Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #2-27

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 2, Number 27

                Thursday, 9 November 1995

Today's Topics:

          Let's beat this thing over the head...
                     Please stop this
                Jehovah! Jehovah! Jehovah!
                    Re: Chalkhills Bio
               Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-23
                    Re: Colin Moulding
           'can't believe' or 'can't BELIEVE' ?
              Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-2  1
               Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-25
                  No neutrality/T-shirts
                      td wish list\
Music suggestions and other things that dont matter in the big scheme of things
                        XTC covers
          Tired of discussion? Then contribute!
                     Mess o' Religion
                     This World Over
                     XTC Cover Album


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

We should chase superstition and fear from our hearts.


From: Ben Gott <>
Subject: Let's beat this thing over the head...
Date: Tue, 07 Nov 95 14:10:00 est

Hi, everyone:

[I put a Gus Dudgeon comment here, but then found out that John already
answered the question, so I guess that this whole damned message is going to
be about "Dear God...]

Let's close up this "Dear God" issue once and for all: in a Rolling Stone
interview, Andy said something like (and I'm paraphrasing): "many people took
this song to mean that I believe in God, but that is not so..."


(PS: The interview is on microfilm in my School's library: I could probably
find it, if anyone wants the date/exact quote...There's also a 3-4 page
"Oranges & Lemons" interview, giving the album four stars...)



Date: Wed, 08 Nov 1995 14:53:40 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Please stop this
Organization: SUNY at Plattsburgh, New York, USA

You know, I was really hoping that this list would have been sick to death
by now of this whole pointless Dear God argument, but obviously, somebody
decided to set the whole can of worms out again. This was the only thing
that made me hesitate joining this list, and now it appears that I should
have stayed off. I am sick and tired of reading all these anti-Christianity
pro-atheist messages that keep showing up. I'm also appaled that people
would send personal attacks to a public list. It is because of this that I
will now leave permanently, unless somebody can give me a decent
explanation as to why I should stay on. At least I was able to do something
good by suggesting there be a list t-shirt made.



Date: Wed, 8 Nov 1995 14:57:45 -0500
Subject: Jehovah! Jehovah! Jehovah!

I remember reading a quote from Andy, circa 1987:
"If there is a God, he is a complete bastard."
Perhaps that sums it up.
I always got the impression in the video for "Dear God" that Andy was
pounding on the tree (God) to shake people's faith, and some people fell
out, and those left in the tree were clinging ridiculously.  The song
addresses faith, not existance, and nothing more (IMHO).
"Oh baby you know I'm just a piece of cheese...."-Robyn Hitchcock


From: Richard Aaron Manfredi <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Bio
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 1995 15:28:16 -0800 (PST)

   In regards to Ben Gott asking about finding Chalkhills and Children, I
bought my copy of the book a couple of years ago from Tower Records, which is
good for that sort of thing.  The next day I found another copy of it at
my local Barnes & Noble mega-bookstore.  Those would be a couple of good
places to start.
   Also, in a literary frame of mind, at that same Tower Records I saw a
copy of an Italian book that had the lyrics to all of XTC's albums from
"White Music" to "Oranges and Lemons", in both English and Italian.  It had
an introduction in Italian that I could pick about 4 words out of.  Has
anyone else seen this book?  Do XTC have a big following in Italy?  Just

Richard Manfredi
"I can't write songs about girls anymore/
Now I have to write songs about women"


Date: Wed, 8 Nov 1995 20:53:25 -0500 (EST)
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-23

  I heard a muzak version of "The Mayor Of Simpleton" in the Grand Union
today. Ye Gods, is nothing sacred?


Date: Wed, 8 Nov 1995 21:46:21 -0500
Subject: Re: Colin Moulding

Colin's "Cynical Days" is one of my favorite XTC songs.  I think his "Fly
on the Wall" is pretty poppin' too... melodically it reminds me of early
Who/Kinks.  The synth is totally haywire!

His bass lines and vocal counterpoints alone earn him a rightful place
alongside Andy as a major compositional talent.  Of course the same can be
said for Dave's flavourful textural contributions.

People may disagree and stratify the contributions of "cheif songwriter" vs.
"contributors to the arrangement" and rate the band members' work
accordingly, but I don't think that's appropriate.

After all, Robbie Robertson took all the credit for a lot of The Band's
songs, but the other members deserved more credit than they got for lyrical
and musical input.

I'd like to hear 10cc record "Cynical Days" and then team up with Brian
Wilson for a rendition of "Chalkhills and Children".  Those songs take my
breath away.


Date: Thu, 9 Nov 1995 14:07:54 +0900
From: (Olof Hellman)
Subject: 'can't believe' or 'can't BELIEVE' ?

Chalkhillians --

My two yen on 'Dear God':

As usual, we've got Andy's great double-meaning lyrics.
'I can't believe in you'  could mean 'I don't believe
you exist'  or it could mean 'I can't trust in you to do
what you say'.

If you go for the latter interpretation (which is the one
Christians usually talk about when they use the phrase)
and combine it with the 'and us crazy humans wrote it'
line, you get the following logic:  'I can't trust in you to
do what (it says in the Bible that) you say, because you
didn't say that.'

Sounds pretty reasonable to me.  And interesting how these
two meanings parallel the two meanings of 'Dear God'
('What has the world come to?' / 'listen to me, God' )

And I think it's great that everybody interprets it
differently! Making those double meanings work so
well is part of the XTC greatness.

- Olof
JRDC       1-1-1 Fukuura      Kanazawa-ku Yokohama 236 JAPAN
tel: +81-45-788-9536


Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-2  1
From: (JD MACK)
Date: Thu, 09 Nov 95 01:49:00 -0500
Organization: Online Technologies, Inc. - Modem:  301-738-0000

-> For the rekkid, I'm an atheist but I'm not radical or anything.  And
-> I love Dear God, and I honestly can't understand why some people
-> can't stand to listen to the lyrics.  Closed-mindedness helps no one.
-> Can anyone offer a possible explanation?

Yes I can.  I'm not going to get in to any religious debates, though
I've been sorely tempted by some of the bone headed things said by
supposedly "open-minded" people in this digest.  But I for one will
always skip by "Dear God" on my CD, and change the station when it comes
on the radio.  Here's why.  Imagine an unthinkable for a moment: Andy
Partridge composes a song with a great chord progression, catchy melody,
and fantastic arrangement, but the lyrics go "I hate the Niggers.  Kill
All the Jews."  And imagine for a moment that he was serious.  I don't
think many people out there would consider themselves "Closed-minded"
for skipping this song each time it came on.  It simply would go
against most people's deeply held personal values.  As far as "Dear God"
goes, Andy may think what he likes, and he certainly has the right to
express it to the world, but I have have my own values, and I will not
listen to a song that I consider as offensive as the fictious song I


From: M Wilson <>
Date: Thu, 9 Nov 1995 09:46:54 +0000
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-25

Sam wrote:-
> I think Andy is more angry and cynical with religious believers and poeple
> in general than with gd. You can say he writes of religion in a bad light,
> yet he also writes of prayer ("Who'll pray for Peter Pumpkinhead", "they
> huddled there in petalled prayer") etc. "Dear God" is a kind of a prayer
> itself.  And you can't say that Andy does not "believe in Gd", for what is
> "Then She Appeared" if not the manifestation of the Divine Presence, fer
> Gad's sake! I mean, "cherubim cheered"? C'mon! This goes for "Your Gold
> Dress","Mermaid Smiled", and "Season Cycle" as well. Andy doesn't seem to
> disbelieve in Gd as much as he disbelieves in people:
> Jason and the Argonauts, The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul, Gold, Human
> Alchemy, This World Over, Toys, Across This Antheap, The Ugly Underneath

I think Sam, and many others are taking XTC's lyrics far too literally.
Andy and Colin use an awful lot of metaphor and suggestive imagery in their
songs.  Of the above only `Dear God' and `Season Cycle' have ANY religious
content at all as far as I can see.  C'mon people, get some culture!



Date: Thu, 9 Nov 1995 09:06:43 -0500
Subject: No neutrality/T-shirts

>>>Why is his anger "misplaced" and cynical?  I think he's nagged by the idea
of religion and God and its implications because of what it's done to
mankind throughout history.  The wars in the Middle East have to do with
differences in religion, the Holocaust focused on Jews because of their
religion. Terrorist acts and kidnappings are more frequently than not
claimed by religious groups.<<<

But each one of these examples is the result of people committing evil, not
God, and that's why Andy's anger is misplaced. He blames God for the evils
committed by humanity. If Andy were upset with the evils committed by
people and not by God, why didn't he name his song, "Dear Humanity"?

To Phil in the UK, I would say that your interpretations of Andy's lyrics
are just as good as mine, since neither of us knows exactly what he had in
mind, but I do definitely see it differently. For the record, I see Andy
denying Jesus has ever come in "Nihilon," exalting humanism over
Christianity in "Merely a Man," linking Christianity with Naziism in "Reign
of Blows," blaming Christians for destroying the world in "This World
Over," and rejecting heaven in favor of the joys of earthly life in "Season
Cycle." All of these seem quite anti-Christian to me, and are consistent
with other derogatory comments he has made in interviews. Jesus said, "He
who is not for Me is against Me," which basically indicates that there is
no such thing as religious neutrality. You either embrace Christ or you
don't, and Andy certainly doesn't. That currently makes him no friend of
God, although there's always time to make a change! Andy's a brilliant
songwriter, but I fear he's potentially leading many astray because some of
his fans are so dazzled by his talents that they want a little too badly to
give him the benefit of the doubt. When it comes to spiritual truths, this
can be dangerous.

Moving quickly over to the T-shirt thread, there was at one time a company
run, I believe, by Andy's brother-in-law, that sold XTC merchandise ONLY. I
placed an order and received all kinds of goodies, including an XTC pen,
postcards, and the following T-shirts: Senses Working Overtime, Mummer,
Dukes, Big Express, and Black Sea. The Senses shirt is especially cool,
because it has the artwork from the "Five Senses" EP. Anyway, the
unfortunate result of this company was that Andy's bro-in-law took the
money and ran, apparently, leaving many people with unfulfilled
orders. Several of my friends ordered and never received anything. So there
are XTC shirts floating around out there, but they are very hard to find.
Bob O'Bannon


From: (The Lord)
Subject: td wish list\
Date: Thu, 9 Nov 1995 09:08:48 -0500 (EST)

i'm afraid i must

David Byrne -- Complicated Game
Bob Mould / Sugar -- Travels In Nihilon
Adrian Belew -- Rook

just a smattering



Date: Thu, 9 Nov 1995 09:50:25 -0500
From: (Peter Mullin)
Subject: Recycling

>This might be a topic that's been covered millions of times here already,
>but does anyone have any XTC songs that could have been inspired by other

        The bass figure at the end of "Towers of London" gets used again in
"Then She Appeared", for what that's worth.
        And, in my experience, cynicism is almost never misplaced...



Date: Thu, 9 Nov 1995 10:30:48 -0600
Subject: vinyl

If any of you, my fellow xtc fanatics, are vinyl collectors, read on:

I've got a bunch of records I collected in the 1980s that I'd like to sell.
All are in mint condition (only played once, to tape).  I haven't even
tried to price all these babies.  Make me a reasonable offer and its yours.
Volume discounts!

7" Singles:
1) Wonderland/jump (picture sleeve)
2) Sgt. Rock/strange tales + officer blue (ps)
3) Ten Feet Tall (Phil Wainman version)/helicopter + somnambulist (ps)
4) Are You Receiving Me/instant tunes (ps)

12" Records:
5) xtc-Go+
6) Mr. Partridge-Take Away/The Lure of Salvage
7) XTC-LIVE AND MORE EP (Japanese picture disc w/lyric sheet.  Contains:
   Don't Lose ..., Smokeless Zone, Living through.../Generals and Majors (live
   12/10/80), Scissors Man (BBC 8/10/79), somnambulist, and Set Myself on Fire
8) xtc-Ball and Chain 12" (also has Heaven is Paved (original version),
   Punch and Judy, Cockpit Dance Mixture)
9) xtc-Love on a Farmboy's Wages 12" (also has Burning w/Optimism's Flame,
   English Roundabout and Cut it Out (all three live May 1981))
10) shriekback-Jam Science, Oil and Gold, Big Night Music lps.

Respond to



From: 7IHd <>
Subject: Blah
Date: Thu, 9 Nov 1995 19:15:14 +0000 (GMT)

# From: (Patty Haley)
# Subject: I figured I'd go to the source
# I decided I had to find out what caused the Andy/Thomas Dolby
# connection, so I figured I'd go to Thomas Dolby himself on this one.
# ----- Begin Included Message -----
#   Please copy the following reply to the XTC mailing list, complete with my
#   email address (this is not my personal one, it's for fanmail!)

Many thanks due to TD (I've seen those initials somewhere else on the list
recently, but I can't quite place them...) for throwing open his email
address for a huge flood of fan mail, and extra special thanks due to Patty
for taking the trouble - much appreciated. Ta,

# From: (James Dignan)
# Subject: Comparisons & another useless piece of English information...
# (part 2!) Next time I'll leave replying till I've done some more
# thinking.... There was an old song by someone like Al Green (I've looked it
# up, it was Johnny Nash...) called "(what a) Wonderful World" which had
# lyrics like: "Don't know much about geography/never read too much of
# history...." and generally heads off sounding like the singer was a former
# mayor of Simpleton...

Dunno really, there may be other versions, but that song is synonymous
with Sam Cooke.

 |_)|_ *|
 |  | )||


Date: Thu, 9 Nov 1995 15:13:23 -0500
From: (Arthur James Virgin)
Subject: Music suggestions and other things that dont matter in the big scheme of things

        Hello fellow Chalkhillians!  If you are like me (I'm sure some of
you are), you CONSTANTLY take trips to the music store and leaf through the
bins hoping for something to buy.  There is a certain stage you reach (Mine
was around CD #720) when you have EVERTHING that has been made that
interests you, then you totally rely on new releases from known or not so
weel known groups to feed you addiction until XTC releases new material.
Recently I discovered that I may have uncovered some great albums that some
of you DONT have but should investigate.

1) Dave Dobbyn "Twist" Great pop album produced by Mitchell Froom and Neil
Finn <- pop songwriting God from Crowded House.
2) Ben Folds Five "Ben Folds Five"  I had this album for 2 months then saw
an article about it in, of all things, Rolling Stone.   After I picked
myself up from the carpet, I called all my friends begging them to buy this
album.  Pure pop heaven in the Jellyfish style.  A three piece (Bass,
Piano, Drums).  WOW!
3) Blur "The Great Escape" Why wouldn't you have this album?

        BTW, I have enjoyed the banter about "Dear God" lately.  This
notion of dismissing a song because of the underlying message disturbs me
(sorry I cant remember the poster of this message).  A friend of mine in
Atlanta does the same thing.  He wont buy XTC or listen to XTC because of
some of the views expressed in some of Andy's songs.  Its a pop song, get
over it.

"A summers day baked into one cake",


"How can I be pleased when I'm handed the keys
  to a town they call Misery" - Andy Partridge

Visit my Quality Music Page!


Date: Thu, 9 Nov 95 16:17 EST
From: Jeffrey Langr <>
Subject: XTC covers

In regards to a query in the last Chalkhills, I'd love to hear XTC
doing the following covers:

* any of *Village Green Preservation Society*, Kinks
* "Self Esteem", Offspring
* "Jesus Built my Hot Rod", Ministry
* "Hurt", NIN
* "Wish", NIN
* "Down Home Town", ELO
* "Faith", George Michaels
* "Castles Made of Sand", Jimi H
* "Goo Goo Muck", Cramps
* "Inbetween Days", Cure
* anything by Danielle Dax
* "Possum Kingdom", Toadies
* "Brass Monkey", Beastie Boys
* "FunkyTown", Lipps Inc & others
* "Stepping Stone", Monkees
* all of *Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy*, Eno
* "Dream Police", Cheap Trick

I've got *lots* more but I don't want to piss anyone off too much.

Jeff L, psychopath


Date: Thu, 9 Nov 1995 13:18:03 -0800
From: Kevin Collins <>
Subject: Tired of discussion? Then contribute!

Date: Wed, 8 Nov 1995 18:49:23 -0500
Subject: Re: God flames
From: "David G. Shaw" <>

>I've been reading this list for two months, and have only posted here
>once before. I am very close to abandoning this whole mess -- I wanted to
>read about a band, not the list members' religious beliefs.
>Give it a rest already.

In the absence of live performances, recordings about 1 every 3-4 years,
and a band that keeps a fairly private life, why not open the discussion up
based on what XTC's music does to us/makes us feel/topics they sing about?

If you want to talk about other things, I suggest you post more than once.


Date: Thu, 9 Nov 1995 16:52:37 -0600
From: (Todd Weisrock - CIS)
Subject: Mess o' Religion

A lot of people, I'm sure, are sick of all of the religious
tirades that they read about in this list.  In fact, I scroll
past 90% of them myself.

But I fear that they are doomed to stay.

I belong to the Rush mailing list as well, and it, too, is
continually bombarded with multi-page essays on people's
interpretations of lyrics having something or nothing to
do with religion.

Either the lyricist has publicly announced the meaning behind
his lyrics, or he/she has not.  If not, why speculate, because
we just will never know!  Interpret it however you want!!

But still, I expect to see more....

You wouldn't beleive how much wasted brain power and bandwidth
has been wasted talking about one line from Rush's Neil Peart:
"Christ what have you done?"


Date: Thu, 9 Nov 1995 16:30:26 -0800
From: Christie Byun <cbyun@ocf.Berkeley.EDU>
Subject: This World Over

I always assumed that This World Over was a political song.  But with all
the religious talk tossing around, I'm wondering--especially because of
the lines that go:  "...and how a child to the Virgin we
can stand right up and say we did it in his name."  Is Andy referring to
a generic political figure, or God (like a religious war, bringing
Christianity to the heathens)?

Come to think of it, Colin would make a great figure of a priest--dark
and brooding and mysterious, plus he'd look good in one of those long
black soutanes.


P.S. Does anyone have a CD single for Mayor of Simpleton, with Living in
a Haunted Heart, that they'd be willing to give up?  I'm ready to trade
a lot for it.  Please email.


Date: Thu, 9 Nov 1995 16:31:27 -0800
From: (Athena)
Subject: XTC Cover Album

Can anyone tell me what the name of the Cover album that just came out is?
I went to look for it at Hastings, but could not find it. Thanks.

mary ann
pinkleaps on IRC


End of Chalkhills Digest #2-27

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