Fantastic Bird - lyrics and some thoughts

Jamie

Bluff, Ardour & Assoc.
Lyrics courtesy of Stephane's fine Passions Just Like Mine site (plug! plug!). I only became aware the other day that these were posted over there. First, at just a glance and w/out the aid of the music, these are truly some of the most bizarre lyrics I think I've seen from Morrissey, like a private joke put to music. Second, note the line "you say I wanna be the first stand up comedian in outer space."

Is this a reference to Michael Legge, the comedian who supplied the four HMV-era studio outtakes back in the early part of the decade (Striptease, Phoney, Born to Hang, Piccadilly Palare unedited)? I don't ever recall this connection being discussed. (Correct me if I'm wrong, Kewpie.) How did he come about these recordings? Why was he allowed to disseminate them so freely, without apparent legal ruckus from Morrissey's camp? After all, Mr Reynolds has said that someone in touch with Morrissey was asking him to not post further unreleased material - I believe he was sensitive about Honey You Know Where to Find Me, if memory serves.

Maybe I missed something along the way, but it seems like all the while people were chasing ghosts of Jake, there could have been a deeper mystery at play.

Cheers,
Jamie




So then you've found your place
You say I wanna be the first
Stand up comedian in outer space
But then in a fantastic bird
Fantastic bird

Space is gonna thrill you
Space could even kill you
But space will never love you like I do

Reflecting light down to earth
Oh yes then some humour too
Just enough to make us know we don't miss you

Have you checked suspension in the fantastic bird
Fantastic bird

Science can engulf you
Science then propels you
But science will never love you like I do

What brings you down to earth
Ah yes of course
Yes, yes, it was a lack of applause

Scrap metal for a fantastic bird
Fantastic bird

Science propels you
Science still engulfs you
But science will never love you like I do

Cause when you land
All do I hear is my voice
Welcome I love you, don't you see
Don't you see
 

Mars_Rover

Junior Member
Interesting.

For what it's worth, Mr. Legge's MySpace page says he's married and straight.
 

Uncleskinny

It's all good
Subscriber
Sound like he's having a larf at someone with a penchant for these, and related cars.

As was posted, but 'dissed', some time ago, I think we now know the triumvirate of new songs on the updated Southpaw Grammar. It's an Alian Whyte song, isn't it?

Peter
 

King Leer

Leering since '97
I have to say I wouldn't have guessed those as Morrissey lyrics on sight alone.

I always took the title to have some kind of double meaning, with half of it being the british equivalent of "hot chick". Narrative-wise I thought it would be in the vein of Dagenham Dave or Spring-Heeled Jim combined with some kind of Phoenix rising from the ashes angle.

...Daddy took my T-Bird away?



Lyrics courtesy of Stephane's fine Passions Just Like Mine site (plug! plug!). I only became aware the other day that these were posted over there. First, at just a glance and w/out the aid of the music, these are truly some of the most bizarre lyrics I think I've seen from Morrissey, like a private joke put to music. Second, note the line "you say I wanna be the first stand up comedian in outer space."

Is this a reference to Michael Legge, the comedian who supplied the four HMV-era studio outtakes back in the early part of the decade (Striptease, Phoney, Born to Hang, Piccadilly Palare unedited)? I don't ever recall this connection being discussed. (Correct me if I'm wrong, Kewpie.) How did he come about these recordings? Why was he allowed to disseminate them so freely, without apparent legal ruckus from Morrissey's camp? After all, Mr Reynolds has said that someone in touch with Morrissey was asking him to not post further unreleased material - I believe he was sensitive about Honey You Know Where to Find Me, if memory serves.

Maybe I missed something along the way, but it seems like all the while people were chasing ghosts of Jake, there could have been a deeper mystery at play.

Cheers,
Jamie




So then you've found your place
You say I wanna be the first
Stand up comedian in outer space
But then in a fantastic bird
Fantastic bird

Space is gonna thrill you
Space could even kill you
But space will never love you like I do

Reflecting light down to earth
Oh yes then some humour too
Just enough to make us know we don't miss you

Have you checked suspension in the fantastic bird
Fantastic bird

Science can engulf you
Science then propels you
But science will never love you like I do

What brings you down to earth
Ah yes of course
Yes, yes, it was a lack of applause

Scrap metal for a fantastic bird
Fantastic bird

Science propels you
Science still engulfs you
But science will never love you like I do

Cause when you land
All do I hear is my voice
Welcome I love you, don't you see
Don't you see
 

King Leer

Leering since '97
These, on the other hand, do sound like Moz words.

It's also worth considering that the song was recorded circa 1992, not long after he'd fallen out with Vic Reeves?

Interestingly the lyrics to You Should Have Been Nice To Me are also new up on Passions Just like Mine (reprinted below). So maybe, if Stefane has been sent an advance copy, the three unreleased tracks on Southpaw Redux will be Honey.../ ... Nice To Me.../ and Fantastic Bird???

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN NICE TO ME

You could have told me
At the right time
You could have introduced me proudly
Never need to have to kiss me
Never need to ever touch me
But
You should have been nice to me
You should have been nice to me
It would have been so easy
And on the moments
When I was down
You could have been there
You could have been there
You could have once just spoke in favour
You'd never need to ever touch me
But
You should have been nice to me
You should have been nice to me
It wouldn't cost you money
And on the moments
When I fell down
Not for you to say 'oh I told you so'
You could have waited
You could have waited
You could have waited
 

Ethan Poe

New Member
I really hope that Fantastic Bird does get released on the re-release. Mostly because I think the lyrics are quite interesting...oddly reminding me of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I still am uncertain as to if it will make it on the release....or if this re-release happens at all
 

Jamie

Bluff, Ardour & Assoc.
I'm enjoying the different tangents and theories that this topic is siring, especially because so many are plausible.

For my part:

--Didn't think of the timing of Vic Reeves
--Also assumed, in my mind, that it was a tongue-in-cheek and (before I saw the lyrics) ambiguous take on "bird" for "girl" slang
--after I DID see the lyrics, the so-called "Major Tom thread" occurred to me (Space Oddity, Morning Starship)

It would seem that the evidence is mounting of this being the third track, but it still makes little sense chronologically if this was recorded post-Arsenal. (My best guess is that it was recorded at the Certain People I Know B-sides sesion.) Buddy Buried Deeply and Laughing Anne are the only two other titles from the Southpaw era that have been dangled about with any frequency. Stephane has never mentioned the former in recent threads and all but debunked the latter as a possibility, though it appears to exist in SOME form beyond a demo. The other overly logical (and somewhat disappointing) suspect is the alternate Reader Meet Author.

And, really, I didn't intend to go down the "romantic liaison" route with respect to Legge. I just don't ever remember Morrissey mentioning him or any prior connection. Thus, how did he come to acquire those tracks and what circumstances kept it from generating any (known) legal action from Morrissey? Usually when Morrissey has an affinity with a more obscure artist/band (Linder, Angelic Upstarts, Kristeen Young), he is shouting their praises from the rooftops.

Ah, here's a spark: Andrew MacGibbon (AKA, Paresi) is a comedian and would have drummed on all four of those outtakes. Maybe he and Legge were/are acquaintances. Perhaps he was the source? Morrissey seemingly had an affinity for the guy, hence why he let it lie. All possible...or not.

Cheers,
Jamie
 

Corrissey

lovable loser
I really hope that Fantastic Bird does get released on the re-release. Mostly because I think the lyrics are quite interesting...oddly reminding me of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I still am uncertain as to if it will make it on the release....or if this re-release happens at all

I'd love for this to be on the re-release. I've always found it mysterious but within reach :cool:;) It May All End Tomorrow says that it was a instrumental written by Alain Whyte in 1992. I didn't realize there were lyrics. I also go along in thinking they are not very Morrissey-like.

I love 90's Morrissey. And I'm anxious to hear it and like it! for something new and old ;)

Oh and "Bird" happens to be my daughter's nickname. The kid has her "own" Morrissey song now :cool: :)
 

Stephane

Pashernate member
A note to everyone before you over-analyse the lyrics for "Fantastic Bird": I transcribed these a few years ago the best I could, but there are a few lines where I was not sure what Morrissey was singing. He does mumble some of the lines, at least on the version I have. When the song comes out you might have a few corrections to make. I should take the song out and check the lyrics again, but I'm pretty sure the 'humour' line and the 'science can engulf you' are guesses on my part.

I don't think there any mistakes in the lyrics to "You Should Have Been Nice To Me" and "Honey You Know Where To Find Me" however.

As for someone guessing the origins of the song, all I know is that an instrumental version of it was demoed in June 1992 along with "Let The Right One Slip In". The 'definitive' version might have been recorded then, or maybe in August with the "Certain People I Know" b-sides.

Stephane
 

joe frady

Vile Refusenik
I'm enjoying the different tangents and theories that this topic is siring, especially because so many are plausible.

For my part:

--Didn't think of the timing of Vic Reeves
--Also assumed, in my mind, that it was a tongue-in-cheek and (before I saw the lyrics) ambiguous take on "bird" for "girl" slang
--after I DID see the lyrics, the so-called "Major Tom thread" occurred to me (Space Oddity, Morning Starship)

It would seem that the evidence is mounting of this being the third track, but it still makes little sense chronologically if this was recorded post-Arsenal. (My best guess is that it was recorded at the Certain People I Know B-sides sesion.) Buddy Buried Deeply and Laughing Anne are the only two other titles from the Southpaw era that have been dangled about with any frequency. Stephane has never mentioned the former in recent threads and all but debunked the latter as a possibility, though it appears to exist in SOME form beyond a demo. The other overly logical (and somewhat disappointing) suspect is the alternate Reader Meet Author.

And, really, I didn't intend to go down the "romantic liaison" route with respect to Legge. I just don't ever remember Morrissey mentioning him or any prior connection. Thus, how did he come to acquire those tracks and what circumstances kept it from generating any (known) legal action from Morrissey? Usually when Morrissey has an affinity with a more obscure artist/band (Linder, Angelic Upstarts, Kristeen Young), he is shouting their praises from the rooftops.

Ah, here's a spark: Andrew MacGibbon (AKA, Paresi) is a comedian and would have drummed on all four of those outtakes. Maybe he and Legge were/are acquaintances. Perhaps he was the source? Morrissey seemingly had an affinity for the guy, hence why he let it lie. All possible...or not.

Cheers,
Jamie
Exactly what I figured Jamie. I'd bet my bundle that Andrew MacParesi is the connection twixt Moz and Mr.Legge. By the late 90s he'd descended from drumming to comedy and would have been around the same comedy circuits as Legge. MacGibbon was also the man responsible for the 'Melanie' farrago. Still cannot really work out why Morrissey let it lie though. Can't remember exactly when the four Legge demos appeared online but perhaps at that time (2001/2002?) Moz wasn't as lawyered-up as he is these days. And yet he squashed 'South with Morrissey' (2000) in a heartbeat. But Barry Derbyshire was making money off that whereas Legge wasnt, so.....who knows?

A note to everyone before you over-analyse the lyrics for "Fantastic Bird": I transcribed these a few years ago the best I could, but there are a few lines where I was not sure what Morrissey was singing. He does mumble some of the lines, at least on the version I have. When the song comes out you might have a few corrections to make. I should take the song out and check the lyrics again, but I'm pretty sure the 'humour' line and the 'science can engulf you' are guesses on my part.

I don't think there any mistakes in the lyrics to "You Should Have Been Nice To Me" and "Honey You Know Where To Find Me" however.

As for someone guessing the origins of the song, all I know is that an instrumental version of it was demoed in June 1992 along with "Let The Right One Slip In". The 'definitive' version might have been recorded then, or maybe in August with the "Certain People I Know" b-sides.

Stephane
'When' as opposed to 'if' ?
Kind regards,
joe.
 

sistasheila

tjekket
I don't know if you can tell us, but it would be interesting to know how you got to listen to those tracks!

yes .._I second that
how did you come across the lyrics? as far as i understand your post ^^ you have only heard the instrumental version...of this song

would you mind to -please- share either versions of the song?
or is this song already floating around in the internet somewhere?


When the song comes out you might have a few corrections to make.
but since it was recorded in 92 in wouldnt be included on the southpaw album anyway..since the extra tracks there will be only from 95 right?
so this song will probably never see the light of the day?
 

King Leer

Leering since '97
The thinking might be that the track was going to be finished off during the Southpaw sessions, which obviously never happened, so Moz is attaching it to that era rather than Arsenal's.

The lyrics may have been written down much later than the original demo, but I don't know whether Stephane heard it with vocals (?).

Speaking of which, how about a brief description of the music, por favor?

but since it was recorded in 92 in wouldnt be included on the southpaw album anyway..since the extra tracks there will be only from 95 right?
so this song will probably never see the light of the day?
 

Stephane

Pashernate member
The lyrics may have been written down much later than the original demo, but I don't know whether Stephane heard it with vocals (?).

Of course I have, how do you think I've transcribed the lyrics in the first place?

:)

Speaking of which, how about a brief description of the music, por favor?

"Fantastic Bird" is a very rocking song. "You Should Have Been Nice To Me" is quite mellow. You've heard the instrumental being circulated under the incorrect title "Laughing Anne". And I guess you've heard that incomplete outtake of "Honey You Know Where To Find Me" that Mr Reynolds leaked a few years ago, so you know it's a bouncy number a la "Best Friend On The Payroll".

Stephane
 

King Leer

Leering since '97
Sorry, somehow I missed the paragraph you wrote about transcribing it.

If someone had a scan of the hand written original that'd be something. Come to think of it, it's quite a rarity in the Smiths/Moz canon. What are the existing examples?

Of course I have, how do you think I've transcribed the lyrics in the first place?

:)



"Fantastic Bird" is a very rocking song. "You Should Have Been Nice To Me" is quite mellow. You've heard the instrumental being circulated under the incorrect title "Laughing Anne". And I guess you've heard that incomplete outtake of "Honey You Know Where To Find Me" that Mr Reynolds leaked a few years ago, so you know it's a bouncy number a la "Best Friend On The Payroll".

Stephane
 

Stephane

Pashernate member
Just a slight correction. A few years ago when discussing with the person who has leaked the Miraval sessions we came to the conclusion that the instrumental he had leaked under the title "Laughing Anne" (it was a guess on his part, based on the note sheet leaked somewhere) was in fact an instrumental of "You Should Have Been Nice To Me". I just pulled everything out again to check and I'm not so sure anymore. I'm no musician, and I'm not very good at this. Some elements sound like "You Should..." but some clearly don't.

Someone told me in private that the instrumental to "You Should..." was in fact the one leaked as #2, but that doesn't fit either. I checked the other instrumentals from the Miraval sessions, including some that were not leaked, and none of them are obvious instrumentals of songs that have been recorded with vocals, whether they were released on "Southpaw Grammar" or left off.

But then I keep hearing that "Glass Menagerie" is an early version of "The Teachers Are Afraid Of The Pupils" and besides the fact that both are based on a looped sample, I can't hear the similarity myself, so what do I know. I probably couldn't even recognise the Happy Birthday song is you played me an instrumental of it.

So all in all that doesn't change anything to "Southpaw Grammar". I just wanted to make the correction about that instrumental. It's similar to "You Should..." but not quite the same.

Stephane
 
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