Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Decemberists

The first part of the song, The Island, had a very haunting feel to it. The guitar is the only instrument that plays from 2:00 to 2:50 and that was one of my favorite parts of that section of the song (this guitar riff plays throughout the song, but the beginning was my favorite part). As I was listening to the song, every time the chorus came up, the lyrics made me think of Ulysses in the Odyssey – “And all we know for sure/Amidst this fading light/We'll not go home again/Come and see.”

The second part of the song, The Landlord’s Daughter, like Nick, also made me think of a pirate. Not only because of the way the song sounded (similar to the music in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies), but because the lyrics also fueled this – “Produced my pistol, then my saber/Said, ‘Make no whistle or thou will be murdered!’” This is definitely something I could hear ol’ Blackbeard say. I actually replayed to this part of the song to see if I could get a different perspective on it and the first thing that came to mind was a pirate, so that image was forever ingrained in my head.

The third part of the song, You’ll Not Feel The Drowning, was very serene and gave me a sense of loss and death. The opening line alluded to death, “I will dress your eyelids/With dimes upon your eyes.” This reminded me of when soldiers died in the Roman times. They would place coins over their eyes to make sure they got to the afterlife safe because they had to pay Hades or something. I don’t really remember the exact meaning, but that image instantly came to me. This part of the song also had the most emotion and evoked a true sense of anger and sadness. The chorus had my favorite lyrics – “Go to sleep now, little ugly/Go to sleep now, you little fool/Forty winking in the belfry/You’ll not feel the drowning.” It kept making me think of when someone loses a loved one they feel anger (“Go to sleep now, little ugly/Go to sleep now, you little fool”), but they know that their loved one is in a better place where pain can no longer be felt (“You’ll not feel the drowning”).

Overall, the song’s length and fluentness made me think of an epic, like Beowulf. Even though all of the songs were different, they still were wound together with some sort of togetherness that made them feel like they were all one song. That really made me want to listen to the entire song, and created the sense of a story, just from different views, like in the Bible. Even though we get similar stories (the songs), we get different perspectives on them (the different musical styles in each song), yet they all still relate to one another (the Gospels).

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