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Market Square Heroes

Introduction: Fish wrote: "Originally titled UB 2,000,001 as reference to the unemployment statistics at the time. The lyric was about a would-be revolutionary with all the necessary charisma and presence of a leader without direction or goals, just a sense of frustration and anger. It was heavily influenced by the riots taking place all over England in the summer of '81.The lyric was written in St Mary's graveyard in Aylesbury on the comedown from an acid trip and was completed as dawn came up and a ring of policemen moved in on my girlfriend and I who were acting 'suspiciously'. Weirdness incarnate."

In an interview published in
Melody Maker, Apr 9, 1983 entitled Planet Marillion, Fish said: "We did get a review in your paper that said it wasn't relevant to the socio-ecconomic climate of Great Britain... which I thought was an absolutely stupid thing to say. I thought it was probably one of the more relevant songs that's come out in the past five years.

"It was about the people last year during the riots, they had more charisma than some people, they had the gift of the gab and they were pub politicians and you did find that there were all the local revolutionaries popping up.

"They were leading people the same way Hitler did in 1936 in Germany. Because of his charisma, he led people into the Second World War, the same way the National Front and some of the left wing parties are doing in this country. In a way it's a warning."

'Market Square'
Aylesbury is the county town of Buckinghamshire, a town with a market square. It has a population of about 65,000 (2001 census).

Torch: "The title comes from the Aylesbury Market Square; the band were photographed in it for press releases at the time, but there is an obvious reference to Nietzsche's 'man in the market square'... Fish commented he was dead keen on philosophy."

'I found smog at the end of my rainbow'
Brewer's: "The old legend is that if one reaches the spot where a rainbow touches the earth and digs there one will be sure to find a pot of gold. Hence visionaries, wool-gatherers, day-dreamers etc., are sometimes called rainbow-chasers, because of their habit of hoping for impossible things."

Torch said: "Finding 'smog' at the end of a rainbow is indicative that rather than a crock of gold and a promised fortune, there's just industrial pollution."

'The constitution of the walkways'
Torch said: "This is the manifesto for the streets, as he 'speeds the beat of the street pulse' and stirs people to action."

'The day'
An allusion to 'the Glorious Day' when the Socialist Revolution will take place.

Torch said: "He plans 'the day' when it will happen... think of The Knife by Genesis and It All Stops Here by IQ."

'Golden Handshake'
Brewer's: "A phrase applied to the often considerable terminal payments made to individuals, especially business executives, whose services are prematurely dispensed with. It also has been applied to the final grants made to colonial dependencies on attaining their independence. The phrase was coined by Frederick Ellis (d.1979), city editor of the Daily Express."

Torch said: "The 'golden handshake' conjures up an image of unemployment again, nearly breaking his arm, and he leaves the 'shuffling graveyard people'... dole queues?"

'Silent chimneys'
Torch said: "The factories are all closed... strikes, pit closures... silent chimneys provide silent steeples... a crusade launched from picket lines outside empty factories."

'Storms to troop'
Torch said: "The real genius element is that he gathers the 'storms to troop' and not the troops to storm... i.e. all the discontentment he stirs into a fighting feeling."

The name of the demon who is supposed to precede the Second Coming of Christ, as mentioned in Revelation 13. In the early Christian church the term was applied to the Roman Empire, and during the Reformation the Papacy became identified by Protestants with the Antichrist.

Morris McClelland said: "The Antichrist is a normal man who, through his wits, intelligence and guile, will come to be proclaimed both secular leader and Pope. He will unite the factions of Christianity, killing off all other religions, (i.e. Satan worshippers, Muslims, Jews, Pagans, etc.). This will all be a ruse, however, as he is totally given over to Satan. Upon reaching power, he will hand the world over to Satan, plunging the world into a thousand years of darkness, after which Christ will again walk the earth, judge those who are worthy, and give them a world free of sin. Everyone else will totally cease to exist."

Emiliano Bugatti added: "I think that the word 'Antichrist' has been taken by Fish not from the Bible, but from the pages of the German philosopher Nietzsche that with Antichrist describes the new-man, the 'uber-man' (The notion of 'superman' - Ed.). This Antichrist and this anti-nihilistic, the winner of God and of nothingness, he will come, a day."

Torch"There are further disturbing religious images...suffer my fallen angels... Satan the fallen angel gathering his army to fight heaven...

"I am your you really want a revolution...think about it. Ultimately it's a song that is a warning to armchair revolutionaries as Fish claims in Words And Pictures (Carol Clerk's Marillion book. But the BBC missed the point and had the line changed to 'I am your battle priest'. Fish added a rather crap verse live... 'have (sic - Ed) yer peace signs when I wage war in the disco... I'm the warrior in the ultra violet haze... armed with antisocial insecurity...' mmm. Are you following me?"

'Antisocial Insecurity'
Social Security was a system of payments made with income raised from taxation. It goes to those who are unable to work, unemployed, and other state dependants. This system was subsequently overhauled and placed under the auspices of the Department for Work and Pensions.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi, i don't know all Marillion discography, but this era, the Fish era, is particularly interesting to me. I really liked this song since the time it was released, but, as for the rest of songs, i never came to fully understand the meaning, mostly because i am from south america, and social reality of UK is totally unfamiliar, but reading this , and other analisys from other songs, has been deeply helpful. Now i like (Fish)Marillion the more. Thank you!


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