Hang on!

Hang on, he lives in the (bmai) house with me (5)
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. (6)
I believe there's a new drug out
It's called speed, I wrote a song about it
Conceptually à la Bowie   (7)
But it's been lost in the vaults of the record company
By our manager  (8)

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

 

COMPLETE PEEL SESSIONS

This style is identical to none, the style is identical
Go delve elsewhere, more mature, course
Go delve, delve elsewhere, hex, git

Stop clogging my system up, go elsewhere British new found voyeur
Can’t even point a film camera straight, or get a telephone number correct
Get the girl, you can’t, you’re a crusty stick-up     (9)
 

YOU PEP!
YOU PEP!
YOU PEP! 


I don’t wanna go to work anymore
I don’t wanna go to work on my back in the rain
I got a part in Soldier Soldier     (10)

I don’t wanna go to work
No more toast grilled on the heater   
No more A&R girls and having to meet her
My personage 
YOU PEP!

It writes everywhere
What I wear, what I wear
I have to check that out
Stick my Parker pen under my ear    (11)
‘Neath my own careful scruffed-up hair
Hang on, he lives in the same house as me
Bass player


YOU PEP!
YOU PEP!

The tug of war, like other musical groups, 
Shouldn’t put it here, 
Sung Mungo Jerry, not Sleeper  (12)

You had the best summer and now it's wearing off 
No more excuses for traitorism to the old 
Cold dark winter on the Seventeenth of December

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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. The word I render "(bmai)" is a garbled mumble, but see the Peel session below--it apparently was to be "same house as me."

^

6. 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."

^

7. 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'."

^

8. 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'."

^

 

9.  It's tempting to say that MES seems like he might be addressing himself here, although safer to say it seems like the narrator is addressing himself, anyway...but "seems like" is a key phrase, as the way the verse starts, it seems most straightforwardly to be addressed to someone else.

^

10. Soldier Soldier is a British TV series that ran from 1991-1997. The show, set in the mid-90s, is about fictional soldiers in the British Army, and the way their lives were affected by changes in the downsizing military in the wake of the Cold War. According to Wikipedia, the title is from the ballad "Soldier, Soldier, Won't You Marry Me?":

Soldier, soldier won't you marry me, with your musket, fife and drum?
Oh, no, sweet maid I cannot marry thee,
For I have no coat to put on.

The "sweet maid" gets him a coat, and he then mentions he's lacking various other bits of apparel, all of which she fetches...when he is covered from head to toe with coats, hats, gloves, and boots, he finally admits that he's already married.
 

^

11. Parker is an American company that makes luxury pens, to the tune of 75 dollars or more for a single pen...

^

12. Mungo Jerry had a huge hit in 1970 with "In the Summertime" (see the next line below, "You had the best summer and now it's wearing off"). I'm not sure of the reference with "Sleeper"; for starters, there is a Woody Allen movie of that name (1973) in which the protagonist is cryogenically frozen and wakes up 200 years later, and finds himself in the middle of a revolution against an authoritarian (but kind of incompetent) regime.

^

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Comments (45)

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.
Junkman
  • 23. Junkman | 19/03/2018
Doubt we'll ever know what some of these lines really are, however here's some attempts at increased sense and/or accuracy:

First Verse:
I don't wanna go to work it away
No more toast tilled/stilled on the heater (makes less sense but there's a 't' there rather than 'g' you'd need for 'grilled')
My personage in race/eraseeverywhere

Second Verse:
Had to check it out of Moody's Lair

Second Chorus:
Hang on and listen to bad house he's made
Into the room of the bass player
Follow the group upstairs

Third Chorus:
After "girlies" the next word starts with 'H' so 'and' must be wrong. So it could be "Heck eyes on brown tounger". It sounds more like "Hank" though. Could there be a Hank Eyeson/Aison/Iseon who is a brown tonguer? I have only questions I'm afraid.
junkman
  • 24. junkman | 20/03/2018
...or could be Enter the room of the bass player, makes more sense
bzfgt
  • 25. bzfgt (link) | 31/03/2018
"Work in the rain" is wrong as rain, but I have "work anyway" now. I'm going to go through this all now, though.
bzfgt
  • 26. bzfgt (link) | 31/03/2018
Yeah its "trilled on the heater" I think, I'm not sure what he's trying to say but I think there's mispronunciation going on...anyone have a live version of this? I'm checking Peel....
bzfgt
  • 27. bzfgt (link) | 31/03/2018
Anyone want to try to transcribe the Peel version? It's very different...
bzfgt
  • 28. bzfgt (link) | 31/03/2018
It's definitely "work (on my back) in the rain" and "grill on the heater" on Peel
bzfgt
  • 29. bzfgt (link) | 31/03/2018
Crap, I think is just a more garbled version of the same lyrics, I'm going back to "rain"
bzfgt
  • 30. bzfgt (link) | 31/03/2018
This is too confusing, I need to get a good read on the Peel version and come back to this
Fit and Working Again
  • 31. Fit and Working Again | 25/04/2018
FWIW this is my unreliable take on the Peel version;

This style is identical to none, the style is identical
Go delve elsewhere, more mature, course, go delve, delve elsewhere, net, git

Stop clogging my system up, go elsewhere British new found voyeur
Can’t even point a film camera straight, or get a phone number correct
Get the girl, you can’t, you’re a crusty stick-up

I don’t wanna go to work anymore
I don’t wanna go to work on my back in the rain
I got a part in “Soldier, Soldier”

I don’t wanna go to work
No more toast grilled on the heater
No more A&R girls and having to meet her
My personage it writes everywhere

What I wear, what I wear
I have to check that out
Stick my Parker pen under my ear
‘neath my own careful scruffed-up hair
Hang-on, he lives in the same house as me
…………..bass player

His number was like other musical groups,
Shouldn’t put it here,
Sung Mungo Jerry, not Sleeper

You had the best summer and now it's wearing off
No more excuses for your traitorism to the old guard
In the cold dark winter on the Seventeenth of December
Fit and Working Again
  • 32. Fit and Working Again | 25/04/2018
A couple of minor points on the LP version as heard here;

I don't want to go on my back anymore

Have to check that out of Moody's lair (cf Oxymoron)

Hang on, he lives in the (blame?) house as me
Into the room of the bass player
From that group upstairs

And a longshot this one;

Our new 45 is 'Girlies (Ich Heisse Brown-Tongue-Yer)'
Yet incredibly everyone seems pleased with it
Anyway is this the right way to say in you Lancashire, you pep
Junkman
  • 33. Junkman | 25/04/2018
Reckon you might be on to something with some of those. I had attempts at some of the same lines up thread, might get somewhere between the two
bzfgt
  • 34. bzfgt (link) | 09/07/2018
Excellent job, FAWA. I hear "hex" rather than "net" in your line 2...I'm going to listen to the rest and make corrections if I feel sure of them and post this above, thank you.
bzfgt
  • 35. bzfgt (link) | 09/07/2018
Then I'll check your corrections to the LP version
bzfgt
  • 36. bzfgt (link) | 09/07/2018
First time "is it identical to none[?]" but could be a stammer rather than a word...difficult
bzfgt
  • 37. bzfgt (link) | 09/07/2018
OK, first of all, the Peel version I had forgotten about and it is one of the greatest pieces of music I have ever heard! Second, check out my alterations and let me know if you object. Then on to the LP lyrics.
bzfgt
  • 38. bzfgt (link) | 09/07/2018
I know nothing about Soldier Soldier so if anyone has any ideas...
bzfgt
  • 39. bzfgt (link) | 09/07/2018
Doesn't maybe Brix mention toast grilled on the heater in her book? Anyone have a searchable version?
bzfgt
  • 40. bzfgt (link) | 09/07/2018
I found mine, I don't think she does but I feel like there's something like that in her book, or in somebody's...fuck
bzfgt
  • 41. bzfgt (link) | 09/07/2018
OK there seems to be fertile ground for annotation in these Peel lyrics, I've got all I can muster for now up there...
bzfgt
  • 42. bzfgt (link) | 09/07/2018
The work you've done here could not be more appreciated, FAWA
milkowaif
  • 43. milkowaif | 09/07/2018
I've always heard "Not Sleeper" as "Bob Seger."
dannyno
  • 44. dannyno | 09/07/2018
Note #12: if it is "Sleeper", and I don't know that it is, then surely in context it would be the band:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleeper_(band)
dannyno
  • 45. dannyno | 09/07/2018
Comment #39. I've got a searchable version. i don't see anything about grilling toast on a heater.

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