"Chief Inspector Blancheflower" as written by and Matthew Friedberger....
I wanted to be a typewriter mender when I grew up,
But things didn't work out so. Sleep
Late in the morning, climb up Mt. Olympia and replace a Return:
But I didn't get enough good grades.

My uncle Peter had the Parthenon Business Machine Remediation outfit,
And right there, on the shop floor,
Hundreds of electric-selectrics, all messed up:
But I didn't get enough good grades.

I had a dexadrine hyperactivity selective
Attend to relevant
Information tempo taken in told to
Mechanism coping concept

Put my head down crumple my paper.
Sent to look at the future-job folder-binders,
I got distracted by the graphs.
In the resource room Mrs. Petorsky re-enforced me:

Raisins from her zip-lock bag,
And free time after my target behavior I was positive about:
Tickets, tangibles, chips and stars.
Now playing I'm In My Own Little House:

Tickets, tangibles, chips and stars.
I had a dexadrine hyperactivity selective
Attend to relevant
Information tempo taken in told to

Mechanism coping concept
Put my head down crumple my paper.
After school I was sitting in the sitting room
Looking out at the pavers in their bright orange vests

Holding up the slow-go diamond plastic piece of wood,
And I knew that I'd never be any good
And never wear a hard-hat and do things like that,
So I joined the police force:

Damp in Dumbarton dip about the 14th of May.
The publican dropped me a line thought there had been foul play:
The farmer up the hill came in with his knife
He mumbled something darkly about his young wife.

Riding up on the postcoach I thrummed on my notebook.
The wind was up, I held on my hat. I do up my coat, look:
The farmer stumbled past holding his gun
He mumbled something darkly about his young son.

About your wife, sir.
What about her?
Pray, where is she?
Nowhere you'll see.

Locked him up in the store room of Mrs. McVeigh's Inn.
Take tea up in the manor Sir Robert Grayson.
The farmer through the window came in with his sword;
He mumbled out of breath Forgive me m'lord.

And after that rustic imposition I took a deposition
I shared a Woodpecker cider with a local fratricider
Who told me all this stuff and more:
Well I rode up to Springfield on my motorcycle

And I's gonna stay with my younger brother Michael.
Mom's oxycontoins and the Amstel Light
But I noticed I was doing most of the talking that night.
So I got both remotes and turned off the DVD

And said Michael is there something that you need to say to me?
Well I don't know how to tell you.
You can tell me any
Thing that you want â??cept I started seeing Jenny:

I started seeing Jenny.
My Jenny?
And he looked down at the floor.
You know damn well she ain't your Jenny no more.

And I said Get her on the phone.
Don't you think it's a little late?
No I don't think it's a little late.
But I went out the room cause I knew I'd better wait

So I went down to her dad's bakery and she said
I'm gonna go outside take a break smoke a cigarette.
I'm still surprised at how mad you get.
Well what'd you expec'?

That you wouldn't try to wreck your little brother's happiness.
And I said Listen to you!
I know what you're trying to do.
And what whould that be?

Mess with Michael's head as some kind of revenge back at me.
So I drove up to Springfield in my wife's new car
And went and had a drink at my buddy's old bar.


Lyrics submitted by tirhascragoo

"Chief Inspector Blancheflower" as written by Matthew Friedberger

Lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing

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Chief Inspector Blancheflower song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentOk, here's my interpretation for this song:

    The title character, Chief Inspector Blancheflower, begins by recounting his joining the police force. When he was growing up, he had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, so he couldn't ever focus, and he did poorly in school. He couldn't be the "typewriter mender" he had always wanted to be, and so he joined the police force. The line "Put my head down crumple my paper" refers to the frustration he felt when he could not focus on a specific idea, and thus he throws it out. It also seems he might be mildly retarded, because when he goes to look in the future-job index of his high school, the counselor has to "reinforce" him with raisins and stars and things of that nature.

    Anyways, after Blancheflower's recount of the start of his career, the scene unfolds: On the 14th of May in Dumbarton, a crime scene has been discovered, and a farmer supposedly killed someone. The lady (Eleanor) has a discussion on how it happened. There are three versions, all with different weapons and victims. Eleanor starts to interview someone (perhaps the farmer?), and asks where the wife is.The man admits to killing he (he says, "Nowhere you'll see", meaning you'll never find the body). Then they lock him up in the storeroom (maybe in lack of an interrogation room/holding cell?). The line I'm confused about is, who Sir Robert Grayson is. Maybe he's some literary allusion, or just a figure of the town?

    After the interviews (the first with a local "publican", or tavern-keeper, the second possibly with the "postcoach" driver, and the last possibly with Sir Robert Grayson, whoever he is), Eleanor gets a confession from a man who's killed his brother Michael because he started a relationship with his ex-girlfriend, Jenny. Jenny might possibly have been killed as well, and I believe this "deposition" (testimony) is a confession to the original crime scene. All this is set in, I believe, rural Illinois, not too far from Springfield.

    The last line of the song goes back to someone, but I can't figure out who. My guess is it is Chief Inspector Blancheflower, as a conclusion to his role in the investigation. It never mentioned that Blancheflower was married, however.

    Anyways, that's my interpretation. IT really helped to map it all out like this. This is a GREAT song, my favorite off of Blueberry Boat. I love Matthew's stories, even if they're hard to figure out.
    Stolenbuson May 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is absolutely incredible.
    fatehazeon January 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsecond favorite on the album.

    Thing that you want ‘cept I started seeing Jenny:
    I started seeing Jenny.
    My Jenny?
    And he looked down at the floor.
    You know damn well she ain’t your Jenny no more.
    And I said Get her on the phone.
    Don’t you think it’s a little late?
    No I don’t think it’s a little late.

    I love that dialogue; and I also love Matthew and Lenore's dialogue towards the end. So clever!
    SMUSER17000263on January 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"I had a dexadrine hyperactivity selective
    Attend to relevant
    Information tempo taken in told to
    Mechanism coping concept
    Put my head down crumple my paper."

    Definately one of the best sections of the album. It ties the entire beginning together. Brilliant.
    PittsColt45on April 02, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe part warmGun quoted is really brilliant, and one of the best parts of the album, but ofcourse the whole song is just great :)
    obsessedon July 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOh, and it occurred to me that the character Eleanor "sings" is in fact Chief Inspector Blancheflower, and that Eleanor's singing his part is just for musical effect.
    Stolenbuson May 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentabsolutely the best song off the album....brilliant... i could listen to this over and over.... oh wait i do...lol
    mich23on July 16, 2006   Link
  • -1
    General Commenti think the person elenor meets at the bar is chief inspector brancheflower. He told her He had a motor cycle to impress her and he really drove his wifes car. There are more reasons why i think this, but i'm lazy and don't want to write.
    Gus428on October 12, 2006   Link
  • -1
    General CommentDexadrine refers to the drug that's used to treat ADD.
    NewWaveNovaon May 24, 2010   Link

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