Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Decemberists

The entirety of the song has a somber and vaguely Celtic sound to it, even though the three portions sound fairly different from one another. At times, the music even seems to have a rather out-of-place electronic quality to it. In all, it's pretty catchy.

I noticed that all three songs have a common theme of being on, near, or in water, much like M. Night Shyamalan's movies. The first song portion uses water-based imagery in a depiction of war and loss, and its very subtitle of "Come and See" seems to beseech attention for what it contains. As mentioned in class, this portion also includes a reference to Sycorax, and the phrase "patagon in paralax" would almost seem to mean a change in perspective when viewing a giant.

The second portion seems almost to be a story of rape made romantic in the scope of old seagoing pirates. As aforementioned, this is set near water, the thread that connects all the portions of the song. The third portion is either an example of (possibly unwelcomed) euthanasia or a suicide. The words "ugly" and "fool" can either be insults or self-deprecating remarks, this is not entirely clear. This adds mystery and sense of gloom to the ending of the song, therefore tying the ending and beginning together. The captain mentioned in the third portion could easily be some sort of ferryman, ushering the dead to the underworld, given the nature of the final portion.

3 comments:

Jeremy Andrew DeFatta said...

The final sentence of my second paragraph was, for some inexplicable reason, cut off. The idea I was entertaining was the in-class reference to Sycorax, followed by "patagon in paralax," which, roughly considered, means a change in perspective when viewing a giant. Crazy stuff, eh?

Roger Market said...

I saw that line as being directly connected with the line above: "Its contents watched by Sycorax and patagon in parallax," meaning that both Sycorax and patagon are looking at the same point (the cradle) FROM different points (obviously, as they are two separate entities).

Alice said...

Shakespeare, The Tempest. Sycorax is Caliban's mother, and Ariel's imprisoner. This leads to two possible interpretations about "The Landlord's Daughter", who is Miranda. Either, it can be sung by Caliban, who throughout The Tempest is vaguely sexually threatening towards Miranda, or it can be sung by Ferdinand, in which case it is a re-imagining stripped of all romanticism. The third section seems to be Ariel when she is sent to threaten the sailors. Either two or all three sections may be about spiritual creatures, or Nature, retaliating against their oppressors, or man.