Friday, April 29, 2022

sounds like a cue for a song

The World Snooker Championship is on again, which means it's time for some pointless bitching about how the scoring system is all wrong, or something like that. Well actually I'm totally over all that now and have moved on with my life, and so should you. No, today's snooker-related post (also a music-related post, as you'll see) was inspired by this tweet:

What this tweet is alluding to, of course, is the 1986 hit single Snooker Loopy by The Matchroom Mob featuring Chas & Dave. You'll note if you watch the linked clip that Chas & Dave solve the problem by emphasising Meo's Italian ancestry rather than his relatively modest snooker career achievements. You'll recall with a cringe as well the bits at the end of each verse where the player featured in that verse sings the last line himself, with results that might be described as charmingly amateurish, if you were literally insane and/or deaf. 

Snooker Loopy is enough of a cultural trope that you'll notice I used snippets of its lyrics as the titles of at least two snooker-related blog posts, the one I linked to above and this one from a year or so earlier. 

Anyway, back to the song, and the Tony Meo verse in particular - one thing I remember being baffled by at the time and which has become no clearer in the intervening 36 years is: what the heck is Meo actually saying in his one line of what you might loosely call "singing", if you were literally insane etc. etc.? Well, you might say, here's where your multifarious lyric websites come in handy. This one for example offers up the entire verse as follows: 

Now ol' Meo as we all know's
Got loadsa dappa suits
London bred and he keeps his head
'Though he's got Italian roots
Emotional but he keeps his cool
'Til he reaches the finals
And whether he wins or whether he don't
"I always bite me eyeballs"

I mean, what? Leave aside the physical impossibility of biting your own eyeball, at least without removing it from its socket first, still less the impossibility of playing professional-level snooker afterwards, why would you be doing that? Most of the other lyric websites say the same thing, though of course there may be a certain amount of websites just copying each other's content going on here. This site chooses to take a rather prissy approach to potentially offensive content and not only asterisk out the word "balls" which features several times but also render Willie Thorne's name as "W***** Thorne". More confusingly they render Meo's line as "I always b*** me eyeballs" which is a bit mystifying and should surely be "I always b*** me eyeb****" for consistency anyway.

Other variations are available including here, here and here. A quick recap of the main contenders:

I always bite me eyeballs
I always b*** me eyeballs
I always wipe me eyeballs
I always pipes his eyeballs
I always pipe me eyeballs

Strangely, while you might be raising an eyebrow (or an eyeball) at the last two, it's these, or more specifically the last one, which turn out to be correct, as confirmed by the late Chas Hodges himself, or possibly whichever prankster ran his Twitter account in 2012. See for yourself:

I expect you'll be experiencing the same mild disappointment as when we finally discovered, together, what the B-52s were saying in Love Shack. But there you are, no use piping your eye over spilled satin and silk, as Chas would have said. 

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