Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #2-29

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 2, Number 29

                 Monday, 13 November 1995

Today's Topics:

                   Thomas Dolby's Post
               RE: Chalkhills Digest #2-28
                      lyric identify
      "although I don't agree with the lyrics. . ."
                       *that* again
                         Dear Rod
                     More XTC covers
                      Two things...
                        Sam Cooke
               Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-27
                My Weapon (& other things)
               Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-28
          Everything you could possibly imagine
               Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-28


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   subject, which seems to be "Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-28".  Rather,
   change the subject of your posting to refer to the original
   subject, for example, "Re: The Big Express Sucks!".

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From: "Dave White" <>
Date:          Fri, 10 Nov 1995 15:39:28 AST/ADT
Subject:       Thomas Dolby's Post

     After reading this I wish that more artists would get on line.  I
have e-mailed Dolby to ask why, since he is such a fan, he was not on
TD.  I'll let you know if he responds.

David White


From: Bob Thomas <>
Subject: RE: Chalkhills Digest #2-28
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 95 14:57:00 CST

Hello Chalkhillbillies!

I've just done a six-pack or so of Chalkhills Digest #2-2Xs so I may be a
little woozy.  I have lurked here for  years (months?), and I have never
seen anything like what I am reading from contributors in recent days.  I do
not intend to add to that discussion -- except to say that I have enjoyed
it, er, most of it.


Am I mistaken, or has the frequency of "Hi! I'm new here," type posting gone
down dramatically?  I don't recall a recent note about how someone was
introduced to XTC, how much they love the music, or how they introduced
someone else to the band.  I have seen a couple of newbies declaring their
departure from the list due to disappointment in its content.


What's all this about Andy P.  not believing in John Relph?

Carry on.



Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 16:24:17 -0500 (EST)
From: James Poulakos <>
Subject: lyric identify

The 1st is "England's glory...."

The 2nd is "A striking beauty!..."

...I think.

	My home page is now at
                       James Poulakos


Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 15:33:51 -0600 (CST)
From: "LaShawn M. Taylor" <>
Subject: "although I don't agree with the lyrics. . ."

Oh dear, this entire God debate is my fault, isn't it?  I'm sorry, I'm
sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry,
I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. . .

I was going to send in my list of TDII artists, but I decided against
that.  Who knows what debates can stem from "Respectable Street" done by
the Rolling Stones? Or Pearl Jam doing "This is Pop"?

LaShawn M. Taylor

I hate being wrong
but I do it so well. . .


Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 16:21:43 -0600 (CST)
From: "Jeffrey with 2 f's Jeffrey" <>
Subject: *that* again

I'd refrained from posting on this subject, but the person who suggested
"what if Andy wrote a song saying 'I hate Jews, kill all the niggers'" or
whatever--the comparison is grotesquely invalid.

First, "Dear God" most definitely does not propose hating or killing
anyone--in fact, it argues against those things. Secondly, even if the
song does seem to hate God, or hate Christianity, that's not the same
thing as hating actual people, actual Christians (this is, I think, the
converse of "hate the sin, love the sinner"). God, if he exists in the
form Christians believe, can surely deal with hatred--I don't think he's
going to get depressed and sulk and not eat for days.

Basically, the religious people complaining about the fact that someone
might question their faith seem to have rather flimsy faith in the first
place: whowever posted the bit about their friend/relative who's a priest
had the right idea. If you can't question your faith, it isn't
real--you're lying to yourself, out of wishful thinking or fear.

That last 'graph got more flamey than I wanted it to--but I think it gets
my point across, so I'll leave it.

So--anyone care to post the chords (accurately!) to both guitar parts of
"Roads Girdle the Globe"? Now there's a challenge!

--Jeff                         "I saw Jimi Hendrix at the Isle of Wight
                                  Festival and he died a couple of days
Jeffrey J. Norman                      later. He was really good, but I
Dept. of English & Comp. Lit.           didn't know he was going to die.
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee    He would have been 10 times better
e-mail:                 if I had."  --Robyn Hitchcock


Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 23:08:29 +0000 (GMT)
From: William HamBevan <>
Subject: Dear Rod

One potential interpretation of 'Dear God' (sic) has not yet been
broached; that it is a typographical error on the lyric sheet, and is in
fact supposed to be 'Dear Rod'. Rod Stewart is responsible for many of
the evils in the modern world, and I believe that Andy, for one, was
shrewd enough to realise this.

Listen to it carefully; I have to be right.

Will Ham Bevan
Rhesus College, Oxford.


Date: Fri, 10 Nov 95 18:47 EST
From: Jeffrey Langr <>
Subject: More XTC covers

Just for the heck of it, more things I think XTC should cover:

* Madonna, "Into the Groove"
* Buzzcocks, "What Do I Get", "Orgasm Addict"
* Kinks, "Sleepwalker"
* anything by Syd Barrett
* B****les, "Octopus Garden" (couldn't resist)
* Nirvana, "Lithium"
* Big Black, "Deep Six"
* Wire, "Drill"
* Queen, "Seven Seas of Rye" (from Queen II not I)
* Sweet, "Love is Like Oxygen"
* He Said, anything from *Hail*
* Hunters & Collectors, "Tow Truck"
* CCR, "Bad Moon Rising"
* Marginal Man, "Identity"
* Meatmen, "Wine Wenches & Wheels"

I've *still* got *lots* more...

Jeff L, psychopath


Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 19:15:01 -0500
Subject: Two things...

Two things:
1) Hey everyone! Grow up! I pride myself on being an adult. Why doesn't
everyone else just try it?

2) Thank you Earl. injecting a new thread into things like a nice Java jolt!

> So, I put forward an idea for a new thread, especially in light of the
> Mayor of Simplton muzak notice: Where is the strangest place you've heard
> XTC playing.

Hmmm...I work for a bank and I was going between two branches and I was
travelling the lovely Palisades Parkway in New York.  I left the branch I was
in, got in my car, put on thr radio (WNEW), and "Senses Working Overtime" was
kjust starting.  then as it finished, "Towers of London," and then "Mayor of
Simpleton" and I was so HAPPY! I got to my intended destination, and "Peter
Pumpkinhead" had just started, so I sat in my car for 4 minutes to listen to
the rest of it. People thought I was wierd bouncing around my car, but if
they only knew...they would have appreciated it. :)

   ^  ^ ^^ ^ ^    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
    ^  ^ ^^ ^
  |  J A V A  | ||       * Coffee: breakfast of champions! *
  |           |//      


Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 16:29:05 -0800
From: Neil Goldstein <>
Subject: Love/XTC

Thanks for the tip on the Love dbl CD. Where can I get it?

Their name came up about a year ago in a thread about the Dukes' influences.
In the line "It's not You..." from Mole in the Ministry, that is a direct
melodic hit from "Sitting on a Hillside" (or whatever its called) from
Forever Changes. You think XTC are unsung, Love were a cult band on a much
smaller level.

As a longtime musician from LA, I saw Love perform several times in the late
60's. The same things I appreciated in them are seen in XTC, especially the
use of original and interesting (some may say "non-musical") chord changes
and forms, and lyrics that are more poetic than most (though many of Arthur
Lee's lyrics are more psychotropically induced than AP's methinks).

Interestingly, their Forever Changes album sold much better in England than
the states.

    _/      _/  _/_/_/  _/  _/
   _/_/    _/  _/      _/  _/
  _/  _/  _/  _/_/    _/  _/
 _/    _/_/  _/      _/  _/
_/      _/  _/_/_/  _/  _/_/_/

Neil Goldstein     Portland, Oregon USA
voice: (503) 293-1356    fax: (503) 293-0312


Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 20:11:04 -0500
Subject: Sam Cooke

In a message dated 95-11-09 15:31:36 EST,  Vzzzbx
<> writes:

>(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...

The song was a Sam Cooke hit later covered by Simon, Garfunkel and someone
else who I can't remember, maybe James Taylor.




Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 21:09:21 -0500
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-27

In a message dated 95-11-09 22:22:07 EST, Tracy writes:

> I am sick and tired of reading all these anti-Christianity
>pro-atheist messages that keep showing up.

I really love this Dear God debate stuff.  It's too bad when people want to
take their ball and go home, but that's okay.  I would like to add a couple
of points to this very interesting topic. Although I am an agnostic, I too
have a hard time with athiest rhetoric.  For anyone to say that God does not
exist, it is taking a leap of faith at least as large as saying God does
exist. For we cannot prove that God doesn't exist anymore than we can prove
that she does.  What I (and agnostics like me) say is that based on the
evidence available, a rational conclusion is to question the existence of
God.  Now, does Dear God offend me? No, however I think that Andy is as
guilty of religious rhetoric as those who he is railing against.

The other point I want to make is that although many people want to separate
the artist from the art, they are strongly linked.  But that doesn't mean
that you have to agree with the artist to appreciate the art.  Just realize
that although you may not see it, the things you don't agree with, or even
violently oppose are a part of every work of that artist.  Wagner was an
anti-semite, yet his music is enjoyed by many Jews.  His anti-semitism is a
part of all of his music, because that is how he defined himself.  But
listening to his music does not make the listener an anti-semite or imply an
agreement with his views.  If you listen to Andy's music, you must
acknowledge his anti-organized religioness which permeates even the most
obviously non religious songs.  So what??  The stuff you can groove on,
listen to, and the other stuff skip.  But just acknowledge that part of the

Understand?  I'm not sure I do, but I had fun doing it!




From: 7IHd <>
Subject: My Weapon (& other things)
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 03:50:32 +0000 (GMT)

# From: Brookes McKenzie <>
# Subject: dear god. my weapon.

# this deeply disturbs me, as it is almost exactly the way i feel about barry
# andrews' "my weapon". even leaving aside the question of whether barry is
# as brilliant of a songwriter as andy (i personally don't think that he is),
# AND the question of whether barry was being ironic (it doesn't seem like it
# to me, but he _might_ have been, i suppose), i really don't like listening
# to "my weapon" because i find it so offensive,

Taking the questions in reverse order:

I asked Barry about his days in XTC when I conned him into helping to check
the Shriekback discography, and we got to discussing _Go2_. What he said,
paraphrased, was that when the LP came out the reviewers loved it all,
_except_ for 'My Weapon' ('what's this sexist crap?' was how he described
the response, generally). Barry was very hurt by this, because they had all
completely missed the point of the song, which _was_ intended to be ironic,
Barry actually described it to me as 'a pro-feminist song'. So there you
have it. My personal view is that the irony is way overdone if it's still
confusing people 17 years later, but listen to it again now you know what
the writer meant to say and it all makes sense - especially when you listen
to 'Super-Tuff' as well.

Now, as to whether Barry is as good a songwriter as Andy, you're not really
comparing like with like, but I'd say he was at least comparable. 'Super-
Tuff' is far and away my favourite track on _Go2_, and Shriekback at their
best are as good as anyone. Songs like 'Faded Flowers', or more recently
tracks like 'Beatles Zebra Crossing?' (from _Sacred City_)...

"This was the holy land when they were more popular than God
Upon this bridge of black and white their sacred naked feet have trod..."

Now, I don't wish to start a God vs. Beatles debate here, that would just
be too much, but a finer song about a zebra crossing I have yet to find. :-)

Plus you can still go to a gig and see Barry singing his songs live, which
is more than you can say for Mr Partridge, much as we love him.

# From:
# Subject: Double standard
# Wow, what a great point, and very well put. Thank you. There is a
# heightened sensitivity today to racial issues, sexism and sexual
# preferences, but a heightened DEsensitivity to the interests of
# Christians. A person speaking out against racism is regarded as noble, but
# a Christian speaking out against immorality or atheism is seen as
# intolerant. Andy Partridge is merely utilizing his free speech in "Dear
# God," but a Christian's critique of the song is called narrow-minded. These
# are all major double standards, and they seem to most often come from the
# so-called progressive artistic community.

My absolutely last word on the topic. I thought the debate had been just
about everywhere, but this is just getting ridiculous.

Religion is about faith. This can only come from within, it can't be 'given
to' or 'taken from' other people. All you can do is present the arguments,
but in order for people to truly establish their beliefs (whichever way
those may lie), you must present a balanced set of arguments for _and_
against. 'Dear God' is a part of this process.

Racism/Sexism/Sexuality are entirely different issues, they are all
concerned with equality between the various diverse groups of people on
this earth, most notably physical traits about which they can do nothing.
Religion is not like this, nobody is challenging anybody's basic right to
partake in a particular religion (oppresive regimes and suicide-pact cults
excepted), we may challenge your beliefs but we don't challenge your right
to hold them. However, when you (not addressed to anyone specific) try to
force your views onto other people (be they religious views or otherwise),
consider that if you meet with a frosty response, it may just be that the
people being addressed have examined the issues in as much detail as you
have and reached different conclusions.

There can be no 'right' and 'wrong' answers when it comes to something
based entirely on faith. Please don't lose sight of this.

# From:
# Subject: God and Gregory

Subject line raises an important point:

Dear God = DG = Dave Gregory.

I think what Andy's _really_ saying is 'Hey Dave, it's all your fault!',
but he was just too nice to admit to it in the interviews...

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


From: 7IHd <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-28
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 03:58:39 +0000 (GMT)

# From: (Chris Van Valen)
# An aside to "Upside Down Phil": whenever I used the initials "TD" I was
# refering to Testimonial Dinner", not Mr. Dolby. I don't know about anyone
# else. Sorry to be confusing. I'll  try to spell everything out in the
# future.

I wasn't being confused, I just felt like making a silly comment and trying
to lighten things up a bit. Sorry if this injection of attempted wit
confused you. :-)
 |_)|_ *|
 |  | )||


Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 14:04:40 +1000 (GMT+1000)
From: Vzzzbx <>
Subject: Everything you could possibly imagine

This is a massive post, so please bear with me.  It's not all religious
guff...  :)

 #> I am sick and tired of reading all these anti-Christianity
 #> pro-atheist messages that keep showing up.

[a]  I haven't yet seen anything that flames christians _or_ atheists as a
     group.  Logical, thoughtful, rational discussion is all I've seen.

[b]  This discussion is keeping Chalkhills going.  I'm getting more than
     one digest per day now, and I'm enjoying it thoroughly.

[c]  If you don't like it, skip it.  There's plenty of XTC-related
     discussion happening here, there's no reason why the religious thread
     should stop you reading that.

 #> From: (JD MACK)
 #> 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.

I'm sorry, but I fail to see what 'Kill all the Jews' has to do with 'I
don't believe in god'.  Your hypothetical has a songwriter wanting to
abolish entire races and/or religions, but Andy Partridge [subjectively, I
might add] questions a faith system and its roots, and expresses his
disgust at the wars that have arisen as a result.

The most aggressive Dear God's lyrics get is 'the babes you drown' toward
the end, but this is a stage in the song where the singer appears to
become irrational.  Just an expression of his building anger, IMHO.

Having said that, I appreciate you explaining the reason you can't listen
to the song.  Thankyou.  :)

 #> What are the barely-audible words spoken after the
 #> line "but to me there very very beautiful," and also after the
 #> next "beautiful?"

It's very very beautiful
[England's glory!]
[A striking beauty!]

 #> From: "Wynne, Steve" <>
 #> XTC like many
 #> decent British and American bands don't have much of a following
 #> over here. The main problem, I think is the language.

It upsets me deeply that so many thousands of brilliant musicians are
ignored in English-speaking countries because they don't sing in the same
language.  The closest we get in Australia is Atomic Swing, but they sing
in English.

 #> From:
 #> Folks, it's been almost ten years since DG was unleashed.
 #> Shouldn't we all have come to terms with it by now?

Andy would be thrilled if he knew his religious views were still being
discussed after almost a decade.  To me that's the sign of a marvellous
songwriter -- one that can spark feelings in people for such a long time.

I'm willing to bet that Chalkhills in 2010 [!] will still have the
occasional Dear God thread.  :)

 #> From:
 #> A person speaking out against racism is regarded as noble, but
 #> a Christian speaking out against immorality or atheism is seen as
 #> intolerant.

I wholly agree with you, with the addition that an atheist speaking out
against christianity is also seen as intolerant.  As I said recently, I'm
a complete atheist who has no religious or theological beliefs whatsoever,
but I still respect the rights of those who follow religion.  I have many
close religious friends, and we talk about religion but never get shirty
about it.  There's ONE religious person I won't talk to, but that's
because he's actively trying to segregate gays from the rest of the
community, and I've seen him on a tyrade against Asians.  Who could blame
me?  :)

 #> From:
 #> From whose guitar are all the oranges and lemons spilling?  Is there
 #> a hidden meaning?  Of course!  The other two chaps may write all
 #> the songs, but without Mr. Gregory, there would be no oranges and
 #> lemons.

Did you notice that Colin is tucked away behind Andy and Dave?  He doesn't
look terribly happy either...

 #> From: Big Earl Sellar <>
 #> I move that the good Mr. Relph terminate this round of the DEAR
 #> GOD discussion, to save us all bandwidth

I enjoy getting this much Chalkhills every day.  I need something to get
my mind off exams at the moment, and this is the perfect release.

Is it worth splitting the theological stuff off into a separate mailing
list?  Or is that a silly idea?

 #> Where is the strangest place you've heard XTC playing.

I heard the _entire_ Nonsvch album play in a local pancake restaurant
recently.  I actually forced my friends to stay until the album finished.
They didn't mind, they knew half of the songs but they couldn't place
where they'd heard them before.  :)

That's it.  Thanks for listening to my never ending diatribe.  :)


'The music business is a hammer to keep you pegs in your holes, but please
 don't listen to me.  I've already been poisoned by this industry!'
                                                          -- Andy Partridge


Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 18:37:16 -0800
From: (Joel G. Marsh )
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-28

ENOUGH ALREADY, FOLKS!! Don't we have better things to discuss? Andy
said it best - how can the subject of religion and one's belief in G-d
be condensed into a 3 1/2 minute song? It's the hugest, most personal
set of beliefs anyone can own. I would respect this forum a great deal
more if it alluded to other biblically-themed songs to make their
points (i.e. "Jason and The Argonauts," "Paper & Iron," "Season Cycle"
to name a few).

It's one song out of hundreds. In my opinion, it's not even one of
their best. Can we move beyond this trivial discussion and simply agree
that one can respect another's point of view without necessarily
agreeing with it?

New topic: Why haven't "the boys" gotten the financial and critical
recognition they deserve, even after all this time? Why, for example,
can a band like Pearl Jam make more $$ its first record than all of
XTC's combined? Is there no justice in the world? Oh no, here we go


Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 21:36:31 -0600
From: (JH3 Unlimited, Ltd.)

One way to get rid of pesky, unreadable threads (such as the one relating to
"Dear You-Know-Who" which has caused me tremendous pinky-finger-pain from
hitting the PageDown key constantly) is to start completely new threads.
Here's a possibility: How many non-English XTC fans have actually been to
Swindon to have a look at the band's hometown? Or even English ones?

I was there in 1987 on my honeymoon. We were doing the whole silly
anglophile bit, checking out York, Edinburgh, Portmeirion Village, all the
Arthurian sites in the West Country, etc. We'd just done Stonehenge, and I
managed to convince my wife that we absolutely HAD to go just a bit north
and spend the night in Uffington, within a kilometer or two of the fabulous
Chalk Horse Hill!

We got there, stayed at a one-room B&B that was essentially the spare room
of somebody's house, and ate at the White Horse Inn (Tavern? I forget),
which I strongly recommend, if only because the horse on the sign outside
will be so familiar to all of you.

So the next morning, we got in the car and drove over to the ACTUAL HILL
ITSELF. Back in those days you could park only a few hundred yards from the
carving. The problem, of course, is that to see the thing in it's full
glory you have to be in a helicopter, but it was the tail-end of the trip
and we'd already blown most of our cash on -- well, why shouldn't I admit
it -- records. So we were walking around it on foot, and we got separated

There's a ruin of an old fortress or something on the next hill over that's
basically a flat plateau, where shepherds like to bring their flocks, so
there was a whole herd of sheep nearby. Apparently somebody had let their
dog, a German Shepherd, loose in the vicinity, and this dog attacked one of
the sheep! I think it actually KILLED the poor thing! All of this was
happening less than a hundred yards away! This sent the herd of sheep into
a panic, and they started to STAMPEDE IN MY GENERAL DIRECTION! There were
HUNDREDS of them! I was thinking "boy this is going to look good in my
obituary," and that maybe the side trip wasn't such a hot idea after all,
but luckily I was wearing my running shoes and managed to get the hell out
of the way. But it wasn't over yet; I still had to convince the guy with
the sheep that it wasn't my dog! Luckily, he believed my thick American
accent to be completely genuine...

Later I finally managed to find my wife, who'd gone around the other side
of the hill to "check out the scenery." She didn't believe a word of what

NEXT TIME: The Terrifying Swindon Contraflow Roundabout!

- John "JH3" Hedges

"Signature files? What the hell are signature files?"


End of Chalkhills Digest #2-29

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