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put in the money and pull out a plum

Discussion in 'English Only' started by vaderetro, Nov 3, 2006.

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  1. vaderetro New Member

    Spanish Spain
    Any idea of the exact meaning of the underlined sentence in red? I found many possible options in the internet but there isn't an agreement. Thanks.

    [...]

    I fumble for change - and pull out the Queen
    Smiling, beguiling
    I put in the money and pull out a plum, Behind me
    Whispers in the shadows - gruff blazing voices, Hating, waiting

    [...]
     
  2. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London
    English - England
    http://lyricsplayground.com/alpha/songs/d/downinthetubestationatmidnight.shtml
    That's because this is poetry (or at least an attempt to create poetry), and in poetry one word means many things, and different things to different people.
    - I think the narraror is talking about putting his money in a machine, maybe a ticket machine.
    - He is clearly referring to this nursery rhyme, suggesting contentment or self-satisfaction, which is to be shattered later in the song. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Jack_Horner The word plum, usually used as a noun modifier in expressions such as 'a plum job', suggests 'ideal'.
     
  3. vaderetro New Member

    Spanish Spain
    Thanks a lot teddy. I'm totally convinced that Weller's lyric is a poem, and a good one.
     
  4. NealMc Senior Member

    Hi

    It makes little sense in the context of the rest of the lyric - but if he put his money in a "fruit machine" - (a one armed bandit / a gambling machine) a plum would mean that he lost. Three crowns would indicate that he won the jackpot.
    I'm not aware of "a plum" as rhyming slang.

    Cheers
    Neal Mc
     
  5. mgarizona

    mgarizona Senior Member

    Phoenix, AZ
    US - American English
    Always wondered about that one myself, but just figured it was British slang. I'm remembering how long it took me to find out what "all mod cons" meant back in those pre-web days of my youth.

    Obviously the structure draws on 'Little Jack Horner' and the 'plum' comes from a vending maching, but that doesn't tell us what the plum is. Ticket? Were they purple back then? A candy? Wish I knew.

    You might want to try the message boards over at www.paulweller.com ... I'm sure some Brit Jam-fan, and they were legion, will be able to help you out.
     
  6. vaderetro New Member

    Spanish Spain
    Thanks for your answers. Following your advise I left a message at Paul weller's forums. If I receive some clue I'll let you know.
     
  7. Benn00x New Member

    UK, English
    The line refers to putting money in a ticket machine in the underground, the tickets used to be made of card and 'plum' coloured.
     
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