Ten Houses of Eve

Lyrics

Can you see the ten houses of Eve, yeah? (1)
And can you enter the ten houses of Eve, yeah?
And will you deny your own treat?
Dare you enter the ten houses of Eve, yeah?
Turn around and face ten houses of Eve, yeah
If only
Identity art (2)
If only the shards would relocate back in place
In your blue green and grey heart
Bedecked in lace
If only, if only thouldst could (3)
In a rap sort of style (4)
Understand
(Will those shards relocate?)
If only...
Can you dig the ten houses of Eve, yeah?
Turn around and look at the ten houses of Eve, yeah
And will blood flow 'til you see  (5)
Do you believe enough to enter the houses of Eve
Wake up and see...
Do you believe?
The ten houses of Eve

Notes

1. The first live version referred to "ten houses of evil." A 1957 book about a woman with a multiple personality disorder was entitled The Three Faces of Eve; a movie based on the book, and bearing the same title, was released the same year, and Joanne Woodward won an Academy Award for her portrayal of the title character. The woman in question, one Chris Sizemore, has since contested the veracity of some of the claims in the book. Woodward later played a psychiatrist in Sybil, a 1976 film about a woman with no less than 13 distinct personalities (11 female and two male). Tin foil hat time: Sybil's 13 minus Eve's three equals MES's 10.

Multiple "houses" also figure in astrology, a theme MES was to take up on "Two Librans."  

The melody is more or less taken from "Evil Hoodoo" by the Seeds (thanks to Zack for pointing this out).

Harley mentions that Eve is the archetypal female, associated with temptation, so the "houses" may be thought of as brothels in this regard.

^

2. This and the following lines may be a reference to multiple personalities, reinforcing the Three Faces of Eve connection.

^

3. "Thouldst" is not grammatically correct here; in the nominative, it would simply be "thou."

^

4. On "U.S. 80s-90s" MES calls himself "the big-shot original rapper." Continuing with the multiple personality hypothesis, the word here may be a reference to therapy; psychoanalysis used to be referred to as "the talking cure."

And Zack has dug up strong evidence in favor of "rap":

According to the Gigography, on 30 November 1997 in Stoke: "If only the shards would reconnect in a rap-sort of style. If only, in a Snoop Doggy Dogg style."

^

5. On the XFM session from 1999-04-15 MES says "Where blood flows, you will surely see..." This seems suggestive of menstrual blood, as the name Eve sometimes denotes something like the archetypal woman, as Eve in the Bible was the first woman; in Hebrew the word "Chavah" (Eve) means "living," and "where blood flows" could likewise denote any living thing...

^

Comments (29)

dannyno
  • 1. dannyno | 25/06/2014
I've had another go at transcribing this. I've left out the backing vocals (also by MES) that cut across and under the main vocals, makes things simpler.

Here is what I hear. The key differences is that I'm hearing "yeah" at the end of most Eve lines - i.e. I don't think it's him doing an "ah" at the end of each line. Secondly, no definite article in "Turn around and face ten houses of Eve, yeah". Thirdly, there's an extra "if only" in the line I render as "If only, oh if only thoust could, in a rap sort of style, understand". And finally, after the blood flow line, the lyric is "Do you believe enough to enter the houses of Eve?" i.e. not "do you believe you can enter etc".

Can you see the ten houses of Eve, yeah?
And can you enter the ten houses of Eve, yeah?
And will you deny your own treat?
Dare you enter the ten houses of Eve, yeah?
Turn around and face ten houses of Eve, yeah
If only
Identity art
If only the shards would relocate back in place
In your blue, green and grey heart
Bedecked in lace
If only, oh if only thoust could, in a rap sort of style, understand
If only
Can you dig the ten houses of Eve, yeah?
Turn around and look at the ten houses of Eve, yeah
And will blood flow 'til you see
Do you believe enough to enter the houses of Eve?
Wake up and see
[ ? ]
Do you believe?
The ten houses of Eve

Dan
bzfgt
  • 2. bzfgt | 15/07/2014
I am down with all of that, except I am pretty sure that it's "in a rapt sort of style." The lacuna after "Wake up and see" is vexing, but I'm pretty sure it beings "It's your turn to..." Be? Breathe? I may get it after a couple more listens...
bzfgt
  • 3. bzfgt | 15/07/2014
God damn it, there is a new banner ad at the bottom that adblocker doesn't zap, and it's covers almost the whole comment button, so they can get accidental clickers. Are you all seeing this shit? Or is there a way around it? I'm almost tempted to pay the 38 pounds for a yearly subscription to get rid of this...
dannyno
  • 4. dannyno | 15/07/2014
Yeah, I'm getting this new fangled bottom-of-the-screen ad too.It's deeply irritating.
nairng
  • 5. nairng | 07/09/2014
I think it's 'thouldst'.
Shakespeare's King Lear:
"Thou'ldst shun a bear;
But if thy flight lay toward the raging sea,
Thou'ldst meet the bear i' the mouth."
This is sometimes written 'thoulst' in certain editions; the d isn't really pronounced. It's still not grammatically 'correct', but it is a word.
It has the olde-worlde flavour that MES wanted to puncture by getting deliberately wrong. That's what I think!
Zack
  • 6. Zack | 06/07/2017
According to the Gigography, on 30 November 1997 in Stoke:

"If only the shards would reconnect in a rap-sort of style. If only, in a Snoop Doggy Dogg style." (amended lyrics to "10 Houses of Eve")

I think that settles it.
bzfgt
  • 7. bzfgt (link) | 15/07/2017
I almost can't believe you didn't make that up, it's so dispositive...

...and yet, it's not, as he could be punning on his own lyric...

...but I am listening now and cannot detect a "t," and anyway that tips the scales so I changed it.
bzfgt
  • 8. bzfgt (link) | 15/07/2017
But, understand in a rap style? Mistifying (that spelling is a humorous reference to a quote in the Choc-Stock comments--Annotated Fall humor, people)...
harleyr
  • 9. harleyr | 25/08/2017
A song about brothels? Eve = temptation.
samstardust
  • 10. samstardust | 05/08/2018
i think Mark actually sings 'And will you deny your own entreat?' - not 'treat'. entreat meaning - ask someone earnestly or anxiously to do something.
"his friends entreated him not to go"
synonyms: implore, beseech, beg, plead with, supplicate, pray, ask, request; bid, enjoin, appeal to, call on, petition, solicit;
exhort, urge, importune;
datedcrave;
rareimpetrate, obtest, obsecrate
"my lord, I entreat you to believe what you find in this letter"
bzfgt
  • 11. bzfgt (link) | 16/08/2018
I'll listen. Grammatically, it should be "entreaty" though.
bzfgt
  • 12. bzfgt (link) | 16/08/2018
I can't hear the "en"
bzfgt
  • 13. bzfgt (link) | 16/08/2018
Can anyone make out the Marshall Suite version? it's different...unfortunately no "(en)treat(y)"
bzfgt
  • 14. bzfgt (link) | 16/08/2018
"Turn around and look at your own ....[.????]"
bzfgt
  • 15. bzfgt (link) | 21/11/2018
From the XFM version it seems like it could be "Turn around and look at your own grief" but I'm not sure
Paul Go
  • 16. Paul Go | 28/11/2018
Given 'Eve' and 'house', I'd go for 'Tree(s)' over 'Treat' or 'Entreat'.
Given the colours and cloth context, it's pretty safe to assume it's 'Wrap'.
Paul Go
  • 17. Paul Go | 01/12/2018
Eve is not in the forest any more, she has houses and clothes, all things of her own. This is a good thing, But oh no! Now she has too many houses, ten houses in fact, yet not a single tree among the 10 gardens! Poor Eve is confused, she cannot live in all of them all, yet is not tempted by a single one of the barren houses.

Seems even a year 3 level educational story can have a sub-text of biblical proportions, which is more than can be said for anything, who is it, 'Snoopy dog dog' has ever barked.
dannyno
  • 18. dannyno | 01/12/2018
If I was Eve, I would just live in each house in rotation.

The lyric doesn't appear to say that the houses are barren, or that there are no trees in their gardens.
dannyno
  • 19. dannyno | 01/12/2018
"In your blue green and grey heart"

Hearts are usually depicted in our culture as red - representing love and/passion etc, so a heart that is blue or green or grey or a combination of those colours is likely a heart with problems, or at any rate one that is not symbolic of love or passion.
Paul Go
  • 20. Paul Go | 02/12/2018
Yeah, barren was mistake, to many infertile connotations. I only meant to reinforce the point she doesn't have her own tree(s), perhaps indulge in a little of the once forbidden fruit that grew in the garden of eden.
Paul Go
  • 21. Paul Go | 02/12/2018
Heart line is odd, pretty muted colours, I guess an 'earthy' palette? at face value, which is all I had it as until you pointed out the sickness/coldness. Still, three colours seems way too many to describe a heart, no matter how high maintenance she is.
Paul Go
  • 22. Paul Go | 03/12/2018
...a heart brooch perhaps, with some kind of hard stone perhaps, perhaps shattered for some reason, yet needed to pin the wrap. Textual interconnections weaving away, all before you can begin to see what it all means.

Let me know when you sense the plunge into something way out of your depth. That being the principle joy in The Fall after all.
dannyno
  • 23. dannyno | 03/12/2018
"Eve", of course, is not actually present in the text. I mean, whoever it is who is asked whether they can see the ten houses of Eve, it's obviously not Eve.

The lyric doesn't say anything about trees or fruit, either.

Originally, as already noted, the song was "the ten houses of evil". Changing it to "Eve" creates a whole bunch of other associations to get to grips with, but we should also be careful not to get carried away.
Paul Go
  • 24. Paul Go | 03/12/2018
I listen to the song, that's it. Looking at scraps is interesting, but nothing to do with the song.

Ever heard of the 'Fall of Man', the fruit was eaten. How about 'Le Chute'? The bands name?

A 'The Fall' song with the female name 'Eve' in the title... is what's known as self-evident.
Paul Go
  • 25. Paul Go | 03/12/2018
Can you dig it? Probably not as he doesn't explicitly say 'garden'.
Paul Go
  • 26. Paul Go | 03/12/2018
Danny, you're describing trepidation, like it's a balance on an edge, between knowing and not knowing, but not knowing which is which. Tell me, how can you ever get out of that situation?
Paul Go
  • 27. Paul Go | 04/12/2018
And it does say trees, and mention muted landscape colours, and apparently necessary to get anywhere with the song.
dannyno
  • 28. dannyno | 13/12/2018
I don't know what you're talking about. All I'm saying is that it seems the original lyric was changed from "evil" to "Eve". Since we don't know what the original intended meaning was, it's difficult to evaluate the effect of the change of lyric.
Paul
  • 29. Paul | 14/12/2018
I don't mind 'treat', still sounds more like a '-da' at the end to me, The point is he holds the 'tree-' part long enough for us to think of a tree.

'...your own tree~d'...' - I'd go for, or
'...your own tree~t'...' - if you want the treat in there
'...your own tree/treat..' - less phonic
'...your own tre(ed/at)..' - more fiddly

Syntax is your choice, but it's a fair point to want to reflect something of the dynamics of the vocal performance. It also means you don't have to decide, one way or another, for everyone else.

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