Track ten of The Fall's brilliant 1980 album Grotesque (After The Gramme). (Track fourteen on the Castle Communications re-issue)

Acronym for The North Will Rise Again, this is the final track on both versions of Grotesque, and a spectacular way of closing the album. At 9:08, it is the longest non-live Fall track there is (so far, at least), but upon listening it doesn't seem nearly as long. In typical Fall style, the song cross-references other Fall songs, obscure places in Britain and mentions recurring characters. The music is some standard slow rock, but with all the usual Fall embelishments; guitar work, driving basslines and some rock 'n' roll drums with just a hint of swing. The singing is essentially spoken word, but there is some singing (by Mark E. Smith standards anyway) and vocal instrumentation in the song too.

The subject matter for the track is a pretty popular one for Smith, his view that the people of the northern United Kingdom are looking for a revolution against the soft south (London, etc.), but are too stupid to ever plan an event like that successfully (see (2)). The song also appears at the start of the live Fall album A Part Of America Therin. It's very easy to imagine an irate Smith, pissed off from traveling, tell his band to do this song at the start of the set, thereby completely alienating at least half his audience. It is quite a good version though.


When it happened we walked through all the estates, from Manchester right to, er, Newcastle. In Darlington, helped a large man on his own chase off some kids who were chucking bricks and stuff through his flat window. She had a way with people like that. Thanked us and we moved on.

'Junior Choice' played one morning. The song was 'English Scheme.' Mine. They'd changed it with a grand piano and turned it into a love song. How they did it I don't know. DJs had worsened since the rising. Elaborating on nothing in praise of the track with words they could hardly pronounce, in telephone voices.

I was mad, and laughed at the same time. The West German government had brought over large yellow trains on Teeside docks. In Edinburgh. I stayed on my own for a few days, wandering about in the, er, pissing rain, before the Queen Mother hit town.

((Mark E. Smith stops talking softly here and starts singing/ranting))

I'm Joe Totale
The yet unborn son
The North will rise again
The North will rise again
Not in 10,000 years
Too many people cower to criminals
And government crap
The estates stick up like stacks
The North will rise again
The North will rise again
The North will rise again
The North will rise again
Look where you are
Look where you are
The future death of my father

Shift! ((After this the song structure changes slightly))

Tony was a business friend
And was an opportunist man
Come, come hear my story
How he set out to corrupt and destroy
This future Rising

The business friend came round today
With teeth clenched, he grabbed my neck
I threw him to the ground
His blue shirt stained red
The north will rise again.
He said you are mistaken, friend
I kicked him out of the home

Too many people cower to criminals
And that government pap
When all it takes is hard slap

But out the window burned the roads
There were men with bees on sticks
The fall had made them sick
A man with butterflies on his face
His brother threw acid in his face
His tatoos were screwed
The streets of Soho did reverberate
With drunken Highland men
Revenge for Culloden dead
The North had rose again
But it would turn out wrong(2)
The North will rise again

So R. Totale dwells underground(3)
Away from sickly grind
With ostrich head-dress
Face a mess, covered in feathers
Orange-red with blue-black lines
That draped down to his chest
Body are a tentacle mess
And light blue plant-heads
TV showed Sam Chippendale
No conception of what he'd made
The Arndale had been razed
Shop staff knocked off their ladders
Security guards hung from moving escalators

And now that is said
Tony seized the control
He built his base in Edinburgh
Had on his hotel wall
A hooded friar on a tractor
He took a bluey and he called Totale
Who said, "the North has rose again"
But it will turn out wrong

When I was in cabaret
I vowed to defend
All of the English clergy
Though they have done wrong
And the fall has begun
This has got out of hand
I will go for foreign aid
But he Tony, laughed down the phone
Said "Totale go back to bed"
The North has rose today
And you can stuff your aid!
And you can stuff your aid!

(1): R. Totale XVII
(3): "Dwells underground", as in six feet underground - he's dead.

Cheers to Fall Lyrics Parade," by Jonathan Kandell & Jeff Curtis, still the best place for Fall lyrics

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