Scareball

Lyrics

 

(1)

ba ba ba ba ba bamp
Baa, ba ba ba ba ba bamp

Hold that jinx
Back like a rabbit to the hutch

Julia: Scareball
Never heard a story quite so tall before
Scareball
This story started small

Hold that bag
The impression of languor 
You have bound my heart
With an impression of practices   (2)

You're a scareball
Sheets up on face
In dreams
It includes your nose
Blowing with a handkerchief
Read about chinese business practices
You have bound your heart
With a impression of languor

Scareball
Never heard a story quite so tall before
Scareball
This story started small

Cold cold cold bar 
Open special
Shrimp surround

I still haven't heard you
I still haven't heard you

East to us

Andrew his life is remote
Code owe you overload
In passion inference
You cannot express
At all
At all.   (3)

You're a scareball
Scareball, scareball
Bah bah bah

Round it up, round it up 

 

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Notes

1. Julia Nagle provides some vocals on this, and it's driven along by Karl Burns' high hat. The musical concision of a three-piece Fall (with Julia on guitar), and a remarkable measure of restaint from Hanley, makes this a pretty enjoyable three minutes.

From "Gladys Winthrop"'s analysis on Reformation:

Lyrically, MES is very cryptic on this one. His text is particularly fragmented, too. After some initial "Bah bah"s, which seem to hold no recognisable tune or have any other relevance to the song ("No different to any other Fall song!", I hear you cry), he encompasses rabbits, handkerchiefs, Chinese business practices and shrimps into his narrative. And no, I have no idea what he's going on about.

Julia Nagle brought this song in from her previous band, What? Noise, although songwriting credits also go to Smith, Burns, and Hanley.

Is "Scareball" a reference to our very own sun? Dan reports:

There's a line in Frazier, where Frazier's dad is talking about the effects of doing the nightshift. The day light is making him feel uncomfortable.

Frazier: Dad, are you all right?
Martin: Oh, I'm sorry, I - I haven't talked to anybody for a few days, it feels kind of strange. Even this is making me a little uncomfortable.
Frazier: Dad, you have got to stop with the graveyard shifts or you're going to start seeing apparations.
Martin: No, don't worry about me, I'm pretty tough. Listen, I'd love to stay here talking to you, but all this sunlight is making me dizzy.
Frazier: What, you don't like the sun?
Martin: Us night-shift guys call it the scare ball.

"Frazier"? Where does Dan come up with this stuff? Visit my new site "The Annotated Dan" (under construction, up soon) to find out...

^

2. Dan points out that this line seems to echo "Chanson D'Automne" ("Autumn Song") by Paul Verlaine:

"The long sobs of autumn's violins wound my heart with a monotonous languor." The poem is a famous one, and specifically notable in that lines from it were used as code to inform the French Resistance of the Invasion of Normandy during World War II, including the particular lines "wound my heart with a monotonous languor." These lines were a signal that the D-Day operations (Operation Overlord) were to begin within 48 hours and that sappers were to get to work undermining French railroad lines.

^

3. This sounds like it may be "Et al., et al." 

^

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Comments (13)

Martin
  • 1. Martin | 14/02/2014

Gladys Winthrop (see note above) is, whisper it, actually male, though the pseudonym may not make this clear!

bzfgt
  • 2. bzfgt | 15/02/2014

Actually, they do more than make it unclear: they suggest otherwise. Are you Winthrop, Martin (you can whisper again if you want)?

Martin
  • 3. Martin | 01/03/2014

I can categorically state that I am not Winthrop.

dannyno
  • 4. dannyno | 02/01/2015

langour should be languor

Martin
  • 5. Martin | 06/10/2015

Should "et al" really be "at all"?

I'm not sure.

bzfgt
  • 6. bzfgt | 23/11/2015

Good question, Martin; intuition prefers it...I am listening to it now and considering it...

bzfgt
  • 7. bzfgt | 23/11/2015

OK, it sounds (particularly the second one) more like "et al." but in context it seems more likely to be "at all." So I changed it and put a note saying it could go the other way, if anyone feels strongly that it's "et al." I could be talked into changing it back. I'm assuming the Lyrics Parade had "et al."

dannyno
  • 8. dannyno | 02/07/2016

There's a line in Frazier, where Frazier's dad is talking about the effects of doing the nightshift. The day light is making him feel uncomfortable.

Frazier: Dad, are you all right?

Martin: Oh, I'm sorry, I - I haven't talked to anybody for a few days, it feels kind of strange. Even this is making me a little uncomfortable.

Frazier: Dad, you have got to stop with the graveyard shifts or you're going to start seeing apparations.

Martin:No, don't worry about me, I'm pretty tough. Listen, I'd love to stay here talking to you, but all this sunlight is making me dizzy.

Frazier: What, you don't like the sun?

Martin: Us night-shift guys call it the scare ball.

https://www.facebook.com/MartinCranefrasier/videos/10150197936764145/
http://www.frasieronline.co.uk/episodeguide/season10/ep21.htm

dannyno
  • 9. dannyno | 02/07/2016

I mean, that episode was first aired years after The Fall song was written. But still, I like the connection.

dannyno
  • 10. dannyno | 16/07/2016

:-)

But you have an errant fragment here: "was a Fall fan...this happens, seriously, there are 50,000 of us."

dannyno
  • 11. dannyno | 16/07/2016

"You have bound your heart
With a impression of languor"

There's an echo here of Paul Verlaine's poem, ""Chanson d'automne", or "Autumn Song":

"The long sobs
of autumn's
violins
wound my heart
with a monotonous
languor."

The poem is a famous one, and specifically notable in that lines from it were used as code to inform the French Resistance of the Invasion of Normandy during World War II (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chanson_d%27automne), including the particular lines "wound my heart with a monotonous languor".

bzfgt
  • 12. bzfgt | 19/07/2016

Thanks, Dan; I don't remember what I said so I erased it, not sure what happened there. I remember I made a comment that there may be a common source like it's an old saying or something, either that or the Frazier writer (here it picks up with what I had). But I guess that is all evident to anyone who thinks about it so whatever.

bzfgt
  • 13. bzfgt | 19/07/2016

Dan, this is a general question and not just about this. I pasted some of your comment in and added to it in such a way that it's not clear which words are yours and which are mine. Should I be more scrupulous about this, i.e. do you mind? Obviously if I get something wrong you can tell me, and in any case your original quote is preserved below, but if this is uncool let me know and I'll adopt a different method (and it's not something I would be annoyed about or anything, just tell me).

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