Written by:

Mark E. Smith, Steve Hanley, Craig Scanlon, Mark Riley


Initial release:

How I Wrote Elastic Man/City Hobgoblins, Rough Trade RT048 7"



11 July 1980


Subsequent releases:


Bend Sinister, Beggars Banquet BEGC75 Cassette (live recording from Town and Country Club - reason for the  title change to Town and Country Hobgoblins) 12 June 1986

Palace of Swords Reversed, Cog Sinister COGC1; CD: CDCOG1 Cassette 23 November 1987

The Collection, Castle Communications CCSCD365 CD;  CCSMC365 Cassette March 1993

Grotesque, Castle/Essential, ESMCD640 CD 27 June 1998

Totally Wired - The Rough Trade Anthology, Castle,  CD: CMDDD461 15 July 2002

The Rough Trade Singles Box, Castle CMEBX526 CD; 15 July 2002, Earmark 40006 LP; 4 August 2003

Totally Wired - The Rough Trade Anthology,

The Rough Trade Singles Collection, Earmark, 40014 LP; 8 September 2003

50,000 Fall Fans Can't Be Wrong - 39 Golden Greats, Sanctuary SMEDD017 CD; 31 May 2004

The Rough Trade Singles Collection, Earmark 40014S; 22 November 2004

The Fall Box Set - 1976-2007, Castle CMXBX1558 CD; 10 September 2007

Group on initial recording:

Mark E Smith - vocals,  ; Marc Riley - guitar, Craig Scanlon - guitar; Steve Hanley - bass,; Paul Hanley - drums, 


First played live:

20 February 1980 Bradford



Last played live:

10 March 1987 Aachen


Number of known performances:




A fairly popular number in gigs in the early 80s, it was rested for three years before being brought back in force (and a live version appearing on the cassette issue of Bend Sinister) in 1986 and for a few more outings the following year. The song rolls along nicely enough, but perhaps most attention should be paid to the imagery in the lyrics, with the line about Queen Victoria as a large black slug deserving its high place among MES's best lines