Masquerade

Lyrics

(1)

This is new! (2)

And what is that branch?
What branch is it?
Account is altered
And nine year olds
Walk around
In debt record
Account is altered
The grim visage (3)
Account is Delta (4)
All yours
The web descends
Look to your grey hairs
And back your horses
About a week
A space allowance
Ran out yesterday
The Masquerade
The Masquerade
The Masqueraderie
Like a fish dish
The grim visage
Altered again
And again
The fifty percent interest
Ran out
Today
Account altered
In succour
All granted
You, you
Desperate comrades
Evaporated...

And what is that branch?
What branch is it
That has the pipe
Of Aluminium   (5)
Sprawling underneath it?
You rich pig
What beheld it,
The Masquerade?
The Masquerade
The Masqueraderie 
The web descends
Look to your grey hairs
And back your horses
About a week
A space allowance
Ran out yesterday
The Masquerade
The Masquerade
The Masqueraderie
Like a fish dish
The grim visage
Altered again
And again
The fifty percent interest
Ran out today
In Bolton
In succour
All granted
New you (6)

SaveSave

SaveSave

Notes

1. These lyrics seem to have something to do with bank accounts and the perfidy of the rich. The social life of finance is the masquerade here, I suppose, but the song is in some ways a hallucinatory and fractured vision; maybe I should come up with something clever about the song itself being a masquerade, but I don't know exactly what I'm talking about here. As usual, there's just enough sense to lure one in, but after that one is liable to get lost...

Smith alters the pronunciation of "masquerade" as he's singing the chorus, generally going with "Masquerahd" the first time and "Masqueraid" the second.

The song was co-written with Mike Bennett, who co-produced Cerebral Caustic and The Light User Syndrome. Bennett also has writing credits on "The Chiselers," "Pearl City," and "Cheetham Hill."

^

2. The first three words are uttered by Brix from a live tape. According to mountainoaf, "Brix's quote - it was uttered on 11 October 1996 at The Forum, London - her last gig with the gruppe. The whole quote is: 'This is new. Fresh. Fresh out of the womb.' [long pause] 'It's getting stale now.' This was before 'Das Vultur Ans Ein Nutter-Wain', but the original plan was to play 'Masquerade' instead."

The Peel session includes a slightly longer version of the same recording, and runs: "This is new. Fresh! Fresh out of the womb." Reformation proivides the following rendering of the lyrics on the Peel version:

They asked
Was this branch?
The bran...
The masquerade
They were wrong
It was a light aluminium branch
Wrongly cut

The masquerade man lives alone

He was succeeded by
Mahatmed, the (marksman)
Which led...
The destruction is...
The destruction is forecast in the Old Testament
He had one song to sing
Like a flame
He acted out of hand
They thought, "Peculiar man"
And what is that branch?

He smiled valiantly
To the turn of your wit
The green wire mesh fence held him in
Like all men, he did (flow)
He was mistaken for the man
He needed
And ten more days to ask (desktop) to enter

<Kiddy talking sample> (Julia Nagle's son Basil, thank you to Chives!)
The masquerade

And what is that branch?
What branch is it?
That leaves the tree
Into aluminium
A wire fence
Over and over
Again

And ten year olds run around
For affection
For affection

And...

The masquerade
The masquerade

The masquerade

And what is that branch?
What branch is it?
That leaves the pipes
Into aluminium
Your (...)
In surgery
Scram
Masquerade
The masquerade

Nothing you say whatsoever
In (...)
Forty-five minutes
Really matters
Is that clear?
If you disagree
Take your grotto
(... round)

And...
And like a (...)
The evil entered into your...
(...)
Again and again
You're still green
Fences encumbered
The masquerade

^

3. From Gloucester's speech in Shakespeare's Richard the Third, Act One, Scene 1:

^

Grim-visaged war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barded steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.

Thanks to Dan for the quote.

^

4.This refers to some sort of debit or credit card, but there seem to be several candidates called "Delta."

^

5. Thop reminds us:

Iceland also questions pipes of aluminium:

"What the goddamn fuck is it,
That played the pipes of aluminium?"

 

^

6. Possibly "Knew you."

^

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Comments (19)

dannyno
  • 1. dannyno | 02/03/2014
This is tricky, because there are at least three versions. There's the single mix, the Peel Session, and the version on Levitate. The above seems to be the Levitate version?
bzfgt
  • 2. bzfgt | 08/04/2014
Yes, Levitate, although some of it is wrong. I just discovered "special allowance." But the couple lines before that (i.e. "space allowance") are wrong but I can't make them out.
Mark
  • 3. Mark | 22/05/2014
Re: Brix's quote - it was uttered on 11 October 1996 at The Forum, London - her last gig with the gruppe. The whole quote is: "This is new. Fresh. Fresh out of the womb." [long pause] "It's getting stale now." This was before "Das Vultur Ans Ein Nutter-Wain", but the original plan was to play "Masquerade" instead.
Thop
  • 4. Thop | 04/06/2015
"And what is that branch?
What branch is it?
That has the pipe
Of Aluminium
Sprawling underneath it?"

Iceland also questions pipes of aluminium:

"What the goddamn fuck is it?
That played the pipes of aluminum"
the27points
  • 5. the27points | 23/01/2017
"And back your horses
About a week"

Just been looking at old Fall News archives http://thefall.org/news/971203.html#leeds and I spotted this 1997 interpretation of those lines from Simon Christian:

"I'm looking forward to a bout in ring"

Have a listen to Masquerade, he could be right.
bzfgt
  • 6. bzfgt | 04/02/2017
Horse racing as a metaphor for boxing? Talk about dancing about architecture, hey?
Nairng
  • 7. Nairng (link) | 28/05/2018
I wonder if a note should be added for the benefit of non-UK readers, pointing out that Delta is a debit card, thus linking to banking theme.

I also wonder why "knew you", when the more obvious would be "new you"...any reason for this?
dannyno
  • 8. dannyno | 29/05/2018
Can I draw attention to comment #4 by Thop? I was just about to point out the same thing, when I spotted Thop had beaten me to it.
dannyno
  • 9. dannyno | 29/05/2018
"Grim visage"

Echoes of Shakespeare, Richard the Third, Act I, Scene 1, l:


GLOUCESTER

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barded steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.


http://shakespeare.mit.edu/richardiii/richardiii.1.1.html
Chives
  • 10. Chives | 30/05/2018
The kiddy talking sample on the Peel version is Julia's son Basil. Can be heard more clearly on the single version.
bzfgt
  • 11. bzfgt (link) | 15/07/2018
Nairng,

I'll note Delta. As a non-UK reader/writer/listener, I have no idea what it is, but I'll google it.

I'm not sure why "new you" is more obvious....why is it more obvious? "Knew you" is possibly a legacy from the Lyrics Parade, and I do lean toward "new" if there's no authoritative source for "knew," though...let me look into it.
bzfgt
  • 12. bzfgt (link) | 15/07/2018
Must be the Lyrics Parade, how else to explain the apostrophe in "behell's it"?

So is Delta the airline here? They have some kind of card, or it another kind of card and a different Delta?
bzfgt
  • 13. bzfgt (link) | 15/07/2018
I think it's just "beheld it," anyway. It's not even that pronounced an "s" compared to some of the gratuitous ones he spouts...changed.
bzfgt
  • 14. bzfgt (link) | 15/07/2018
I've changed "Iceland" to the British spelling ("aluminium" rather than "aluminum"), please let me know if there's a reason not to. Generally I hew to American spellings but I'm pretty sure this is the exact reverse of what I should be doing...feel free to catch me out on it if you notice elsewhere.
bzfgt
  • 15. bzfgt (link) | 15/07/2018
Doesn't the "This is new" introduction appear in "Ibis-Afro Man"? I'll try to remember to listen to it when I get a chance...I could be completely imagining it.
bzfgt
  • 16. bzfgt (link) | 15/07/2018
No. Or in another song? It's sampled somewhere else, isn't it? Or is this the song I'm actually thinking of?
dannyno
  • 17. dannyno | 15/07/2018
Note #5:

"Note the British"

What, like, conceptually?
bzfgt
  • 18. bzfgt (link) | 22/07/2018
I don't know how that got there, note the British spelling of aluminium maybe? Maybe the cursor jumped and i was writing that for some reason? Anyway the interface side of the site's not working at all right now, I hope I remember to delete that when I finally get on...
bzfgt
  • 19. bzfgt (link) | 22/07/2018
I see, I was going to point out the different spelling then realized I was the reason for the difference and I shouldn't be spelling it American anyway, so I changed the spelling instead and then forgot I'd started to write that.

Add a comment