Putta Block



What a dynamic entrance

I put a block on the words
I put a block on the words
I put a block on the words
I put a block on the words

This I hear on a train 
This I hear on a train
We had salmon on a bus
At Epsom no races lost (2)
We don't bet we just take
We don't bet we just take   (3)

I put a block on the words
I put a block on the words
I get no check from the world
Go and put a block on the works

Listen boys and girls
Just closer on the clommererds
Just close off the words
Put a block on the words

The nine unknown men knew this (3)
The nine unknown men knew this
Three sorts
The first: along Louie's life
The second: the complete restructure of your pretentious life (4)

Three: the only reason you know this
Is that it was well documented
But I say:
I put a block on the words
I put a block on the words
I put a block on the words
I put a block on the words
I put a block on the words
I put a block on the words

Here's an independent chart moneyspinner
For all you people who've come a long way 
Me and the guys played this for charity for spastics
We did it 10,000 times
And raised 5 shillings and 7 and a half pence for charity

Cary Grant's wedding
Hail new puritan, righteous maelstrom
Have you ever heard a Bill Haley LP

What is this shit?

Every... (5)




1. This song begins with what one initially thinks will be a snippet of a live version of "The N.W.R.A." which outlives its snippethood by going on for about a minute and a half, good for about 40% of "Putta Block." The message, "put a block on the words," seems to be statement of intent, as I hear it: MES aims to write in such a way as to thwart easy comprehension of his lyrics, the gamble being that the possibilities of interpretation will thereby be enriched. And, to get this out of the way now--I have not the slightest clue about "clommererds."


2. Epsom Downs is a horse racetrack in the southern English county of Surrey. According to Huckleberry, the previous line ("salmon") "refers to the traditional bus/coach excursions from London with refreshments, to watch the Derby at Epsom in June."


3. A play on "We dont bend, we just break" (thanks to gizmoman).


4. The Nine Unknown is a 1923 novel by Talbot Mundy concerning a secret society of nine men who are the guardians of occult knowledge, preventing it from falling into the wrong hands. Despite their best efforts, the knowledge did indeed fall into the wrong hands--those of MES, perhaps via The Morning of the Magicians, which conglomerates just about every occult tale, real or fictional, into an account of the secret history of mankind. MES is known to have read The Morning of the Magicians, and, in general, has admitted to having a taste for crackpot pseudo-history (although he doesn't seem to take it too seriously). 


5. MES, who seems never to have met a solecism he didn't like, revived this one 20 years later in "Sons of Temperance" ("the restructure of your new life").


6. Two more Fall songs leech through "Putta Block"'s porous skin:  "Rowche Rumble" and "Cary Grant's Wedding," which MES is starting to sing as the song cuts off (the line continues: "Every[body go Cary Grant's wedding])."

 And who among us has actually heard a Bill Haley LP? All I know is "Rock Around the Clock."


Comments (23)

  • 1. dannyno | 04/05/2014
It's an "independent chart money-spinner", not an "independent cart money-spinner". And the last line cuts off, so you just get "Every....[ ]"
  • 2. the27points | 15/06/2014
The version on the b-side of Totally Wired 7" runs on for a few seconds more than the version that has appeared elsewhere (Palace of Swords Reversed etc.). The first line of Cary Grant's wedding is heard in full.
  • 3. Mark | 28/06/2014
The first live song after the studio portion of "Putta Block" finishes is the intro to a rendition of "Rowche Rumble", not "New Puritan".
  • 4. Mark | 28/06/2014
"Three sorts / the first": I'd always heard those words as "Three swords reversed" and assumed that was what the title of the "Palace Of Swords Reversed" compilation was named after. But I now think you're more likely to be right.
  • 5. Mark | 17/07/2014
Erratum re: "Three more Fall songs leach through "Putta Block"'s porous skin: "New Puritan," "Rowche Rumble" and "Cary Grant's Wedding," which MES is starting to sing as the song cuts off." - there's no "New Puritan" segment. It's just the latter two songs.
  • 6. Matthew | 13/12/2014
It's not 'tech' last word fifth line, it's 'tek', as in 'take' in a Mancunian accent.
  • 7. gizmoman | 21/03/2018
The Lines "At Epsom no races lost, We don't bet we just take." Don't seem right to me, the second line is "we don't BEND we just take", a play on the expression "we don't bend, we just break". I've always heard "no racist laws" but can't make out the first part of the line.

"got no cheque from the world" ? It's definately "from" not "on" not sure about cheque it sound a bit like "choc" (choc - stock)?

"The first: along Louie's life" is also wrong, it sounds like "the first, one worries life" or " one were his lipe", Doesn't make much sense though!
  • 8. bzfgt (link) | 31/03/2018
I would think it might be "bet" and the whole thing is a play on the other whole saying, it would make the most sense wouldn't it? I'm listening now for phonetics, which will almost certainly be inconclusive...

Actually, the 't' in "bet" sounds quite clear to me
  • 9. dannyno | 28/04/2018
"this I hear on a tain"

I suspect that's pobably a typogaphical erro.
  • 10. dannyno | 07/05/2018
Definitely "bet". And I'm certain of "Louie's life" too.

I'm hearing "I putta block on the words" several times.

I'm also hearing "We did it 10,000 times" rather than "We played it 10,000 times".
  • 11. bzfgt (link) | 04/07/2018
Definitely "from" though
  • 12. Huckleberry | 17/03/2021
"We had salmon on a bus" - this refers to the traditional bus/coach excursions from London with refreshments, to watch the Derby at Epsom in June.
  • 13. bzfgt (link) | 20/03/2021
Can we confirm that there were buses with refreshments? I can't find any info on internet
David Woodhouse
  • 14. David Woodhouse | 06/06/2021
As a racing man, even if more national hunt than flat, I can confirm that "hospitality buses" certainly were features of big meetings like The Derby, and probably still are, although quite why MES would be on one is still difficult to ascertain.

My personal reading of the line "At Epsom no races lost" is that is not 'straight' autobiographical but in the persona of a rentier clommererd: 'At Epsom no race is lost'...
  • 15. dannyno | 13/06/2021
There were definitely luxury coach excursions to sporting events including the Epsom Derby, though there's no particular reason to think that's the "salmon" reference.
  • 16. bzfgt (link) | 19/06/2021
Well he says they had salmon on a bus which in context could have been on the way to Epsom so it doesn't seem like a huge stretch
  • 17. dannyno | 20/06/2021
Well, hang on, the lyric is:

This I hear on a train
This I hear on a train
We had salmon on a bus
At Epsom no races lost
We don't bet we just take
We don't bet we just take

Who is "we"? As I read it, the narrator is quoting someone he heard on a train, saying that they had salmon on a bus. The narrator is not necessarily saying that they had salmon on a bus.

Is the Epsom line also something heard on a train? Possibly, but maybe not. If it is, is it said by the same people who were saying they had salmon on a bus? Possibly, but maybe not.

I agree it's not a huge stretch, but all we can do with the actual lyric is interpret as it is not clear.
  • 18. bzfgt (link) | 02/07/2021
Sure, I'm not too exercised about who "they" are that had salmon, the point is the context there makes the Epsom bus thing possible. You think that note 2 as phrased gives too much credence to the theory?
  • 19. dannyno | 04/07/2021
For me, it does. But mileage may vary.
  • 20. Tim | 28/11/2021
I hear 'clommererds' as 'comma-as', or at least 'clomma-as': punctuation blocking the words ("Just close off the words" being what commas do)? I'm not a Fall wiz though, just do a lot of proof-reading.
  • 21. dannyno | 15/07/2022
Nine unknown men

Although Morning of the Magicians is mentioned in the notes, it isn't quoted.

Here's the relevant bit (p.37 of my edition, which is the 2009 Destiny Books edition):

It is said that the Emperor Asoka, aware of the horrors of war, wished to forbid men ever to put their intelligence to evil uses... Asoka founded the most powerful secret society on earth: that of the Nine Unknown Men.

It is still thought that the great men responsible for the destiny of modern India, and scientists like Bose and Ram believe in the existence of the Nine, and even receive advice and messages from them.

That and other probably or possible borrowings from Pauwels and Bergier documented on the Fall Online Forum here:
  • 22. Rob | 17/09/2022
Whether or not it is correct, I insist on hearing 'we had ten men on a bus'. Given that one would be MES, that leaves nine unknown men, who show up later in the know. I find this far more satisfying than slightly sweaty salmon.
Mark Oliver
  • 23. Mark Oliver | 30/09/2023
I genuinely used to have a Bill Haley (cheapo compilation) LP, a Christmas present; I no longer have it and can't remember the title, but I'm sure I would have given it a play.

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