Hip Priest

Lyrics

(1)

He is not appreciated.
He is not appreciated.
He is not appreciated.

Drink the long draught, Dan,
for the Hip Priest. (2)

I said drink the long draught, Dan,
for the Hip Priest!

He is not appreciated
He is not appreciated

White collar hits motorway services (3)
It's the Hip Priest
From the eyes he can see, they know
It's the Hip Priest

He is not appreciated.

It's purple psychology. (4)
Not just an old lady's.

That's hip hip hip hip hip hip hip Hip Priest

That's hip hip hip hip hip hip hip Hip Priest

And he's gonna make an appearance.
He's gonna make an appearance.

Was shown in a freakshow early on.
And drunk from small brown bottles since I was so long. (5)

Cause I'm a Hip Priest
Cause I'm a Hip Priest
People only need me when they're down and gone to seed.
Cause I'm a Hip Priest.
Cause I'm a Hip Priest.

It's appreciation half won.
And they hate their allegiance to hip preacher one.
Hip Priest

I got my last clean dirty shirt outta the wardrobe (6)
I got my last clean dirty shirt outta the wardrobe
And all the good people know

That's hip hip hip hip hip hip hip Hip Priest

All the young groups know
All the young groups know
They can imitate but I teach, because I'm a Hip Priest.
I'm as clean as a packet of chocolate treets. (7)

One-time feast was tray o'grease, Hip Priest. 

(8)

That's hip hip hip hip hip hip hip Hip Priest

And if the good people knew they would say
He is not appreciated
He is not appreciated

So drink the long draught, Dan,
for the Hip Priest.

Notes

1. This song has variously been interpreted as a sarcastic screed about a journalist or muso and a commentary on Mark E Smith himself. Like many Fall songs, either interpretation works. It seems to be about a character type which we may plausibly conclude MES both participates in to a certain degree, and also has a bit of contempt for. A snippet of the song was included in the 1991 movie The Silence of the Lambs.

Courtesy of Reformation:

MES, from a Rock on BBC Radio I interview; 1982:
 
" It was a bit of a joke on the group cos they're all like catholics...it's meant to be a bit of  a funny song...I have an image of Johnny Cash or somebody, I don't know why...or South America."  

^

2. It is not clear whether "Dan" refers to anyone in particular, or is just a placeholder like "Mack" or "Bub." On the other hand, a reader suggests the following:

 'Dahn' - pronounced darn - is Yorkshire dialect for 'down'. The line is 'Drink the long draught dahn' (drink the long draught down). There is no Dan.

In MES' draft in the orange lyrics book the word is both written and typed "Dan." It is possible that this is for phonetic reasons, and the lyric means "down," but this is a bit of a leap. On the other hand, a young reader going by the name Kriss Draynepipe--clearly a punk rock pseudonym--quite plausibly suggests, "Do you think, going with the Yorkshire suggestion, that MES is just fucking with the 'drink the long draught Darn' expression by inserting 'Dan'? You say its a bit of leap to think he means 'down'-- maybe its both the expression and his classic alteration." This seems entirely possible, and disposes me to think favorably of the Yorkshire hypothesis...

^

3. British "motorway services" are the equivalent of "rest areas" in the United States.

^

4. The poem "Warning" by Jenny Joseph begins: "When I am an old woman I shall wear purple." From [i]A Part of America Therein[/i]:

And from the Live version (on "A Part of America Theirin"):
"It's purple psychology leech / hypnotic induction process" (see note 8 below).

^

5. Why "small," when the draughts are presumably long? Zetetic suggests the bottles may have contained liquid LSD, although if you "drank" that from the bottle it's be a long draught indeed...

^

 

6. This probably derives from "Sunday Morning Comin' Down," written by Kris Kristofferson and recorded by Kristofferson, Ray Stevens, and, perhaps most notably, Johnny Cash: "I fumbled in my closet through my clothes/And found my cleanest dirty shirt". "Fiery Jack" also echoes Johnny Cash, for whom Mark E. Smith has expressed admiration (see note 1 for more). Also, Dom points out that R. Dean Taylor recorded the song; the Fall recorded two of his songs, "There's a Ghost in my House" and "Gotta See Jane." So I think we can conclude that MES almost certainly knows the song.

^

7. Treets are a chocolate candy similar to M&Ms, and also sold by Mars. The famous advertising slogan "Melt in your mouth, not in your hand" has been used for Treets, as well as for M&Ms, and this may explain why MES calls them "clean." On the version of 9/12/81 at Austurbaejarbio in Iceland, MES sings: "I'm as clean as a packet of Treets--M&M Treets," removing any doubt as to the reference of the lyric.

^

8. At around this spot on some live versions, we learn of the Priest's "hypnotic induction (enduction?) process." See note

^

Comments (11)

Paul Hopkins
  • 1. Paul Hopkins | 04/10/2014

"White collar hits motorway services". I always heard this as "wide collar"; MES, who at the time was often pictured wearing a deliberately unfashionable wide shirt collars, gets recognised by fans at the services but they're too shy to approach him. Think I floated this theory on mid 90s Fallnet and it got shot down, but I still believe it!

dannyno
  • 2. dannyno | 03/06/2015

I can't find any photos of MES wearing wide-collared shirts in 1981/1982.

dannyno
  • 3. dannyno | 18/06/2015

Correction to note 4: the poet's name is Jenny Joseph, not Jenny Jones.

Dom
  • 4. Dom | 11/08/2015

R Dean Taylor also recorded a version of Sunday Morning Coming Down which I'm sure MES must be familiar with

Zetetic
  • 5. Zetetic | 04/01/2016

Is it not "Drink the long draught Down!" ??

- Who the buggery is this Dan feller? (He's definitely saying "Down" on the live recording - that I'm personally better aquainted with)

And from the Live version (on "A Part of America Theirin"):
"It's Purple Psychology leech / Hypnotic induction process"

Also: I think the "Small Brown Bottles" refers to LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide) when not in blotter form / large quantities famously comes in "Small brown bottles"
So the line "I've been drinking from small brown bottles since I was - so long" essentially means "I've been 'expanding my mind' for years (cuz he's a Hip Priest).

bzfgt
  • 6. bzfgt | 05/01/2016

The "down" thing is addressed in the notes, it is Dan both in typeface and in MES's hand in the orange book, but it could mean "down" or be a deliberate pronunciation of the latter in dialect. I feel that I addressed that adequately but this seems to come up once in a while.

You could be right about LSD but it seems like the less obvious surface reading. On the other hand, the fact that the bottles are said to be "small" is perhaps an indicator you are right, boozers usually don't brag (or moan) about the smallness of their draughts which are, in any case, said here to be "long." You may be onto something.

Edward Reno
  • 7. Edward Reno | 14/05/2016

For some reason, I thought this song was about William S. Burroughs. Someone even put together a video montage on Youtube of this song playing over images of Burroughs

Tom
  • 8. Tom | 31/05/2016

Small brown bottles could simply be any doctor-prescribed medicine bottle, cough syrup etc, as that's what it came in when I was a kid anyway (80s)

Tom
  • 9. Tom | 31/05/2016

(sorry, v dull thought I know so unlikely herein)

Bob
  • 10. Bob (link) | 11/06/2016

I have a vague recollection of the Dan in question being Danny Baker who of course "discovered" The Fall in Huddersfield in 1979. I shall go back through my records and check...

bzfgt
  • 11. bzfgt | 24/06/2016

Edward: it very well could be, but there's as yet no evidence for it.

Tom: good thought, though, thank you.

Bob: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYDTaAZAQns

Add a comment

You're using an AdBlock like software. Disable it to allow submit.