[TV man's tarantula
TV man]


Copycats this and that
What about copy cat familiars (2)
And miserable witches

Changes all rain 

Rainmaster, Rainmaster

(Florida) Wildlife is under constant threat


[TV man]

Rainmaster Rainmaster

Curserer of blights once too often
In the ridiculous muggy envelope stained
Goin', you sorry fuck  (3)

[TV man]

All hail

Rainmaster in Belgique
Rainmaster in Basingstoke's portaphone traffic

Maurique assistant crap in hermitage (4)
Rainmaster in New York
Rainmaster over cool green layered forest
With hammers banging
Fellas tapping slow in hot morning (5)
Silenced! Rainmaster! 

In his benediction (6)

Smug in the task and knowledge

Cut to the quick

Rainmaster whoop!
Citadel Florida 3-4-9 dot dot dot dot dot dot dot.
That's how far we go.


 1. This is one of those Fall songs that reminds me of a puzzle with missing pieces. Sometimes MES is just stringing impressions togther, sometimes there's a story or a theme, and this one could go either way. As always, my faithful readers are invited to weigh in.


2. A familiar is a witch's aide and companion, a supernatural being that is usually said to take the form of an animal of some sort (cats are probably the most common in popular portrayals). One of the most famlous familiars in literature--Brown Jenkin, a large ratlike creature with human hands and face, appears in "Dreams in the Witch House" by HP Lovecraft, one of MES' favorite authors.

There could be a secondary connotation of people who are overly familiar, and who are copycats, with "witches" said in a derogatory sense...


3. This transcription is an interpretation, as it sounds like it could be "Go in, you--sorry...fuck!" as though MES loses the thread and muffs the lyrics (thanks to Tom for pointing this out). 



4. Belgique is the French word for Belgium, and Basingstoke is in southern England.

Porta Phone is a brand name of a maker of wireless headsets for football coaches, but MES seems to use it to mean mobile phones in general (as Dan points out, he did not coin this name for them).


5. Or maybe "fellahs," which is the arabic name for a farmer or an agricultural laborer in parts of the Middle East and the Maghreb. 


6. He actually says "brenediction," as far as I can tell, but it seems meet to have the intelligible word above and explain the pronunciation here rather than vice versa. 


Comments (29)

  • 1. dannyno | 04/09/2014
"Rainmaster" is also a term used in motor racing for a driver who is notable for their skill in driving in wet or rainy conditions.
  • 2. Martin | 04/04/2016
The only Fall connection I can find with the town of Basinstoke is that they played a gig there: Tuesday, May 31, 1994 The Anvil, Basingstoke.
  • 3. Martin | 11/04/2016
Well no, I was wrong. Apart from (once) misspelling the name of the place in comment 2, I now realise that Basingstoke also features in Levitate: "The snazzy japes of a Basingstoke shot".
  • 4. Antoine | 10/03/2017
What with the TV references, the Rainmaster might be a weatherman. "Smug in task and knowledge" indeed.
  • 5. bzfgt (link) | 23/03/2017
Good point, that may be the case. It makes sense.
  • 6. dannyno | 21/04/2017

One thing that "maurique" seems to mean, is "Africans", in Latin. According to translate.google.com.
  • 7. bzfgt (link) | 13/05/2017
Plural? I can't find a definition for the exact word online although it could be related to "Maurus" (dark, swarthy) hence "Moor". But we need to find something more exact.
  • 8. wal | 03/12/2018
A 'Fella' is an English term for a man. A 'Feller' is also a tree chopper/lumberjack. I would go with fella as it is used a lot in the north west of England.
  • 9. bzfgt (link) | 22/12/2018
Yeah I don't know where the confidence that it is "fellah" came from. I think when I started this I took everything from the Lyrics Parade as gospel but much of that doesn't have sources. I will check if this is in one of the books but it seems like "fella" in the lyrics and "fellah" in the notes is more the way to go.
  • 10. bzfgt (link) | 22/12/2018
No the Lyrics Parade has "fellas," unless it got changed....I think it's the location in the verse maybe that made me think that, but now I'm leaning toward your point of view.
  • 11. dannyno | 24/12/2018
"Citadel Florida 3-4-9 "

The Citadel is a military college in South Carolina, so perhaps this has something to do with a Citadel v Florida or Florida State University scoreline in some sport or another. Doesn't seem the two met in American football in 1994, if we take the year as significant, but how about basketball or something?
  • 12. bzfgt (link) | 19/01/2019
Oh yeah that's totally possible. But what is "3-4-9"?
  • 13. dannyno | 19/01/2019
I was hoping you could tell us for a change.
  • 14. Bazhdaddy | 28/03/2019
For consideration
01:00 "changes all life"
01:35 "curserer applies"
01:47 "Cohen, you sorry fuck"
01:57 "on hair"
02:55 "in his prelediction" - a piss-pronounce of predilection
  • 15. John | 16/04/2019
In live versions he also says rainmaker.
My theory is he is singing about some sort of irrigation system or a type of shower in the hotel room.
  • 16. bzfgt (link) | 09/06/2019
Does sound like Cohen, don't know why though

Still sounds like "brenediction" to me
  • 17. bzfgt (link) | 21/06/2019
15: Yeah he does say "rainmaker" here too. That's an interesting pair of options!
  • 18. Tom | 19/09/2020
When he says "sorry, fuck" it sounds like an aside, as if he's lost his place and is apologising to the engineer, or himself
  • 19. dannyno | 04/10/2020
Note #4:

Porta Phone is a brand name of a maker of wireless headsets for football coaches, but this could just mean mobile phones in general; anyway, I'm not sure how long the company has been around.

According to Dun & Bradstreet, the company was founded in 1990: https://www.dnb.com/business-directory/company-profiles.porta_phone_co_inc.39c4a1704530a7ff1d6cb4e9e97465f7.html.

But I think this is MES referring facetiously to mobile phone. He used the same phrase in interviews.
  • 20. dannyno | 29/10/2020
Portaphones, revisited.

See also the lyrics to We Are Mad Mock Goth.

Interview, Word magazine, January 2006:

I never use them portaphones. My wife has one and all me mates have 'em. They're always trying to make me get one, but what do I want a portaphone for? When I left school I used to work in the docks and had to talk top people on the phones there. The main thing was you had to direct and quick. You'd have these massive ships coming in from Nigeria - brrrr brrrr - [makes ship noise] - so you couldn't be hanging about on the phone. It was "No yes, no, yes, no, yes, goodbye". I don't want to chat, because I'm still half thinking there's a big fucking ship coming in. No portaphones for me. No thanks.

  • 21. dannyno | 29/10/2020
"Portaphone" is not an MES coinage. It seems to have been quite commonly used for a period.

Just a few examples.

Future Facts, by Stephen Rosen (1977), pp.331-332.

[Link">http://dannyno.org.uk/pics/portaphone1.jpg]<br />
<br />
<a href=http://dannyno.org.uk/pics/portaphone2.jpg

Doctor Criminale, by Malcolm Bradbury (1992):

"She carried a portaphone and a cup of coffee" (p.18)

"I grabbed her portaphone..." (p.18)

"the portaphone rang" (p.37)


Eye of Cat, by Roger Zelzany (1983), p.158.

"Yellowcloud passed him the portaphone."


American Psycho, by Bret Easton Ellis (1991), p.39.

"... we used his portaphone to make the reservation."

  • 22. dannyno | 13/12/2020
Comments 11 and 12 on the line

"Citadel Florida 3-4-9"

If I'm right that it's something to do with US College Football (American football, not soccer), then the numbers would seem to represent wins, losses and ties.
  • 23. dannyno | 16/01/2021
Another angle on "rainmaster" from motor racing (Formula 1 etc):

  • 24. dannyno | 16/01/2021
Comment #23 - as I pointed out in comment #1 - but no citation back then.
  • 25. Frankosonic | 01/06/2022
I'm pretty sure it's unrelated, but came across the address of the Swiss Red Cross in Bern - they are on a road called Rainmattstr.
  • 26. djbawbag | 02/10/2022
Using EARS:


With a D.

Not T.

What it means I know not.
Enno de Witt
  • 27. Enno de Witt | 15/05/2023
Could 'tarantula' be a reference to Colourbox?
Joseph Holt
  • 28. Joseph Holt | 17/07/2023
Florida 349 seems to me like he’s very clearly reciting a phone number, with 349 as the area code and then seven spaces for the rest of the number, which is US convention.
Only trouble is, 349 is an unassigned area code, so it’s something he’s made up, rather than referencing directly.
  • 29. dannyno | 06/08/2023
Comment #27. Well, if "tarantula" is a reference to Colourbox, it's a reference nearly a decade after the band stopped recording. I don't buy it.

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