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
And so on. Dog is Life/Jerusalem by The Fall might not be their best track. It certainly isn’t taken from their best album, although 1988’s I Am Kurios Oranj (Beggars Banquet) was followed by a string of outstanding albums from Extricate (1990) to The Infotainment Scan (1993) via the album that first got me hooked on the band, 1992’s Code: Selfish. On Kurious Oranj The Fall provided the music for an avant-garde ballet by Michael Clark’s dance company based on a story concerning William and Mary of Orange. Complete and utter nonsense.
And that is why it seemed an appropriate choice from the Pockless jury.
The Fall’s Mark E Smith shares a credit with William Blake for the lyrics, and Blake’s words form a fine counterpart to Mark E Smith’s Mancunian bombast on the subject of dogs and other issues of considerable importance. As such, it is the only song by The Fall to have had its lyrics featured on The Clock, back in February of 2002.
By the time Smith delivers the lines “It was the government’s fault / It was the fault of the government” the track has evolved into quintessential Fall, with a bassline that bounces like an ebullient baboon laying bricks for a backstreet beerhouse. Baboons are large terrestrial monkeys notably distinguished by their doglike muzzles. Pet dog muzzle dog dogs rapacious wet dogs, oh yes this is the stuff of genius.