Second House Now

Lyrics

(1)

There's ghosts
I get a lift on highway
WM dot C
Where ya been?
Where ya going, man? (this is reply)
Nowhere to go, this is his reply:
Ghosts are rising
Coming down
It's al return--
He's coming back...ward

He said I'm going to a big city
My image, black and white
Said he's going to big city
My image, black and white
The tearing of muscle years

Sword of Mexico
Spirit-like
Horrible
Its sword is red

I'm going to big city
My mirage: black and white
Sword of Mexico
Any spirit-like
New facts emerge

The city lights used tonight in
The AM/PM
Come chew you up
I'm going big city
My image in black and white
Apparition-like
Come on! Come on!
Everybody come on with me!

Down on the street (2)
Wind rising red
Am/P
Within, rising red
Circle trails around

Come on! Come on!
Come on! Come on
Going to the big city
Come on! Come on! 
Everybody come on with me!
Tearing of muscle years
Black and white!
 

SaveSave

Notes

1. Thanks to Buy Kurious!, on whose transcription this is based.

From Pamela Vander's instragram post about Mark's death:

"He was happy and excited and we’d found a second home a couple of years back, moved in, set up shop. Total privacy. He loved it there, wrote a lot, walked in the garden, we watched films."

From Robert Brokenmouth in I-94 Bar:

". . . the extremely well-read MES often hints at the social origins of Nazism - or shall we say, fascist bullshit - in his lyrics. The title 'Second House Now' echoes the chant popularised by the Communist Party and their adherents in UK from late 1942, 'Second Front Now'. Russia was a selfish and ugly ally, which could not comprehend the idea of a discerning and decent life after the war. Similarly (and you don't even need to read the lyrics) Mark knows that the time of fascism in the UK is at hand - and by that, I don't mean either the National Front or the Tory Party. No, it's a social requirement by now, that free people are required to merge into the mass, accept what they're given and be told what to do by the state. This ties in with the lyrics to 'Couples vs Jobless mid-30s' as well, the way in which large chunks of the young population are both disregarded and used as fodder, forcing their ambitions to be selfish and unthreatening to those genuinely in power. This is not the first time MES has compared the social situation in the UK to that of the Communist Bloc. 

MES also knew - as do many others - that the UK was heading in this direction in the 1980s, a circumstance exacerbated by the Blairites. (If I was going to write a song about the place now I'd start with 'Land of Roundabouts and Warning Signs'). It might not be too long before we see scenes reminiscent of the Nuremberg rallies - oh, wait... that's on TV now ..."

^

2. "Down on the Street" is opening track on the Stooges' Funhouse which, as Zack points out, MES has cited at least once as his favorite album.

^

Comments (23)

bzfgt
  • 1. bzfgt (link) | 05/08/2017
I find "muscle years" doubtful; some of the rest of this is refreshingly easy to discern...some, I say.
bzfgt
  • 2. bzfgt (link) | 05/08/2017
I feel like if "muscle years" weren't implanted from the original transcription, I might hear something different...I can't quite touch it.
Zack
  • 3. Zack | 05/08/2017
"Down On The Street" is the opening song on The Stooges' Fun House which MES has called his favorite album of all time.
gizmoman
  • 4. gizmoman | 06/08/2017
Sword of Mexico
Spirit-like
Horrible
his sword is red (bloody i guess)

The 'muscle' line seems to me to be 'the tearing of muscle years', there is a fashion at the moment for bodybuilding / big muscles. To get big muscles you have to tear the muscle fibres which then heal and enlarge. Usually done by progressive weight training.
dannyno
  • 5. dannyno | 06/08/2017
Comment #4: Weird echo of MES's contribution to the "Sex, Drugs & HIV" compilation, finally released after many years in 2012:
http://www.sexdrugsandhiv.com/tracks.html.

The MES track is titled "Blow Up Muscles".

Discussion on the FOF:
http://z1.invisionfree.com/thefall/index.php?showtopic=32330
Wrayx8
  • 6. Wrayx8 | 22/08/2017
"My mirage: black and white"

I hear that as "My mirror's black and white," which perhaps fits more snugly with "my image" elsewhere.
Wrayx8
  • 7. Wrayx8 | 11/09/2017
"The tearing-of-muscle years?"
Philo G.
  • 8. Philo G. | 12/09/2017
"I couldn't left on highway" sounds like "I get a lift on highway," making a bit more sense that way.
bzfgt
  • 9. bzfgt (link) | 16/09/2017
Yes, I buy "tearing" more than "terror," good show.
bzfgt
  • 10. bzfgt (link) | 16/09/2017
Great, definitely "get a lift."
bzfgt
  • 11. bzfgt (link) | 16/09/2017
Tricky one--it sounds like "mirror's" but still more like "mirage." Maybe a live version can break the tie?
Brendan
  • 12. Brendan | 22/09/2017
I hear "mirage" clear as day. He delays uttering the soft G sound at the end of the word but I'm convinced it's mirage. It's also an approximate rhyme with image, or at least ends in the same letters. Seems like a classic MES switcheroo.
bzfgt
  • 13. bzfgt (link) | 28/09/2017
Good point, Brendan, that would fit his MO. I'm still more convinced by "mirage."
Brendan
  • 14. Brendan | 15/02/2018
I enjoyed reading this (rather extensive) review, and noticed some comments about Second House Now which seem relevant. And us poor sods get a mention:

". . . the extremely well-read MES often hints at the social origins of Nazism - or shall we say, fascist bullshit - in his lyrics. The title 'Second House Now' echoes the chant popularised by the Communist Party and their adherents in UK from late 1942, 'Second Front Now'. Russia was a selfish and ugly ally, which could not comprehend the idea of a discerning and decent life after the war. Similarly (and you don't even need to read the lyrics) Mark knows that the time of fascism in the UK is at hand - and by that, I don't mean either the National Front or the Tory Party. No, it's a social requirement by now, that free people are required to merge into the mass, accept what they're given and be told what to do by the state. This ties in with the lyrics to 'Couples vs Jobless mid-30s' as well, the way in which large chunks of the young population are both disregarded and used as fodder, forcing their ambitions to be selfish and unthreatening to those genuinely in power. This is not the first time MES has compared the social situation in the UK to that of the Communist Bloc.

MES also knew - as do many others - that the UK was heading in this direction in the 1980s, a circumstance exacerbated by the Blairites. (If I was going to write a song about the place now I'd start with 'Land of Roundabouts and Warning Signs'). It might not be too long before we see scenes reminiscent of the Nuremberg rallies - oh, wait... that's on TV now ...

By the by. Because the band's LPs don't include lyrics, and only two lyric books have been published (in small quantities, and those often incorrect) so I've been nicking the lyrics mostly from the poor sods at the Annotated Fall website - a lyrics site dedicated to The Fall. They don't think they've got everything right (and I can't blame them - later songs feature gargles and vocal noises which may or may not be words) but their site is one of the few places online you must peruse at least once. The bewilderment, the wonder, the stories behind the stories... it's a fascinating place to lose yourself in."

Full article here: http://www.i94bar.com/albums/the-fall-new-facts-box-set
bzfgt
  • 15. bzfgt (link) | 17/02/2018
Ah, that's Robert Brokenmouth who is one of us "poor sods" now, more or less (or anyway he's been seen in the comments lately).
bzfgt
  • 16. bzfgt (link) | 17/02/2018
Oo, good catch with that "Second Front Now."
bzfgt
  • 17. bzfgt (link) | 17/02/2018
Thanks, Brendan, I read that the other day but I must have been napping or not wearing my annotating hat, that's good stuff...
Basmikel
  • 18. Basmikel | 22/06/2018
This is far-fetched, but muscle years be Marseillaise? It would work with marching to Paris; going to a big city. Apparition sounds like a Parisienne too.

When I was little I mixed up the Marseillaise and the Tricolor, and if that's happened here, tearing of Marseillaise makes sense. The tricolor was a symbol of the revolution, liberty etc. in opposition to fascist black and white, so it would fit that theme too.

Also, New Facts Emerge is mentioned here; shaking down frogs (French), brexit?

I told you it was far-fetched.
bzfgt
  • 19. bzfgt (link) | 15/07/2018
At this point in MES's career, anything could be anything (phonetically, I mean)
quixto
  • 20. quixto | 24/08/2018
At 0:15 it sounds to me like “I couldn’t lift on the highway,” life here presumably meaning to shake or get rid of
At 0:20 it sounds like “Never hear of him, WC” (dub-c)
At 0:45 “It’s a return/He’s coming back……wards”
At 1:50 “His sword is red” presumably with blood
Starting at 2:10 I hear these lines as “Sword of Mexico, any spirt-like new facts emerge?” as if it is all a question, but that I’m certain about that reading, it definitely sounds more like any than and
At 2:29 “The steady light is used tonight/Do it then/The heir of BEM continued up” knowing MES penchant for old weird horror fiction could be BEM could be Bug Eyed Monster - BEM could be another description of the spirit, who is rising (continued up) and who may have spoken the line about the steady light in quotation, just like mose of the song’s lyrics
At 3:14 “In a rare and anonymous street/with rides in ring/in any old street prostrate/within rising ring/absurd ghost trails around”
bzfgt
  • 21. bzfgt (link) | 25/08/2018
Thanks for giving times, that is extremely helpful.

OK, back to the lyrics....

At 0:15 it sounds to me like “I couldn’t lift on the highway,” life here presumably meaning to shake or get rid of

Sounds more like "get a lift" to me

At 0:20 it sounds like “Never hear of him, WC” (dub-c)

Sounds reasonably clearly to me "double-ewe M dot Cee

At 0:45 “It’s a return/He’s coming back……wards”

I think so, although it could go either way, I'll change it though...maybe "Back...ward," I get no 's'...but "back...what" seems more like it. I'll try this on for a while though, it's closer than I had it

At 1:50 “His sword is red” presumably with blood

I think "its sword is red"

Starting at 2:10 I hear these lines as “Sword of Mexico, any spirt-like new facts emerge?” as if it is all a question, but that I’m certain about that reading, it definitely sounds more like any than and

I think so

At 2:29 “The steady light is used tonight/Do it then/The heir of BEM continued up” knowing MES penchant for old weird horror fiction could be BEM could be Bug Eyed Monster - BEM could be another description of the spirit, who is rising (continued up) and who may have spoken the line about the steady light in quotation, just like mose of the song’s lyrics

I don't hear "heir," it's more like "M, BEM" or maybe AM/PM that we have...will have to let this percolate.

Do they have AM/PM convenience stores in England? They have them here, that's what I always thought here but never thought to note it. But maybe M, BEM. Crap.

At 3:14 “In a rare and anonymous street/with rides in ring/in any old street prostrate/within rising ring/absurd ghost trails around”

I have:
Down on the street (this is wrong but I don't quite hear "rare and anonymous")
Wind rising red
Am/P
Within, rising red
Circle trails around (wrong but I can't get to "absurd ghost trails")

"Red" might be "ready"

We need more ears on it.
rik
  • 22. rik | 27/08/2018
In a rare and anonymous street...

in any old street...

I definitely hear these two now- good work Quix
bzfgt
  • 23. bzfgt (link) | 01/09/2018
That makes it more likely, I see I didn't accept those last week. Let's hear from a couple more people and then I'll listen to it really hard again.

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