Caroline, you're angry because you sleep like a spinster and you're twenty-eight
You've been thinking late you couldn't catch a cold
Bend your head double in the goose-down, piling all the pillows high
Heave your fiercest sigh and see if that'll work

And the raincoat that you wore when it rained today
And the raincoat that you wore when it rained today
I think it only made it rain more
I think it only made it rain the more

And if the water's all wicking up your pant-leg, better wear your britches tight
I should teach you right to be so down at heel
Going off half-cocked, not shot full of arrows from the cherubim
Oh, the nerve of them to not draw their bows

And the raincoat that you wore when it rained today
And the raincoat that you wore when it rained today
I think it only made it rain more
I think it only made it rain the more

Lyrics submitted by jxnarcoticz, edited by Mellow_Harsher

Raincoat Song song meanings
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  • +3
    Song MeaningMmm. Beautiful little song. Yes, this is a girl that is frustrated and angry that the "cherubim" (you know, cupid) haven't "drawn their bows" toward her yet, that love hasn't come her way.

    But this song is really about what that does to her. She's angry and frustrated and down (that is her "rain") but she hides it and runs away from it - stays inside with her fluffy pillows where she's comfortable, doing nothing more than "heaving her fiercest sigh" as if that would make a difference. And when she is in this rain -- her gloom, her defeated state -- she just puts on a raincoat and tries to protect herself and stay comfortable, and ironically all that brings is more rain. And when the rain comes up she'll "wear her britches tight", and you can imagine what that means metaphorically. Think where the phrase "loosen your britches" comes from, or "loosen up" even. It's the opposite.

    It's a wonderful little metaphor. It's about getting into a rut, and the vicious cycles that keep us there. I love how Meloy makes it so personal, yet, subtle, with the speaker telling this story, and talking directly to her in first person - "I should teach you right" - it's quite a beautiful song with tons of weight to it. And the moral, of course, is that we shouldn't try too hard to protect ourselves from the sorrows of the world as that just makes more sorrow. Ironically, it's not like rain - we can control it. We can't expect good fortune to come to us without trying, we have to quit moping around, quit worrying, get out into the world and make things happen for ourselves! A wonderful sentiment.
    triswebon November 26, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentNow, now, children.

    I'm sure we all have our differing opinions over the criteria for Colin's finest. This certainly isn't "Dracula's Daughter," so we'll play it cool here.
    jxnarcoticzon November 05, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think this song is sort of like Ben Folds' "Annie Waits," in that I think it's about a girl who has been waiting for the perfect guy forever. However, the "raincoat" that she wears, which can be seen as protecting herself from being hurt in love, only makes it harder for her to find someone because she's too afraid to leave her comfort zone and take off the "raincoat." It all just results in frustration.

    Does anyone have any idea why this song isn't on iTunes yet? I really want to get it, but I'm a poor college student who is too cheap to acutally purchase the album...haha.
    floppydiskmaniaon November 10, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI personally love this song (then again, I love all Decemberists song... including Dracula's Daughter). It's a sweet, delicate metaphor for all those people who are trying to protect themselves from harm but, eventually can't. And they see their lives passing before their eyes, missing so many beautiful moments because they are too afraid of revealing themselves and opening their heart. Such an intimate song.
    thecataclismanon July 13, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwell, holybuble

    you're a complete idiot. have you even listened to the song? and what are these so called "hipsters" you're talking about? last time i checked, good song writing was not indicative of a hipster air.
    banditqueenx3on October 14, 2008   Link
  • 0
    MemoryI saw The Decemberists the other night at the Crystal Ballroom here in Portland-- this song was astonishing live.
    I'll spew what i feel the song means when it's not way too late in the night/early in the morning.
    love_is_freeon December 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's hard for me to come to a conclusion about the meaning behind the song because i just picture myself on all the days when i've worn my raincoat biking before it started to rain. It's definitley about how one lives their life and personal boundaries but it's as if it's sung and written so beautifully in the context that no explanation of this symbolism is worthy of being said.
    love_is_freeon December 08, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOops, wrong spot.

    Again: AH, cherubim! That is what it was. I couldn't for the life of me figure that one out.

    OhNo789on December 27, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA correction of the posted lyrics, courtesy of The Decemberists' website:

    Caroline you’re angry
    ‘Cause you sleep like a spinster
    And you’re twenty-eight
    You been thinking late
    You couldn’t catch a cold

    Bend your head double
    In the goose-down
    Piling all the pillows high
    Heave your fiercest sigh
    See if that’ll work

    And the raincoat that you wore when it rained today
    And the raincoat that you wore when it rained today
    I think it only made it rain more
    I think it only made it rain the more

    If the water’s all wicking up your pant-leg
    Better wear your britches tight
    That should serve you right ['Serve' is replaced by 'teach' in the version that I have]
    To be so down at heel

    Going off half-cocked
    Not shot full of arrows from the cherubim
    Oh the nerve of them
    To not draw their bows


    Corrections aside, one of the most beautiful and truthful songs I've heard in recent memory. I'm hoping desperately that they'll play it at the Nov. 19th show in London.

    synthaesiaon August 09, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmy name is caroline and i used to be just like this... I <3 decemberists!
    girlfrombarcelonaon December 25, 2009   Link

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