Taking Off



Take off!

6pm, Bonjela complexion (2)
Taking off!  
Stress at four is forbid
Silence 6pm
Bonjela completion 

True servant
True servant to stress
Take it off!

Too stressed
To Soon on,
To chef

Ersatz! Ersatz!

Invest, G.B.!
8 PM, tidy Italian!
Echoed cameras
By skips 

Take off 

Grating three-fold
Within a thorough
Lack of paper 

Take off 

You never told me, Simon (3)
About the forty carat scum
At Newquay train station (4)
Take off at weekends! 

Digest, ingest
Taking, success
Sauce, to chef
Digress, ingest  
Take off!      (5)

In success, respect
Digress, before
Eon, take off
Stop, take off!



1. The lyrics to this song really seem to be about the sound of the words as much as anything else, which is, I think, rare in a Fall song; not all the songs make a lot of sense, of course, but they seem to be more often composed of semantic units, and the effect of a Fall lyric is usually achieved by the juxtaposition of meanings more so than of sounds alone. Musically, this one slides in smoothly and gains in intensity as it goes. The Story of the Fall speculates that this could be about "taking off layers/masks etc." "Taking off" is a generic enough phrase, but the lyrics are, as usual, anything but.


2. Bonjela is a medication for treating discomfort from oral ulcers and denture sores (so MES, who has false teeth, may well be a consumer of Bonjela). As far as I can tell, there is nothing about Bonjela that would help us understand what a Bonjela "complexion" would look like. 


3. Possibly Simon Archer, the former Fall bass player who co-produced Ersatz GB with Mark E. Smith. 


4. Newquay station is the end of the Atlantic line; Newquay is a seaside town in Cornwall, in southern England. "Simon" is thought to be Simon Taylor, whom Hanley Played a Fender P on the Fall online forum describes as MES's "one man road crew and personal security"; more than that I do not know about the man.

According to Dan there is an annual scooter rally in Newquay called "run from the scum." 


5. Brendan serves up some hot noteworthiness:

In the song "Neon Meate Dream Of A Octafish" from Captain Beefheart's album Trout Mask Replica, I noticed some similar sounding lyrics to the above:

"Injest, incest
Injest, injust
In feast, incest
In specks, in speckled,
Speck-led, speculation"



Comments (27)

  • 1. dannyno | 07/07/2015
There seems to be an annual scooter rally in Newquay called "Run from the Scum".
  • 2. dannyno | 24/07/2015
Note 4:

"According to Dan there is an annual scooter rally in Newquay called "run for the scum." "

Run FROM the scum, my friend...

  • 3. bzfgt | 24/07/2015
Hmmpf, not very sensitive to the scum...
  • 4. dannyno | 24/07/2015
I doubt they care, scum that they are.
  • 5. bzfgt | 08/08/2015
See, there you go.

By the way, do you hate the way the site looks now? I do.
  • 6. Macker | 30/10/2015
Hyptnotic medieval sounding, whistling melody at conclusion.
  • 7. bzfgt | 23/11/2015
Yeah! I love that part. It comes in under the rest of it before the end and it's almost subliminal until everything else drops out...
  • 8. Brendan | 11/05/2017
"Digest, ingest
Taking, success
Sauce, to chef
Digress, ingest"

In the song "Neon Meate Dream Of A Octafish" from Captain Beefheart's album Trout Mask Replica, I noticed some similar sounding lyrics to the above:

"Injest, incest
Injest, injust
In feast, incest
In specks, in speckled,
Speck-led, speculation"
  • 9. bzfgt (link) | 13/05/2017
Yes, I'm kicking myself for not noticing that myself!
  • 10. Martin | 13/12/2017
Can I point out (with thanks to Dannyno's Flickering Lexicon website) that the only other time "eyeball" appears in a Fall song is in "Strangetown", a cover of the Groundhogs' Strange Town and Garden (the latter song being uncredited). The line in question comes at the end of the song: "The pink eyeball is spewed out.". I'm pretty sure this line wasn't in either of the originals.

What we need of course is an Annotated addendum, with cover version lyrical variations.
  • 11. dannyno | 13/12/2017
Martin, comment #10. I'm a bit confused. The Flickering Lexicon actually only lists Shake-Off as the other "eyeball" lyric, because it currently renders the relevant line in Strangetown as "The pink iPod is spewed out". I will listen to that again!
  • 12. dannyno | 13/12/2017
Just listened to the Groundhogs' Strange Town and Garden. No eyeball vomit.
  • 13. Martin | 14/12/2017
I see now that Shake-Off has "eyeball" but that Taking Off has "eyeball",

It could well be the ipod being spewed out, though I have no idea what that might mean, either!
  • 14. dannyno | 14/12/2017
Well, "Taking off" has "eyeballs" plural?
  • 15. bzfgt (link) | 23/12/2017
Martin, yes, someday I will bite the bullet, because the line between "cover" and "original" is often pretty arbitrary. It's just a lot of work as it is!

I have always also thought Strangetown was "pink ipod."
  • 16. Joincey | 21/02/2019
INCA eyeball were lamps that B&Q used to sell in the nineties.

Also "stress at 4 is for bed" ? Stressed and in bed at 4pm. Could be 4am too.
Caped Hector
  • 17. Caped Hector | 29/03/2019
Take It Off is a track by the late great Dick Dale.
  • 18. bzfgt (link) | 13/04/2019
Hector, it's a little too generic for that to ring any bells for me--I would be surprised if there weren't another 'Taking Off," in fact.
  • 19. bzfgt (link) | 13/04/2019
I always hear "sous servant, sous chef" or something. I was thinking that's got to be wrong, but then we do have a "chef" in there shortly after...urgh
  • 20. bzfgt (link) | 13/04/2019
I was very open to "Inca eyeballs." I listened, though, and I'm 100% convinced there are no "eyeballs" to the extent I changed it to "cameras"--although that may also be wrong, it's closer.
  • 21. Bazhdaddy | 13/06/2019
1:21 "True servant, true servant to stress" - those soft or swallowed r's are a feature of Smith's later years
1:37 "too soon on" not "to Simon"
1:46 "invest GB", not toupee, please not that....
Enter, tidying, tied in! I hear as "8pm, tired, Italian" the latter presumably a restaurant, continuing time/food theme
and then "Ego [pronounced eggo] climbers"?

I saw someone on the FOF say the tinkly end bit is Dead Can Dance c1990 - I know their stuff pretty well but I can't place it, although their album that year was "Aion" and in Taking Off we get "before Eon" just before the end- can't see our man relaxing to a bit of DCD but who knows, perhaps he yelled "take it off" to someone who was... gaaaah, who knows.
Any way I'm gonna do like the man says and take-off! Thanks for all the amusement/therapy/consternation this site has provided, keep it up and stay sane!
  • 22. bzfgt (link) | 03/07/2019
"Soon on" or Simon pronounced "Seem on"
  • 23. bzfgt (link) | 03/07/2019
Yes, "True Servant"!
  • 24. bzfgt (link) | 03/07/2019
I don't hear "toupee" exactly but I'm not sure about the 'G' in GB...I'll put it for now, we may change it but I don't think it's going back to "toupee"....others may weigh in...

Someone needs to identify that bit if it's a sample/quote or whatever. Fuck. I can see him using it even if he wasn't a fan, or maybe Eleni is or something...
Shameless Wanker
  • 25. Shameless Wanker | 25/07/2019
My attempt a deciphering different lyrics on the alternative version

Take it off
Stress is for the bed
It's Simon 6PM
Bonjela Completion
Stress for the devil
The demon chef
Clambouring shamefully Pathe Taylor?
Ersatz GB
Emptying, tidying, echo chambers
Waiting through food within a thorough
Lack of paper, lack of reprisals
Take off
Take it off
You never told me Simon at the New Quay train station about the forty character scum at weekends
This is a nice face - Take it off
Take it off
Success, too cheap in the UK,
Injest, reflect defeat and digest
In chef
At respect deafeat in crap and digest
The third ear of take off
The third ear of take it off
Stress is for the bed
Bonjela complex
Bonjela completion
  • 26. bzfgt (link) | 16/08/2019
Which alt version? On the demo tape? Or is there a release I'm forgetting?
  • 27. Martin | 24/05/2020

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