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Post Info TOPIC: Lift Off - unused lyrics circa 1985

The Only Way is Down

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Lift Off - unused lyrics circa 1985

One of the many interesting things at the Good Pop Bad Pop exhibit is the bits of paper ephemera. Lots of old flyers and posters, photos and a few old lyric sheets.

They're not always easy to make out as the bedroom area is dimly lit and roped off, so it took a bit of creative photography and arm stretching from me and Giles Acrylic to get this one. Even then, it took some serious squinting to transcribe.

If anyone wants to try themselves, this is from the yellow A3 sheet in the corner. It's got the storyboard from the Manon video on the same sheet, so presumably it's from 1985.


Lift Off


On launch bay for so long

Vines cling to the machinery

Girders red with rust

Here comes the pilot pissed again

Getting a little (???play?)

Face raises a smile

Smoked too many cigs again

But it's alright because tomorrow's

Lift Off Day



But the pilots out for the count

On a raw, bleak morning

The back of his head aches

His eyes water

His throat is sore and clogged

But he still reaches for that first cigarette

The one that will

Bring it all crashing back down on him

The shit he chooses

To fill his life with


Never lift off with all that weight on

Not a chance

But he just

Smiles a cut throat smile

And downs another pint

He's lying in a pool of

His own vomit

Outside the front door

When a tiny voice whispers

Hey get ready for lift off!



And now the fact must

Be faced however sad it is

This lift off will never

Take place

The mission's aborted

The paint peels from the hull

Rust shows red

Scrap merchants move in


NB. Perhaps a bit more heroic ie trying to get himself into shape, almost taking off, crashing to the ground, picks himself up, mangled, twisted, & tries again. Each time getting uglier & becoming more obviously a failure before he even tries to lift off.

-- Edited by Sturdy on Wednesday 1st of June 2022 09:40:06 AM

"Yes I saw her in the chip shop / so I said get yer top off"

The Only Way is Down

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Posts: 1527
Lift Off - unused lyrics circa 1985

So what does anyone think of these then? I found them pretty fascinating myself. In terms of theme, they're obviously a precursor to stuff like Aborigine and, most strikingly, Countdown (the rusty rocket analogy is one Jarvis used when talking about Countdown). I thought it was interesting too that he was clearly thinking in terms of life passing by and chances evaporating so early on - he was 21/22!

Wonder if it actually became a song. Maybe a 1985 setlist will turn up one day and we'll find out. On the other hand I guess there'd be a certain poetry to the song itself never making it off the launch pad...

-- Edited by Sturdy on Thursday 2nd of June 2022 10:44:16 AM

"Yes I saw her in the chip shop / so I said get yer top off"


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Lift Off - unused lyrics circa 1985

^ Agree entirely, another one from the 'life going nowhere' series of completely bleak songs of the mid-80s. Would love to hear this in full song form.

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