Fail On You
Written by John Close 1975 or 76 (Brixton)
This version recorded 1981

I lived in squatted houses in London between 1973 and 1976 before I moved to Milton Keynes. I was holed up in a bedsit near The Chippenham pub in Kilburn and somehow met a Galway bloke called Paddy Connolley who insisted that I give up my 4 quid a week bedsit and my job in an off-licence in Maida Vale and move in with him and Frank Burke, Angus McDonald (who wasn't Irish) and the rest of the crew. This led to three years in squats, mostly in Elgin Avenue, Paddington, a few dreadful months in Hampstead and finally Brixton, where I lived on 9 pounds 50 pence per week and stood in the queue to sign on the dole for large parts of every Monday.

I suppose I thought this was a reggae song, reggae was getting trendy at the time. It's not really, it's calypso.

Got me a woman with a crazy look,
She won't wash, she won't cook;
If she up at ten, she drunk by twelve
And she don't earn a penny she-self.


Cat chase a tail and dog sniff a rail
And someday love gonna fail on you;
Cat chase a tail and dog sniff a rail
And someday love, gonna fail on you
Fail on you
Oh my love is gonna fail on you.

Now when she dry she start to moaning,
She nag me out something fierce;
Then when she drunk
She start in crying,
I just don't know which state is worse.


Well, my brother he live in the city
And my parents they long dead and gone;
I got no-one to ease my frustration
When this old woman she carrying on.

But I got me this knife
hid under the floorboards
Waiting for time to tell me when;
You lazy bitch, belle dame sans merci,
You'll never drink my money again.