Lie Dream of a Casino Soul




Well, I didn't eat the weekend
But I put the weight back on again
And our kid got back from Munich
He didn't like it much
'Cause the bands go hierden faerden clunken klicken [aren Kobenhan anchines] (2)
Just like machines
It's getting like that here now It just goes to show

I got no nerves left Monday morning
And I think I'll cut my dick off  (3)
The trouble it got me in
Went home to my slum canyon
On my way I looked up
I saw turrets of Victorian wealth
I saw John the ex-fox
Sleeping in some outside bogs (4)
There's a silent rumble
In the buildings of the night council
It's a meeting of controllers
Who drive right through the gates In white roll-tops

And I guess this goes to show
The lie dream of casino soul
And I just suppose this goes to show
The lie dream of the casino soul scene
And I guess this goes to show
The lie dream of casino soul 
And I suppose this just goes to show
The lie dream of the casino soul scene 

I'm a bit jagged right now In a tongue-tired, wired state
Cause Sunday morning dancing
I had an awake dream
I was in the supervision dept. (5)
Of a big town store
Security floors one to four
They had cameras in the clothes dummies.
A man came up to them
He wanted sex in the dummies eyes
Then came up the cry
Security mobilized
Meanwhile in the sticks
Proles rich, dance in cardboard pants

And I guess this goes to show
The lie dream of casino soul scene
And I just suppose this goes to show
The lle dream of the casino soul scene
And I guess this goes to show
The lie dream of casino soul 
I suppose this just goes to show
The lie dream of the casino soul scene 



1. This song is about the Northern Soul scene that kicked off in late 60s Britain and was particularly robust in the late 70s and early 80s. Adherents of the scene were originally focused on relatively obscure American R&B and soul music, some of which charted in Britain years after its release; by the late 70s original music was being produced specifically for the Northern Soul market, sometimes by British recording artists. Wigan Casino in Greater Manchester, which MES mentions by name several times in the Peel version (at times substituting "Wigan" for "casino" in the chorus), was a focal point of the scene until it closed in 1981, the year this song was released. In 1978, Billboard magazine voted Wigan "The Best Disco in the World," with Wigan beating out New York City's world-famous Studio 54 for the honor.

Smith spoke to the NME in 1983 about the song:

That song actually did create quite a bit of resentment in the North because people thought it was being snobby and horrible about the old soul boys, which it was never about anyway. Because I was brought up with people that were into Northern Soul five years before anybody down here [in London] had even heard about it. But they've all grown out of it, which is what the song is about, but it wasn't putting them down at all. If anything, it was glorifying them, but not in the format of, where are those soul boys that used to be here?

There are actually a lot of old soul boys who like The Fall, because that music was always offbeat and it gives them a feeling for the sort of wackiness that you find in our music. It's really funny because Dexys bust a gut trying to attract that audience and never even got close. All the kids I know just thought it was pathetic 'cause they were wearing the clothes they'd been wearing six years ago and ripping off all these horn riffs that they knew off by heart from the originals.

According to MES's liner notes for the single, "This is the pre-amble youthful ramble of Big Priest. The ripper mentality hid well under ex Empire wealth. The above referred to slates will be struck with revenge forthwith." The "slates" are scenester businessmen "making capital out of The Fall sweat and pre-cog."

John (in the comments below) has suggested that the title is inspired by Picasso's illustrated prose poem "The Dream and Lie of Franco," designed in 1937 to raise money for the Republican government in Spain, which mocks Generalissimo Franco. Picasso's piece may also be what finds an echo in the Grateful Dead's "Crazy Fingers": "Gone are the broken eyes we saw through in dreams/ Gone both dream and lie..."

Ted points out that the riff bears a resemblance to the riff from John Lennon's cover of "Be My Baby" (an outtake from Rock 'n' Roll--use Google if you want to hear it, as Youtube links are volatile, and in any case permissions differ by country).


2. This is the lyric that is given in the blue lyrics book, including the part I placed in brackets, but not including "'Cause." On the Peel version, MES seems to sing the line up until my brackets, and then there are some unintelligible syllables before "Just like machines." On the single version, he sings something undecipherable that seems to end with "synthesizen," and then, again, "Just like a machine." 


3. On the sleeve of the "Lie Dream of a Casino Soul" single, the lyric is rendered as "I think I'll cut mein Dyckhoff." Below it is a note that says "Dyckhoff=Deutsche Kendals." Kendals is an English department store, and there is, or at least was, apparently a German department store named "Dyckhoff" (although it is referenced in a book, it seems I cannot see the pages here in America).

I guess, as Dan suggests, this means MES thinks of Dyckhoff as the German equivalent of Kendals. I mean, when I say it like that, it sounds obvious, but I don't know anything about any of these stores.


4. "Bogs" are toilets in British lingo.


5. Characteristically, MES pronounces "dept."


Comments (16)

  • 1. John | 17/10/2013
The "lie dream" is likely from Picasso's The Dream and Lie of Franco
  • 2. Mxyzptlk | 18/02/2015
I've always assumed John the ex-fox to be fellow Mancunian John Foxx on some psychogeographical spree around his beloved decaying cityscape. Why 'ex' though I can't fathom, as his star was still ascendant in 1981.
  • 3. dannyno | 26/10/2016
"And I think I'll cut my dick off
The trouble it got me in "

On the reverse sleeve of the Lie Dream single, a version of the lyric is printed. It's really not the same as what is being sung.

Instead of the above, we have:

"And I think I'll cut mein Dyckhoff
The trouble it got me in"

And "Dyckhoff" is explained with:

Dyckhoff = Deutsche Kendals


This seems to be a joke or pun of some kind, rather than an accurate rendering of MES's lyrics, but still.

Kendals, by the way, was a Manchester department store. Could it be the "big town store" of the lyric?

And it turns out that Dyckhoff seems to have been a German department store. See reference here:
  • 4. dannyno | 04/03/2017
Note #2

"The bad news is that we had to find out what "Dyckhoff=Deutsche Kendals" means..."

Well, surely he's saying that the Dyckhoff store is the German equivalent of Kendals' store.
  • 5. dannyno | 08/04/2017
"slum canyon"

This phrase is used out there, it's not an MES coinage. I'm gonna try and find some good examples.
  • 6. bzfgt (link) | 06/05/2017
I didn't get anything good with a simple google of - slum canyon -, the first result was "Lie Dream of a Casino Soul" (not #^%! ours, either!).
Dr X O'Skeleton
  • 7. Dr X O'Skeleton | 17/05/2017
I always thought he said "I'm Mick Jaggered right now, in a tongue tied wired state"
  • 8. bzfgt (link) | 18/05/2017
Anyone else hear that? Live versions help any?
  • 9. dannyno | 23/05/2017
I don't hear "Mick Jaggered" on any of the versions I've got.
  • 10. egg | 17/09/2017
About the line "Had a psyche that hadn't been synthesised": although it's what the lyrics on the sleeve say, it really doesn't sound what MES sings. What he does sing is hard to make out but it's always sounded to me like fake German, like "there's a schlechte heiter been synthesisèd", with extra emphasis on the last syllable. Of course this would tie in with Munich in the lyrics and the Dyckhoff joke on the sleeve.
  • 11. egg | 21/09/2017
(To update my above comment, I actually looked at the sleeve, rather than relying on weak memory, and it doesn't include the "psyche" line, making the line even more questionable.)
  • 12. bzfgt (link) | 07/10/2017
Yes there are some things before the end that are a bit muddy, but I swear I hear "synthesizéd".
  • 13. dannyno | 09/10/2017
"John the ex-fox"

You don't suppose this could be a reference to the Thin Lizzy song, "Johnny The Fox Meets Jimmy The Weed"? Jimmy the Weed, of course, is said to be based on an actual Manchester gangster of that name:
  • 14. bzfgt (link) | 04/11/2017
Yeah, Manchester; maybe...
  • 15. bzfgt (link) | 11/11/2017
Yeah the lyrics book has The bands go hierden faerden clunken klicken aren Kobenhan anchine

I think it ends with "synthesizen" here
  • 16. bzfgt (link) | 11/11/2017
OK egg, check out what I have. It matches the Peel version better than the single, in the way I indicate in the note.

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