Over! Over!

Lyrics

(1)

Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

I think it's over now, I think it's ending
I think it's over now, I think it's beginning

(I don't love you and I never did)

A seven-year cycle seems to happen every day (2)
(I don't love you and I never did)
I walk up the hill and then
Descend in every way (3)

I think it's over now, I think it's ending
(I don't love you and I never did)
(I don't love you and I never did)
I think it's over now I think it's beginning
(I don't love you and I never did)
(I don't love you and I never did)

A seven-year cycle seems to happen every day
It is now ending now it is beginning
(I don't love you and I never did)
(I don't love you and I never did)
I think it's over now, I think it's the beginning
(I don't love you and I never did)
(I don't love you and I never did)

One day three fellows they all clubbed together
To get their hair back and replace their shiny heads
All tan-skinned, they did sail the shiny sea  (4)
I think it's over now, I think it's ending
(I don't love you and I never did)
(I don't love you and I never did)
I think it's over now, I think it's beginning
(I don't love you and I never did)
(I don't love you and I never did)

To find their head clown it was shut by the EC
With Refurbishing Incorporated, PLC (5)

I think it's over now, I think it's beginning
I think it's over now, I think it's ending
(I don't love you and I never did)
(I don't love you and I never did)

Seven-year cycle
(I don't love you and I never did)
Happens every day
(I don't love you and I never did)
Walk up the hill
(I don't love you and I never did)
And descend in every way

I don't love you and I never did
I don't love you and I never did
I don't love you and I never did

We are not over yet, not even started
And they all club before, together
(I don't love you and I never did)
I think it's ending now, I think it's starting
(I don't love you and I never did)
I think it's over now
Over! Over!

A seven-year cycle happens every day
The mention of the [?]

(I don't love you and I never did)
(I don't love you and I never did)

I think it's ending now, I think it's beginning
I think it's over now, I think it's
Ending

 

Notes

1. This song, which is credited to "Mark E. Smith" on Reformation Post TLC, is more or less a cover of "Coming Down," a 1968 song by The United States of America; the melody and chords are almost identical, and many of the lyrics are taken from the song. The lyrics to "Coming Down":

I think it's over now, I think it's ending.
I think it's over now, I think it's ending.
There is sometimes a later secondary phase.
It's not unusual for it to last for days.
And everything is magnified when it is gone.

Reality is only temporary,
Reality is only temporary,
A process imitating things that went before
Without a satisfying answer anymore.
The present just repeats the future and the past.

I think it's over now, I think it's ending.
I think it's over now, I think it's ending.
There is no time for second answer to the past
If yesterday is gone don't try to make it last,
And summer winds have come and gone without a flood.

I think it's over now, I think it's ending.
I think it's over now, I think it's ending.
A thought of coloured clouds all high above my head,
A trip that doesn't need a ticket or a bed,
And everything is smelling sweeter then a rose.

The title is reminiscent of  "The Man Whose Head Expanded," in which MES shouts "Over! Over!" (Thanks for Zack for pointing this out.)

^

2. This line, which echoes "There is sometimes a later secondary phase.
It's not unusual for it to last for days" from "Coming Down," could be taken to mean a seven-cycle begins every day, if we were intent on having it make sense. It is probably just a playful lyric, however, that riffs on the original song.

In a 1995 interview with the NME, MES makes reference to a seven-year cycle in the Fall's sound: 

BUT MAYBE ONLY ONE WAY OF SAYING IT. 'COS ALL FALL RECORDS SOUND THE SAME DON'T THEY?

"NAH, I don't agree there 'cos I rip everything up after each LP, always have done. Mind you, I also believe in the seven-year cycle, you do come round to the same sort of thing eventually. But basically I work in a completely different way now to in the early days. Now I just arrange things, write the lyrics and do a bit of music, whereas I used to have to put the band through everything. I can trust the band more now. I give them more of a head." 

Reader Zack weighs in:

"Seven-year cycles turn up in Hinduism, Buddhism and (most relevant to MES) astrology. There's also a popular myth that the all of the cells in the human body replace themselves over the course of seven years."

And harleyr has discovered that, according to Aristotle, some ancient poets measured human life in 7-year stages:

Just come across another example of the seven year cycle, in Aristotle's Politics (Oxford World Classics p293): "The offspring of elderly men, like that of very young men, tends to be physically and mentally imperfect; and the children of old age are weakly. We may therefore fix the length of time for which procreation lasts by reference to the mental prime. This comes for most men - as some of the poets, who measure life in seven-year periods, have suggested - about the age of 50."

With such a proliferation of seven-year cycles, then, it is easy to see how one could begin every day--the cell regeneration alone would take care of that. Again, though, it may not be intended to make that much sense.

^

3. From the precise apex of a hill one could, at least in principle, with a single step embark upon any one of the possible routes of descent.  

Junkman: This from the Sunday Herald, 2006 (i.e. the rough time frame of making this record): "'Have you ever turned the telly on, and they have that thing for deaf people?' – He means teletext subtitles, rather than sign language – 'Where they have the lyrics for the groups and that? I mean, it’s incredible, the shit they write! "I walked up the hill, I saw you, and then I walked back down the hill" and they’re doing it all dead heavy like they’re Black f***ing Sabbath. Nonsense.'"

^

4. Zack points out that all this talk of "shiny heads" and "tanned skin" that "sail the shiny sea" may be in reference to MES's erstwhile bandmates, some of whom were/are bald, not to mention that "in Renegade, MES describes the lads as having gotten a lot of sun whilst in the States. They probably took a plane, but on or shortly after 8 May 2006 Pritchard, Birtwistle and Steve Trafford crossed the Atlantic, back to the UK and out of The Fall forever."

And here's a real scoop of the "man bites dog" variety: the breakup was not perfectly amicable. 

Andy remarks that this seems to echo "from sea to shining sea" from America the Beautiful, pointing out that the melody is taken from the band The United States of America (see note 1).

^

5. EC could stand for any number of things, none of which jump out at me as particularly meaningful in context (European Commission or Council, Emergency Contraception, the Electric Circus nightclub, the name of which is consonant with "head clown"...etc.). A "PLC" is a type of corporation (Public Limited Company) in the UK, and there are any number of PLCs with "Refurbishing" in their name...overall, though, I have no clue what's happening in this couplet.  

^

Comments (14)

Zack
  • 1. Zack | 25/08/2013
Lest we forget, MES shouted the title of this song 23 years earlier in "The Man Whose Head Expanded."
dannyno
  • 2. dannyno | 29/04/2014
"7 year cycle"

See this interview with MES:
http://www.visi.com/fall/gigography/95xxnme.html

"Mind you, I also believe in the seven-year cycle, you do come round to the same sort of thing eventually."
Zack
  • 3. Zack | 03/11/2014
Seven-year cycles turn up in Hinduism, Buddhism and (most relevant to MES) astrology. There's also a popular myth that the all of the cells in the human body replace themselves over the course of seven years.
harleyr
  • 4. harleyr | 10/02/2015
Just come across another example of the seven year cycle, in Aristotle's Politics (Oxford World Classics p293):

"The offspring of elderly men, like that of very young men, tends to be physically and mentally imperfect; and the children of old age are weakly. We may therefore fix the length of time for which procreation lasts by reference to the mental prime. This comes for most men - as some of the poets, who measure life in seven-year periods, have suggested - about the age of 50."
Zack
  • 5. Zack | 02/03/2017
Hey B, you've got this song listed on the Fall Heads Roll album page.

MES also borrows the "Coming Down" vocal cadence on "The Young, The Faceless and The Codes" by Von Sudenfed.
Zack
  • 6. Zack | 03/03/2017
"Shiny heads" - Surely a reference to drummer Spencer Birtwistle (bald) and guitarist Ben Pritchard (balding).

"Tanned skin" - In Renegade, MES describes the lads as having gotten a lot of sun whilst in the States.

"Sail the shiny sea" - Well, they probably took a plane, but on or shortly after 8 May 2006 Pritchard, Birtwistle and Steve Trafford crossed the Atlantic, back to the UK and out of The Fall forever.
bzfgt
  • 7. bzfgt (link) | 03/03/2017
Thanks, Zack, fixed, added.
Andy
  • 8. Andy | 02/02/2018
Maybe too obvious to note, but the fourth verse of “America, the beautiful” contains the lyric “From sea to shiny sea”, a line that is found with the original constitutions of some of the states.

The fact that the melody of the song is filched from The United States of America seems to sit well with this.

Also, I recall Mark E Smith talking about how weird he found Americans because every time he came back they would be in the grips of a new fad. He said something like *every three years the people believe something different.* (I think it was from a longish pre-show interview from the early 2000s (on youtube), sometime after the 24 Hour Party People movie. Just thought that this reference connects loosely with the idea of a daily seven year cycle.
bzfgt
  • 9. bzfgt (link) | 12/02/2018
Yes, worth mentioning, Andy! Added.
Junkman
  • 10. Junkman | 29/03/2018
In numerous interviews MES used to talk about turning on teletext subtitles to see how bad modern band's lyrics were. One of the examples of a typically shit line he would quote was "I walk up the hill" or variants of that. This from the Sunday Herald, 2006 (i.e. the rough time frame of making this record):

"Have you ever turned the telly on, and they have that thing for deaf people?” – He means teletext subtitles, rather than sign language – “Where they have the lyrics for the groups and that? I mean, it’s incredible, the shit they write! ‘I walked up the hill, I saw you, and then I walked back down the hill’ and they’re doing it all dead heavy like they’re Black f***ing Sabbath. Nonsense."

Another one from a few years later - Quietus, 2011.

"When I was getting really fed up making Reformation I’d put on Jools Holland or MTV with the sound off and just read the subtitles for deaf people. Some of the fucking lyrics; they’re fucking unbelievable."

So the line occurring here (and again in Systematic Abuse) has to either be a moment of vast hypocrisy or (more likely), a combined piss-take of modern groups and an MES self-pat on the back for being better than that.
bzfgt
  • 11. bzfgt (link) | 31/03/2018
Junkman, does the Quietus one mention a hill?
bzfgt
  • 12. bzfgt (link) | 31/03/2018
Junkman, "He means teletext" is the Herald and not you, right?
Junkman
  • 13. Junkman | 31/03/2018
That's the herald, correct. He doesn't mention the hill in the Quietus, he gives a different shit lyric example. But he has the same rant elsewhere, e.g. I just searched in Renegade on google books, and found near the top of Chapter 6 "Me and Elena use that thing on the telly with the subtitles to read some of the lyrics. Jesus Christ! 'I'm going up the hill-'" (the preview cuts off there unfortunately, if you have the book you can see the whole quote)
dannyno
  • 14. dannyno | 28/04/2018
Comment #13.

This is the full quote from Renegade:

What gets me is the lack of lyrical effort shown by bands nowadays. I’m not saying that everything should be literary and Dylan-like: thirty verses of fifteen-syllable words that even the band get bored of playing. Me and Elena use that thing on the telly with the subtitles to read some of the lyrics. Jesus Christ! ‘I’m going up the hill, you’re going to leave me, I’m going to leave you, why did you leave me?’ It’s pathetic: all meek and self-absorbed. I’m just not interested in hearing about some lad’s break-up with some college girl he thought was the love of his life and now he’s had a few too many and can’t remember who the fuck he is.

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