This Leaden Pall cover

This Leaden Pall

This Leaden Pall cover


Ivan Mauger New Zealand World Speedway champion 1968-70, 72, 77, 79. The chant is in the style of a footy terrace 'tune'.
Christian Salvesen Norwegian-based freight company.
Curries of Dumfries Road haulage company.
Norbert Dentressangle Another road haulage company.
Rider Would it surprise you to learn that this is a road haulage company?
North Staffs Police Police from North Staffordshire(!)
Knutsford... Cheshire town. limits Referring to Ike & Tina Turner's "Nutbush City Limits" from the early 70's.
TNT Overnight Express parcels.
"K-R-O-K-U-S, Krokus know my home address...." Krokus (heavy metal bunch) had a 1986 album entitled "Change of Address", featuring the s"hit"e, "Burning Up The Night" (ta Ken!).
Yngwie Malmsteen of Rising Force fame. Cock-rocker. Footy terrace chant.


4AD Arty indie label. Noted for designer LP sleeves, and fanatical devotees. The Pixies, The Throwing Muses, The Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance and This Mortal Coil are typical stuff.
David Lynch Film director, Blue Velvet, Eraserhead, Twin Peaks (a bit of).
Tony Iommi Guitarist in Black Sabbath.
Foundation Course first year of an art school degree.
barnet (fair) = hair. From (High) Barnet, London, of course.
Man Ray Photographer and otherwise arty farty avante garde person. Think nudes with violins painted on their backs and faces photoed with glass tears.
"You're the Man, Ray!", much in the way that golf spectators yell it after a tee-off. (juxtaposition of Ray Floyd and Man Ray?)
David Dundas actually Lord David Dundas, son of the 3rd Marquess of Zetland, more readily known a one-hit wonder with "Jeans On" which was later used in a Brutus jeans ad. Actually a lord of some nature, and perhaps descended from the man who built the first steamboat. Did the music in "Withnail and I" too, and also wrote "Four Score", the four notes that they play on Channel Four. You know, derrrr derrrr der derrrrrrr. But why didn't he get any rock cakes?

Running Order Squabble Fest

5K £5000 in business circles, but referring to the wattage of the PA in 'ver muso biz.
CND Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, former beneficiaries of the Glastonbury Festival and also refers to the next couple...
Chas & Dave Cockney pub song duo. Hits like "Rabbit" or whatever it was called, and "Let's all go down The Strand", "Down to Margate", "Gertcha" AND! all those early 80s Spurs FA Cup records. Ossie's going to Wembley, his knees have gone all trembly, etc.
Crispy Ambulance Early 80's Manchester indie group, not unlike Joy Division, much loved by John Peel. The link has a good history.
Chanting similar to soccer thug refrain "You're going home in a St. John Ambulance".

Whiteness Thy Name is Meltonian

Meltonian Shoe polish brand.
Slough of Despond From John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. Also Slough in Berkshire is pretty despondent.
Sonia Lanaman... British 80's athlete
"...sleeps with the fishes tonight" "Sleeps With The Fishes" was a solo album by Pieter Nooten of Clan of Xymox fame. Think the phrase also appears in the Godfather, in respect of a Mafia enemy who's been "concrete shoed".
Duck Stab is an LP by The Residents.
Harry the Dog was the leader of F Troop, the notorious 70's mob that followed Millwall FC. They featured on a Panorama documentary.
Dwight Stones US high-jumper and Olympic medallist (70's-80's).
Fosbury Fosbury flop, the backwards jump high jumpers do.
"...The cemetery's full of indispensable cobblers" from a Charles de Gaulle quote, 'The cemeteries of the world are full of indispensable men'.

This Leaden Pall

2163 sounds like it should be a book in Arthur C. Clarke's 2000 series, but it's not.
Chester Barnes Table tennis player who defected to China sometime in the 80's (it's true - check here). He is now the Assistant Trainer to Martin Pipe (former National Hunt Champion trainer, trainer of Miinehoma, Carvills Hill, etc.)
Stannah A high profile stair lift, recently (late '97) popularised by Pulp in their "Help The Aged" video where they really do take a "Stannah to the stars"...
Is that a mention of Doom?
Anita Roddick Founder and owner (?) of The Body Shop. Into empowering women.
Tales from Topographic Oceans A Yes album. I once heard it described as the most unlistenable album of all time. Artwork by Roger Dean (see Dickie Davies Eyes).

Turned Up Clocked On Laid Off

Title refers to Dr. Timothy Leary's (Beach Boys Wilson notorious mentor) quote "Tune in, Turn on, Drop out".
Medicine Head 70's band who still seem to be going.
Allotments small plots of land rented from the council -- used to be very common when people didn't have gardens, only yards, but now mostly rented by oldies. Usually have great sheds on them, and weird vegetables not found anywhere else.
Mickey Most Record producer, used to appear on ITV 'New Faces' "talent" show in 70's
"The father, son and Mickey Most" Taken from Don McLean's (another D Mc) "American Pie", "the 3 men I admire most, father, son and holy ghost". And some famous religious poem.
Peter Glaze Regular on 'Crackerjack' BBC kids programme (60's and 70's). Now deceased.
Don McLean Peter Glaze's sidekick on 'Crackerjack'. They were not funny.
"Sign on, with no hope in your heart, When you walk through a storm you get wet" Parodies the LFC song "You'll Never Walk Alone", namely "Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart... When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high" No doubt this is brought on by Merseyside rivalry, HMHB being big Tranmere Rovers fans. REF: Signing On is the humiliating fortnightly ritual required to prove that you're still out of work.

Improv Workshop Mimeshow Gobshite

WI Women's Institute. The sort of organization joined by middle-class, middle-aged ladies in small towns. Good at making jam and collecting for nice safe charities.
Barmouth is on the coast in Gwynedd, Wales. Not that far from Machynlleth, in fact.
Pineapple A famous dance studio and associated range of horrid leotards etc. founded by ex-dancer Debbie Moore in the late 70s/early 80s. I'm pretty sure it went bust. Coincidentally also a pine furniture chain.
"Cats Phantom Starlight Les" London West End musicals, Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Starlight Express, Les Miserables.
Blackfoot Sue Early 70s band. Bit glam rocky. One hit, "Standing In The Road", No.4 1972.
Farnborough Town Non-league footy club from Hampshire. Farnborough is famous for its air show and the odd FA cup upset.
Crown Green Bowling The nearest the North West has come to three-dimensional chess. A religious ritual akin to sumo, and a sport for intellectual titans. Talk to anyone from St Helens.
"The future's so dull I've got to sing torch songs" as opposed to "The Future's So Bright I've Gotta Wear Shades" by one hit wonders Timbuk3.
Kenneth [Branagh] Emma [Thompson] Sickening actor luvvy (now ex-)couple.
RADA Royal Academy for Dramatic Arts.
Left Bank Rive gauche, Paris. Used to be a trendy place where bohemians, students etc would hang out. Now a tourist trap.
Rainer Werner [Fassbinder] artsy film director.

13 Eurogoths Floating in the Dead Sea

See the Live Section for the version of this with verses.

Whit Week Malarkey

Explanation of Whit week hols and their importance in Northern towns in the pre-war era....
Kos about the fourth biggest of the Greek Islands.
Vicky Leandros Greek one-hit wonder, "Come What May", No.2 1972. Think she was in the Eurovision Song Contest. Slightly hipper than Nana Mouskouri, but only just. Largely known to UK audiences for her repeated appearances on German variety show Star Parade which used to turn up at 1am before we had 24 hour TV.
The Edge U2 guitarist.
buy-on paying to be the support act on a tour.
Marquee London rock club.
Vow Wow An 80's Japanese Glam Metal band (another example of Nigel being obsessed with 70's/80's Metal).
"Ooh he's here again" parody of "The Man With The Child In His Eyes" by Kate Bush.
eyes down bingo caller speak. Bingo is a social gambling game where someone shouts out numbers picked at random and you cross out numbers on a card.
Karaoke you don't need this explaining.
Boz Scaggs Shite American singer/songwriter. Think Huey Lewis. "What Can I Say" Top 10 in 1977. to quote Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now: "the horror.... the horror...."
"singing lido" Boz Scaggs had a song "Lido Shuffle".
Haunted by a Red Indian Reference to Oliver Stone's biopic about the Doors. Jim Morrison was said to have been profoundly affected when, as a child, his family came across a party of Red Indians who had crashed their car leaving some dead. Stone's film kept depicting this in flashback.


Doreen doesn't actually exist, she entered the song during the writing stage as "a name that fitted" and just sorta stayed there.
Alvin Schockemole German showjumper with more famous brother Paul. (mainly 70s/80s).
Anglia Naff car by Ford.
Alquin Frightening-looking Dutch band from the 70's.
Chester is in Cheshire and is still the home of the Hollyoaks crowd.
Scafell A Lake District (England) mountain. 2nd highest after it's near neighbour, Scafell Pike
"Swinging a chain" From football thug song.
Malcolm of Aramathea From bible character (Joseph of A) who brought JC off the cross and got the Holy Grail.

Quality Janitor

"The Cuban's eight foot stride" Possibly a reference to Alberto Juanterino, Cuban middle distance athlete; possibly Javier Sotomayor who may well have been the first high jumper to clear eight feet.
stick with a spike on traditional litter-collecting weapon of comic-strip parkies.
Nick Straker 70's rockster. One hit with "A Walk in the Park" (Nick Straker Band).

Floreat Inertia

Floreat Etona (May Eton Flourish) is the motto of Eton College in Berkshire. Probably more significantly, these are also the last words of Captain Hook in J M Barrie's play Peter Pan (ta to Philip Reynolds).
I Can Do That ...gizza job This was a quote from Yozza Hughes in "Boys from the Black Stuff" by Alan Bleasdale.
Gordon Giltrap Mustachioed folky singer/guitarist. Did the theme to some Holiday programme years ago. Still going on the live circuit, believe it or not (and I'd rather not).
Machynlleth Unpronounceable Welsh town. North-east of Aberystwyth.
Nazareth Heavy metal/prog rock band

Malayan Jelutong

Malayan Jelutong Jelutong is a type of wood; hence the title is a piss-take of the Beatles' Norwegian Wood. I'm also informed that Malayan Jelutong was the type of wood used in Nigel's woodwork lessons at school. Malaya together with Sarawak and Sabah now form Malaysia.
Tik & Tok Oh so sad, sad, sad, a pair of people who dressed up as robots and started something that was a school disco craze for three months with "robotic" dancing. God, the eighties were wretched.
"singing a song, just singing a song" Reminds me of The Carpenters Coke song.
Bobsleigh Eponymous BBC Sunday winter sport TV show.
The Offie Off-licence, of course. Place to buy alcoholic beverages for consumption off the premises. Most offies sell piss-like lager and Thunderbird.
Stromsgodset... Liverpool beat Stromsgodset 11-0 in the Cup-Winner's Cup 1st round in 1974. It's their record score.
...Under Fives Most gangs of hooligans have their own distinctive names (Zulu Warriors at Birmingham, Blue Order at Hartlepool, etc.), but "U5s" are a generic name for the "youth section" and many clubs have them (ta John L.).
Farmer Coombes ???
Massey Fergusson Build tractors.
The Original Breton Shirt Advertised in all good middle class Sunday papers. Best worn with a beret, bicycle and string of onions. Guardian readers love 'em.

Numanoid Hang-glide

Gary Numan Singer, aeroplane pilot, right winger. "Are Friends Electric" finest hour. Basically he wasn't very good at flying, despite talking about it every time he was on Swap Shop. Gary Numan was very boring and New Wave.
Dif Juz obscure 4AD band. A song by them on the 4AD "sampler" entitled "Lonely is an Eyesore",a quite spiffy album several different jackets and liner notes were produced for it, containing complete 4AD discographies up to that time (around '84).
Gazza, Mozzer Paul Gasgcoine and Morrissey, "Cemetry Gates" is a Smiths song; the bus Reg Varney used to drive in "On The Buses" was the #11 to the cemetery gates, whether or not this is a coincidence I don't know. Gazza is a Geordie hence "howay".
Caramac shaped like a chocolate bar but made of polystyrene and saccharine, oh, well, alright, some caramel-flavoured substance. Horrid.
REO Speedwagon Dire MOR band.


Footprints story explanation -- God-botherer's favourite poem. Thora Hird probably likes it. Usually posted to bulletin board systems at least once a year by earnest evangelicals.
Chris Lemon also adds:
"I happen to work on a cancer ward here in Shrewsbury. Some patients get sent little prayer cards, messages of sympathy and inspiration, a frequent example is 'Footprints'... The other day, I happened to give one the once over, and found myself reading, "When things get tough, as they sometimes do......". It went on in the usual manner, but I though I'd heard that before. I had of course, it's in the first part of Yipps (My Baby Got The)..."
Bert Royal was a wrestler and one half of a tag team called "The Royals". This is a lot funnier than it appears as his brother (and partner) was Vic Faulkner.
Adge Cutler The late lead singer/songwriter with The Wurzels (Bristolian Cider-folk band). "I've Got A Brand New Combine Harvester" and so on. Passed away before they became successful. Indeed before Combine Harvester was penned. Responsible for the West Country anthem "Drink Up Thy Cider".
The Shend Lead singer with The Very Things and The Cravattes.
Daktari 60's kids programme set in Africa and featuring Judy the chimp and Clarence the cross-eyed lion.
Junior Kickstart TV program about kids riding motorbikes in mud. The original Kickstart was to motorcycle trials what Pot Black was to the world snooker championships. Junior Kickstart was worse, as it used to have kids in it. Noted largely for Peter Purves' anoraks and a whole new vocabulary largely based around "dabs". Better than Paddles Up! though. Implication that God = Peter Purves. Probably true.
"Father?" "Yes son?..." The end mimics "The End" by The Doors: "Father?" "Yes son?" "I want to kill you"

Return to the Half Man Half Biscuit Home Page