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#1
Old 11-29-2013, 11:41 PM
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Any idea what "Chocolate" by The 1975 is about?

So, I heard this song on Jimmy Kimmel the other night and thought it was catchy. Without considering it any further, I found it on iTunes and bought it. This afternoon, I was listening to it and realized I couldn't understand the words. So, I looked up the lyrics (found them here).

The video can be found here. I watched it, but it didn't really help me understand any better.
Now, I'm even more confused. What is this song about?
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#2
Old 11-30-2013, 11:57 PM
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Well, more than 500 views in 24 hours and not a single reply. I'm thinking The 1975 may not have a hit on their hands. Anyone have any idea what this song is about?
#3
Old 12-01-2013, 02:04 AM
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There are references to armed rebellion (or maybe just crime), but other than that..it's art, man!

I've wondered how a song made up of nonsensical lyrics, but fun to listen to musically, would do. Maybe this is that song.
#4
Old 12-01-2013, 03:23 AM
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Mary Jane
#5
Old 12-01-2013, 04:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esox Lucius View Post
I've wondered how a song made up of nonsensical lyrics, but fun to listen to musically, would do. Maybe this is that song.
That's basically Beck's entire musical career, isn't it?
#6
Old 12-01-2013, 04:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esox Lucius View Post
I've wondered how a song made up of nonsensical lyrics, but fun to listen to musically, would do.
Judging by the music charts of the 1960s, very well.
#7
Old 12-01-2013, 08:11 AM
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It's addiction to something, ("never gonna quit it") which the Feds and the police are trying to stop them from getting. My first guess would be crack, but I have no idea what crack smells like.

Last edited by TruCelt; 12-01-2013 at 08:11 AM.
#8
Old 12-01-2013, 09:12 AM
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Hashish is sometimes referred to as "chocolate". Crack smells a bit like burning plastic.
#9
Old 12-01-2013, 09:25 AM
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I thought it was about a friend or relative with a drug problem.
#10
Old 12-01-2013, 09:44 AM
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Looks like a drug metaphor. Something smokeable. Guns, cops, etc.
#11
Old 12-01-2013, 11:18 AM
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I'll go with the consensus and say "Drugs, man". Probably more than one - the lyric "you're never gonna quit it / unless you start smokin' it" implied, to me, that the speaker in that verse is trying to get the singer off of heroin and onto crack. The whole thing has a weird Velvet Underground-ish vibe to it, which is what is making me think heroin is involved somehow.

I did think to check the Wiki article on the song, but it provided no insight whatsoever as to the meaning of the song.

Last edited by Smapti; 12-01-2013 at 11:20 AM.
#12
Old 12-01-2013, 12:26 PM
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At the bottom of this page, there's a video of the writer of the lyrics (I presume) explaining "guns under our petticoats". Apparently, petticoats symbolize the middle class, and middle class youth is treated suspiciously by authority figures who suspect they're hiding guns under them. His lyric writing skills are somewhat underwhelming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miller View Post
That's basically Beck's entire musical career, isn't it?
I'm old enough that I'm neither ashamed nor proud to admit that I don't know Beck's music at all (other than Jeff Beck, but I assume that's a different animal).

Quote:
Originally Posted by GuanoLad View Post
Judging by the music charts of the 1960s, very well.
Why is a bustle in my hedgerow just a spring clean for the May queen, and why I shouldn't I be alarmed?
#13
Old 12-01-2013, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esox Lucius View Post
I'm old enough that I'm neither ashamed nor proud to admit that I don't know Beck's music at all (other than Jeff Beck, but I assume that's a different animal).
Here's a bit of the first verse to his hit song, "Loser:"

Quote:
In the time of chimpanzees
I was a monkey
Butane in my veins
So I'm out to cut the junkie
With the plastic eyeballs,
Spray-paint the vegetables
Dog food stalls with the beefcake pantyhose
Kill the headlights
And put it in neutral
Stock car flaming' with a loser
And the cruise control

And with music.
#14
Old 12-01-2013, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miller View Post
Here's a bit of the first verse to his hit song, "Loser:"


And with music.
That song sure appeals to me musically, but yeah, where in hell do the lyrics come from? Not that it matters a whole lot to me. I'd much rather listen to good music and lousy lyrics than the reverse.

I think it was Alan Freed who calculated, somehow, that his radio audience only needed to understand about 30 percent of the words in a song to connect with it. Bands like Beck and The 1975 seem to be trying reduce that figure significantly.
#15
Old 12-01-2013, 04:17 PM
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Yep. Word salad. Beck does it constantly. Cobain did it a lot: A mulatto, An albino, A mosquito, My libido...Yay

Lennon did it best with Walrus...
#16
Old 12-02-2013, 02:25 PM
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There's certainly a rhythmic element to the lyrics of "Chocolate", but if they're trying to communicate some kind of meaning as well, they're not doing a very good job of it.
#17
Old 12-02-2013, 05:22 PM
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Well, thanks everyone for reading and listening. I am so glad that it isn't just me. I thought that maybe the meaning was just so obvious and the symbolism profound, but I was too stupid to get it. I thought that maybe the bit about "guns under our petticoats" referred to some British cultural thing that I wasn't aware of.
#18
Old 12-03-2013, 10:13 AM
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I quite like this song, having heard it in a bar some time ago, and then having looked it up. I couldn't understand a damn thing until I went and looked up the lyrics, and there are several people on the Internet who think they know what it means. Personally, I think it's pretty clear that it's about drugs in some way, but I have no idea what "guns hidden under our petticoats" could mean. Still like the song, but gave up trying to really get any meaning from it.
#19
Old 06-30-2016, 09:55 AM
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Chocolate is slang for heroin. "Guns hidden under our petticoats" references heroin syringes, which are commonly called guns. "You're never going to quit it if you don't start smoking it" references smoking heroin off of tinfoil (aka chasing the dragon) vs. shooting up, which is more addicting. "My car smells like chocolate" references smoking heroin in the car, which makes the entire car smell like heroin.

Last edited by syncretic; 06-30-2016 at 09:57 AM.
#20
Old 07-03-2016, 01:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syncretic View Post
Chocolate is slang for heroin. "Guns hidden under our petticoats" references heroin syringes, which are commonly called guns. "You're never going to quit it if you don't start smoking it" references smoking heroin off of tinfoil (aka chasing the dragon) vs. shooting up, which is more addicting. "My car smells like chocolate" references smoking heroin in the car, which makes the entire car smell like heroin.
Hey, thanks. Welcome to the SDMB.
#21
Old 02-07-2017, 02:21 PM
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Well, it's about drugs and lawlessness.

Obviously, 'Chocolate' by The 1975 is about a bunch of feisty friends and marijuana. They're running from the cops.

However, I believe that the song also contains loose references to the 'Rebecca Riots' that took place in South and Mid Wales between 1839 and 1843 as an uprising against the poverty and oppressive taxation imposed on Welsh rural folk at that time. The male rioters dressed in their womenfolk's clothes, and quoted the bible; Genesis 24:60, which concerns the biblical figure Rebecca and her children. The lines, "With guns hidden under our petticoats..." and "Said Rebecca ought to know.." seem to indicate a connection. I would be interested if any of the band members would like to confirm or deny the link. More about the Rebecca Riots can be found on Wikipedia.
#22
Old 02-08-2017, 05:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esox Lucius View Post
Why is a bustle in my hedgerow just a spring clean for the May queen, and why I shouldn't I be alarmed?
hedgerow=pubic hair. The rest follows...
#23
Old 02-08-2017, 08:53 AM
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Written and recorded in 1972 in Italy, Prisencolinensinainciusol is a song that is made up of nonsensical words that sound like English.

It's a great song, and I would be willing to bet it's a huge influence on Beck.
#24
Old 02-08-2017, 09:10 AM
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I'd say it's about 3 minutes and 45 seconds too long. YMMV.
#25
Old 06-22-2017, 07:24 AM
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Easy question

You are correct. Most other people here are wrong. Chocolate is slang for heroin and no other drug where I am from and where the 1975 grew up. Guns is slang for syringe. The lyrics at the beginning, "call it a split because I know that you will" a split is when two heroin users split the bag evenly, the lyrics follow on to say "you bite your friends like chocolate" meaning the so called split isn't actually a split, the person is taking more than half and is so addicted to heroin he is screwing over his friend.

I am a heroin addict (clean now) and this is exactly what happens... my friend and I used to use in my car, we would buy a bag between us and my friend being the more addicted person between would always take more than half and call it a split. It gets to a point that isn't even worth arguing over so you just let them because you feel bad for them. We called syringes guns and Heroin chocolate because it smells like chocolate when smoked.. We have also had multiple run-ins with "boys in blue" and we have often been in car chases and thankfully never actually caught.

The song is undoubtedly about heroin addiction and the perils of using heroin
#26
Old 06-22-2017, 07:54 AM
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I found a site that suggests that it is a criticism of the international commercial situation affecting Cadbury's chocolate in N. America, where it must be manufactured by Hershey's under a complex OEM agreement.

The "feds" are the US government, who put the laws in place that allowed for this situation in the first place-- anyone who has had UK Cadbury's knows the stuff in the US is not authentic.

"Rebecca" is the real name of a member of the EU who was a key figure in forcing Cadbury to switch from Imperial standards to metric. This has affected the taste.

"Guns under our petticoats" is just a way of referring to the US that gets in a little dig at the country from the UK perspective.

In spite of the distressing situation, the songwriter is not giving up on the great chocolatier-- "Never gonna quit it."
#27
Old 06-22-2017, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gauge View Post
You are correct. Most other people here are wrong. Chocolate is slang for heroin and no other drug where I am from and where the 1975 grew up. Guns is slang for syringe. The lyrics at the beginning, "call it a split because I know that you will" a split is when two heroin users split the bag evenly, the lyrics follow on to say "you bite your friends like chocolate" meaning the so called split isn't actually a split, the person is taking more than half and is so addicted to heroin he is screwing over his friend.

I am a heroin addict (clean now) and this is exactly what happens... my friend and I used to use in my car, we would buy a bag between us and my friend being the more addicted person between would always take more than half and call it a split. It gets to a point that isn't even worth arguing over so you just let them because you feel bad for them. We called syringes guns and Heroin chocolate because it smells like chocolate when smoked.. We have also had multiple run-ins with "boys in blue" and we have often been in car chases and thankfully never actually caught.

The song is undoubtedly about heroin addiction and the perils of using heroin
This, in my experience, is precisely correct.
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