Such beautiful dignity in self-abuse
There was a point in time when this song was in constant danger of being partly ruined for me by other people. And by other people I mean the people permanently stuck in Richey’s ass, praising his every fart as a new messianic piece of art. 4st 7lb being pretty much the quintessential Richey track thanks to its lyrics and subject matter, it gets a horrible amount of fangirl fapping over it.
But once you stop being childish and ignore its reputation, it’s really quite a great song. Lyrically it is one of Richey’s best due to it staying sensible instead of following the “I quote dictionaries and namecheck people because I can“-mentality. It offers a rather touching image, really. 4st 7lb referenced in the title is the lowest possible adult human weight before death.
But like everywhere else in The Holy Bible, the real praise is with the songwriting. The angular guitar riffing, the slightly mad and twisted anger in it is a great thing to feast your ears on. Then the long outro comes in and turns the whole song from a manic tirade to a creepy children’s lullaby. The song turns from defiant to defeated, from strong and self-confident to a delusional epitaph. And it works pretty damn great with the lyrics. It’s still one of my least favourite cuts on the album though.
The US mix is, as always, highly superior to the original mix. In the original you can’t even hear the quiet backing vocals in the chorus which is a shame as they offer a lot into the song despite being so subtle and understated. The stronger rhythmic section doesn’t do anything bad to the madman drive either.