Muzorewi's Daughter

Lyrics

(1)

Get that spot, put it in the pot for me (2)
Cos I'm Muzorewi's daughter
I'm Muzorewi's daughter
I'm Muzorewi's daughter
I'm Muzorewi's daughter

I was Muzorewi's daughter
I've been in the pot too long
Too hot in the pot too long
I'm Muzorewi's daughter
Muzorewi's daughter
African Corps, luv      (3)
Gentle laws, luv
I'm Muzorewi's daughter

Left wing hot properties  (4)
Out of the closets, and she
Runs Muzorewi's daughter
I'm Muzorewi's daughter
I'm Muzorewi's daughter
I'm Muzorewi's daughter

I'm Muzorewi's daughter
I'm Muzorewi's daughter

The trees are reeds with evil seeds for me
Cos' I'm Muzorewi's daughter
I'm Muzorewi's daughter
I'm Muzorewi's daughter
I'm Muzorewi's daughter
I'm Muzorewi's daughter

Africa Corps, love
Gentle laws, love
I'm Muzorewi's daughter
[I blow a wall] love
I'm Muzorewi's daughter
I'm Muzorewi's daughter

I'm too long in the pot
I'm too long in the mouth
I'm too long in the pot
I'm too long in the nips
I'm too long in the tits
I'm too long in the mitts

I'm Muzorewi's daughter
I'm Muzorewi's daughter
I'm Muzorewi's daughter
I'm Muzorewi's daughter
Muzorewi's daughter
Muzorewi's daughter

 

 

Notes

1. Although spelled "Muzorewi," here it's pronounced more like "Muzoweri." In any case, it's about Abel T. Muzorewa (pronounced muzz--o-ray-wah), a Methodist bishop who, for a few months in 1979, served as prime minister of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, a transitional entity between Rhodesia and Zimbabwe. His party was electorally defeated in 1980; he subsequently ran against his successor, Robert Mugabe, in the presidential election of 1996, garnering less than 5% of the vote. The lyrics were largely written by Kay Carroll, the Fall's manager at the time, it seems; according to Carroll: "I hated him. He was so white, but he was black: he was playing Uncle Tom. This was like a first impression, a naive viewpoint. If you're Muzorewi's Daughter life's a bit of a lie, isn't it? Everything she'll see is like, potentially a threat."

Apparently Muzorewi did have at least one daughter; Andy sent me a link to an article about her (her husband's girlfriend was accused of hiring a hit man to kill her!). 

The following annotation is reproduced in the 2021 anthology, Excavate! The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall (edited by Tessa Norton and Bob Stanley) on p.67, under "Preparatory notes for various songs, 1978-80": 


"For all our lads who died in the Boer War."

The song begins with what sounds like a faux-native American drum beat, reminiscent of Hank Williams' "Kaw-Liga" or Bill Monroe's "Cheyenne." I don't have a lot of insight into many of the lyrical details that follow.  

^

2. Jay P suggests this refers to a pool ball, which could be spotted, and then knocked into the pot...

^

3. The Africa Korps, also known in English as the German Africa Corps, was the German force in Africa during World War II. 

Dan: "However, it may be a reference to East German interventions in Africa around 1979 and afterwards, somewhat supplanting the Cubans there. There are newspaper articles and other commentary which refers to 'a new Afrika Korps' around the time, so it's possible the reference is to that."

The East Germans at the time were aiding the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU), a far-left party headed by Joshua Nkomo. Nkomo and the ZAPU were briefly aligned with Muzorewa and his party (the United African National Council, or UANC) when the latter took power, although were subsequently in opposition, so Dan's conjecture seems likely. See note 4 below.

 

^
 

4. Cian submits: "I think the "Left-Wing hot properties" line is referring to Mugabe's revolution which was quasi-socialist and seized a lot of property, particularly farms, from white settlers." 

In any case, the line is hard to parse. This form of the lyric comes from a handwritten lyric sheet reproduced in Excavate (see note 1). However, "she" suggests that perhaps it should be the singular "Left-wing hot property's out of the closet, and she..." which suggests the titular daughter is working, wittingly or not, for an intellligence agency. On the other hand, if "she" is a new, unnamed factor, then perhaps Muzoweri/Muzowera's daughter is a "Left-wing hot property" among other, unnamed persons or, finally, maybe "she" is one of several "Left-wing hot properties." 

So, it is possible that Muzowera's daughter was aiding (in the song) Nkomo and the left-wing ZAPU (see note 4 above).

 

^

Comments (34)

Mark
  • 1. Mark | 02/07/2014
I don't think it's "Arose Muzorewi's daughter" - sounds something like "She rounds: Muzorewi's daughter"
Martin
  • 2. Martin | 07/11/2014
I agree with Mark's comment above.
bzfgt
  • 3. bzfgt | 08/11/2014
I am listening to it, I got "arouse." I don't know how you guys are getting "She rounds," it clearly seems to me to start with "A-," whatever comes after...
bzfgt
  • 4. bzfgt | 08/11/2014
I took the brackets off some of the nonsense, not because it's clear but because I don't like brackets...
hippriestess
  • 5. hippriestess | 11/09/2016
Fun fact - Abel Muzorewa didn't have any daughters; he had three sons.

KC/MES could, of course, mean "daughter" in a wider sense, in the same that people talk of a whole generation as being "Thatcher's Children".
bzfgt
  • 6. bzfgt | 15/10/2016
Excellent! I don't know how we never checked on that, but it's the perfect result--it's interesting and relevant, and no more research is needed.
dannyno
  • 7. dannyno | 24/12/2016
Yeah, it's a counter-factual. Kay's comment is "if you're Muzorewi's daughter". "If".

Dan
bzfgt
  • 8. bzfgt | 27/12/2016
Dan, what is the context for that remark? I mean yours, not Carroll's. I don't get the point your making by emphasizing "if" at this moment.
dannyno
  • 9. dannyno | 07/01/2017
I was responding to hippriestess. Muzorewi didn't have daughters, but Carroll's explanation of the song doesn't commit her to the claim that he did.
bzfgt
  • 10. bzfgt | 04/02/2017
Got it, I agree. Her remark would make perfect sense if he had a daughter, but she doesn't even need to know whether he had one or not for the remark to make enough sense in any case.
Dave Parker
  • 11. Dave Parker | 18/03/2017
I didn't know it was Kay - the female viewpoint ("I'm too long in the tits" always seemed most unlike MES) suddenly makes sense. I never liked the "in the pot" lyric, but I can get it as being from the perspective of someone torn between the two sides. "Of its time" never rang truer, it could only be 1979.

I always heard it as "I was Muzorewi's daughter", fwiw.
bzfgt
  • 12. bzfgt (link) | 13/05/2017
Hold the presses--the dude DID in fact have a daughter:

http://nehandaradio.com/2017/05/09/woman-hires-hitman-kill-muzorewas-daughter/

Thanks to "Andy"...
Dr X O'Skeleton
  • 13. Dr X O'Skeleton | 17/05/2017
I may have misremembered this, but I seem to recall Muzorewa's daughter being suggested as a possible bride for Prince Charles, before Diana came along
dannyno
  • 14. dannyno | 17/05/2017
How can we never have checked whether Muzorewa actually had any daughters.

Even the Guardian obituary says he did:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/apr/12/bishop-abel-muzorewa


While still at theological school, Muzorewa was married, in 1951, to Maggie Chigodora, with whom he had five children. She and one of their children predeceased him. He is survived by three sons and a daughter.


re comment #13, I've had a look in the Daily Mail, Guardian and the Times, and have not found anything linking Charity Muzorewa and Prince Charles.
bzfgt
  • 15. bzfgt (link) | 18/05/2017
If you come up with evidence for that it'll be noted. It would be odd, though, since before last week none of my British contributors thought he had a daughter...
djbawbag
  • 16. djbawbag | 09/07/2019
Title inspired by the Nathaniel Hawthorne story Rappacinni's Daughter perhaps?
Evil seeds etc.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rappaccini's_Daughter
bzfgt
  • 17. bzfgt (link) | 12/07/2019
The number of syllables makes me like it, especially if the Hawthorne connection is genuine in Junger Cloth...I wish we had just a little more to tie it in
Tony Herrington
  • 18. Tony Herrington | 06/10/2019
Can I add a musical (non-textual) observation about this track: in its use of dynamic contrasts it is the template for grunge! Years ago in The Wire, Steve Albini (who should know) described (somewhat wearily) grunge’s use of dynamic musical contrasts as: quiet verses, loud choruses. Play “Muzorewi’s Daughter” back to back with “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and tell me you can’t hear the correspondences. Factor in Kurt Cobain’s known admiration for U.K. groups of this era (The Raincoats most famously, but The Fall too surely) and there you have it. Apologies if this is old news to everyone here, in which case, as you were, carry on, etc.
bzfgt
  • 19. bzfgt (link) | 19/10/2019
Yeah, worth mentioning! I bet we could find earlier examples of this template...The Monkees' "Randy Scouse Git"?
Mark Benson
  • 20. Mark Benson | 06/02/2020
Surely grunge was entirely inspired by the pixies loud quiet loud?
dannyno
  • 21. dannyno | 07/03/2020
Is Tony Herrington of comment #18, who cites The Wire, in fact the Tony Herrington of that very magazine? Because if so, respect is due.
Sim
  • 22. Sim | 28/04/2020
I always thought that it was "the trees are wreathed with evil seeds for me"
Cian
  • 23. Cian | 03/10/2020
I agree I think it is "wreathed with evil seeds". I think the "Left-Wing hot properties" line is referring to Mugabe's revolution which was quasi-socialist and seized a lot of property, particularly farms, from white settlers.
dannyno
  • 24. dannyno | 09/01/2021
The phrase "hot properties" appears twice in Fall lyrics.

Here in this song, but also in Mess of My, which only has one studio recording - from the 6 December 1978 Peel Session. Mess of My is the earlier song.

This is the line in context in Mess of My:


Cowering mockers
The company money's ran out
No longer hot properties
Get back in their closets


Compare that with the line in context here:


Left wing hot properties
Out of the closets and sheet
Joanna N
  • 25. Joanna N | 30/01/2021
Sorry if this is the obvious interpretation, but just to say that the phrase "hot property" is often used to mean a person who is very skilled and so in high demand in a particular profession. So "left-wing hot properties" could mean up-and-coming left-wing politicians/activists around that time. And this meaning makes sense in both examples above referring to closets - i.e. someone emerging from or returning to obscurity.
Jay P
  • 26. Jay P (link) | 30/01/2021
It's only just occurred to me that 'get that spot, put it in the pot for me' is about potting a 'spot' pool ball. Sorry if that was obvious to everyone else!
MES Sage
  • 27. MES Sage | 28/02/2021
Consider;
Left wing hot properties
Out of the closets sent she
bzfgt
  • 28. bzfgt (link) | 07/03/2021
Jay P 25: no, I had no idea what that was about but it makes sense
dannyno
  • 29. dannyno | 30/03/2021
In the 2021 anthology, Excavate! The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall (edited by Tessa Norton and Bob Stanley) is reproduced on p.67 what is described as "Preparatory notes for various songs, 1978-80". It is effectively a handwritten track listing and credits for Dragnet.

Alongside Muzorewi's Daughter is the following annotation:


For all our lads who died in the Boer War.
dannyno
  • 30. dannyno | 30/03/2021
Also in Excavate!, p.68, is a handwritten lyric sheet for Muzorewi's Daughter, which I changes the way we hear many of the lyrics here.

It has:

"The trees are reeds with evil seeds for me"

not "wreathed" as per amendment here.

These lines:


African call love
Genteel laws love


Are rendered as:


Afrika Corps luv
Gentle laws luv


"Luv" = "love" still.

The Afrika Korps was the German army in Africa in WW2. However, it may be a reference to East German interventions in Africa around 1979 and afterwards, somewhat supplanting the Cubans there. There are newspaper articles and other commentary which refers to "a new Afrika Korps" around the time, so it's possible the reference is to that.

See for example:

"A New Afrika Korps?" by Melvin Croan, The Washington Quarterly, 3 (1), pp.21-37, 1980.
https://doi.org/10.1080/01636608009477418

See also this San Francisco Examiner article from 20 August 1979 (borrowed from the UK Daily Telegraph):
https://www.newspapers.com/clip/74706520/afrikakorps/

And then there's these lines:

"Left wing hot properties
Out of the closets and sheet
Arouse Muzorewi's daughter"

This should be:

"Left wing hot properties [the lyric sheet has "come", but I don't hear this]
Out of the closets and she
Runs Muzorewi's daughter"

In other words, it's an extended "sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.... RUNS! -ah / Muzorewi's daughter etc"

On paper it looks like this:

"Left-wing hot properties come out of the closets
and she RUNS Muzorewi's Daughter"

The song is copyrighted on the lyric sheet as "Smith/Carroll 1979"
bzfgt
  • 31. bzfgt (link) | 03/04/2021
Shouldn't it then be "Left wing hot property's out of the closet, and she"?
bzfgt
  • 32. bzfgt (link) | 03/04/2021
OK, I've connected some dots that make your New Afrika Corps conjecture quite likely, Dan...probably needs expanding at some point
bzfgt
  • 33. bzfgt (link) | 03/04/2021
Maybe move a lot of it to note 1, as the two notes are not self-standing but only make sense with regard to each other
dannyno
  • 34. dannyno | 03/04/2021
comment #31, well, the lyric sheet has "properties". Not sure what I make of all that at the moment.

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