Tempo House

Lyrics

A serious man
In need of a definitive job
He had drunk too much
Mandrake anthrax (1)
Pro-rae, pro-rae
Oloron
  (2)

Tormented tots
With Burton weeping (3)
His idiot contacts
Pro-rae, pro-rae
Pro-rae, pro-rae

Put your claim into Tempo House (4)
Go round there to Tempo House
Go round, have a grouse
Put your claim into Tempo House

Roll the chubby round jowls
Roll the chubby round jowls
And Burton is weeping (3)
His shares are weeping
God damn the pedantic Welsh
Pro-rae, pro-rae
Loron, loron

Put your claim into Tempo House

Put your claim into Tempo House
Go round, have a grouse
Put your claim into Tempo House

Put your claim, put your claim

I'd sing "Solitaire" for the B.E.F. (5)
But who wants to be with them, anyway?
Snow on Easter Sunday
Jesus Christ in reverse (6)
I tell ya, the Dutch are weeping
In four languages at least (7)
Oloron
Pro-rae, pro-rae
Pro-rae, pro-rae

And Burton is weeping

Put your claim into Tempo House
Put your claim into Tempo House
Go round, have a grouse
Put your claim into Tempo House

Put your claim, put your claim, put your claim, put your claim...

Illness, pollution, should be encouraged and let loose
Then maybe some would have a genuine grouse
Spring right out of the fetters
Right away from Six Three Market Place (8)
Tempo House address
Pro-rae, pro-rae
Oloron

Winston Churchill had a speech imp-p-p-pediment (9)

And look what he did
Erased half of London (10)
And the Dutch are weeping
Lusted after French paintings
Pro-rae, pro-rae
Oloron, oloron

Put your claim into Tempo House
Go round and have a grouse
Go round, have a grouse
Put your claim into Tempo House (11)

 

Notes

1. Mandrake is a hallucinogenic nightshade, and anthrax is a bacterial disease as well as a short form of the name of the bacteria, Bacillus Anthracis. Methaqualone (Quaaludes) was for a time sold in combination with an anti-histamine under the brand name "Mandrax," which may be what the lyric is alluding to. The song seems to be partially a mockery of people on the dole.  

According to Dan, in 1981, a BBC report by Robert Harris alleged that Winston Churchill (see note 9 below) wanted to use anthrax bombs on Germany.

^

2. Pro re nata is a Latin phrase meaning "use as needed," which may refer back to the mandrake/anthrax. "Prora" was a Nazi beach resort, although with the onset of war it was never completed. From the end of the war until 1955 it was a Soviet military base. 

There is a town in southern France called Oloron-Sainte-Marie. But some have speculated that MES is actually singing "Lorant" (or "Ah--Lorant"), which is the surname of the Hungarian anti-fascist Stefan Lorant, imprisoned by Hitler in 1933; Lorant was a filmaker and photo-journalist who founded the magzines Lilliput and Picture Post. Gyula Lorant, also Hungarian, was a famous football player. Such theories are bolstered by the fact that the first syllable is sometimes omitted; above, I've rendered this "Loron," but this is very uncertain. 

John Coyle has taken a very impressive whack at it, in any case:

"Oloron" or more accurately Oleron may refer to the protagonist in the classic supernatural story, "The Beckoning Fair One" by Oliver Onions. In this, a writer named Paul Oleron becomes captivated by a mysterious spirit which appears to haunt the house he is renting. He gradually loses touch with reality and appears to kill the woman who loves him. The sort of thing MES would be all over.

Indeed, and Onions (his real name) is a writer of a genre (ghost stories) and era (his work appeared from around 1900 until c.1960) that MES is known to be "all over" as well...

And Dan:

In the twelfth century, Eleanor of Aquitaine (by that time Queen Consort of England) promulgated the Rolls d'Oléron - the Laws of Oléron - among the first maritime laws. Oléron is an island off the coast of France, and was where Eleanor was based at the time.

^

3. Martin reports that on at least one live version, "roughly after the midpoint of the song, MES sings 'Richard Burton is weeping.' I suppose this is fairly convincing evidence that this and no other is the man referred to in the lyrics." Burton is Welsh, and he played WInston Churchill in the TV play The Gathering Storm in 1974. While his jowls (see the next stanza below) were not increased quite to Churchillian proportions for the role, one could at least say they were playing the chubby round jowls of the former P.M. Indeed, the actor's famously chiseled features were make up to look a bit jowly, so I think this is the most likely reference for "Burton" (i.e. the actor, rather than the English explorer) and the jowls; since his features were altered, Burton's jowls would be especially noteworthy. And, as jensotto points out, in the BBC documentary The Valiant Years (1961), excerpts from Chruchill's memoirs were voiced by Burton.

Dan weighs in:

"In November 1974, anticipating the December screening of his Churchill play, Burton attacked Churchill in the New York Times (there were a couple of articles). Burton could be said to be 'pedantic Welsh,' couldn't he, if you disagreed with his assessment of Churchill? He criticises Churchill for his drinking, among other things."

Martin watched The Gathering Storm for us, and his report is in comment 51 below (see also Dan's comment 52).

^

4. There is an office building in SW11 in London called "Tempo House" that has been there since 1980. I have been unable to connect any more dots, and I'm unsure of the origin of the name; so, maybe.

 

According to David Sharman:

When I worked for BT directory enquires I was amused when a customer rang up to ask for the telephone number for Tempo House in London. When I asked what sort of organisation was working at that address I was told that he wanted to make a complaint about a travel agent as the holiday he had just had was the worst ever. When Mark E. Smith sings 'put your claim into Tempo House, go around and have a grouse, put your claim into Tempo House' I always think now that he is making a complaint about a hotel, travel or something to do with what would be considered a holiday, although it may have something to do with being on tour, which is the more obvious really.

Another possible (less likely?) source is the Victorian Tempo Manor Estate in Ireland.   

^

5. B.E.F. is "British Expeditionary Force," a former name for the British Army. However, this probably refers to the British Electric Foundation, a band formed by former members of the Human League in 1980. This B.E.F.'s 1982 album B.E.F. Presents Music of Quality and Distinction Volume One featured famous musicians covering songs by other famous musicians, including Manfred Mann singer Paul Jones doing a song the Fall would soon tackle, R. Dean Taylor's "There's a Ghost in My House." "Solitaire," which does not feature on the album, is a Neil Sedaka song made famous by The Carpenters.

The B.E.F. eventually became Heaven 17, and there seems to be an allusion to them also on the (unreleased) studio version of the track... 

^

6. According to dannyno on the Fall online forum,

The following is from Brian Edge's book, "Paintwork" (pp.76-77):

He voted Conservative at the last election because the local Labour Party's candidate's  antics had incensed him so much. "I used to call him Jesus Christ in Reverse," explained Smith, "because some fascist pinned him up. He had marks on his hands which he used to show everybody. And at Labour meetings he used to stand up, take out this rotting fish and say, 'What about the Grimsby fishermen?'  A complete charlatan."

The song debuted on April 10, 1982, in the Netherlands. Easter was April 11th that year, and Martin reports that there was a lot of snow in the Netherlands that April.
 
7. Dan points out that this song debuted in the Netherlands (10 April 1982 Paard Van Troje, The Hague, The Netherlands), although it hasn't yet been confirmed whether this line was already in place.
 
There are indeed four officially recognized languages in the Netherlands (Dutch, English, Frisian, and Papiamento) and several regional dialects ("at least").
 
 

8. This would seem to be a direct reference to something or other, but I haven't found it yet.  

^

9. From the Lyrics Parade: "In UK dole offices around the time, there were posters saying "Winston Churchill had a speech impediment" as part of a campaign to encourage people with disabilities."

Dan corroborates:

A reference to the poster appears in David Selbourne's essay "Wolverhampton on Ice," first published in New Society (subsequently merged into New Statesman magazine) 21 January 1982, and reprinted in Selbourne's 1987 book Left Behind: Journeys into British Politics (which compiles his series of articles for New Society reporting on his "state of Britain" tour between 1981-1985).Here's the quote (p17 of the book; p94 of the article): "At the job centre in Market Street, Xmas snow dust has been sprayed in white curlicues on the window-panes. 'Disability Can Be Overcome' says a poster: 'Winston Churchill Had a Speech Impediment.' Cigar-in-Mouth, and chin jutting, Churchill stands in the blitz's flaming ruins." 

Tempo House was first performed, apparently, on 10 April 1982, a couple of months after the article was published, so it's possible that MES read New Society and borrowed the idea (but of course he could also have seen it in a job centre, or heard about it from others, or read about it elsewhere). Another reference to the poster occurs in Michael Paterson's 2005 book, Winston Churchill: Personal Accounts of the Great Leader at War, p.9-10: "he even appears on a poster addressed to the physically impaired: 'Winston Churchill had a speech impediment,' announces a caption next to the bowler-hatted, bulldog features, before going on to explain: 'Disability can be overcome' - a valid observation, since he became one of history's great orators, and an intriguing reflection of his universality."

Martin: The debut performance of the song contains the following lyric: "Winston Churchill had a speech impediment, and look what he did: put investments into Temple [cob?] limited..." Churchill was, evidently, a poor judge when it came to financial investments.

^

10. I assume this means he provoked the Germans into razing half of London.  

^

11. Early live versions included the line "Jew on a motorbike," which later became the climax of "Garden."

^

SaveSaveSaveSave

Comments (53)

Martin
  • 1. Martin | 21/04/2013
Very much a long shot, but as MES says "six three Market Place", could this mean that he's referring not to no. 63 in this street/road/whatever, but to one of the flats whose front door is no. 6 in said street?
dannyno
  • 2. dannyno | 19/12/2013
Some further research around bits of this song:
http://z1.invisionfree.com/thefall/index.php?showtopic=3470&st=50
dannyno
  • 3. dannyno | 08/04/2014
In the Fall Forum thread, I observe that it is possible that "Burton" in the song could refer to men's outfitters "Burtons", because of a reference in a magazine article.

But if the reference is to Richard Burton, that could also work (perhaps as a double meaning), because in November 1974, anticipating the December screening of his Churchill play, Burton attacked Churchill in the New York Times (there were a couple of articles). Burton could be said to be "pedantic welsh", couldn't he, if you disagreed with his assessment of Churchill. He criticises Churchill for his drinking, among other things.
dannyno
  • 4. dannyno | 08/04/2014
Burton's second article, i find, appeared in the American publication TV Guide.
RM
  • 5. RM | 26/05/2014
bzfgt, in verse four, it's "And Burton is weeping", rather than "And Burton's weeping".....Snowy felt this needed pointing out.
bzfgt
  • 6. bzfgt | 28/05/2014
Well, it is a minor correction, but we might as well get it right for posterity, so thanks. We must think of our children's children...anyway this and the LP are the sites of record, and nobody edits that, so if we don't get it right, maybe nobody ever will.
dannyno
  • 7. dannyno | 22/06/2014
Before verse one here there's some "pro-rae" type muttering.

Verse four: "Burton is weeping", as noted in a previous comment, but not apparently updated yet.

After the fourth verse's "pro-rae"s, are some "Loron, Loron"s. Not "Oloron"s. This suggests that where in the sound it sounds like "Oloron", it's actually "Oh, Lauren" or something like that.

Fifth verse is:

"Put your claim into Tempo House
Put your claim into Tempo House
Go round and have a grouse
Put your claim into Tempo House
Put your claim, put your claim"

After the "Solitaire" verse it's "And Burton is weeping" again, not "And Burton's weeping".

And having listened to the "and look what he did / He razed half of London" lines, I think it's actually "and look what he did / Erased half of London".

And the "pro-rae"s which follow "Lusted after French paintings" are themselves then followed by more a couple more "Oh Lauren/Loron/Oloron"s.

And after the final "Put your claim into Tempo House" there's another two pairs of "Pro-rae" and some backing vocal "put your claim, put your claim"
bzfgt
  • 8. bzfgt | 24/06/2014
It sounds like "erased" to me too but I'm not entirely sure...
bzfgt
  • 9. bzfgt | 24/06/2014
I have not heard the studio recording of this song, but Reformation! ha a transcription which has "erased"...so that tips it.
bzfgt
  • 10. bzfgt | 24/06/2014
Otherwise there's nothing revelatory...the lyrics are almost exactly the same.

https://sites.google.com/site/reformationposttpm/perverted-by-language/tempo-house
David Sharman
  • 11. David Sharman (link) | 10/02/2015
When I worked for BT directory enquires I was amused when a customer rang up to ask for the telephone number for Tempo House in London. When I asked what sort of organisation was working at that address I was told that he wanted to make a complaint about a travel agent as the holiday he had just had was the worst ever. When Mark E. Smith sings 'put your claim into Tempo House, go around and have a grouse, put your claim into Tempo House' I always think now that he is making a complaint about a hotel, travel or something to do with what would be considered a holiday, although it may have something to do with being on tour, which is the more obvious really.
dannyno
  • 12. dannyno | 20/02/2015
Yeah, Tempo House is a suite of offices which has been home to lots of organisations down the years - if you look at old classifed ads from the time, the address comes up quite a bit.
numlash
  • 13. numlash | 13/03/2015
Always thought the 'oloron' was really Oh Lauren especially as this song was composed around the same time MES hooked up with Brix aka Laura Salinger.
bzfgt
  • 14. bzfgt | 28/03/2015
But why "Lauren" then?
russell richardson
  • 15. russell richardson | 04/05/2015
Oloron? all seem too tenuous
have always read this as "Alarum!"
as in Shakespeare when there's a fuss or panic, esp. when repeated
maybe?
russell richardson
  • 16. russell richardson | 05/05/2015
very dimly remembered that TEMPLE HOUSE was where you had to sign on the dole in Manchester in the 70s - or maybe the tax office? I also even more dimly remember that this may have been a generic name (in each city, offices of the same govt. dept. either DoE (Dept of Employment) or the DHSS (Dept Health and Social Security). Anyone add to this?
TEMPO HOUSE would then be good musicians' slang for being on the dole.
dannyno
  • 17. dannyno | 07/05/2015
It doesn't sound like "Alarum!" at all, that's my problem with that suggestion.
dannyno
  • 18. dannyno | 07/05/2015
There was a "Temple House" in Cheetham. Mentioned here for example, but long gone: http://www.gmts.co.uk/museum/location.html

I've never heard of Government/DHSS offices all having the same name. And I've never heard, and cannot find, any indication that "Tempo House" is slang for "Temple House", or that "Temple House" had any connection to benefits, tax or other such functions.
dannyno
  • 19. dannyno | 27/03/2016
"The Dutch are weeping"

So the debut of this song was in the Netherlands, in April 1982. Did this bit of the lyric appear that early?

Why would the Dutch be weeping? One reason might be connected to the FIFA world cup, which took place in Spain during June-July 1982. The Dutch failed to qualify for the competition, famously losing 2-0 to France in November 1981, the last of their eight qualifying matches. Could that be it?
Martin
  • 20. Martin | 31/03/2016
I can't hear any reference to the Dutch weeping in the recordings I have of the Dutch mini-tour (The Hague; 19 April 1982 and Rotterdam: 13 April 1982). I'll be on the case as far as later recordings are concerned-
Martin
  • 21. Martin | 31/03/2016
With reference to note 3, surely it's the actor Richard Burton who's being referred to, especially when taken together with the line about "the pedantic Welsh" (Burton was Welsh):
Martin
  • 22. Martin | 01/04/2016
Okay, so I've listened to countless live versions of the song and I can say with as much certainty as possible (given some of these recordings are of bad quality and Mark E Smith sometimes hard to understand) that the first reference I can find to the Dutch is at the (released as an official live album) Melbourne gig on 2 August 1982:

"And the Dutch are moaning [could possibly be "mourning": I need others to listen to this recording] in four languages..."

The Dutch are again mentioned on 17 August at the Christchurch gig, and once more the following day: "God damn the Dutch for weeping in four languages at least."

I think that we have to discount the World Cup theory suggested by Dannyno (comment no. 19 above) and look for other reasons why the Dutch suddenly started to play a lyrical role in the song. Chances are, though, that it was one of those non-sequiterial phrases thrown in at random by the singer, and subsequently retained in the song.
dannyno
  • 23. dannyno | 08/04/2016
Maybe it's based on his experiences in the Netherlands in April? Well, I quite like the football theory still, but there's not exactly much textual evidence for it. Thanks for checking it out.

BTW, Martin, note my comment 3 above , which notes that Burton could be the mens outiftters because of a theory I have that MES read certain New Statesman articles, but that the actor could also fit for the reasons stated (i.e. he famously criticised Churchill, although the incident was unusually early for a Fall lyric).
Antoine
  • 24. Antoine | 24/05/2016
In addition to the already-established context of the song, Tempo House has always struck me as a possible name for some surreal pub, which would suggest an intriguing double-meaning to "have a grouse," as in order a Famous Grouse whisky. Perhaps this might even have something to do with "maybe someone would have a genuine grouse? Coincidence? Yes, perhaps. But then a lot of my suggestions can be far-fetched.

And while this might be even more meaningless, "House of Time" appears to be a 2015 film involving both WWII Nazi experiments and time-travel. Plenty Fallish-sounding indeed, even though I'd never heard of it before Googling "House of Time."
dannyno
  • 25. dannyno | 14/07/2016
Martin, I've noted that Easter Sunday was snowy in 1983. But was that lyric present before Easter 1983?
M.S. Pierce
  • 26. M.S. Pierce | 21/10/2016
The Churchill bit is very clever. I've heard it as "He raised/razed half of London" as well as "Erased half of London".

"I tell ya, the Dutch/are weeping/in four languages/at least" may be my favorite Fall lyric.
bzfgt
  • 27. bzfgt | 22/10/2016
Yeah, if you had asked me this morning what the lyric is I'd have said "razed half of London." I'm not sure how it became "erased" here, I assume there was a reason (lyrics book or something?). My note is odd, instead of acknowledging the lyric might be something else I just use the word "razed," maybe I was being ecooimical with my words. I don't know, but I'm too lazy to change it today....next time I come here I'll investigate the lyric again and spell things out.
bzfgt
  • 28. bzfgt | 22/10/2016
Actually this is not in a lyrics book, I think we have "erased" because a close listen seems to reveal that he says "erased." I will listen at some point and make sure, because I did seem to have a vague idea it was "razed". If anyone wants to give it a spin and weigh in that would be splendid.
dannyno
  • 29. dannyno | 22/10/2016
I heard it as "erased" for the concordance.
Martin
  • 30. Martin | 16/12/2016
Yes, on the unreleased studio version "erased" is very clearly said.

Dannyno, referring to your comment above (no. 25) about snow on Easter Monday: I'll be on the job as soon as other stuff allows. Sometimes I don't see new comments on here until months afterwards, which is a pity: when the word "NEW" comes up next to a song I know there's been some updating, but I have the suspicion that this only appears when the board operator himself adds stuff...or maybe I'm mistaken here?
Martin
  • 31. Martin | 17/12/2016
I've been listening to the live performance of the song from this gig: 13 April 1982 De Doelen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands .

The first thing to say is that roughly after the midpoint of the song, MES sings "Richard Burton is weeping". I suppose this is fairly convincing evidence that this and no other is the man referred to in the lyrics.

Secondly, we do have the line "snow on Easter Monday" This automatically rules out references to snow in 1983 (see above comments) but does at the same time concentrate our attention on 1982. Now, as it happens, Easter Sunday in 1982 fell on 11 April, just a couple of days before the gig mentioned above. As one naturally does, I googled for Dutch weather records of the era and found this website:

https://weatherspark.com/history/28802/2016/Amsterdam-Noord-Holland-The-Netherlands

If you scroll down to the section entitled "Snow"" then it can be seen that snow fell in Amsterdam during the month of April. Here's an extract from the site:

"The first reported snow fall in the last 12 months was on December 16; the last was on November 18. The month of the last 12 months with the largest number of those reports was April, with a total of 62 reports."

Admittedlly, Amsterdam is not Rotterdam or anywhere else in Holland, but the country is so small and mostly at or just above sea-level so one would expect snowfall to be fairly constant across the country. And The Fall would have been travelling from gig to gig by road and so MES would presumably have seen this Easter Sunday snow along the way.
dannyno
  • 32. dannyno | 24/12/2016
Good work Martin. 1982 it is. And certainly Britain was not noticeably snowy around Easter 1982: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/pdf/5/8/Apr1982.pdf
dannyno
  • 33. dannyno | 24/12/2016
On 10th April, The Fall were in The Hague. On the 12th they were in Groningen. Rotterdam on the 13th.

So there's a long journey up north between 10th - 12th, and back again to Rotterdam. And Amsterdam is on the way. Maybe they stayed there overnight on the way up the country?
dannyno
  • 34. dannyno | 02/01/2017
In the early 1980s, one of the companies based at Tempo House, Falcon Road, was "Mike Mingard Music Limited". Mingard seems to have been into music publishing and management.
dannyno
  • 35. dannyno | 02/01/2017
Mike Mingard was Gary Glitter's manager.
John Coyle
  • 36. John Coyle | 16/01/2017
"Oloron" or more accurately Oleron may refer to the protagonist in the classic supernatural story, "The Beckoning Fair One" by Oliver Onions. In this, a writer named Paul Oleron becomes captivated by a mysterious spirit which appears to haunt the house he is renting. He gradually loses touch with reality and appears to kill the woman who loves him. The sort of thing MES would be all over.
dannyno
  • 37. dannyno | 22/01/2017
Comment #36, John Coyle. I like the connection very much. The trouble we have, though, is that the name - whatever it is - is merely intoned, without any context or surrounding narrative. So while "Oleron" from "The Beckoning Fair One" may or may not be correct, there seems little reason to think - or any textual evidence in the song to support us thinking - that it's him rather than any other option.
bzfgt
  • 38. bzfgt | 04/02/2017
True, but we don't really have anything else and, as I say in my note, the author has a certain profile that veritably cries out "MES"!! Nothing to bet one's life on, but worth I note. I'd like to read the story and see if there's any further reason to tarry with the idea.

The anti-spam is going crazy and accusing me of having ad-block on when it's disabled for this site....damn it. Various other nonsense, I've had to retry this 5 times now. Here goes...
dannyno
  • 39. dannyno | 12/04/2017
I've been trying to find a picture of the "disability can be overcome" jobcentre poster. I've not been successful so far, but I'm going to keep trying. However, since note 9 only cites the old Lyrics Parade, I thought it would be helpful to provide some further evidence for the existence of the poster.

On the FOF I noted that a reference to the poster appears in David Selbourne's essay "Wolverhampton on Ice", first published in New Society (subsequently merged into New Statesman magazine) 21 January 1982, and reprinted in Selbourne's 1987 book "Left Behind: journeys into British politics" (which compiles his series of articles for New Society reporting on his "state of Britain" tour between 1981-1985).

Image

Here's the quote (p17 of the book; p94 of the article):


At the job centre in Market Street, Xmas snow dust has been sprayed in white curlicues on the window-panes. 'Disability Can Be Overcome' says a poster: 'Winston Churchill Had a Speech Impediment.' Cigar-in-Mouth, and chin jutting, Churchill stands in the blitz's flaming ruins.


Tempo House was first performed, apparently, on 10 April 1982, a couple of months after the article was published, so it's possible that MES read New Society and borrowed the idea (but of course he could also have seen it in a jobcentre, or heard about it from others, or read about it elsewhere).

Another reference to the poster occurs in Michael Paterson's 2005 book, "Winston Churchill: Personal Accounts of the Great Leader at War.", p.9-10 [the apparent present tense is not to be taken literally]:

he even appears on a poster addressed to the physically impaired: 'Winston Churchill had a speech impediment,' announces a caption next to the bowler-hatted, bulldog features, before going on to explain: 'Disability can be overcome' - a valid observation, since he became one of history's great orators, and an intriguing reflection of his universality.
dannyno
  • 40. dannyno | 29/04/2017
An echo:

Interview by Jack Barron, Sounds, 13 August 1983:


As a kid I used to be obsessed that like I was reincarnated from the trenches of the First World War. I used to think one day I would open the closet and a load of war dead would pour out all over me.
dannyno
  • 41. dannyno | 29/04/2017
Sorry, that belongs in Open the Boxoctosis!
dannyno
  • 42. dannyno | 29/04/2017
In the twelfth century, Eleanor of Aquitaine (by that time Queen Consort of England) promulgated the Rolls d'Oléron - the Laws of Oleron - among the first maritime laws. Oléron is an island off the coast of France, and was where Eleanor was based at the time.

Text in English: http://www.admiraltylawguide.com/documents/oleron.html

"Pro re nata" is the kind of phrase one would find in a legal text, isn't it?

A new research direction, anyway.
dannyno
  • 43. dannyno | 29/04/2017
Olga Carlisle's Island in Time: a memoir of childhood. Daily life during the occupation was published in 1980. Olga's family were exiled from Russia in 1917 and settled in Paris. During the second world war, they went into exile again on the island of Oléron, where the teenage Olga delivered resistance messages by bicycle. She was to marry Henry Carlisle, then an American GI (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Carlisle) in post-war Paris.

Given some of the implicit meanings of the lyrics, it might be worth getting hold of this book in case MES also read it.
bzfgt
  • 44. bzfgt (link) | 13/05/2017
'Disability Can Be Overcome' says a poster: 'Winston Churchill Had a Speech Impediment.'

Punctuation as in original I assume? Kind of dodgy.
bzfgt
  • 45. bzfgt (link) | 13/05/2017
"Cigar-in-Mouth"

Really?!
dannyno
  • 46. dannyno | 13/05/2017
Hey, don't shoot the messenger!
bzfgt
  • 47. bzfgt (link) | 18/05/2017
Reminds me of the Kids in the Hall movie..."OK, I slept with your best friend and then told you about it...but don't shoot the messenger!"
dannyno
  • 48. dannyno | 19/05/2017
I like that. I'm gonna steal that and use it at work at every opportunity.
Martin
  • 49. Martin | 12/07/2017
The debut performance of the song contains the following lyric:

"Winston Churchill had a speech impediment, and look what he did: put investments into Temple (cob?) limited..."

Churchill was, evidently, a poor judge when it came to financial investments:

http://janiczek.com/winston-churchill-investment-mistakes/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3231410/Winston-spendaholic-teetered-brink-bankruptcy-saved-secret-backhanders-new-book-Chuchill-s-finances-reveals-spent-40-000-year-casinos-54-000-booze.html
Martin
  • 50. Martin | 12/07/2017
Has anyone watched "The Gathering Storm" to see if there are any clues as the lyrics in the film? It's on youtube: I'll watch it either today or tomorrow.
Martin
  • 51. Martin | 12/07/2017
Well, I've watched The Gathering Storm, and though unfortunately there isn't any dialogue which connects directly to the song, there are some moments which may or may not be relevant to the lyrics, either in the live released version or in other live versions we have access to.

Churchill's financial woes are directly addressed, for example. Also, two of his children (tots?) feature prominently in the fim. His youngest daughter, near the beginning, is upset about a dog of hers which has been injured, presumably hit by a car, and later on there is an altercation between Churchill and his son Randolph (the difficult relationship between father and son is well-documented).

Holland is only mentioned once, as Churchill learns that the Germans have been building boats in that country as well as in Finland.
dannyno
  • 52. dannyno | 12/07/2017
I think "The Gathering Storm" must be relevant somehow, even if only for the articles Burton wrote about Churchill at the time. The only thing that gives me pause is that it was shown in 1974, which seems a long time for a Fall song - although the story of Burton's criticism of Churchill was notorious - and it doesn't seem to have been repeated around 1981. But it's still inescapable.

In September 1981, an 8 part series starting Robert Hardy as Churchill commencing broadcasting on ITV.

In the FOF thread on the song (http://z1.invisionfree.com/thefall/index.php?showtopic=3470) I suggest watching the final scene of Burton's film "Absolution", which was released in 1981 - "Jesus Christ in reverse", you see.

There's an interesting echo of the "pedantic" lyric in the Guardian's review of "Absolution", by their longstanding critic Derek Malcolm. It was published on 5 November 1981:


Richard Burton is the the unfortunate pedant, and possibly pederast, driven bonkers by the pupil he cherishes... and finally clobbered by the weakling... he has always despised.


A biography of Burton by Paul Ferris was published in September 1981. Maybe there would be some clues in that?

I have in the past wondered if we have several "Burtons" in play in the lyric.

I have also previously pointed out that


In 1981, a BBC report by Robert Harris alleged that Churchill wanted to use anthrax bombs on Germany.


http://z1.invisionfree.com/thefall/index.php?showtopic=3470&view=findpost&p=12054700

Associations keep piling up with this song.
jensotto
  • 53. jensotto | 07/11/2017
BBC Genome tells us that Richard Burton was in the series The Valiant Years, based on Churchill's memoirs and shown 1961 and 1965.
Another Burton-track is that John "Peel" Ravenscroft grew up inn Burton, Cheshire - while the Peel family were central in Burton, Staffordshire centuries ago.
According to PWC (peel.wikia.com), Peel did not play Tempo House :-)

Add a comment

You're using an AdBlock like software. Disable it to allow submit.