Serum

Lyrics

(1)

Help yourself dear brother as long as you've got serum


101 
101.1 (2)

And kids, I just need to get home to them
There's no mam there or there wasn't last time I looked
And many have found pleasures in curvaceous women
We're excluded for our own good

When will the serum come again?

101
101.1

Many have found pleasures in curvaceous women
Their undulating curves upper and lower
But what I really need is a glass of cold water (3)
The serum gives results

When will the serum come again?

101
101.1

First three hairs descended in this morning
From the fringe of the fop (4)
And the scalp of your mind
Serum unavailable
And where the sun meets the dawn (5)

And the serum never came

101
101.1

Glass of velvet pilsner and a glass of water. The first three hairs descended out into your lock stock and barrel mentality. Fragile rejected backward mind said 'What - could - get?' I give him - understandably aged - been in heat - neutered res...

Notes

1. Serum is a word for the liquid part of the blood, i.e. the medium in which blood cells are contained, and is often used to more particularly denote serum used as a medicine or, as the OED has it, "a therepautic or diagnostic agent." It is possible that the word is used metaphorically here, or perhaps to denote some drug or some drug-like or therapeutic substance or phenomenon.

^

2. The repeated numbers "101" and "101.1" are not explained in the context of the song; do they allude to some chemical property of the serum? 101.1 could also be the level of a mild fever. Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) is a measure of average red blood cell volume, and the average result is in the range 80-100, so the number could refer to a (slightly high) MCV reading. This is a stretch, I'm sure, and the bottom line is that I am unsure what the numbers refer to.

First time caller antoiuneprocuta has a suggestion:

"On a practical note, it's struck me that the ''101'' might refer to ''the basics,'' like the old chestnut along the lines of ''oh, that? It's plumbing 101, mate!'' . And extrapolating, I suppose the ''101.1'' could be the most basic of basics, the very first step, say. He does seem to be talking about basic vices in the first two sections, but the rest of the number gets rather cryptic indeed - as is to be expected! Just a thought, all the best!"

^

3. Mighty Zack:

"If you're feeling too sexy, have a glass of water and a run round the backyard." - Words of advice from Jack Smith, as quoted by his son in Renegade and multiple interviews. I believe this is relevant to the glass of water in 'Serum,' especially since it follows the line about curvaceous women."

 

^

4. A "Fringe Fop" is actually a name for a haricut, in which close-cropped sides blend into a longer top. "Fop," which seems to have originally meant a fool, is an epithet for a vain and dandyish person.

^

5. Dan points out that this echoes the 13th Floor Elevators' "You're Gonna Miss Me":

You're gonna wake up one morning as the sun greets the dawn
You're gonna wake up one morning as the sun greets the dawn
You're gonna look around in your mind, girl, you're gonna find that I'm gone 

 

^

 

 

Comments (6)

Antoine
  • 1. Antoine | 03/04/2015

Hello there!

Long-time listener, first time caller sorta thing - the website is brilliant, I've made a habit of listening to my LPs accompanied by their respective annotations. I've checked in more times than I can remember - Thanks!

On a practical note, it's struck me that the ''101'' might refer to ''the basics,'' like the old chestnut along the lines of ''oh, that? It's plumbing 101, mate!'' . And extrapolating, I suppose the ''101.1'' could be the most basic of basics, the very first step, say.

He does seem to be talking about basic vices in the first two sections, but the rest of the number gets rather cryptic indeed - as is to be expected!

Just a thought, all the best!

Zack
  • 2. Zack | 09/06/2015

"If you're feeling too sexy, have a glass of water and a run round the backyard." - Words of advice from Jack Smith, as quoted by his son in Renegade and multiple interviews. I believe this is relevant to the glass of water in "Serum", especially since it follows the line about curvaceous women.

Zack
  • 3. Zack | 19/02/2017

"your lock stock and barrel mentality" - Possibly a reference to Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, a popular British film released in 1998.

I have absolutely nothing to back this up, but I believe Lock Stock was something of a cultural moment in Britain that briefly made it fashionable to look/act/talk like an East End toughguy.

bzfgt
  • 4. bzfgt | 25/02/2017

Interesting, it is also a reasonably common saying of course.

Zack
  • 5. Zack | 25/02/2017

^ Of course, but the film was part of the zeitgeist when this album was being written and recorded.

dannyno
  • 6. dannyno | 21/04/2017

"And where the sun meets the dawn"

Reminiscent of the 13th Floor Elevator's song, written by Roky Erickson:

You're gonna wake up one morning as the sun greets the dawn
You're gonna wake up one morning as the sun greets the dawn
You're gonna look around in your mind, girl, you're gonna find that I'm gone
etc

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