enoweb

lyrics

: Here Come the Warm Jets :

Album cover



"The title Warm Jets came from the guitar sound on the track of that name, which I described on the track sheet as 'warm jet guitar', because it sounded like a tuned jet. Then I had the pack of playing cards with the picture of the woman in there, and they sort of connected. That was one of the things that was going on at the time: this idea that music was still tied to some idea of revolution, and that one of the revolutions was a sexual revolution. I wasn't making a big political point, I just liked having fun with those things. Most people didn't realise for a long time -- it was rather deeply concealed!"

Brian Eno, interviewed by Andy Gill in Mojo, June 1998



NEEDLES IN THE CAMEL'S EYE


Those who know
They don't let it show
They just give you one long life
And you go, oh oh, oh oh

Goes to show
How winds blow
The weather's fine
And I feel so so-so, so

Birds of prey
With too much to say
Oh what could be my destiny
Another rainy day

Why ask why?
For by the by and by
All mysteries are just more
Needles in the camel's eye


Alternative hearings:

Those who know == Girls who know (-- Don Ford)

They don't let it show == They don't let it go (-- R Carlberg)

They just give you one long life == They just give you one long glance == They just give you one long line (-- Tymothi Loving)

And you go == So you go (-- R Carlberg) == And you know (-- Don Ford) == So you go-oo-oooo-oo! (-- Tymothi Loving)



THE PAW PAW NEGRO BLOWTORCH


My, my my, we're treating each other just like strangers
I can't ignore the significance of these changes
But you can't treat it lightly,
And you'll have to face the consequences
All my worst fears are grounded
You have to make the choice between
The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch and me (no, no, no, no)

By this time time I got to looking for a kind of substitute
I can't tell you quite how,
Except that it rhymes with dissolute (oh naughty, naughty):
But my baby's so lazy, she is almost unable
And it's driving me crazy
'Cause her loving's just a fable that we sometimes try,
With passion, to recall...

Send for an ambulance or an accident investigator
He's breathing like a furnace, so
I'll see you later, alligator
He'll set the sheets on fire - mmm, quite a burning lover
Now he'll barbecue your kitten: he is just another learner lover
You have to make the choice between
The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch and me...


Alternative hearings:

I can't tell you quite how == I can't tell you who I found == I can't tell you what I found (-- R Carlberg) == I can't tell you what of (-- Tymothi Loving)

He's breathing like a furnace, so == He's breathing like a Furnace-saur

"He'll set the sheets on fire - mmm, quite a burning lover" == "We'll set the sheets on fire...it's a burning problem" (-- Kelly Higgins) == mmm, quite a funny lover (-- Don Ford)

mmm... quite a burning lover. i always thought - 'mmm.. bite a burning lover' also paw-paw negro blow torch in some pidgin/creole language = sunset (-- Andy Wood)

he is just another learner lover == He's just another lava lover == He's just another mother lover (-- Don Ford)

Now he'll barbecue your kitten: he is just another learner lover ==
He'll barbeque your mittened penis: just another murder lover
This was from an interview with BE just after HCTWJ was released; I think it was in "Creem" Mag -- Scott & Chris May

'Cause her loving's == And her loving's (-- R Carlberg) == And her laughing's (-- J Grisham)

Zot Lynn/Kelly Higgins: Hello and thank you! i have a few offerings for your lyrics page, all in the song "The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch". For "I can't tell you quite how", i heard "I can't tell you right out", which fits well with using a puzzle-hint of giving the rhyming word "dissolute", perhaps as a way of adhering to a promise of confidentiality while sneaking information around the limits of the promise. Rather than, "But my baby's so lazy, she is almost unable", i heard and was intrigued by, "But my baby's so lazy, she is almost a neighbor". Like others, i also heard "He's breathing like a furnace-saur" for "He's breathing like a furnace, so". The mishearing has a herpetological link into the next line: "I'll see you later, alligator" By the way, i live on a lake in humid Florida, USA with a swampy Cypress/ Gum/ Spanish Moss/ Heron shore habitat, and have alligators and many other herps as neighbors. "He'll set the sheets on fire - mmm, quite a burning lover" That's clear. How could i have ever heard "burning problem"? "Now he'll barbecue your kitten:" i'm delighted for your clarification on the kitten line that always puzzled me. "he is just another learner lover" makes sense, but i still prefer the full sentence i heard: "he is just another lover, lover.", where the speaker is using the plain anti-pet-name (and non-gender-specific) "lover" as a form of address when speaking to his lover.

References:

"Eno explains that this song was inspired by the case of A.W. Underwood of Paw Paw, Michigan, who could set things on fire merely by breathing on them. 'The song celebrates the possibility of a love affair with the man', says Eno." (More Dark Than Shark)

The word "Negro" was still in common and non-pejorative use in Britain in the early 1970's when this song was written. The choice of the word here should be viewed in this context.

Stewart Waller: Great to find this sight, as I have been an avid Eno fan since I was about fifteen. Now I am 37. Anyway, another possible inside rock reference in King's Lead Hat would be to Gong's David Allen: "I draw bananas on the bathroom wall. " David Allen, of Planet Gong fame, was obsessive about drawing his "Banana Moons" everywhere. In fact, when I met him in Baltimore once, we exchanged drawings, and his was, of course, a banana moon. If you look inside the album "Banana Moon, " a "Daevid" Allen solo album that includes Robert Wyatt and Gary Wright, there is a photo of the group posed against a dirty wall, with a banana moon drawn on it. And Daevid has a Banana in his mouth. About the right time frame, too.



BABY'S ON FIRE


Baby's on fire
Better throw her in the water
Look at her laughing
Like a heifer to the slaughter

Baby's on fire
And all the laughing boys are bitching
Waiting for photos
Oh the plot is so bewitching

Rescuers row row
Do your best to change the subject
Blow the wind blow blow
Lend some assistance to the object

Photographers snip snap
Take your time she's only burning
This kind of experience
Is necessary for her learning

If you'll be my flotsam
I could be half the man I used to
They said you were hot stuff
And that's what Baby's been reduced to...

Juanita and Juan
Very clever with maraccas
Making their fortunes
Selling second-hand tobaccoes

Juan dances at Chico's
And when the clients are evicted
He empties the ashtrays
And pockets all that he's collected

But Baby's on fire!
And all the instruments agree that
Her temperature's rising
But any idiot would know that.


Alternative hearings:

But any idiot == And any idiot (-- R Carlberg)

I think that in Babys on Fire, in the Juanita and Juan verse, he possibly could have said "And when the clients are addicted" instead of "when the clients are evicted". (-- saddie1)

Oh the plot is so bewitching == Of a party so bewitching (-- Sardonicusj)

Is it "waiting for photos..of her body so bewitching." not "plot is so bewitching"? (-- Eddieandhilary Street)

Selling second hand de factos (-- Eric Hurley)

and pockets all that he's collected = and profits all that he's collected (-- Hugh Helms)

References:

On the live album "801 Live," at the end of "Baby's on Fire," Eno yells out "But any idiot can see that!" Check it out! It's an interesting version. (-- Daryl Bullis)

Lindsay: I always thought in "Babies on Fire" the line is "If you'll be my foxhound, I could be half the man I used to be" .




CINDY TELLS ME


Cindy tells me, the rich girls are leaving,
Cindy tells me, they've given up sleeping alone
And now they're so confused
By their new freedoms.

And she tells me
They're selling up their maisonettes
Left their Hotpoints to rust in their kitchenettes
And they're saving their labours for insane reading.

Some of them lose -- and some of them lose,
But that's what they want --
And that's what they choose.
It's a burden --
such a burden
Oh what a burden to be so relied on.

Cindy tells me,
What will they do with their lives?
Living quietly -- like labourers' wives...
Perhaps they'll re-acquire those things
They've all disposed of.



Alternative hearings:

The rich girls are leaving == The rich girls are weeping (-- R Carlberg)

Some of them lose and some of them lose == Some have the blues and some of them lose (-- R Carlberg) == Some of the lose and some of them booze (-- Don Ford) == Some them bruise -- and some of them lose (-- Tymothi Loving)

It's a burden -- such a burden -- Oh what a burden to be so relied on == It's a burner, such a burner, ooh ooh, oh what a burner to be so relied on (-- Kelly Higgins) == It's a bother-- such a bother Oh what a bother to be so relied on (-- Aimee)

Cindy tells me == Cindy, tell me (-- R Carlberg)

Living quietly -- like labourers' wives... == Living quietly -- like labourous wives... (-- Tymothi Loving)

They're selling up their maisonettes == They're selling off their maisonettes (-- Sardonicusj)

Some of them lose -- and some of them lose == Some of them lose / and some of them loose (-- Sardonicusj)

References:

Maisonette: A flat (apartment) with its own separate entrance.

Hotpoint: a manufacturer of white goods -- cookers, fridges etc. These "labour-saving devices" (a buzz-phrase in the 1950's & '60's) get referred to again in the following line, "saving their labours". Eno carries this idea through into the last verse's "labourers' wives".



ON SOME FARAWAY BEACH


Given the chance
I'll die like a baby
On some faraway beach
When the season's over

Unlikely I'll be remembered
As the tide brushes sand in my eyes
I'll drift away

Cast up on a plateau
With only one memory
A silver sail on a boat
Oh lie low lie low, li-li-li-li li-li-lo


Alternative hearings:

A silver sail on a boat == A single syllable

References:

Lie low / Li-lo (final line):
A Lilo is a small inflatable for use on swimming pools. Eno's repetition of "li-lo, li-lo" may be a reference to a lullaby which begins "Lullay, lullay..."



DRIVING ME BACKWARDS


Ohohohohohohoh oh
Doo doo doo doo doo doo dah
I'll be there

Oh driving me backwards
Kids like me gotta be crazy

Moving me forwards
Perhaps you think that I'm lazy

Meet my relations
All of them grinning like facepacks

Such sweet inspiration
Curl me up, a flag in an icecap

Now I've found a sweetheart
Treats me good, just like an armchair

I try to think about nothing
Difficult, I'm most temperamental

I gave up my good living
Typical I'm most sentimental

Ah Luana's black reptiles
Sliding round make chemical choices

And she responds as expected
To the only sound, hysterical voices

And you are driving me backwards
Kids like me gotta be crazzzzzy i-i-i-i-i-i-i
doo doo doo dodoo dodah I'll be there.


Alternative hearings:

Perhaps you think that I'm lazy == You must think although I'm lazy (-- R Carlberg)

grinning like facepacks == grinning like facemasks (-- ecoffman)

Such sweet inspiration == Such sweet inspirators (-- R Carlberg)

Curl me up, a flag in an icecap == Cut me up the flag in an icecap (-- R Carlberg)

I try to think about nothing == Ah, try to think about loving

And you are driving me backwards == And you, you're driving me backwards (-- R Carlberg)



BLANK FRANK


Blank Frank: he's the messenger of your doom and your destruction.
Yes, he is the one who will set you up as nothing.
And he is the one who will look at you sideways
His particular skill is leaving bombs in people's driveways.

Blank Frank has a memory that's as cold as an iceberg
The only time he speaks is in incomprehensible proverbs
Blank Frank is the siren, he's the air-raid, he's the crater.
He's on the menu on the table, he's the knife and he's the waiter.


Alternative hearings:

His particular skill is leaving bombs in people's driveways == His particular skill is leaving marks in people's driveways (-- Tymothi Loving)

The only time he speaks is in incomprehensible proverbs == The only time he speaks is in incomprehensible bollocks (-- Wayne Hudson)



DEAD FINKS DON'T TALK


Oh cheeky cheeky
Oh naughty sneaky
You're so perceptive
And I wonder how you knew.

But dead finks don't walk too well (oh no)
A bad sense of direction (oh no)
And so they stumble round in threes (oh no)
Such a strange collection.

Oh, you headless chicken
Can those poor teeth take so much kicking?
You're always so charming
As you make your way up here.

And dead finks don't dress too well
No discrimination
To be a zombie all the time
Requires such dedication.

"Oh please sir, will you let it go by,
'Cos I failed both tests with my legs both tied
In my place the stuff is all there
I've been ever so sad for a very long time.

My my, they wanted the works:
Can you this? and that? I never got a letter back
More fool me, bless my soul
More fool me, bless my soul."

Oh perfect masters
They thrive on disasters
They all look so harmless
Till they find their way up here.

But dead finks don't talk too well
They've got a shaky sense of diction
It's not so much a living hell
It's just a dying fiction.


Alternative hearings:

Lines 5 and 13 I believe are "these finks" not "dead finks" although line 29 I think actually IS "dead finks" (-- R Carlberg)

As you make your way up here == As you peck your way up there (-- R Carlberg)

in "dead finks" i think it's "mournful me bless my soul," not "more fool me ..." (-- amy k) == More for me, bless my soul (-- Tymothi Loving)

you have the (oh no)s reversed in the chorus of dead finks (-- BrotherElectric)

can those poor teeth take so much kicking = can those broad teeth take so much kicking (-- Hugh Helms)

you have a lyric written as: "oh perfect masters, they thrive on disasters" I believe the correct lyric to be: "oh perfect bastards, they thrive on disasters" After several listens, I'm pretty sure about this. But it's your site. It's a great site, though. I really enjoyed it. (-- David Hisle)

I have one for your misheard Lyrics section. I always heard the line, 'But dead finks don't walk too well /A bad sense of direction' in Dead Finks Don't Talk from Here Come The Warm Jets as: 'But these finks don't walk to well/A passive soft erection'. I also thought that the (oh no) bit was (toto, toto) - weird wizard of oz reference? Stumbling round in threes with a passive soft erection makes a weird kind of sense to me... (-- Roger T Brown)

References:

Dead Finks Don’t Talk is the most randomly generated of my songs. I wrote the lyrics at home with my girl-friend with a cassette of the backing track from the studio. I sang whatever came into my mind as the song played through. Frequently they’re just nonsense words or syllables. First I try for the correct phonetic sound rather than the verbal meaning. Off the top I was singing ‘oh-dee-dow-gubba-ring-ge-dow.’ So I recorded these rubbish words and then I turned them back into words. It’s the exact opposite of the technique used in phonetic poetry where words are changed into pure sounds. I take sounds and change them into words.

Dead Finks is not about Bryan Ferry. After all the music was recorded and the words written, Chris Thomas (my producer and Roxy’s as well) said, ‘you’ll get me shot for that track. It’s obviously about Bryan.’ So I listened back to it and it obviously was. It was certainly something I hadn’t realised. Essentially all these songs have no meaning that I invested in them. Meanings can be generated within their own frame-work. It may be a very esoteric thing to talk about but I don’t think it’s entirely out of the question.” -- Brian Eno, 1973

A couple of lines of vocal in "Dead Finks Don't Talk" are in reverse phase, so that if you play the track in mono they disappear. Try it! (-- Lee Mendham)



SOME OF THEM ARE OLD


People come and go
And forget to close the door,
And leave their stains and cigarette butts trampled on the floor,
And when they do, remember me, remember me.

Some of them are old,
Some of them are new,
Some of them will turn up when you least expect them to,
And when they do, remember me, remember me.

Lucy you're my girl,
Lucy you're a star,
Lucy please be still and hide your madness in a jar,
But do beware: it will follow you, it will follow you.

Some of them are old
But it would help if you could smile,
To earn a crooked sixpence you'll walk many a crooked mile,
And when you do, remember me, remember me.


References:

To earn a crooked sixpence you'll walk many a crooked mile == To earn a crooked sixpence you'll walk many crooked miles (-- R Carlberg)

And when you do == And as you do (-- R Carlberg)

References:

To earn a crooked sixpence you'll walk many a crooked mile (penultimate line): a reference to the nursery rhyme:

There was a crooked man
Who walked a crooked mile
And found a crooked sixpence
Beside a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat
And it caught a crooked mouse
And they all lived together
In his little crooked house.



HERE COME THE WARM JETS


[...Inaudible...]
[Further] we make claims on [our teas]
[Dawn inner here] for we've nowhere to be
Nowhere to be
Nowhere to be
[Father stains], we're all on our knees
Down on our words and we've nothing to be
Nothing to be
Nothing to be
Further down we're all on our [sails]
[Paid to upheed] though we've nothing these days
Nothing these days
Nothing these days
[Further still, their stall in a daze]
We're down on our knees and we've nothing to say
Nothing to say
Nothing to say...

Note: The lyrics above are what Tom reckons he heard on the cleaned-up version of the song included in the Eno Box set. Words in brackets are things he's not sure about.

Alternative hearings:

I was especially pleased to see someone had had a go at the "Here Come The Warm Jets" (song) lyrics as these had always intrigued me. I already had a few ideas and comparing what I had with what's on the site was interesting and informative. Here are a few observations:

I think the first word of the first line of each verse is "father" or "farther" in each case. I'm certain that the last word of verse 1 line 1 is "knees" just like verse 2. I'd make a stab at the first line actually being "Father we make prayers on our knees". Try "Dawning a year" or perhaps "Dawn in a year" for the first few words of the second line of verse 1. I'msure verse 2 line 1 word 3 is "they're" and not "we're" - in other words in "Father (or whatever it is) stains", "stains" is not a verb but a noun and the words together are not a description of what father does but is a description of what the stain is - i.e. the "they're" refers to the stain and not to us.

The first two words of verse 3 are "Father drowned" (maybe "Father drowns" but I'd favour the former) which would I guess sit in with the "sails" reference later, but perhaps I was being subconsciously influenced there. I think the first line of verse 4 is "Father, here they're sprawled in a daze". That doesn't make much more sense than what was there before, but it was particularly the "sprawled in a daze" bit that stood out.

The whole thing seems to be vaguely about praying or being on your knees (rather than just one or two verses on this thread) although given the title of the song it could be about being on your knees doing something quite different I suppose. Crowded House had an album called "The Temple Of Low Men" which I am told, although I'd never encountered the phrase myself, has sexual connotations which may also fit in vaguely here - given my interpretation on the "praying" front. -- Simon Coward

Gary Sweeden adds: Taking into consideration what Tom put together, along with Simon's additions here's what I came up with.

Father, we make claims on our knees
Dawn enter here for we've nowhere to be
Nowhere to be
Nowhere to be

Father, stains they're all on our knees
Down on our words and we've nothing to be
Nothing to be
Nothing to be

Father, down we're all on our saints
Paid to appease though we've nothing these days
Nothing these days
Nothing these days

Father, here they're sprawled in a daze
We're down on our knees and we've nothing to say
Nothing to say
Nothing to say...

I've listened to this tune many times and I always got the feeling he was talking about the general dismal state of the praying masses. They've said it all so many times but nothing has changed, they've got nowhere to be, nothing to be, and nothing in they're pocket, therefore they've got nothing more to say. I'm sure my lyrics aren't right, and you can't read too much into any Eno lyrics, but I think this is one song where he actually wanted to say something with them.

R Carlberg adds: I believe Gary Sweeden's interpretation is close.

Father please make claims on our knees
Don't enter here for we've nowhere to be
Nowhere to be
Nowhere to be

Father stays, they're all on our knees
Down on our words and we've nothing to be
Nothing to be
Nothing to be

Father, down we're all in our save (makes no sense but whatever)
Paid to appease though we've nothing these days
Nothing these days
Nothing these days

Father dear they're sprawled in a daze
We're down on our knees and we've nothing to say

(Note: last phrase does not repeat!) It occurs to me that these could be priests' names: Father Pease, Father Stace, Father Downey, Father Dear but it's impossible to say with any certainty.

Paul Edwards interjects:
Re the lyrics to 'Here Come the Warm Jets' (Title Track). I seem to recall an interview or review and it was noted that this track is about the act of micturition. In this context, some of the words may be interpreted differently (if they could be heard!). The phrase 'nowhere to be' for example is actually "nowhere to pee".

Jim Benbow says:
Here is what I hear / imagine:
[Further] we make claims on our knees
Gone in a year for we've nowhere to be
Nowhere to be
Nowhere to be

[Father stains], we're all on our knees
Down on our words and we've nothing to be
Nothing to be
Nothing to be

Further down we're all on our saints
[Paid to upheed] though we've nothing these days
Nothing these days
Nothing these days

Father give them straw men of [fate/faith]
We're down on our knees and we've nothing to say
Nothing to say
Nothing to say...

Donald Kloss ruminates:

I thought you might be interested to know that the people who introduced me to this album told me that the last lines in that first verse of the song are, "we're on our own and there's no place to pee, no place to pee, no place to pee". I was told that this refered directly to the song/album title, and to the card deck on the cover. I've never talked to anyone familiar with the album that did not hear the lyrics this way. I was also told that the title Baby's On Fire was also a reference to this theme, the "fire" being bodily symptoms of VD. This, incidentially, was in the rural midwest, of all places.

Don Ford proposes:

On Thursdays.

Kian Bergstrom quibbles:

If you care... Jim Benbow's lyric hearing is pretty good as far as this song goes. I agree with much of it. But, I think I may be able to improve on it:

Father, we've spent days on our knees
Gone in a year, for we've no where to be
Nowhere to be
Nowhere to be

Father stays, we're all on our knees
Down on our words and we've nothing to be
Nothing to be
Nothing to be

Father, down, we're all on our sails
Hail to our keys, but we've nothing these days
Nothing these days
Nothing these days

Father, give them straw men of faith
We're down on our knees and we've nothing to say
Nothing to say
Nothing to say

I really appreciate the site, by the way. It's a wonderful resource, and very well put together. Kudos.

D. Michael Ramirez II: Hey, I don't know if this relates, but I bought the album in Japan, and it has the lyrics printed in english as well as Japanese translations (which I am able to read and understand) Related to here come the warm jets, the printed lyrics state the first verse throws out, where on you're page, where it says, "inaudible"
*****
We know when to come
but we know where to leave...
all these days when we were down on our luck
and learning to live
****
I don't know that since these lyrics are printed and in the album cover that they might not fit with the spirit of your sight, and personally, I consider the lyrics up there just as correct. But, I was just throwing this out in case you didn't know.

Phil Stinard: I was pleased to find and read your extensive collection of lyrics and alternative lyrics for Brian Eno's album "Here Come the Warm Jets." After listening carefully to the album several times with your lyrics by my side, I found that in several instances (but not all), I was able to hear both sets of lyrics, depending on what I was listening for. Then I listened to the album without the lyrics in front of me, and noticed some "slipping" or discontinuities in Eno's voice, as well as grammatical errors, at some points in the songs. It sounds to me like he sometimes recorded two different sets of lyrics for sections of some songs, and then superimposed them for an ambiguous effect. That could explain the "mittened penis" vs. "kitten, he is" hearings in the Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch. Maybe both sets are superimposed, and you hear whichever one you want to hear. The most obvious example of superimposed lyrics is in "Driving Me Backwards," were lyrical slippage is rampant. Generally, the two sets are the same, and are only out of phase in their timing, especially towards the ends of the lines, but I think that the "facepacks/facemasks" hearing definitely shows two different words superimposed.

Which brings me to my main reason for writing, which is the controversy over the lyrics to the song "Here Come the Warm Jets." Some of the controversy is surely due to the low volume/high noise manner in which the vocals were recorded/produced, but some could be due to superimposition of two (or more) recordings. In fact, the "stall in a daze/sprawled in a daze" line is so garbled, that it's very hard to figure out meaning from it. The religious connotations are obvious, but I would go much beyond this and say that the song is mainly sexual in nature and makes metaphorical comparisons of sex/urination with religous worship, but that the sexual dimension predominates. First, one must abandon one's sexual preconceptions and hangups and admit that men sometimes have sex in bathrooms, and that for many it's no big deal. With that it mind, I view this song as an unabashed anthem to bathroom sex. The singer's viewpoint is factual and unapologetic. Now, Eno might have made this song tongue-in-cheek in order to shock and mystify the listeners, but the words and meaning are there. Here is what I heard:

Father we make claims on our knees
Don't enter here for we've nowhere to pee
Nowhere to pee
Nowhere to pee
Father stains, they're all on our knees
Down on our worms and we've nothing to pee
Nothing to pee
Nothing to pee
Farther down we're all on our saints
Made to appease though we've nothing these days
Nothing these days
Nothing these days
[Further still, their stall in a daze.] (Can't figure this one out.)
We're down on our knees and we've nothing to say
Nothing to say
Nothing to say

"Father we make claims on our knees" could mean supplication in a religious or a sexual sense. "Don't enter here for we've nowhere to pee," could be a warning to "straight" guys that the place is for sex, not urination. "Father stains" on our knees is an obvious reference to semen or urine stains. "Down on our worms" could be a reference to "going down" on someone's "worm", as could "we're all on our saints," with "saints" referring to other men. (Madonna wasn't the first one to make the correlation between sex and religion :-) "Nothing to pee" could be referring to ejaculation as opposed to urination. "Made" (or paid) "to appease" could refer to the use of force or money for services rendered. You might think that my interpretations are shocking or extreme, but I don't want these possibilities to be overlooked in the quest for a solution to this riddle. Thank you for your consideration.




Just a couple of things that I think have informed Eno's lyrics: The Irish writer Flann O'Brien (also known as Brian O'Nolan and Myles ns cGopaleen) wrote a column in the Irish Times for a good twenty years or so, as well as publishing five or six novels. One of them, 'The Third Policeman' includes a character named Michael Finnucane, who says 'If any man should look at you sideways, I will rip his belly'. This seems to turn up in 'Blank Frank'.

The same book is also full of footnotes which grow longer as the book goes on, and which have no bearing on the story at all. Most of the footnotes deal with a fictional mad scientist named de Selby, whose own books include 'Golden Hours'. Some of de Selby's writings are so obscure that his many commentators can never agree on their meaning. In Flann O'Brien's newspaper column, he occasionally warned against writing in Gaelic, because he liked to be sure that if he had written 'The weather was fine last Tuesday', it would not be interpreted as 'So-and-so is a thief and a drunkard'.

Some of the alternative hearings are amusing since they are merely substituting one nonsense for another, but I suppose if they sound good, then they'll do. Also, the title 'More Dark Than Shark' reminds me of a title used by Samuel Beckett for a collection of his short stories—'More Pricks Than Kicks'. Beckett's title in turn comes from the Bible, Acts 26:14 if you're keen. You'll need a King James. (-- Nathan Farrelly)



THANKS TO:


Craig Clark, Jay Sachs, Phil Gyford and other nameless denizens of the alt.music.brian-eno newsgroup who worked together in 1995 to create the transcriptions on which the EnoWeb's lyrics pages are based.


The references are not intended to indicate the "meaning" of the lyrics -- it's well-known that Brian did not intend his lyrics to have a set meaning and often selected words for the way they sounded. The references may, however, suggest some of the reasons why some words or phrases got chosen rather than others.


Back to lyrics page

home