“I must cre­ate a new regime, Or live by anoth­er Mans”
The Fall, Before the Moon Falls (Drag­net)
“I must Cre­ate a Sys­tem, or be enslav’d by anoth­er Man’s“
Wil­li­am Blake, Jer­u­s­alem I 10:30–1
Sin­gu­lar men with pecu­li­ar vis­ions, uncowed and will­fully unin­ter­ested in the views of their peers and crit­ics, Wil­li­am Blake and Mark E Smith took a sim­il­ar stance, and Smith know­ingly dipped into Blake’s pool of myth and lan­guage over the years. Anoth­er sin­gu­lar, driv­en artist with a fiery ima­gin­a­tion, and with a taste for atav­ist­ic spir­its and haunted spaces, Aus­tin Osman Spare would be the link between WB & MES. 
Unlike Blake, Smith often felt he had to prove his ple­bi­an cre­den­tials by mouth­ing stu­pid and reac­tion­ary views he ima­gined made him closer to his Salford / Prestwich back­ground, assuaging his anxi­ety about his unfin­ished edu­ca­tion by put­ting clear water between him­self and ‘stu­dent-types’, with their anti-war and anti-racist views that were actu­ally rather like Wil­li­am Blake’s. A sin­gu­lar weakness.
Pauwels and Ber­gi­er­’s book, The Morn­ing of the Magi­cians, was a hit with the coun­ter­cul­ture and became basic read­ing for MES and oth­er work­ing-class ‘auto­di­dacts’, ie. work­ing-class intel­lec­tu­als. They tell a fant­ast­ic­al tale of the Moon’s inev­it­able fall to earth. Less lit­er­ally inclined, in Blake’s Jer­u­s­alem the moon becomes a shad­ow of the psyche, a bur­den the artist must bear, the ‘spectre of Urthona’, the egot­ist­ic will—ugly but non­ethe­less neces­sary for cre­ation, to which ends it must be put to work. Now there’s an idea that would make some sense of MES. On the plate of Jer­u­s­alem where Blake depicts the fig­ure drag­ging the moon behind him (see above), his char­ac­ter Los, which he iden­ti­fied with him­self, speaks to his spectre:

He might just have added, “Hey there, fuck-face!”

Before the Moon Falls

It is cer­tain, then, that the moon will end by fall­ing on to the earth.
Louis Pauwels and Jacques Ber­gi­er, The Morn­ing of the Magi­cians (1960)

Aloft the Moon fled with a cry the Sun with streams of blood
Blake, The Four Zoas II 25:10

Before the Moon Falls

(Mark E. Smith)

We are private detect­ives onward back from a music­al pil­grim­age
We work under the name of ‘The Fall.‘
Who would sus­pect this?
It is too obvi­ous.
Our office is secluded.
Those there to sus­pect
Would not see the wood for the trees
We were six like dice but we’re back to five
Up here in the North there are no wage pack­et jobs for us
Thank Christ
While young mar­ried couples dis­cuss the pover­ties
Of their self-built traps
And the juni­or clergy demand more cash
We spit in their plate and wait for the ice to melt 

I must cre­ate a new regime
Or live by anoth­er man’s
Before the moon falls
I must cre­ate a new scheme
And get out of oth­ers’ hands
Before the moon falls

I could use some pure crim­in­als
And get my hands on some roy­al­ties
Before the moon falls

A prob­lem of this new scheme
Is answer­ing obscene phone calls
Before the moon falls

Gotta stop drift­ing around
Kill this ugly duck­ling
We’ve got the power
And must not mis­use it
Cos life is short and full of thought
I use the power
I use the power

And I will forever end this reign of ter­ror
Before the moon falls
Before the tide sub­sides
Before the moon falls for the fifth time
Before The Fall swoons

Blue Orchids: Skull Jam

Writ­ten shortly before Bramah’s ori­gin­al depar­ture from The Fall, its lyr­ics were held back by Mark E Smith for a dif­fer­ent tune, which became a standout track on the second Fall album, Drag­net. The music, writ­ten entirely by Bramah, was giv­en new words and released as the Blue Orch­ids’ second single, Work. Work Before The Moon Falls provides a hint of how The Fall might have soun­ded if Bramah had remained for their second album — much of which, uncred­ited (of course!) had music writ­ten by Bramah.

Blue Orch­ids, Skull Jam @ Pica­dilly Records »

The Blue Orchids: Work Before the Moon Falls

(Mar­tin Bramah, Mark E. Smith)

I must cre­ate a new regime or live by anoth­er man’s

I’ll buy a boat I’ll keep it afloat
I’ll sail the sea emo­tion pulling at me
We’ll be the sal­mon swim­ming against the tide
The golden sal­mon swim­ming against the tide of life
Work before the moon falls

You took the road from severe to serene
nobody could keep pace
All alone — long way from home
Work Work Work before the moon falls
Work before the moon falls

I’ll buy a boat I’ll keep it afloat
I’ll sail the sea emo­tion pulling at me
Work Work Work Work Work Work Work Work Work Work
Work before the moon falls

Do you ever feel lonely like the cold moon?
And you feel it’s hungry
Deep down you know what for!

Gotta stop mess­ing around
Kill this ugly duck­ling
We’ve got the power
And must not mis­use it

Use the power

Before the moon falls
Before we all swoon
Before the moon falls
Work Work Work Work Work Work Work Work

And I will forever end this reign of terror

Before the moon falls
Before the moon falls
Use the power

The Fall and Blake

The Fall: W.B. (William Blake)

(Mark E. Smith, Tom Head, Adam Helal, Julia Nagle and Neville Wilding)

It’s on forever…
Hit it!

You’ve heard about mad Blake
Went down the hill
In Chep­stow
In Lon­don
He was broke
But it was oke

Rome did­n’t mat­ter or come off
But Heav­en and Hell did
And look up
The fire, the fire is fall­ing
And look up, look up

Flam­ing hair shot through the streak­ing sun over him
Oh mer­chant leave thy oil and Nebuchad­nez­zar
Nev­er knew there’d be times like this

Rome did­n’t mat­ter or come up
But Heav­en and Hell did
And look up
The fire, the fire is fall­ing
Look up, look up

Oh cit­izens of Lon­don
Enlarge thy coun­ten­ance
From the flam­ing wind-hairs of thought
In his fore­head

Rome did­n’t mat­ter or come off
But Heav­en and Hell did
And look up
The fire, the fire is fall­ing
Look up, look up.

William Blake: A Song of Liberty

The Etern­al Female groand! it was heard over all the Earth:
Albions coast is sick silent; the Amer­ic­an mead­ows faint!
Shad­ows of Proph­ecy shiver along by the lakes and the rivers and mut­ter across the ocean! France rend down thy dun­geon;
Golden Spain burst the bar­ri­ers of old Rome;
Cast thy keys O Rome into the deep down fall­ing, even to etern­ity down fall­ing,
And weep!
In her trem­bling hands she took the new, born ter­ror howl­ing;

On those infin­ite moun­tains of light now bar­r’d out by the atlantic sea, the new born fire stood before the starry king!
Flag’d with grey brow’d snows and thun­der­ous vis­ages the jeal­ous wings wav’d over the deep.
The speary hand burned aloft, unbuckled was the shield, forth went the hand of jeal­ousy among the flam­ing hair, and hurl’d the new born won­der thro’ the starry night.
The fire, the fire, is fall­ing!
Look up! look up! O cit­izen of Lon­don. enlarge thy coun­ten­ance; O Jew, leave count­ing gold! return to thy oil and wine; O Afric­an! black Afric­an! (go. winged thought widen his fore­head.)
The fiery limbs, the flam­ing hair, shot like the sink­ing sun into the west­ern sea.
Wak’d from his etern­al sleep, the hoary, ele­ment roar­ing fled away:
Down rushd beat­ing his wings in vain the jeal­ous king: his grey brow’d coun­cel­lors, thun­der­ous war­ri­ors, curl’d vet­er­ans, among helms, and shields, and chari­ots horses, ele­phants: ban­ners, castles, slings and rocks,
Fall­ing, rush­ing, ruin­ing! bur­ied in the ruins, on Urthon­a’s dens.
All night beneath the ruins, then their sul­len flames faded emerge round the gloomy king,
With thun­der and fire: lead­ing his starry hosts thro’ the waste wil­der­ness he pro­mul­gates his ten com­mands, glan­cing his beamy eye­lids over the deep in dark dis­may,
Where the son of fire in his east­ern cloud, while the morn­ing plumes her golden breast,
Spurn­ing the clouds writ­ten with curses, stamps the stony law to dust, loos­ing the etern­al horses from the dens of night, crying

Empire is no more! and now the lion & wolf shall cease.

Wil­li­am Blake, A Song of Liberty, from The Mar­riage of Heav­en and Hell (1790)

The Fall: Dog is Life / Jerusalem

(Wil­li­am Blake, Mark E. Smith)

You don’t see rab­bits being walked down the street
And you don’t see many cats on leads
Dogs pet dogs dogs rapa­cious wet dogs
Own­er of dogs slow-wit­ted dog own­er
Own­er of rabid dog sav­ing fare for tun­nel
Euro-dream of civil, civil lib­er­a­tion for dogs
Soci­ety secret soci­ety inev­it­able night­mare
Of drift dog pet dogs street bull­shit
Dog shit baby bit ass-lick dog mir­ror
Dead tiger shot and checked out by dog
Big tea-chest-fuck­er dog
Black col­lar sends East Ger­man refugee back switch and crap pathet­ic
Of earth-like lousy dog role mod­el for infi­del dog­house con­tin­ent
Most cit­adel dog-eye mir­ror hyp­not­ic school slaver and learn
Rot from dog on grass and over nervous del­ic­ate dog
Detracts light from indis­crep­ant non-dog-lov­er
Dog pet dog come home to ya
Come home we’ll talk shit to ya
Dog the pet-own­er-own­er blistered hanging there death dog
Pla­to of the human example and copi­er dog­mas­ter pet mourn­er
Dog is life

And did those feet in ancient times
Walk upon moun­tains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleas­ant pas­tures seen?
And did the Coun­ten­ance Divine
Shine forth on clouded hills?
And was Jer­u­s­alem
AIn the dark Satan­ic Mills?


It was the fault of the gov­ern­ment
I was walk­ing down the street
When I tripped up on a dis­carded banana skin
And on my way down I caught the side of my head
On a pro­trud­ing brick chip
It was the gov­ern­ment’s fault
It was the fault of the gov­ern­ment
I was very let down
From the budget I was expect­ing a one mil­lion quid handout
I was very dis­ap­poin­ted
It was the gov­ern­ment’s fault
It was the fault of the government

I became semi-aut­ist­ic type per­son
And I did­n’t have a pen
And I did­n’t have a con­dom
It was the fault of the gov­ern­ment
I think I’ll emig­rate to Sweden or Poland
And get looked after prop­erly by gov­ern­ment

Bring Bow of burn­ing gold:
Bring Arrows of desire:
Bring me Spear: O clouds unfold!

And though I rest from Men­tal Fight
And though sword sleeps in hand
I will not rest ’til Jer­u­s­alem is built

In England’s green and pleas­ant Land

With thanks to The Annot­ated Fall.