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    The Decemberists / Lyrics

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    "The Mariner's Revenge Song" Lyrics

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    We are two mariners
    Our ship's sole survivors
    In this belly of a whale
    It's ribs are ceiling beams
    It's guts are carpeting
    I guess we have some time to kill

    You may not remember me
    I was a child of three
    And you, a lad of eighteen
    But, I remember you
    And I will relate to you
    How our histories interweave
    At the time you were
    A rake and a roustabout
    Spending all your money
    On the whores and hounds
    (Oh, oh)

    You had a charming air
    All cheap and debonair
    My widowed mother found so sweet
    And so she took you in
    Her sheets still warm with him
    Now filled with filth and foul disease
    As time wore on you proved
    A debt-ridden drunken mess
    Leaving my mother
    A poor consumptive wretch
    (Oh, oh)

    And then you disappeared
    Your gambling arrears
    The only thing you left behind
    And then the magistrate
    Reclaimed our small estate
    And my poor mother lost her mind
    Then, one day in spring
    My dear sweet mother died
    But, before she did
    I took her hand as she, dying, cried:
    (Oh, oh)

    "Find him, bind him
    Tie him to a pole and break
    His fingers to splinters
    Drag him to a hole until he
    Wakes up naked
    Clawing at the ceiling
    Of his grave"

    It took me fifteen years
    To swallow all my tears
    Among the urchins in the street
    Until a priory
    Took pity and hired me
    To keep their vestry nice and neat
    But, never once in the employ
    Of these holy men
    Did I ever, once turn my mind
    From the thought of revenge
    (Oh, oh)

    One night I overheard
    The prior exchanging words
    With a penitent whaler from the sea
    The captain of his ship
    Who matched you toe to tip
    Was known for wanton cruelty
    The following day
    I shipped to sea
    With a privateer
    And in the whistle
    Of the wind
    I could almost hear
    (Oh, oh)

    "Find him, bind him
    Tie him to a pole and break
    His fingers to splinters
    Drag him to a hole until he
    Wakes up naked
    Clawing at the ceiling
    Of his grave

    There is one thing I must say to you
    As you sail across the sea
    Always, your mother will watch over you
    As you avenge this wicked deed"

    And then, that fateful night
    We had you in our sight
    After twenty months at sea
    Your starboard flank abeam
    I was getting my muskets clean
    When came this rumbling from beneath
    The ocean shook
    The sky went black
    And the captain quailed
    And before us grew
    The angry jaws
    Of a giant whale


    Don't know how I survived
    The crew all was chewed alive
    I must have slipped between his teeth
    But, oh, what providence
    What divine intelligence
    That you should survive
    As well as me
    It gives my heart great joy
    To see your eyes fill with fear
    So lean in close
    And I will whisper
    The last words you'll hear
    (Oh, oh)
    • submitted by Disarmingbeautyx on February 5th, 2005
    • corrected on June 13th, 2012
    • written by Colin Meloy
    • copyright with Lyrics © Bmg Rights Management Us, Llc

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    •  guest says:
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       tsarminblack says:
      Like 022-04-2011 06:32
      it's rime. rime of the ancient mariner. like ice. but it's not directly related to it, no. it's just the decemberists' canon.

      a great song for singing malevolently under your breath while contemplating your own scenes of revenge... XD. whether or not it's related to any other works, i love how literary their lyrics are.
       MFAD says:
      Like 020-05-2009 04:12
      There's A Film-maker in Peoria IL Who's working with the Decemberists making this song into a movie.
      He's filming it in Austrailia.
      UH... Fucking Awesome.
      I can't wait.
       packy says:
      Like 001-03-2007 06:47
      one of the reasons I really like the Decemberists, other than their great variety of instrumentation is the fact that a lot of their songs are stories rather than like, sappy the world hates me, a girl broke my heart things a lot of their songs are just folk-lore. An entire album (The Tain) is just that! they're the shiz-nit
       Jigsaw says:
      Like 021-01-2007 13:24
      This song is really amazing. So it's great it's almost 9 minutes XP
       stormxmoon says:
      Like 002-11-2006 04:21
      i comepletely disagree with the idea that this song is based on the poem the rhyme of the ancienct mariner. I haven't read the poem in about 3 years, but i fi remember correctly the poem was about a man killing an albatross and being on a ship as all his crewmates died of hunger or thirst and he lived because he was cursed or something along those lines, not about a man seeking revenge on his wronged mother by a whaler. Just because the titles are similar doesn't mean the message and the poem/song are similar. however it is an excellent story as is the rhyme of the ancient mariner, and well worth listening too.
       benharperlee says:
      Like 023-10-2006 16:18
      It seems obvious to me that this is inspired by Coleridge's famous poem; but I was wondering, are there any other literary minded people out there who think they see connections as well? Prove it.
      Like 024-01-2006 00:08
      now this, is a story worth listening to.
       Stephiie says:
      Like 019-12-2005 03:54
      One of their best songs, I absolutely love it.
       emankcin says:
      Like 019-11-2005 17:34
      In the sailor-esque bit there *is* a tuba.
      It's hard to hear but it's on every beat of the timpani. The tuba is more obvious at the end of the song. Think of it as the bass.

      This song is a legend!
      "Find him, bind him" really gets stuck in your head.
       hcakes says:
      Like 002-09-2005 18:16
      Ya, that comment about the Seattle Mariners AND this song *are* hilarious. That a kid who's vowed revenge on an asshole ex-boyfriend of his mother's who caused her to get consumption AND go insane AND die should end up in the belly of a whale with the object of his life-long revenge fantasy is maudlin melodrama at its finest. If the over-dramatic lyrics don't tip you off, that overwrought, brilliant slowly-sped-up-for-affect klezmatic ending should. Rock it, Decemberists.
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