Exploding Chimney



Got rat poison In my workshop
In my vicinity
I've got rat poison
In my vicinity
And I'm beyond redemption

And my chimney
Is exploding
My Chimney
Is exploding

Listen to me now
Herpes, scabies and AIDS, kids
Believe me kids I've been through it all
You've gotta believe me kids
I've been through it all
Universal Wax Solvent

And my chimney
Is exploding
My Chimney Is exploding

I've got a Universal Wax Solvent
Got rat poison
In my vicinity
Listen to me now kids
A Universal Wax Solvent
Is exploding
Believe me kids I've been through it all

More Information

1. For some reason, the Fall took to allowing a roadie named Nikki (male, despite the spelling) to take over vocals on some of the new songs around 2008; in addition to this one, he would get up and sing "Tommy Shooter" while MES took a breather. Whereas his vocal line for the latter was pretty much the one we know from Imperial Wax Solvent, apparently some of the lyrics he sung for this song were quite different than the ones on the album. Reformation has helpfully recorded some of them for posterity:

"Hideous, evil album. You will try and remember songs and you can't. You strain. In an inside flash, they come in one-third segments that will not leave your mind free. I can turn on the TV. Someone's moving, penetrating down into the long, long... into the giving sun. Etcetera. Etcetera. Extra: this is your worst, terrifying gig. Gig! I am the impressario of The Fall and the so-called compere grand. I am Alan Wise."

Now, admittedly, these phrases sound supspiciously like the work of Mark E. Smith, although the possibility cannot be ruled out that working in proximity to the man allowed Nikki to develop a Pierre Menard-like ability to produce MESian lyrics. For more on Alan Wise, see "An Older Lover Etc."

MES enumerates some venereal diseases in the second verse, and I thinki that's basically what this song is about: the narrator's "chimney" is exploding in all directions, as a result of Herpes, scabies, AIDS, and, as Bon Scott once sang, "who knows what else?"



Comments (7)

  • 1. dannyno | 26/08/2013
"I've been through it all
Universal Wax Solvent"

A punning reference, as has been pointed out on the Fall forum a few times, to episodes 23 ("Ring of Wax") and 24 ("Give Em The Axe") of series 1 of the 1960s Batman TV series. Ep 23 first broadcast March 30 1966, Ep 24 first broadcast the next day.

In the show, the Riddler has got hold of a corrosive "universal wax solvent", that will dissolve through anything.

  • 2. dannyno | 26/08/2013
Worth noting that certain rat poisons can be explosive or flammable.

Paul G
  • 3. Paul G | 28/11/2015
Taking a bit of a flier here but the anticoagulant drug Warfarin was introduced in the late 1940s as a poison for rats and mice and is still used for that. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warfarin

MES seems to refer to hospitals more in later songs - signs of treatment for blood clots perhaps?

Told you it was a flier!
  • 4. bz | 06/12/2015
Yeah, I think that's intriguing with the hospital theme that came to the fore on the next album and all, although you're right that it's highly speculative. There isn't enough of an identifiable theme to these lyrics to really hang one's hat on...
  • 5. dannyno | 17/11/2016
MES spent a lot of time in hospitals, presumably, around the two times he broke his hip. So we don't need to invent other scenarios.
  • 6. dannyno | 12/08/2017
Could there be a nod here to Beefheart's "When it Blows its Stacks"?

  • 7. Dee | 22/04/2019
'MS What is the meaning behind the title Imperial Wax Solvent?
MES I did Reformation, and I did Fall Heads Roll, and the album before that, and I wanted
something that would glue it altogether, the fourth LP of the tryptych (sic).'

Add a comment