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Something fast
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straylight
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PostPost #1  Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 1:13 pm    Post subject: Something fast Reply with quote Back to top

'I think he's still in Baltimore'

Anyone got any clues on this line? I did have a look through the lyric discussions before posting this so my apols if I have missed the answer somewhere. But I'd love to know.
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PostPost #2  Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Club/1217/vt_notes.html

Quote:
Baltimore

A city in Maryland obviously, but I'm not totally sure of the relevance. The use of `his' and `he' in this verse would seem to agree with `God' in the first line, although one might expect Andrew to capitalise the words if they did refer to God. The lack of capitals may well be important in deciphering the lyricist's intentions in this song. If the `he' who is still in Baltimore does refer to God, then we are still left with the slightly tricky question of `why Baltimore?'. There is a potential link to the Baltimore Catechism, in which case I take the line to be in contrast to the previous two: the first image being of a televangelist, and the last line indicating that the narrator prefers to believe in a God rooted more firmly in Catholic orthodoxy. That said, the narrator seems to distance himself from God: "God knows... / Some of us are not so sure", so perhaps it's the case that God is seen as being an irrelevance, stuck in past strictures. God knows what this song is about.

The Baltimore Catechism is one of a number of Catechisms (documents explaining the Catholic faith, specifically explaining the meanings of the Apostle's Creed, the sacraments, the Ten Commandments and the Lord's Prayer) and as far as I know it doesn't represent any radically different approach to Christianity (although please correct me if you know better), so if it does represent religious traditionalism, I suspect that actual word was chosen at least in part because it fitted the rhyme scheme well, although it also offers the best ironic contrast with the essentially American image of corrupt TV preachers.

umm, whatever Rolling Eyes Laughing
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PostPost #3  Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

http://www.mercybaltimore.org/

Laughing
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straylight
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PostPost #4  Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks QB...may not help with my question but at least I need never feel pretentious again compared to that! Smile
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PostPost #5  Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Quiff Boy wrote:
http://www.mercybaltimore.org/

Laughing

http://www.mercybaltimore.org/our_history.htm

Quote:
In 1991, the Sisters of Mercy of the Union and sixteen independent communities formed the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.


Surprised
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straylight
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PostPost #6  Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

AHA!

Now you might be onto something
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PostPost #7  Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Quiff Boy wrote:
Quiff Boy wrote:
http://www.mercybaltimore.org/

Laughing

http://www.mercybaltimore.org/our_history.htm

Quote:
In 1991, the Sisters of Mercy of the Union and sixteen independent communities formed the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.


Surprised

is that kinda like the London Suede? Or The Misssshun UK?
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PostPost #8  Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The game is afoot Watson!
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PostPost #9  Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

seem to remember reading somewhere (maybe even here?) that there was a scandal involving a tv preacher in baltimore around 89/90 too Question
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PostPost #10  Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

You people have far too much time on your hands.
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PostPost #11  Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 12:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Something fast Reply with quote Back to top

straylight wrote:
'I think he's still in Baltimore'

Anyone got any clues on this line? I did have a look through the lyric discussions before posting this so my apols if I have missed the answer somewhere. But I'd love to know.



looks like a Times crossword clue to me.

does he like lots of curry. sorry, weak i know Razz
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PostPost #12  Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

OK, maybe we could do with the whole lyric here:

Von wrote:
Something Fast


All the things
We never needed
I don't need them now
All the things
Were always confidential
And hidden from me anyhow

You can stand all night
At a red light anywhere in town
Hailing maries left and right
But none of them slow down
I seen the best of men go past
I don't want to be the last
Gimme something fast

God knows everybody needs
A hand in their decision
Some of us are not so sure
I seen his own held out
For a ride on television
I think he's still in Baltimore

You can stand all night
At a red light anywhere in town
Hailing maries left and right
But none of them slow down
I seen the best of men go past
I don't want to be the last
Gimme something fast

I think the televangelist hypothesis holds water; "I seen his own held out For a ride on television"-- God's own?

There's a double-meaning in "held out"; as in arms held out, or as in (forgive me) holding out for a hero Laughing

And of course being taken for "a ride on television" is double-meaning too.

So God's own (the televangelist) persevered until he got to appear on TV, and
God's own (the religion ???) was "held out" and then conned, on TV.

What that has to do with Baltimore I can only guess--if Barry's right about there being a televangelist caught in scandal in the right time and the right place, this definitely comes across as comment on the situation.
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PostPost #13  Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

And of course being taken for "a ride on television" is double-meaning too.

valentine Rolling Eyes
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PostPost #14  Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

isn't calling each other 'Mary' a term attached to being bitchy in the gay community?

Hailing maries left and right
But none of them slow down
I seen the best of men go past

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PostPost #15  Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

James Blast wrote:
isn't calling each other 'Mary' a term attached to being bitchy in the gay community?

Hailing maries left and right
But none of them slow down
I seen the best of men go past

never heard that one before Confused

i always assumed the line was a pun on catholic punishment, flagging down taxis and trying to get the attention of prostitutes... Laughing
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PostPost #16  Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Quiff Boy wrote:
i always assumed the line was a pun on catholic punishment, flagging down taxis and trying to get the attention of prostitutes... Laughing
Mr. E and myself are of a similar age, so it could hold some connection, mibies aye, mibies naw Rolling Eyes
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PostPost #17  Posted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I always read hailing maries in terms of hailing black marias, but perhaps not...
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PostPost #18  Posted: Thu Sep 09, 2004 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

MrChris wrote:
I always read hailing maries in terms of hailing black marias, but perhaps not...


me too! I've always assumed that's what it meant.
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PostPost #19  Posted: Thu Sep 09, 2004 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

i was watching an intresting documentary on fundimentalist christians and politics around the reagan era (well, around the late 80s anyway) and there mentioned something about a T.V evangelist and a scandal which apparently made big headlines back in that time. Question
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PostPost #20  Posted: Thu Sep 09, 2004 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

ryan wrote:
i was watching an intresting documentary on fundimentalist christians and politics around the reagan era (well, around the late 80s anyway) and there mentioned something about a T.V evangelist and a scandal which apparently made big headlines back in that time. Question

a ha! Exclamation
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PostPost #21  Posted: Sat Sep 11, 2004 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

James Blast wrote:
isn't calling each other 'Mary' a term attached to being bitchy in the gay community?

Hailing maries left and right
But none of them slow down
I seen the best of men go past




I've never heard that, but I've heard virgins or tight girls called "Mary"...

I don't think it has to do with the song though.

What about "You can stand all night
At a red light anywhere in town" with the "Hailing maries"...

I'm thinking trying to preach to prostitutes which is more or less hopeless and, as another layer, the T.V. preachers kind of prostituting religion (standing under the red lights i.e. being conartists and trying to pass as honorable and pious people by hailing maries).
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PostPost #22  Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The Pope wrote:
James Blast wrote:
isn't calling each other 'Mary' a term attached to being bitchy in the gay community?

Hailing maries left and right
But none of them slow down
I seen the best of men go past


I've never heard that, but I've heard virgins or tight girls called "Mary"...

I don't think it has to do with the song though.


why not? it fits.
prostitutes pretending to be Virgins ( maries)
anyway, I always figuard it would be something like this.... or am I been thinkind bad again Embarassed
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The Pope
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PostPost #23  Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Good point.
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PostPost #24  Posted: Fri Oct 01, 2004 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

after reading this topic I listend to the song again this evening.
and instead of looking for the meaning of the lyrics I tried to find the logic "story" of the song, I tried to put myself in the place of a character. the singer, a prostitute, even the best men Wink
butt in my eyes there is no Logic in it. had anyone has a solution for this. or isn't there a logic story to follow.
-
You can stand all night
at a red light, anywhere in town.
Hailing maries left and right
But none of them slow down
I seen the best of men go past

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PostPost #25  Posted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

This is another example of the work Eldritch puts into his lyrics, work that leads perhaps to his own frustration in folks not reading enough into it, or trying in the wrong ways.

It's a great little song, the lyrics are not lengthy (his later songs feature even sparser lyrics at times) but that's the beauty--he's covering what he wants to cover in deceptively simple words, and he doesn't overstay his welcome.

I take it to be some thoughts on what people 'need', and how, despite fame and money, there is recognition that you can't buy the things you need, and the real things that matter have been confidential or mysterious (love, maybe, understanding, compassion, who knows--but all
'unbuyable' things.)

Something fast is just that--give me something that's quick, that can get me through (of course it can be something 'fast' like speed or coke, say), and how you can hail maries--pray, perhaps, or hail prostitutes, have your way, and in the end nothing has changed or slowed down because of it. Eldritch has mentioned that religion is 'unnecessary', so looking at God becomes accepting a ride on TV. Baltimore could be the Catholic catechism, or just someone from anywhere, America, Baltimore here, waiting for his messiah in the form of 'something fast' on TV.

The preacher that folks are thinking of is Jimmy Swaggert and his own pathetic, tearful admission of sins, etc, but he was not from Baltimore. Also, I highly doubt Eldritch would make such a specific reference to a particular figure in a time and place, it's not his style, and who is likely to remember a detail about a guy from Baltimore that has relevance to this song (or any?)

I always loved that menacing sound to the song, as the feedback grows and grows and keeps wailing as the chorus continues till it fades out. The chorus is a point that Eldritch finds worth repeating--you can hail down 'Maries'--either keep praying and praying to a God that is probably not there or listening, or prostitutes, a 'quick fix'. But they don't solve anything...they're 'something fast'.

I can only imagine how long it takes for him to 'finish' his lyrics and a song. Here's a lyricist who took a bit longer than expected to appear on a debut LP (the release of which coincided with the breakup of that band), and who needed total control for the next two albums, which took even longer to put together. And 14 years after Vision Thing (can we get a cheer for the upcoming 15th year?), so it goes...
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