Open The Boxoctosis

Lyrics

Land of bounty

Open the box, open the box (1)
Open the goddam box!

Open the box, open the box
Open the goddam box!

I opened the box
Of imperial stuff 
And to my surprise
I found twenty five warriors
Warriors
With shields (2)

Open the box, open the box
Open the goddam box!

Open the box, open the box
Open the goddam box!

I opened the box
Of imperial love
And to my surprise
I found twenty five warriors
With ribbons

Land of tolerance
Saints like me
With good word for everybody (3)

Open the box, open the box
Open the goddam box!

Everybody

Open the box, open the box
Open the goddam box!

I found imperious ribbons
I opened the box
And to my surprise
I found love
Imperial stuff

Open the box, open the box
Open the goddam box!

Open the box, open the box
Open the goddam box!

I opened the box
I was well perplexed
I opened the box
It was orthodox
It was looking at me
With imperial love
I opened the box

I opened the b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b...

Land of return to seat
Land of bounty
Land of dope cake

I opened the box

Open the box, open the box
Open the goddam box!

I opened the box
And to my surprise
I found twenty five warriors
At the bottom
At the bottom
At the bottom
At the bottom

Notes

1. Which box? Some have suggested Pandora's box, which seems plausible as at least an allusion...According to Granny on Bongos on the Fall online forum, the song may be referencing a box of toy soldiers given to MES by his sister. On the same thread, worthless recluse points out that the title phrase in the imperative mood is much like something would hear from a customs official. 

Fiery Jack points out that the refrain is very much reminiscent of "Jam the Box" by Bill Summers and Summers [sic] Heat, in which we exhorted to "Jam the box/Jam the box/Jam the hot damn box!"

^

2. These lines make me think of the Chinese Terracotta Army, 8,000 terracotta figurines that were dug up in 1974 in a Chinese emperor's tomb. The terracotta warriors are more or less life-sized, though, which makes it seem less likely MES would find a box of them under the Christmas tree.

^

3. These lines are sung in a different voice, which may indicate a different narrator. "Tolerance" is probably never a good word in MES's mouth. The "land" is described at various points thusly: land of bounty, land of tolerance, land of return to seat, and land of dope cake. It is possible the weakness and decadence of modern-day English or Westerners in general is being contrasted, presumably unfavorably, with the disciplined and purposeful "imperial" warriors, whereever their own "land" may be (again, maybe China).

^

Comments (3)

Fiery Jack
  • 1. Fiery Jack | 14/11/2015
The refrain appears to be based on the one from Bill Summers & Summers Heat's "Jam the Box" from 1981. Most versions contained a slightly edited chorus that sounded like "jam the box / jam the box / jam the hot-damn box!" It was a minor, proto-rap hit in the US.
bzfgt
  • 2. bzfgt | 23/11/2015
Great catch!
dannyno
  • 3. dannyno | 29/04/2017
An echo:

Interview by Jack Barron, Sounds, 13 August 1983:


As a kid I used to be obsessed that like I was reincarnated from the trenches of the First World War. I used to think one day I would open the closet and a load of war dead would pour out all over me.

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