I read in the paper today
It's been a record year for rainfall
And you were leaning against the bathroom wall
In your lonely dress
Was your only dress

Stand accusing across
I've got a temper set for tender
And you were shrugging it off like a feather
Saying, "Oh, would you look at this weather?"

What's the use of all of this?
It's to remember you in the entire
Because I'm watching it slip away
And in the annals of the Empire
Did it look this gray?
Before the fall
Before the fall

So rake your thumbnail across
The stretch of the patina
Revealing a Proserpina
In a low recline
In a steep decline

What's the use of all of this?
It's to remember you in the entire
Because I'm watching it slip away
And in the annals of the Empire
Did it look this gray?
Does it look so gray?
Does it always look so gray?
Before the fall
Before the fall

Lyrics submitted by OhNo789

A Record Year for Rainfall song meanings
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  • +6
    My InterpretationProserpina is the roman equivalent of the greek god Persephone. The story goes (basically) that Pluto (the god of the underworld) fell in love with her, and took her from her mother. Her mother (Ceres, the goddess of the Earth) searched the world over for her, but could not find her beloved daughter. Ceres then began to get depressed, and every thing she touched died. Jupiter (the god of gods) became worried and told Pluto to give Proserpina back to her mother, and he agreed to, but before she could go he had her eat six pomegranate seeds. Once she had eaten the food of the underworld she could not live in the world of the living, so Proserpina was forced to live with the living for six months, and in the underworld for six months. Every time she would leave her mother would get sad and things would slowly deteriorate (fall and winter), but when Proserpina came back her mother would become happy again (spring and summer).

    This song tells the story about a girl and her boyfriend. Things in their relationship haven't been going very well, and their love for one another is beginning to fail. Colin (the lyricist) equates this girl to Proserpina who knows that it is time for this to end, and to go back to being single (the underworld). This girl is okay with this, but the guy isn't because all that he can see is the fall of something that was so very happy (the spring and summer). He is angry at her because she seems okay with the fact that it is time to go, and shrugs off everything with a simple "oh, would you look at this weather."

    This girl (Proserpina) decides to look at all of the good times that they had, and to not be sad about an ending. Things had been so prosperous, after all it had been "a record year for rainfall." In order to answer her boyfriends questions she simply cleans off the surface of their relationship (the patina) to show him, and to tell him that she is as Proserpina, and it is simply time to go. He laments the fact that she has to leave, and wonders to himself what everything was for if it was always fated to end as spring and summer lead to fall and winter, and he wonders why it looked like everything was going to be so happy just before the end. (Like it was going to rain, and be prosperous like in the spring.)

    This song is, basically, about how all things were meant to end, and how we should pay attention to the good things that happened and not the bad.
    OhNo789on December 29, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"The song was sort of written in the fall, there was alot of rain, and a record year for rainfall being kind of a metaphor for one's disposition over the course of a year. And the song is basically about the crumbling of a relationship, um, you know, by way of, the, sort of comparing to the fall of the Roman Empire."

    In Colin's own words he was comparing the crumbling of civilizations to the crumbling of relationships.

    danroduw06on January 07, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationWhile I most certainly believe it's about a couple breaking up, I also feel it could be about a spouse/lover watching their partner suffer from some type of debilitating disease, like dementia or Alzheimer's.

    "...to remember you in the entire/because I'm watching it slip away" - pretty obvious
    "And you were shrugging it off like a feather/Saying, "Oh, would you look at this weather?" - people with dementia/Alzheimer's sometimes lose track of the thread of a conversation or don't understand what is going on.
    "In a low recline/In a steep decline" - person is in a hospital bed, reclining, but their health is declining fast

    Who knows, maybe there's a connection, but this comes to mind when I listen to the song frequently.
    cyberbyteon January 25, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Commentamazing.
    the end.
    lazydaisyon February 27, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAmazing indeed. OhNo has definitely analyzed this song in the best way possible. But let me add something. I am going through the end of relationship and this song speaks directly to my heart. From my perspective, it speaks about how everything ended and there is a lot of regret surrounding the ending of their relationship. One decided to end it, and Colin tries to understand why it is ending, and what's the meaning of all this. It's like there's much pain and sorrow that had no reason to be. Asking the other person if it looked so gray could mean that he's trying to figure out what went wrong, and why the other one can't see the good rather than the bad. And of course, he's seeing it all slip away, for no particular reason but incomprehension and different views on how things went. In Colin's eyes, they weren't bad as much as in the other one's eyes. And that is EXACTLY how you can feel at the end of a relationship.
    thecataclismanon June 21, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretationdefinitely a break up song.

    suggesting an accusation that forced a divide in between to people. an argument that caused "the fall"

    "so rake your thumbnail across the stretch of the patina revealing a proserpina in a low recline in a steep decline"
    scrub away the outside shell and reveal a goddess dwindling
    "it looks so grey"
    the spark in the relationship is gone.

    a sad and beautiful song. I wish i could write lyrics in this fashion.
    Zandor88on September 10, 2012   Link
  • -1
    General CommentHuh... I came up with a completely different interpretation based "I've got a temper set for tender," which, to me, made me think of a robot of some sort. I thought of it as a post apocalyptic kind of thing where a robot is trying to understand the human woman. She asked what the point of this relationship is and he tells her that it is to remember humanity in the end time, after all humans have died out...

    My brain is strange.
    ThisCharadeon March 12, 2010   Link

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