Blind Rag

...mop my armpits, I've been dancing

I spend my days in awkward situations
In a front room I'm a backroom

This is a favourite of mine. Ben and I had written or improvised songs together before, but this one, recorded June 82, started frequent collaboration on lyrics which produced a number of good things. It is also the song in which a distinctive milieu is introduced, or at least brought to the fore, which is the story-world of The Undertow of Evening and quite well evoked in John Balance's blurb for Obscenity; also quite a strong comic element. I'm sure this co-writing intensified our novelistic ambitions and contributed to the increasing length and multi-part nature of some of the later songs, e.g. 'Living for Names', 'Tail in the Slipstream', 'The Mother in the Mind'. Also the song in which the mysterious Brother Michael first appears. The prepared piano can be heard clumping away in the background. The title does not mean much - vaguely expressive of abjectivity. GG

John and I had fiddled about with the 4-track once or twice, and I had been trying stuff out on my own, but this was the first "proper" Cultural Amnesia song recorded on the machine. BN

For release on Enormous Savages.

Blind rag

I spend my days in awkward situations
in a front room, I'm a back room
I spend my money on the town
feeling up and feeling down
I've got a buddy who buys me drinks
I've got a girl who's six months gone
and when I fall down in the dirt
I've got stains on my heart and stains on my shirt

Michael's angel's got the virus
mop my armpits I've been dancing
Brother Michael met his maker
gave him shit and hell and hardware

I've got a girl, she's so much a woman
she knows my stomach and she knows my shirts
I meet my girl in pubs and alleyways
and as we kiss, o as we kiss
I resurrect my insincerity
Brother Michael was killed yesterday

Brother Michael shot his girlie
threw himself from a tower block, screaming
- if I stuff my thoughts short maybe things will get better


Life falls through my trouser legs
like boys down back-street Putney
and I've got lips for cigarettes and bread and mango chutney
when I take her in my arms I say, tell me lord above
are we wrestling or embracing?
she says we're making love