Kinder of Spine

Lyrics

Spider (1)
Why have I got spiders?
Dear spider
Hello spider
Help me spider
Happy glued to this one
Glows all red
One time I hurt my paw
In a warren
Under the duvet
It was grave
And I need it
One time I hurt my paw
In a warren
Under the duvet
I thought I might need it
Spider, spider help me
Help me, help me, help me
Red
Oh captain, captain (2)
Oh judge, judge
Of the
"Persecute Me" talent show
Spider
Spider
Day or night
How could I feel
With no day or night
How could I feel
And it cannot be real
So there
Happy, glued to some plant red
Help me
Green of the green of the bed of the breadcrumb (3)
Oh captain, captain
Of the
Judge, judge
Help me
Spiders
Why have I got them?

Notes

1. "Spider" was the working title of this song when it emerged in 2012, with a different riff and the horrifying line "Spider--liquefy me!" The current title is a pun on "Spider." The song is, partly, a take on the song "The Spider and the Fly" by the Moncles, the lyrics of which seem to have been inspired by the 1958 Vincent Price movie The Fly. The latter concerns a man who develops a transporter device, but when a fly gets into it they get mixed up and he emerges as a man with the head of a fly. We do not discover what happens to the head until the end, when it appears (suitably shrunk) on a fly trapped in a spider's web; mercifully, a police officer crushes the whole works with a rock. Price's last words in the movie are "Help me! Help me!" which makes it into the Moncles song and, subsequently, the Fall song above. The earlier Rolling Stones song of the same name (based on an 1829 poem by Mary Howitt [1799-1888]) has no apparent relation to the Monocles number; it is about seduction rather than horror, and in that sense the Fall song to some extent splits the difference between the two, as at times MES tries to communicate with the spider.

The music was written by Tim Presley, who plays on several songs on Re-Mit (this one and "No Respects/No Respects Rev."). He talks about the song in an interview with Bowlegs:

Bowlegs:Is there a train of thought you need to get into to create a White Fence record? Might Tim Presley record something and think “that’s not gonna fit a White Fence release”?

Tim: Not really. The only time that has happened was recently, when I recorded a song, and every time I tried to put vocals to it, it sounded like The Fall. So, I gave it to them instead, and I think it’s going to be on their new record. Mark is singing something about a spider on it.

Early live versions of the song featured markedly different musical accompaniment, so it is possible that MES transferred the lyrics to Presley's music when he was presented with the latter. 

As Dan points out, it is likely this is sung from the perspective of a cat.

^

2. In a 2013 interview with The Independent MES says of this line, "it's like miserable 19th-century novels where the captain's going down and all that.“ The line also brings to mind Walt Whitman's maudlin and much-anthologized poem about the death of Lincoln, "O Captain! My Captain!"

^

3. There may be a dim reflection of with Howitt's poem in this line, as the spider there lures the fly into his bed by flattering her about her "brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue."

^

Comments (7)

John
  • 1. John | 01/08/2013
Kinder means "children" in German. Spinne is "spider" in German, so with some English mix and intentional misspelling, it's Children of the Spider. Never heard of a warren before:
war·ren
/ˈwôrən/
Noun

A network of interconnecting rabbit burrows.
A densely populated or labyrinthine building or district.

I hear it as "woman", but these are really mumbled and growly lyrics.
John
  • 2. John | 17/10/2013
"'Persecute me' talent show": perhaps a modern pop-culture reference to reality competitions?
dannyno
  • 3. dannyno | 24/03/2014
http://www.bowlegsmusic.com/features/interviews/white-fence-interview-30639

Interview with Tim Presley

"Bowlegs:Is there a train of thought you need to get into to create a White Fence record? Might Tim Presley record something and think “that’s not gonna fit a White Fence release”?

Tim: Not really. The only time that has happened was recently, when I recorded a song, and every time I tried to put vocals to it, it sounded like The Fall. So, I gave it to them instead, and I think it’s going to be on their new record. Mark is singing something about a spider on it."
dannyno
  • 4. dannyno | 25/12/2014
I have this intuition that this is about a cat, chasing spiders and getting stuck under a duvet.
bzfgt
  • 5. bzfgt | 01/01/2015
Yes, I think something like that is very likely.
Zack
  • 6. Zack | 04/06/2015
"Oh judge, judge of the 'Persecute Me' talent show" reminds me of remarks from two old interviews with MES.

The first, from the NME Sept.1998 (http://thefall.org/news/980907.html); MES discusses his appearance on the TV show 'The People Vs. Jerry Sadowitz': "Jerry's alright, but the audience… egging him on to be horrible to old fellas. It's like the Nazi courts. If you watch the old films, they get the old Jew on, keep insulting him [...] And the crowd would lap it up like dogs."

The second, Q magazine's Cash for Questions, Feb. 2001 (http://thefall.org/news/010531.html); when asked about 'The Weakest Link' and host Ann Robinson: "It's like a sort of state-of-the-nation programme, isn't it? People want to be told off nowadays."
Zack
  • 7. Zack | 06/03/2017
Someone on the FOF (I can't find the post right now) pointed out that this song contains some intriguing (and almost certainly coincidental) links to the American postrock band Slint, whose definitive album Spiderland begins with the song "Breadcrumb Trail" and ends with "Good Morning, Captain."

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