Spectre vs. Rector

Lyrics

(1)

M.R. James be born be born (2)
Yog Sothoth rape me lord (3)
Sludge hai choi, choi choi son (4)

M.R. James be born be born
Yog Sothoth Ray Milland
Van Greenway R. Corman (5)
Sludge hai choi choi choi son

Part one: spectre versus rector
The rector lived in Hampshire (6)
The spectre was from Chorazina (7)
In evil dust in the air
The rector locked his doors

Part two: detective drives through Hampshire (8)
Stops because of the fog there
And thinks a visit to the rector
And meanwhile and meanwhile

Spectre possesses rector
Rector becomes spectre
Sludge hai choi choi choi son
Sludge hai choi choi choi son
Enter inspector
Even as he spoke a dust devil suddenly arose and struck him

Part four: detective versus rector (9)
Detective versus rector possessed by spectre
Spectre blows him against the wall
Says direct, "this is your fall" (10)
I've waited since Caesar for this
Damn Latin my hate is crisp
I'll rip your fat body to pieces"

M.R. James be born be born
Yog Sothoth Ray Milland
Van Greenway R. Corman

Scene five, scene five:
Comes a hero  (11)
Soul possessed a thousand times
Only he could rescue rector
Only he could save inspector
And this hero was a strange man
"Those flowers, take them away," he said,
"They're only funeral decorations  (12)
And oh this is a drudge nation
A nation of no imagination
A stupid man is their ideal
They shun me and think me unclean,
Unclean...                                       (13)

"I have saved a thousand souls
They cannot even save their own
I'm soaked in blood but always good
It's like I drunk myself sober, (14)
I get better as I get older."

M.R. James be born be born
Yog Sothoth rape me lord
Van Greenway R. Corman
Sludge hai choi choi choi son
Sludge hai choi choi choi son

Part six:
That was his kick from life
That's how he pads out his life
Selling his soul to the devil
And the spectre enters hero
But the possession is ineffectual
But the possession is ineffectual
And the possession is ineffectual

And M.R. James be born be born
Yog Sothoth rape me lord
Van Greenway R. Corman
Sludge hai choi choi choi son
Sludge hai choi choi choi son, I said
Sludge hai choi choi choi son

Last scene:
Hero and inspector walk from the scene
Is the spectre banished forever? (15)
The inspector is half insane
The hero goes back into the mountains
The hero goes back into the mountains
He was an exorcist but he was exhausted
An exorcist but he was exhausted 
The rector is dead on the floor

M.R. James be born be born

Yog Sothoth Ray Milland
Van Greenway R. Corman
Sludge hai choi choi choi son
Sludge hai choi choi choi son

[...] chosen son
Van Greenway R. Corman
Van Greenway R. Corman
Yog Sothoth Ray Milland
Yog Sothoth rape me lord

 

Notes

1. In the Church of England, a rector is a kind of parish priest. Later, however, the spectre addresses the rector as "Latin," suggesting he may be Catholic. In the Catholic Church, a rector refers to a priest in charge of any of various ecclesiastical institutions.

^

2. M.R. (Montague Rhodes) James (1862-1936) was an influential author of ghost stories. In "Canon Alberic's Scrap-Book," James tells the tale of a "verger" or "sacristan" who is followed by a demon until he manages to sell the book in which a representation of the demon appears (unlike a rector, a verger is not a priest but a layperson who assists in services. A sacristan is a sexton or church custodian; James' narrator says the word "verger" is in this case more accurate, although he prefers "sacristan.")

^

3. Yog Sothoth, in the Cthulhu Mythos of H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937), is an "Outer God" who appears as "a congeries of irridescent globes...malign in its suggestiveness" ("The Horror in the Musem"). He is said to be co-regent with his father Azathoth, head of the Outer Gods, and to be omnipresent, although at the same time he is sometimes said to be locked outside of the known universe. In "The Dunwich Horror," Yog Sothoth impregnates Lavinia Whately, who gives birth to monstrous twins (one of whom is able to "pass," although his abdomen is tentacled; the other is kept in secret). There are magicians who use names from Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos in their rituals, and belief in the reality of the named entities is not considered by all magicians to be a requirement (for instance, among Chaos Magicians).

Since my readers have bruited the suggestion, there are now some choruses where I can swear I hear "Ray Milland," and others where it seems more clearly to be "Rape me lord." In particular, the chorus in part 5 seems to me to very definitely contain the word "lord," ruling out Ray Milland. On the other hand, the last two times the line appears seem to clearly end in "-land," eliminating "rape me lord" as an option. Thus, I have concluded that the lyrics in fact incorporate both phrases. And there is very good reason to think that MES says "Ray Milland," as we will see.

Ray Milland (1907-1986) was a Welsh actor with an extemely long career, and many of us remember him from The Lost Weekend, in which Milland's harrowing portrayal of an alcoholic writer was probably largely responsible for the ascendence of the cliché "harrowing portrayal" in movie criticism. Milland became a major star in the afermath of The Lost Weekend, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Actor (also sweeping Cannes, The National Board of Review, and The New York Film Critics circle). After about a decade at the top of the mountain, Milland became a director, and took on more minor roles as well as major roles in minor (in terms of popularity) films. This brings us to the early 60s, when Milland took the lead role in two films by Roger Corman ("R. Corman," see note 5 below), Premature Burial and The Man With The X-Ray Eyes

Meanwhile, back in the 21st century, our very own mister fucking bawbag, driven nearly mad by the refusal of bzfgt, his arch-nemesis, to amend his transcription of the lyrics to "Spectre vs. Rector" to include the words "Ray Milland," spent every day and night between Septermber 13th, 2013 and January 13th, 2014--an almost unbelievable stretch of 122 days--watching Ray Milland movies, frame by frame, his eyes clamped open, Clockwork Orange-style, as his hunchbaked assistant Matt irrigated his eyes. The two of them spent four months in this manner, searching for the evidence that would connect Milland to the Fall and vindicate them once and for all.  As the clock struck midnight on the morning of the 14th, Matt squeezed out the last drop of visine and it seemed the game was up--in fact, it was just beginning. Groggy and half asleep, bawbag and Matt were jolted into awareness by the shocking scene that was unfolding on their computer monitor...

I had to tell you that to tell you this--actually, I had to tell you that to give mister fucking bawbag (who has, since his change in fortune, changed his name to "dj bawbag" and taken to wearing gaudy gold ropes around his neck and driving a Humvee around with Matt riding shotgun, shouting "Yeah, boyee!! Ray fucking Milland!!" at confused pedestrians) credit for the following discovery: in Premature Burial, Milland plays Guy Carrell, a man who cannot get over his morbid fear of being buried alive. In an early scene in the movie, he and his wife, Emily Gault (Hazel Court) are walking in a graveyard, and she picks some flowers with which she proposes to "brighten up that dreary old house" for Carell. She shoves the flowers in Carell's face, demanding "Aren't they lovely?", and but he swats them away from him, commanding her to "Take them away!!" He goes on to avow, "I loathe flowers! You must promise never to bring those sickly funeral decorations into the house!" Gault agrees, but she seems none to happy about it. 

This is clearly the origin of the line in scene five when the "hero" proclaims "Those flowers, take them away," he said,/ "They're only funeral decorations..." Thus it seems extremely likely that MES does indeed sing "Ray Milland" in at least some of the choruses, hence my inclusion of the lyric. At the same time, as I said above, I still hear "Rape me lord" some of the time, so that is why both appear in the transcription above.   

Also, all joking aside, it will be noticed in the comments below that Matt was the first to propose this lyric change here, and mister fucking ("dj") bawbag discovered the scene in Premature Burial, so both of them deserve our thanks for making the discovery. 

^

4. I have not found any antecedents for the phrase "sludge hai choi"; it may just be intended as mumbo-jumbo. At the end, however, the line "chosen son" is substituted, which may suggest that "choi choi son" is a sort of incantatory derivation from "choice" and "son," blurred to enhance its magical trance-inducing power by keeping the meanings of the words from pulling the mind of the magus back to ordinary awareness, whilst leaving the semantic content lurking beneath the surface. 

(Fade to Black)

(Unfade From Black, or whatever the proper cue is)

I wrote the above a couple years ago, and since then I have come to think that these things may be confusing, but they're rarely that vague. Andy Lynes gives us another perspective:

"It may or may not be relevant but it's at least interesting that 'hai chơi' means 'two players' in Vietnamese and there are two main players in the song."

And, finally, George Henderson gives us some red meat to chew on below!

"Here's a possible choi choi son link
First, in Madame Butterfly, the main character's real name is Ciocio-san, pronounced cho-cho san.
There is also the Chinese pirate Lai Chio San.


Now, how might MES have known these names? And why put it in the song? Well, the only link I can think of is Borges' Universal History of Infamy, which I'm sure MES read but which has a different female pirate in it, Ching Shih.

I don't have a copy so I don't know if it mentions Lia Chio San, but it's possible. It's also possible that this bit of atmospheric nonsense from MES echoes a half-heard aria from one of the world's most popular operas. Apart from that, how it might make sense I have no idea, but there it is.

^

5. Peter Van Greenaway (1929-1988) was an English author who wrote thrillers, some of which had elements of horror. (Incidentally, the Fall now have a guitar player named Peter Greenway). Roger Corman is a movie producer and director who is known for B-grade horror movies, often with elements of humor, such as Swamp Women and The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, as well as being the producer of Rock and Roll High School

The use of these names in an incantation (presumably voiced by the "hero") is characteristic of the song, which is both humorous and, to my ears at least, genuinely creepy. In magical rituals, names that are thought to possess power are chanted to the point where the practitioner loses consciousness of their semantic content, and in this manner sound supersedes sense (indeed, some purported words of power seem to lack any explicit denotation, such as "abracadabra"). Thus, MES's invocation, while intentionally absurd, is also somewhat plausible as a magical spell or ritual. 

The second Fall lyrics book is typically unhelpful with the chorus, rendering it with the completely unbelievable "M.R. James live on live on. You suffered grief ere long, Than grimly, ah! come on, live on. Than grimly, ah! come on. Sludge hatred T.T. son."

^

6. Hampshire County is in southern England.

^

7. Chorazin was a village in Galillee, cursed by Jesus in the Bible. From the 11th chapter of Matthew:

21 “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

22 But I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the Day of Judgment than for you.

23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell; for if the mighty works which have been done in thee had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

24 But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the Day of Judgment than for thee.”

The first cities named, including Chorazin, were Hebraic cities that Jesus visited, which did not repent, as opposed to the pagan cities names which were never exposed to the gospel. 

In one performance of the song, MES added "Chorazina is the negative of Jerusalem" (Reformation), and from the back cover of Dragnet:

"Chorazina N. - Village.Location unknown.Said to be negative Jerusalem. (from "U.Medecin" by R. Totale XVII)

In M.R. James' short story "Count Magnus," an Englishman with an interest in history is visiting an estate in Sweden built by a Count Magnus in the early 17th century. The Count, a figure of evil repute, was rumored to have gone on something called the "Black Pilgrimage." The protagonist, a Mr. Wraxhall, finds a Latin snippet about the Black Pilgimage in the Count's papers, which reads in English:

"If any man desires to obtain a long life, if he would obtain a faithful messenger and see the blood of his enemies, it is necessary that he should first go into the city of Chorazin, and there salute the prince..."

James' text continues:

"Here there was an erasure of one word, not very thoroughly done, so that Mr. Wraxhall felt pretty sure that he was right in reading it as aëris ('of the air')."

A deacon later tells him that he has heard from a priest that the Antichrist is to be born in Chorazin. Apparently this is actually suggested by several Medieval writers; according to the 13th century Book of the Bee, a compendium of various quasi-biblical legends, "[The Antichrist] shall be conceived in Chorazin, born in Bethsaida, and reared in Capernaum."

Chapter Two of Paul's letter to the Ephesians begins:

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.

The "prince of the power of the air" is usually considered to be Satan.

An essay examining the sources of James' "Black Pilgrimage," written by Rosemary Pardoe and Jane Nichols, recounts a Black Pilgrimage undertaken by Jack Parsons, acolyte of Aleister Crowley and friend and magickal colleague of L. Ron Hubbard:

But whether or not MRJ needed to invent the Black Pilgrimage to Chorazin, it is intriguing to discover that, in the 1940s, a Californian named Jack Parsons actually went on just such a journey, and with disturbing consequences. Early in 1946, Parsons (1914-1952), scientist and sometime leading light of the Californian Lodge of Aleister Crowley's Ordo Templi Orientis, invoked the Thelemic goddess Babalon in the Mojave Desert, utilising the "Enochian Tablet of Air". He had devised the magickal operation in order to "obtain the assistance of an elemental mate" (reminiscent of Count Magnus's "faithful messenger"), an object he claimed to have achieved by following Babalon's instructions, which he later wrote down as The Book of Babalon or the Liber 49. One of the goddess's demands was that: "Thou shalt make the Black Pilgrimage". Babalon did not specify in so many words where the Pilgrimage should be to, but Parsons' Foreword to the Book says:

"I have taken the Oath of the Abyss, and entered my rightful city of Chorazin, and seen therein the past lives whereby I came to this, the grossest of all my Workings. Now it would seem that the further matters of the prophecy are at work; events press on tumultuously, and 'Time is' is writ large across the sky."(15)

Any lingering doubts concerning the destination of Parsons' Pilgrimage are removed by his The Book of Antichrist (1949), where he explains how, during a later invocation in 1948-9:

"...I reconstructed the temple, and began the Black Pilgrimage, as She [Babalon] instructed.
"And I went into the sunset with Her sign, and into the night past accursed and desolate places and cyclopean ruins, and so came at last to the City of Chorazin. And there a great tower of Black Basalt was raised, that was part of a castle whose further battlements reeled over the gulf of stars. And upon the tower was this sign [an inverted triangle in a circle]."(16)

Just like Count Magnus, Parsons "was taken within and saluted the Prince of that place", after which:

"...things were done to me of which I may not write, and they told me, 'It is not certain that you will survive, but if you survive you will attain your true will, and manifest the Antichrist.'
"And thereafter I returned and swore the Oath of the Abyss, having only the choice between madness, suicide and that oath."(17)

Of course, Jack Parsons' pilgrimage was magico-spiritual rather than geographical, but so might Count Magnus's have been. At no point in the story does MRJ specify that his journey was a physical one. It would be interesting, too, to know how Count Magnus died. Parsons was killed when he accidentally dropped some unstable fulminate of mercury, thus fulfilling Babalon's prophecy that he would "become living flame".

^

8. Here we are introduced to a third character, a "detective" or "inspector" who has presumably become aware of a commotion at the scene of the possession.

^

9. Part Three is presumably "Spectre possesses rector/ Rector becomes spectre."

^

10. The context suggests the spectre is addressing the detective; however, if this is the case, it is not clear why he should call him "Latin." Thus, it is most likely that he is addressing the rector (see note 1). 

^

11. Now we have a fourth character, a "hero" who allows himself to be possessed by evil spirits in order to battle them. We soon discover that he has grown weary, cynical, and bitter in his profession, and is perhaps a bit of a megalomaniac.

^

12.The origin of this line is Premature Burial, in which Ray Milland's character responds to the offer of flowers by his wife with ""Take them away!...You must promise never to bring those sickly funeral decorations into the house!" (see note 3 above)

^

13. In Bram Stoker's Dracula, upon discovering that she has been bitten, Mina Murray exclaims:

"Unclean! Unclean! Even the Almighty shuns my polluted flesh! I 
must bear this mark of shame upon my forehead until the Judgement 
Day."

A note in the "Literary Touchstone" edition of Dracula connects this speech to Leviticus 13: 45, which in the King James version reads: "And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean!"

 

^

14. The idea that one can "drink oneself sober" is a persistent myth among drinkers and hence a fairly common phrase. Antoine points out that it occurs in one of MES's favorite books, Under the Volcano:

"Yes, leaning over just like this, drunk but collected, coherent, a little mad, a little impatient - it was one of those occasions when the Consul had drunk himself sober..."

^

15. We will not learn the answer, but in any case the spectre is gone for now, and the rector seems to be dead...

^

Comments (45)

Matt
  • 1. Matt | 25/07/2013

Great website! Just one comment on Spectre v Rector. When this first came out I used to spend hours trying to work out what that chorus was. In the last few years various committed souls like yourself have pieced this together. There is one point however. I believe that after 'Sludge Hai Choi' in the chant section, the words might be 'church's son' (not 'choi choi son') - though I could be wrong! Keep up the good work! Matt

mister fucking bawbag
  • 2. mister fucking bawbag | 13/09/2013

" be born"
hmm......(V)IVANT scrawled on back cover ?

But the one that bugs me is :

" rape me lord "

Seriously ?!!

Did anyone think that was the lyric before they read it on the internet ?

The sibilance of the "P" in rape should be obvious, but I just don't hear it.

My best guess is "Ray Milland" who starred in a Film by "AR CORMAN"

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056368/

dannyno
  • 3. dannyno | 26/09/2013

That's an interesting observation. I can hear "Rape Me Lord", and it fits with the Cthulu stuff I guess. But on the other hand that part of the song is listing names, and Ray Milland would also fit - having starred in supernatural thrillers. I could hear "Ray Milland" there too, having listened to the song again and again just now.

dannyno
  • 4. dannyno | 26/09/2013

It increasingly sounds like "Ray Milland" to me.

Dan

dannyno
  • 5. dannyno | 27/09/2013

Bafflingly, however, this is what the second (blue, entilted "vii") lyrics book says the lyric is:

"M.R. James live on live on. You suffered grief ere long,
Than grimly, ah! come on, live on. Than grimly, ah! come on.
Sludge hatred T.T. son."

I read that and I wonder if I have plunged overnight into a parallel universe.

Dan

bzfgt
  • 6. bzfgt | 07/10/2013

Well, worth noting, as you'll see above. Is "Than" the book's error or yours? (That sort of thing seems more typical of the book than of you...)

bzfgt
  • 7. bzfgt | 07/10/2013

Danny, listen to the chorus after "I get better as I get older" where "Rape me Lord" sounds particularly clear. I can almost hear "Ray Milland" on some of the others, but never where I'd feel confident about it, and on the chorus I identified above, "Rape me Lord" seems quite certain and distinct.

bzfgt
  • 8. bzfgt | 07/10/2013

Sorry, mister fucking bawbag, I missed your comment for a minute there; I see there is more consensus behind the "Ray Milland" suggestion than I had thought. I am honestly entertaining the idea, but listen to the chorus I indicated to danny in my last comment and if you don't hear it there, we'll continue the conversation.

dannyno
  • 9. dannyno | 08/10/2013

"Than".

That's what the book says.

I know, I know. I should just burn it.

dannyno
  • 10. dannyno | 08/10/2013

"Danny, listen to the chorus after "I get better as I get older" where "Rape me Lord" sounds particularly clear."

nggggg. I see what you mean. But it's not clear enough. I can get "Ray Milland" out of that. He kind of sounds like he's singing with cotton wool in his mouth in parts of the song, the syllables get muffled.

Martin
  • 11. Martin | 09/10/2013

I'll have to listen to all the live versions I have again to see if any of those can help us out here!

Martin
  • 12. Martin | 09/10/2013

So, for example: both the 29 February 1980 and the 3 May 1982 performances of the song seem to me to be clearly saying "rape me lord" and not "Ray Milland". The anunciation in the former is more obvious to me than the latter, but on this I have no doubts.cost

dj bawbag
  • 13. dj bawbag | 09/01/2014

The R. Corman / Ray Milland film "Premature Burial" is available on youtube at the moment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7ps8uu_q-w

Fast forward to 0045.

The discussion of flowers and funeral decoration would suggest that this film had some influence on Smith's lyrics !

Haven't had a chance to listen to the live versions yet.

djbawbag
  • 14. djbawbag | 09/01/2014

Should be 21 minutes, 45 seconds.

dannyno
  • 15. dannyno | 12/01/2014

Wow!

Mark
  • 16. Mark | 29/04/2014

On some live outings of this tune, the line "He was an exorcist but he was exhausted" refer to the hero.

Mark
  • 17. Mark | 22/06/2014

I hear "The rector is dead on the floor" after "An exorcist but he was exhausted".

bzfgt
  • 18. bzfgt | 24/06/2014

By golly, you're right! I never realized the rector didn't make it...

Well, I guess that settles this:

http://z1.invisionfree.com/thefall/index.php?showtopic=3228

dannyno
  • 19. dannyno | 25/06/2014

Holy heck, that's a great call, changes everything.

These notes are revelatory.

dannyno
  • 20. dannyno | 03/11/2014

For the record, I see from the BBC's "Genome" project which I've just been playing with (i.e. scans of the "Radio Times" listings magazine) that "Premature Burial" (the Milland film quoted from) aired as follows:

BBC1, 18 May 1979, 23:30

It had previously been shown on BBC2 in 1975 and in 1977.

But given the above BBC1 showing's proximity to the first performance of the song, it seems quite likely that's when MES jotted down the quotes.

Mind you, I haven't checked the ITV listings.

Dan

Andy Lynes
  • 21. Andy Lynes | 30/07/2015

It may or may not be relevant but it's at least interesting that 'hai chơi' means 'two players' in Vietnamese and there are two main players in the song.

Antoine
  • 22. Antoine | 22/09/2015

The line "he had drunk himself sober" appears in (the fantastic) Under the Volcano by Malcom Lowry, a book that Smith has ranked very highly on a number of occasions (found a quick reference here: http://www.pipeline.com/~biv/FallNet/articles/wire_interview.html - can't remember the other sources but I've seen a few more) : "Yes, leaning over just like this, drunk but collected, coherent, a little mad, a little impatient - it was one of those occasions when the Consul had drunk himself sober..."

bzfgt
  • 23. bzfgt | 15/11/2015

Yeah, that's a reaonably common saying (and myth about drinking)...

dannyno
  • 24. dannyno | 07/08/2016

"Chorazina"

Worth noting that the back cover of Dragnet includes the following:


Chorazina N. - Village.Location unknown.Said to be negative Jerusalem. (from "U.Medecin" by R. Totale XVII)


Image

Dan

bzfgt
  • 25. bzfgt | 03/09/2016

I want to say Blake uses Chorazin as a symbol but I cannot find it via Google. He may have an idiosyncratic spelling going, or I may be wrong; maybe it's just the kind of thing he does (like "Rahab").

Sumsiadad
  • 26. Sumsiadad | 21/12/2016

As referenced in "Wehe Khorazin", the opening track on Popol Vuh's 1981 album, "Sei Still wisse ICH BIN".

bzfgt
  • 27. bzfgt | 11/02/2017

I am no longer as convinced there is any "rape me lord." This requires careful thought and listening. I do seem to hear it, but often when there are two variants in a song it bespeaks our ignorance as much as anything, I think.

I think it's just such a creepy line I was a bit smitten with it. I must not let that influence anything; see "Western Medicine."

bzfgt
  • 28. bzfgt | 11/02/2017

Ah, but the first one i the sped up part seems to clearly end in 'd'. It's making a comeback.

George Henderson
  • 29. George Henderson (link) | 28/02/2017

What an essential website, I'm glad I stumbled here.
Here's a possible choi choi son link
First, in Madame Butterfly, the main character's real name is Ciocio-san, pronounced cho-cho san.
There is also the Chinese pirate Lai Chio San
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lai_Choi_San

Now, how might MES have known these names? And why put it in the song? Well, the only link I can think of is Borges' Universal History of Infamy, which I'm sure MES read but which has a different female pirate in it,Ching Shih
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ching_Shih

I don't have a copy so I don't know if it mentions Lia Chio San, but it's possible. It's also possible that this bit of atmospheric nonsense from MES echoes a half-heard aria from one of the world's most popular operas. Apart from that, how it might make sense I have no idea, but there it is.

bzfgt
  • 30. bzfgt (link) | 03/03/2017

Thanks, George!!!

bzfgt
  • 31. bzfgt (link) | 03/03/2017

Yes I know the Borges book but can't recall the names either. I have it here somewhere, I'll go through it some time. In the mean time these comments are very promising.

The Jukebox Rebel
  • 32. The Jukebox Rebel (link) | 06/03/2017

Has MES listened to more music than he lets on? In terms of atmosphere, delivery and style, I hear similarities with "The Black Plague" by Eric Burdon and The Animals, from their album "Winds of Change" (MGM Records SE-4484, 1967).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OngEe7arMg

The association struck me with the "unclean" at 2:12, 2:58

dannyno
  • 33. dannyno | 06/03/2017

One of many creepy story songs, isn't it? I'm not hearing any similarities at all other than that, but I don't really have much of a musical ear, so maybe I'm wrong.

The Jukebox Rebel
  • 34. The Jukebox Rebel (link) | 07/03/2017

Or, to put it another way; the odds of two relentless, horror-trance tunes with no chord variation unusually exclaiming "unclean" by sheer co-incidence would be pretty long I reckon.

dannyno
  • 35. dannyno | 07/03/2017

I wasn't really hearing the Animals as "relentless horror trance", to be honest. But it's plausible MES knew the song, of course.

dannyno
  • 36. dannyno | 07/03/2017

"I've waited since Caesar for this
Damn Latin my hate is crisp"

Re: note 10

Possibly, "Latin" refers to the language, given the mention of Caesar, do we not think?

dannyno
  • 37. dannyno | 07/03/2017

"I've waited since Caesar for this
Damn Latin my hate is crisp"

Re: note 10

Possibly, "Latin" refers to the language, given the mention of Caesar, do we not think?

Martin
  • 38. Martin | 13/03/2017

Mark Fisher's essay "'Memorex for the Krakens: The Fall's Pulp Modernism" (Mark E Smith and The Fall: Art, Music and Politics (Ashgate, 2010) has a fairly lengthy section about this song. I think it's reproduced in its entirety here:

http://k-punk.org/memorex-for-the-krakens-the-falls-pulp-modernism/

dannyno
  • 39. dannyno | 13/03/2017

Unfortunately he gets the lyrics wrong. "Ar Corman"? And he doesn't notice that the rector dies. But it's a good essay in general.

bzfgt
  • 40. bzfgt (link) | 19/03/2017

Sometimes he says stuff that makes me think he knows a fuck-ton about music, and stuff you'd never usually hear about from him. So I think it's possible.

Martin thanks for reminding me of that essay, it's brilliant and should be linked to here. Dan despises it because of "Slates, Slags" and the name of the Lord.

bzfgt
  • 41. bzfgt (link) | 19/03/2017

Why is "Ar Corman" wrong? It's R. Corman phonetically and gussied up as a kind of incantatory language, i.e. a totally plausible spelling.

bzfgt
  • 42. bzfgt (link) | 19/03/2017

JR I don't know if I can explain this right. It's completely possible this was influenced by the Animals song, but not clearly and directly enough to draw the connection. "Unclean" in the context of a Puritanical religious figure could easily be coincidence.

bzfgt
  • 43. bzfgt (link) | 19/03/2017

That doesn't work for me Dan, I don't know why he'd be damning the language.

bzfgt
  • 44. bzfgt (link) | 19/03/2017

RIP Mark Fisher by the way, poor guy.

bzfgt
  • 45. bzfgt (link) | 01/04/2017

One of Dan's comments ("A Figure Walks") reminds me maybe there should be a brief mention of Blake's concept of "Spectre" here, although the word doesn't seem to be meant in a Blakean sense in the lyrics. For a rainy day...

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