That Man

Lyrics

(1)

That man loves you
That man cares for you
That man loves a heathen
That man loves you

He came down from Accrington (2)
He came down from Hovis land  (3)

And
That man loves a heathen
That man loves you
That man cares for you
Whoa whoa 

He washed the dirt from my eyes
All devils are exorcised 
And sticky pants are ostracised
Sermons with trad jazz guys

Screaming

That man cares
That man cares for you
That man loves a heathen
That man loves you

You see, can't be holy
All you see can't be holy
All you see can't be holy (4)

[backing vocals] That man loves you
He really do
That man loves a heathen
He loves a heathen... 

Notes

1. This seems to be partially conceived as a parody of the Beatles' "This Boy" (in which "that boy" is contrasted with "this boy," who "wants you back again"); in addition to the title, the chords run a similar (if generic) course. According to MES: "The main point about 'That Man' is to me, like, you'd listen to a punk song and you'd think it's so good, and it'll preach to you. Which co-incides [sic] with what 'That Man' is about, the song is about phoney [sic] preachers, and what is the difference if you listen to (e.g. punk songs that preach) and this song? The next step for this song is that in ten years [sic] time you'll have new wave Jesus bands. You will. The U.K. Subs do it now on TV..." U.K. Subs formed around the same time as the Fall, plying a fairly straightforward brand of punk rock; the lyrics occasionally make forays into semi-political territory, but it is hard to see what makes them suitable targets for MES's sermon against sanctimony. Maybe they were just the first band he thought of...in any case, if the target is fuzzy, then so is the arrow. Lyrically, "That Man" is a lazy and inattentive stab at proclaiming the gospel; today's homily presents a preachy and half-heartedly righteous Jesus who condescends to love the "heathen" addressed by the singer. While it is a reasonably entertaining song, one gets the impression that after the last chord fades it doesn't stick in the mind of the musicians any more than it does in that of the listener.

^

2. Accrington is a town in Lancashire. In light of the epithet "heathen" that appears in the chorus, it may possibly be relevant that, in the 12th century, some monks who had displaced some of the population in establishing a grange were burned to death by the locals. The word "heathen," which refers to a non-Christian, is (like 'pagan') originally a term for a rustic (literally "dweller on the heath"), and although Accrington is today fairly urban, it was originally a pastoral area. MES may intend some sort of reference to the legends that place Jesus in England, which he is said to have visited with his uncle, Joseph of Arimethea. Blake (see note 4 below) made much of the legend (although he probably did not believe it literally), especially in the preface of Milton (“and did those feet in ancient time, walk upon England’s mountains green?”), which was made into an English hymn called "Jerusalem" (which eventually was to become a Fall song of the same name).

^

3. Hovis is an English brand of bread. A 1973 television advertisement (directed by Ridley Scott) depicting a boy delivering Hovis on a bicycle accompanied by Dvorak's New World Symphony is one of the most famous spots of all time in Britain. The ad played on nostalgia for rural and village life, and "Hovis land" may be another reference to a supposedly "heathen" Britain. Also, Hovis is associated with nostalgia in the lyrics to "Just Step S'Ways." It is also mentioned more obliquely in "H.O.W."

On the other hand, Sumsiadad, who presumably knows better than I, says "The advert didn't so much play on nostalgia for rural and village life as on nostalgia for some vanished mythical Northern England (not sure the life depicted was rural at all), much enhanced by the use of Joe Gladwin's wonderfully rhotic voice on the narration. On the latter, I think you're getting a little carried way, everyone (in the UK) would have known exactly what MES meant by using Hovis as an adjective, i.e. a sentimentalized cliched Northernness."

^

4. William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell famously ends by proclaiming "For every thing that lives is Holy." It is no accident that Blake was considered a heretic; for anything to be meaningfully holy, it is arguably the case that there has to be things that are not holy. Allen Ginsburg affirms Blake (and, in another respect, Whitman) in his "Footnote to Howl": “Everything is holy! everybody's holy! everywhere is holy! everyday is in eternity! Everyman's an angel!”

^

Comments (5)

dannyno
  • 1. dannyno | 27/06/2014

In the chorus after "Screaming", the last line I hear as "That man cares", not "That man loves you".

Sumsiadad
  • 2. Sumsiadad | 30/01/2016

The ad played on nostalgia for rural and village life, and "Hovis land" may be another reference to a supposedly "heathen" Britain.


On the former, the advert didn't so much play on nostalgia for rural and village life as on nostalgia for some vanished mythical Northern England (not sure the life depicted was rural at all), much enhanced by the use of Joe Gladwin's wonderfully rhotic voice on the narration. On the latter, I think you're getting a little carried way, everyone (in the UK) would have known exactly what MES meant by using Hovis as an adjective, i.e. a sentimentalized cliched Northernness.

bzfgt
  • 3. bzfgt | 12/03/2016

Thanks, Sumsiadad, that's helpful; I have no idea about all this England stuff...

dannyno
  • 4. dannyno | 12/03/2016

Clarification might be useful. Sumsiadad is correct about the implications of "Hovis", but although Joe Gladwin was the voice of many Hovis adverts, he was not the voice of the famous bicycle delivery/New World Symphony advert, which actually has a mummerset accented voice-over.

There's relevant discussion on the FOF in the Venice With the Girls thread:
http://z1.invisionfree.com/thefall/index.php?showtopic=39284

bzfgt
  • 5. bzfgt | 19/03/2016

I can't keep all this straight, this will have to be a mess for a little while until I get the mental energy to straighten all that out...

Add a comment

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