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Martha Wainwright — Factory
Album: Martha Wainwright
Avg rating:
6.9

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1224









Released: 2005
Length: 3:28
Plays (last 30 days): 1
These are not my people, I should never have come here
The chick with a dick and the gift for the gab
I know a place, I've seen the face
And I'll take the coast from factory to factory
Ah

These nights that I've been on the road
Through my window the moonlight she shone
And on my walls the fire she danced
Playing out my very last chance to run, run, run, run
Don't look back, you're moving too fast
I know a place, I've seen the face
And I'll take the coast from factory to factory
Oh yeah

There are millions and millions of people around
On my TV, walking my streets, making sounds
And I can walk with them, I love them, I need their love

There are others I have known as poor souls, sores exposed
The run-of-the-mill, the destitute and the cold
Sores exposed to the blisters and shards
Where any kind of kindness is as far as the sun, the sun
The sun, the sun, run, run, run, run
I know a place, I've seen a face
And I'll take the coast from factory to factory
Oh yeah
Oh yeah
Ah yeah
Ah yeah

Run, run
Mmmmmmm, mmmmmmm

These are not my people, I should never have come here
I know a place, I've seen the face
I'll take the high road from factory to factory
Oh yeah, oh yeah
Ah yeah, ah yeah
Oh yeah, oh yeah
Ah yeah
Comments (163)add comment
I figured she was describing herself in the way that Bill mentions here: as a woman with what is considered a "masculine" personality.
 LYS wrote:
Thanks for your comment about this, BillG.
 
BillG wrote:

I figure that she's describing an overbearing 'I'm just as macho as any man' kind of woman. I've heard the term used in that way before, and that fits better with the narrative of the song than the interpretation above.  If I felt she was using the term as speculated above then I wouldn't play it. 

 

 
Ah, interesting. Thank you.
c.
I always thought it was about Edie Sedgewick.
Thanks for your comment about this, BillG.
 
BillG wrote:

I figure that she's describing an overbearing 'I'm just as macho as any man' kind of woman. I've heard the term used in that way before, and that fits better with the narrative of the song than the interpretation above.  If I felt she was using the term as speculated above then I wouldn't play it. 

 


This discussion reminds me of an old, great TV show: "Not that there's anything wrong with that". It what people say when they know they should be accepting, but the best they can muster is tolerance. Hmm, maybe that's what Martha was saying in another way. We all learn in our own time and way.
I still like this. 
 cc_rider wrote:

I think it is a somewhat derogatory reference to a transgendered person. Not a transvestite. Different things.
It so happens there is an RPeep who is transgendered and is a talented woodworker/cabinetmaker. She works in a small factory. I think of her as a dear friend, which is why that line bothers me no end. Nobody wants to hear their friend insulted for just being herself, right?

That said, I like Martha Wainwright, her brother, and even their Dad. Doesn't make that line bother me any less though.

Peace,
c.

 
You call qualifying others as "not my kind of people" as derogatory? I think Martha's lyrics are about an occasion that she has run into group of people that she isn't feeling comfortable with. Nothing wrong with that. So I really don't understand the discussion on this page.
 cc_rider wrote:

Definitely derogatory. Unless Martha herself is one (she isn't), it can't possibly be SELF-denigrating.
 
 
The song is first-person, but that doesn't mean it's about Martha. Doi.
 
I think the person in the story is talking about herself. 
 BillG wrote:

I figure that she's describing an overbearing 'I'm just as macho as any man' kind of woman. I've heard the term used in that way before, and that fits better with the narrative of the song than the interpretation above.  If I felt she was using the term as speculated above then I wouldn't play it. 
 
My interpretation too, and I also think she's referring to herself. Martha's lyrics are often harder on herself than on others - even in B.M.F.A.
 cc_rider wrote:

I think it is a somewhat derogatory reference to a transgendered person. Not a transvestite. Different things.
It so happens there is an RPeep who is transgendered and is a talented woodworker/cabinetmaker. She works in a small factory. I think of her as a dear friend, which is why that line bothers me no end. Nobody wants to hear their friend insulted for just being herself, right?

That said, I like Martha Wainwright, her brother, and even their Dad. Doesn't make that line bother me any less though.

Peace,
c.

 
I figure that she's describing an overbearing 'I'm just as macho as any man' kind of woman. I've heard the term used in that way before, and that fits better with the narrative of the song than the interpretation above.  If I felt she was using the term as speculated above then I wouldn't play it. 
 softjeans wrote:
 Is it derogatory or self-denigrating? Or a nervy identification w/a outsider group? I'm not sure, but I think there's a ballsiness there that's actually kind of punk. 
 
Definitely derogatory. Unless Martha herself is one (she isn't), it can't possibly be SELF-denigrating.

Sure, it's ballsy and it's punk, but the line offends the people it refers to. Which itself is not especially unusual in any art form, but it's no less offensive. Again, I do not appreciate my friends (or anybody, really) being referred to in derogatory terms. I'm disgusted by any art that stoops to such antics. Martha is certainly not the most egregious, not by a long shot, and I think that line is an anomaly among her work.

I still like Martha. I'm not condemning her body of work over one line. I'm just saying, I know the people she's talking about: smart, strong people who have more courage than I can imagine. I do not appreciate hearing them dismissed so cavalierly.

Peace,
c. 
 cc_rider wrote:

I think it is a somewhat derogatory reference to a transgendered person. Not a transvestite. Different things.
It so happens there is an RPeep who is transgendered and is a talented woodworker/cabinetmaker. She works in a small factory. I think of her as a dear friend, which is why that line bothers me no end. Nobody wants to hear their friend insulted for just being herself, right?

That said, I like Martha Wainwright, her brother, and even their Dad. Doesn't make that line bother me any less though.

Peace,
c.

  Is it derogatory or self-denigrating? Or a nervy identification w/a outsider group? I'm not sure, but I think there's a ballsiness there that's actually kind of punk. 

 Byronape wrote:
It's "The chick with a dick and a gift for the gab".

I'm hoping that it isn't literal and is instead either a reference to a very masculine woman or a very effeminate chatty guy.

Nothing against transvestites, I just don't think very many will be working in factories.  But I could be wrong, according to my wife it happens all the time.
 
I think it is a somewhat derogatory reference to a transgendered person. Not a transvestite. Different things.
It so happens there is an RPeep who is transgendered and is a talented woodworker/cabinetmaker. She works in a small factory. I think of her as a dear friend, which is why that line bothers me no end. Nobody wants to hear their friend insulted for just being herself, right?

That said, I like Martha Wainwright, her brother, and even their Dad. Doesn't make that line bother me any less though.

Peace,
c.
 Byronape wrote:

It's "The chick with a dick and a gift for the gab".

I'm hoping that it isn't literal and is instead either a reference to a very masculine woman or a very effeminate chatty guy.

Nothing against transvestites, I just don't think very many will be working in factories.  But I could be wrong, according to my wife it happens all the time.

 
 

I attended a graduate seminar given by a female math professor from a university to the east of us.  There was something quite odd about her that I couldn't put my finger on.  (Besides the fact that she used tree, house, dog and cat as variables instead of x, y, sigma or epsilon.)   I mentioned it to the department secretary and she said it might have something to do with the fact that she was a he back when he/she was a graduate student.  That explained everything.
Always liked this tune.  Saw her open for Television once.  Overshadowed by her more famous family members but this is a fine tune.
fredriley wrote:
"Shake with the dick, for the giff and the gaff" - wtf? Best get my ear trumpet out...
 
Byronape wrote:

It's "The chick with a dick and a gift for the gab".

I'm hoping that it isn't literal and is instead either a reference to a very masculine woman or a very effeminate chatty guy.

Nothing against transvestites, I just don't think very many will be working in factories.  But I could be wrong, according to my wife it happens all the time.

 
 
In the business world it's an unflattering description of an aggressive woman who competes for equal footing with men. I'd suggest that it's the men's description...
 fredriley wrote:
"Shake with the dick, for the giff and the gaff" - wtf? Best get my ear trumpet out...
 
It's "The chick with a dick and a gift for the gab".

I'm hoping that it isn't literal and is instead either a reference to a very masculine woman or a very effeminate chatty guy.

Nothing against transvestites, I just don't think very many will be working in factories.  But I could be wrong, according to my wife it happens all the time.

 
I hear ya...

 
MediaGrrl wrote:
I think she caught me in the right mood, cause this song is just carrying me along....
 


I think she caught me in the right mood, cause this song is just carrying me along....
Do not like
 rickf wrote:
{#Biggrin} Nice to catch this. Haven't heard for a while & I uploaded it :-) I feel rather blessed today as 2 of the last 7 songs were my uploads AND I was listening. 4th of July bonus (and I'm not an American) :-)

 
Thanks for the upload. I love this album of hers. It's been a while.
Oh my Oh my Oh my...it's the amazing Ms Wainwright.
 GuiltyFeat wrote:
 It's the second best song on the album after "Bloody Motherfucking Asshole"
 
So this is who Katy Perry is channeling ...

 LeKing56 wrote:

Totally agree !
 
Maybe that photo... not at all in reality

 4merdj wrote:
P.S. She kind-a looks like Mariah Carey doesn't she? {#Whistle}
 
Totally agree !
 fredriley wrote:
"Shake with the dick, for the giff and the gaff" - wtf? Best get my ear trumpet out...
  Um, yeah.


Ooooh, touchy, touchy. My point was that Martha and Rufous have not just one talented singer-songwriter for a parent, but TWO. I was not implying that you were unaware of their family.

 peyotecoyote wrote:


and because by "family" i think i covered that aspect of the question {#Doh}
 

wow. 6.9 avg? tough audience...
"Shake with the dick, for the giff and the gaff" - wtf? Best get my ear trumpet out...
 alanthecowboy wrote:

After about 20 times hearing this, my 5-year old daughter finally asked me what a 'chick with a dick' was.  I didn't know how to explain that to her, so I told her to ask her grandparents....

 
I'm sure they were charmed and flattered by your referral.

Rainy Friday here in Boston. This song and Martha's voice suit the mood...in a good way.
 Grammarcop wrote:

She wanted to write "the chick with the hotel detective and the gift for the gab," but it just didn't sound right.
 
After about 20 times hearing this, my 5-year old daughter finally asked me what a 'chick with a dick' was.  I didn't know how to explain that to her, so I told her to ask her grandparents....

Article on memorial concert for Martha's mom, Kate McGarrigle, in this morning's New York Times.

https://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/16/arts/music/a-celebration-of-kate-mcgarrigle-at-town-hall-review.html?_r=1 

I am enormously fond of this song. It's the second best song on the album after "Bloody Motherfucking Asshole" which I understand is unlikely to make the Radio Paradise playlist.

I really like this song.  Had the oppty to see Martha as an opening act.  She doesn't have the powerful pipes of her brother or even her mom but she is an interesting performer.


I've dropped the rating of this every time I've caught it on here. I didn't mind this song the first time I heard it, but each listen makes me dislike it more. I'm usually a fan of folky female singer-songwriter types, but this one just doesn't do it for me.


 ThePoose wrote:

Because both parents of Martha and Rufus are talented, renowned musicians and songwriters.
 

and because by "family" i think i covered that aspect of the question {#Doh}
Upper 7! Nicely interpreted and arranged ... (the "oohhs-awhhh" prevented the 8) {#Devil_pimp}

P.S. She kind-a looks like Mariah Carey doesn't she? {#Whistle}
 Marr wrote:
So where is all the outrage seen over Metric's use of the f-bomb when Martha sings
"These are not my people, I should never have come here. The chick with a dick and the gift for the gab"?
Or is that a metaphorical dick and thus different?

 
She wanted to write "the chick with the hotel detective and the gift for the gab," but it just didn't sound right.


Just upped it to a hard 8.
simply intriguing
{#Biggrin} Nice to catch this. Haven't heard for a while & I uploaded it :-) I feel rather blessed today as 2 of the last 7 songs were my uploads AND I was listening. 4th of July bonus (and I'm not an American) :-)

 cc_rider wrote:

There ARE people who are outraged. Well, if not outraged, upset with Martha's characterization. Regarding the f-bomb, it has appeared in pop music going way back. It is in The Who's 'Who Are You', among others. Why there's such a fuss now, I don't know.

 
Because the pussification of this planet continues with people that have become way too sensitive and that somehow feel the need to "look after" the rest of us and foist upon us their own sensibilities

 zipper wrote:
Love.
 
Love.

Love.
 Marr wrote:
So where is all the outrage seen over Metric's use of the f-bomb when Martha sings
"These are not my people, I should never have come here. The chick with a dick and the gift for the gab"?
Or is that a metaphorical dick and thus different?

 
There ARE people who are outraged. Well, if not outraged, upset with Martha's characterization. Regarding the f-bomb, it has appeared in pop music going way back. It is in The Who's 'Who Are You', among others. Why there's such a fuss now, I don't know.

Meh{#Rolleyes}
So where is all the outrage seen over Metric's use of the f-bomb when Martha sings
"These are not my people, I should never have come here. The chick with a dick and the gift for the gab"?
Or is that a metaphorical dick and thus different?

Nice video (Crawdaddy)
 savoyard wrote:
Excellent Album....{#Clap}
 
I'd like to hear RP play more off of it. 
{#Wave}{#Good-vibes}
 hopper99 wrote

Mari, where are you?
 
here am i!  {#High-five} from factory to factory!

Mari, where are you?
I like Martha Wainwright. A lot. And I used to like this song a lot. But now that line about the chick really bothers me. Maybe I'm being too sensitive, or maybe I just know more about who those chicks are now. Either way, this song has lost its luster with me.

{#Clap}

{#Hug}

{#Jump}

Just now, after a day working and then walking and a glass of good gin in a nice bar, in old Beijing, very delighted to hear this song. Just the perfect song coming back, feeling at home...Far

{#High-five}

awesome tune. beautiful.

{#Kiss}

Quite beautiful in it's understatement. Instrumentation and backing is just this right mixture of subtlety. Martha's vocals right on!{#Hearteyes}
Excellent Album....{#Clap}
 Boston_Ed wrote:
This song just draws you. Great lyrics. Great vocal. Great instrumental. 
  Martha is incredibly talented ... she's so authentic, so much emotion is communicated in her delivery.


Doesn't Bill play the Twin Peaks theme sometimes?  That would fit nicely in with this little set:
Morrissey - Everyday is Like Sunday
Twin Peaks theme
Martha Wainwright - Factory
I'm feeling this one.

 tony99 wrote:


Yep, sister to Rufus (and much more talented than him, imho)  this is her first album - and the latest is just as good
 
Zero + zero = ?

 Darn word problems.

 But I'll tell ya, the McGarrigles were delightful. Then again, they were actual musicians.



the wainwright's have come so far from "Dead Skunk in the middle of the Road" {#Cheesygrin}
This song has an old-fashioned feel to it like something from the early 1900's.  It somehow calls to mind the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangle_Shirtwaist_Factory_fire

I'm also reminded of the worst job I ever had, which was a summer job in a seat belt factory, putting seat belts on a metal tab to make sure they stuck, then taking them off and throwing them on a conveyor belt. Five minutes literally felt like an hour.  That summer was the longest two months of my life.
 coffee-eyes wrote:
I'm surprised this song is rated so low.  {#Think}
 

She's somewhat below the radar.  Should be much, much higher.  
I'm surprised this song is rated so low.  {#Think}
 Mandible wrote:

Is she related to Rufus? She looks a bit like him!


 

Yep, sister to Rufus (and much more talented than him, imho)  this is her first album - and the latest is just as good

Is she related to Rufus? She looks a bit like him!


 lmic wrote:

I hear Rickie Lee in that line.

 

You nailed it
 edrickvb wrote:
her voice reminds me of Mary Margaret O'Hara... nice
 
Me too, but I don't think that's a good thing. {#Stupid}
What's this about?
 pannaramma wrote:
I get goose bumps on the line "these are not my people, I should never have come here..."
 
I hear Rickie Lee in that line.

 peyotecoyote wrote:

Damn, how did this family get all the musical genius genes?


 
Because both parents of Martha and Rufus are talented, renowned musicians and songwriters.


pannaramma wrote:
I get goose bumps on the line "these are not my people, I should never have come here..."

Do I ever know that feeling.

her voice reminds me of Mary Margaret O'Hara... nice
This song just draws you. Great lyrics. Great vocal. Great instrumental. 
Cryptically sublime.

Oh, yeah . . .

Damn, how did this family get all the musical genius genes?


 pannaramma wrote:
I get goose bumps on the line "these are not my people, I should never have come here..."
 
Yep! excellent album. Not so sure about her new one though.

I get goose bumps on the line "these are not my people, I should never have come here..."
She opened for KT Tunstall in Milwaukee.  The crowd was unusually quiet for an opening act... need I say why?  Just listen.
Ton Loc has a song about a chick with a dick, I believe the line went "Sheena was a man..."


 rachlan wrote:


I saw her the other day in B&N getting interviewed. I was with a friend who was friendly with her. we all talked and she signed my CD. I'm just showing off.



 
I saw her first, so back off!  {#War} Saw her opening for Neko Case a couple years ago at 930 Club in the District and, after the show, got her to sign this CD for me.  I think she has a crush on me . . .   {#Wink}  

I saw her the other day in B&N getting interviewed. I was with a friend who was friendly with her. we all talked and she signed my CD. I'm just showing off. :cheesygrin:
I think I'm in love with her. Don't laugh, I'm serious.
I like this but despite all the RP I listen to...I always just her this song from her.
I thought it was Cyndi Lauper
catey wrote:
Anyone else see the Direct TV special hosted by Pete Townshend's girlfriend? The girlfriend was not notable, but Martha did a guest appearance and sang Factory with Pete backing up, and I was transfixed. She has something unique. Since looked up alot of her music and like it, but this song is the shining star.
I just watched that on youtube. I like Pete's son kinda just hanging out in the background. Seem like very easygoing folk.
Note to self: buy this cd, ASAP. :clap:
shape5 wrote:
That she is. Also the daughter of Loudon Wainwright III. Good stock :)
She hates him. Check out the song purportedly about him on this CD, with the line "bloody motherf*cking a**hole".
Anyone else see the Direct TV special hosted by Pete Townshend's girlfriend? The girlfriend was not notable, but Martha did a guest appearance and sang Factory with Pete backing up, and I was transfixed. She has something unique. Since looked up alot of her music and like it, but this song is the shining star.
Beautiful and not a bad song also
She's a throwback. And talk about a musical family...
Roverfish wrote:
That comment brought a smile to my face. :good-vibes: Of course the other would be his music and role in "Knocked Up"...right? :think: (or Rufus...or "Dead Skunk"...) Most excellent tune from a very talented family.
HE wrote 'Dead Skunk'?! Haven't heard it in YEARS! Wasn't what I was thinking about, but now that you mention it, it comes in a close second to Rufus. Or that 'Wish I Was A Lesbian' song. Most people don't know he was on the earliest episodes of M*A*S*H also. c.
cc_rider wrote:
One of the two best things Loudon Wainwright III ever created. Stunning. c.
That comment brought a smile to my face. :good-vibes: Of course the other would be his music and role in "Knocked Up"...right? :think: (or Rufus...or "Dead Skunk"...) Most excellent tune from a very talented family.
greensky wrote:
She is the daughter of Kate McGarrigle (Kate and Anna McGarrigle from Montreal, Quebec). I think she is the sister of Rufus Wainwgright who is very well known.
That she is. Also the daughter of Loudon Wainwright III. Good stock :)
Her voice is just so ... I can't describe it ... heartbreaking, sweet, sad, stunning. :clap:
Up to an 8. :clap:
I actually thought it was Ani DiFranco. Very nice voice!
Brilliant, brilliant voice.
reminds me of Joanna Newsom.
peyotecoyote wrote:
Love Martha, she makes me sad-smile each and every time I hear her voice.
:high-five: :yes: :hug:
She sounds just a bit like Sophie B. Hawkins here. Also she performs "FACTORY" with PETE TOWNSHEND on a session of "IN THE ATTIC" which can be found on youtube.
Love Martha, she makes me sad-smile each and every time I hear her voice.
EssexTex wrote:
Great song...is she still with Arthur?
She is the daughter of Kate McGarrigle (Kate and Anna McGarrigle from Montreal, Quebec). I think she is the sister of Rufus Wainwgright who is very well known.
EssexTex wrote:
Great song...is she still with Arthur?
Well she sure enough ain't with me!
Great song...is she still with Arthur?
I saw her about a year ago, opening for Neko Case, and bought this CD. It is now one of my favorites. I really grows on you in unexpected ways. Probing and thoughtful lyrics. Oh, yeah.
Love it. To my shame I've never heard her before...that is going to change. Great introduction.
This is one of those pieces that stops me from what I'm doing. I remain impresssed even now that I know what is playing. The live version from a concert recorded for NPR is too ragged and raw, compared with this one.
hippiechick wrote:
These are not my people, I should never have come here The chick with a dick and the gift for the gab I know a place, I've seen the face And I'll take the coast from factory to factory Ah These night's that I've been on the road Through my window the moonlight she shone And on my walls the fire she danced Playing out my very last chance to run, run, run, run Don't look back, you're moving too fast I know a place, I've seen the face And I'll take the high road from factory to factory Oh yeah Oh yeah Ah yeah Ah yeah There are millions and millions of people around On my TV, walking my streets, making sounds And I can walk with them I love them I need their love There are others I have known as poor souls, sores exposed The the run-of-the-mill, the destitute, and the cold Sores exposed to the blisters and shards Where any kind of kindness is as far as the sun, the sun The sun, the sun, run, run, run, run I know a place, I've seen a face And I'll take the coast from factory to factory Oh yeah Oh yeah Ah yeah Ah yeah Run, run Mmmmmmm, mmmmmmm These are not my people, I should never have come here I know a place, I've seen the face Take the coast from factory to factory Oh yeah Oh yeah Ah yeah Ah yeah Oh yeah Oh yeah Ah yeah Ah yeah...
Thanks for this, now I appreciate it.
omniphiliac wrote:
Pardon my ignorance, but does anybody else hear Cocteau Twins?
Yes, a little. Not in a bad way. I think Ms. Wainwright will be around longer than the Twins though. c.
One of the two best things Loudon Wainwright III ever created. Stunning. c.
These are not my people, I should never have come here The chick with a dick and the gift for the gab I know a place, I've seen the face And I'll take the coast from factory to factory Ah These night's that I've been on the road Through my window the moonlight she shone And on my walls the fire she danced Playing out my very last chance to run, run, run, run Don't look back, you're moving too fast I know a place, I've seen the face And I'll take the high road from factory to factory Oh yeah Oh yeah Ah yeah Ah yeah There are millions and millions of people around On my TV, walking my streets, making sounds And I can walk with them I love them I need their love There are others I have known as poor souls, sores exposed The the run-of-the-mill, the destitute, and the cold Sores exposed to the blisters and shards Where any kind of kindness is as far as the sun, the sun The sun, the sun, run, run, run, run I know a place, I've seen a face And I'll take the coast from factory to factory Oh yeah Oh yeah Ah yeah Ah yeah Run, run Mmmmmmm, mmmmmmm These are not my people, I should never have come here I know a place, I've seen the face Take the coast from factory to factory Oh yeah Oh yeah Ah yeah Ah yeah Oh yeah Oh yeah Ah yeah Ah yeah...
outerspace wrote:
Did she just say "chick with a dick and a gift for the gab"?
As soon as I loaded up RP and it started to play this girl walked by my office and my computer very loadly played "chick with a dick" as the first noise heard on my computer. Wow. :redface:
I like this so much. Good song