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
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."

^

Comments (9)

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.

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