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The Decemberists
The Decemberists


Background information
Origin Portland, Oregon, United States
Genre(s) Indie Rock
Folk-Rock
Art Rock
Baroque Pop
Progressive Rock
Years active 2000—present
Label(s) Capitol Records
Kill Rock Stars
Website Website
Members
Colin Meloy
Chris Funk
Jenny Conlee
Nate Query
John Moen
Former members
Jesse Emerson
Ezra Holbrook
Rachel Blumberg
David Langenes
Petra Haden



Music World  →  Lyrics  →  T  →  The Decemberists  →  Albums  →  Her Majesty

The Decemberists Album


Her Majesty (09/09/2003)
09/09/2003
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We set to sail on a packet full of spice, rum and tea-leaves.
We've emptied out all the bars and the bowery hotels.
Tell your daughters do not walk the streets alone tonight
Tell your daughters do not walk the streets alone tonight.

To tell the tale of the jewess and the mandarin chinese boy
He led her down from her gilded canopy of cloth.
And through her blindfold she could make out the figures there before her
And how the air was thick with incense, cardamom and myrrh.

So goodnight, boys, goodnight
Say goodnight, boys, goodnight

We set to sail on the clipper that's bound for South Australia
The weather's warm there, the natives are dark and nubile.
But if you listen, quiet, you can hear the footsteps on the cross-trees
The ghosts of sailors passed, their spectral bodies clinging to the shrouds.

So goodnight, boys, goodnight

. . .



Billy Liar's got his hands in his pockets
Staring over at the neighbor's, knickers down.
He's got his knickers down.

So the summer is eternity for you?
Sleeping in until your father's shaking you down
He's shaking you down.

And the mailroom shift gets a real short shrift
As you dole out the packages, no-one seems to want you around
All skulking around.

Let you legs loss on the lino
'Til your sinews spoil
Will you stay here for a while, dear,
'Til the radio plays something familiar?
Plays something familiar.

All a-drifting, he's a no-good boyo
Sent a-fishing for a whalebone corset frame
(His only catch all day)

So he sits and lets the current take him
A gentle breeze will leave his pants in disarray
And at his ankles laid.

As he drifts to sleep with a moan and a weep
He is decked by a Japanese geisha with a garland of pearls
How she twists and twirls!

Let you legs loss on the lino
'Til your sinews spoil
Will you stay here for a while, dear,
'Til the radio plays something familiar?

. . .



There is a city by the sea
A gentle company
I don't suppose you want to
And as it tells its sorry tale
In harrowing detail
Its hollowness will haunt you
Its streets and boulevards
Orphans and oligarchs it hears
A plaintive melody
Truncated symphony
An ocean's garbled vomit on the shore,
Los Angeles, I'm yours

Oh ladies, pleasant and demure
Sallow-cheeked and sure
I can see your undies
And all the boys you drag about
An empty fellow found
From Saturdays to Mondays
You hill and valley crowd
Hanging your trousers down at heel
This is the realest thing
As ancient choirs sing
A dozen blushing cherubs wheel above
Los Angeles I love

Oh what a rush of wry belan (?)
Languor on divans
Dalliant and dainty
But oh, the smell of burnt cocaine
The dolor and decay
It only makes me cranky
Oh great calamity,
Ditch of iniquity and tears
How I abhor this place
Its sweet and bitter taste
Has left me wretched, retching on all fours

. . .



The gymnast, high above the ground,
Limbers up and falls timbers down.
Ankles splayed and all tied.
The gymnast long has arrived.

Lazy, your long sister lays
Waiting out this long light brigade.
Prayed for snow a long time.
And lazy, it long has arrived.

Through the tarlatan holes
You've been slipping, been slipping away
And the weather will hold
It's been ever so, ever so gray.

But here as we're coming down
And we're sounding out:
it's a terrible, terrible tide
As it lights upon your eye

But there on the motorway,
reeks of marmalade
It's a chemical, chemical kind
As it lights upon your eye
Lights upon your eye

The bosun calls upon the quay.
Compass gone, he long has lost his way
To lighthouse shine, to calm tide.
The bosun long has arrived.

Through the tarlatan holes,
You've been slipping, been slipping away
And the weather will hold
It's been ever so, ever so gray

But here as we're coming down
And we're sounding out:
it's a terrible, terrible tide
As it lights upon your eye

But there on the motorway,
reeks of marmalade
It's a chemical, chemical kind
As it lights upon your eye

. . .



There's a wrinkle in the water
where we laid our first daughter
And I think the wind blows so sweetly there
Over there
And the windows and the cinders
And the willows in the timbers
The infernal rattling of the rain
still remains

"But I" said the bachelor to the bride
"Am not waiting for tonight.
No, I will box your ears
and leave you here stripped bare."

Hear the corncrakes and the deerhooves
And the sleet rain on the slate roof
A medallion locked inside her hand
in her hand
And his fingers are they telling
of the barren of her belly
And his callouses cure her furrowed brow
even now

"But I," said the bachelor to the bride
"am not waiting for tonight.
No, I will box your ears
and leave you here stripped bare."

"But I," said the bachelor to the bride
"am not waiting for tonight.
No, I will box your ears
and take your tears
and leave you, leave you here

. . .



Myla Goldberg sets a steady hand upon her brow
Myla Goldberg hangs a crooked foot all upside down

It comes around it comes around
It comes around it comes around

Pretty hands do pretty things when pretty times arise
Seraphim and seaweed swim where stick-limbed Myla lies

It comes around it comes around
It comes around it comes around

Still now you're waiting to grow
Inside you're old
Sew wings to your pigeon toes
Put paper to pen
to spell out "Eliza"

We begin with sticky shins make sticky then our shoes
Shoes beget to clothes and hat 'til sticky's sticking too

Finiculi finicula finiculi finicula

Listen in as shin-kicked Jim relates his story sad
About a boy who kicked until his shins were all but rubberbands
But now

I know New York I need New York
I know I need unique New York

Still now you're waiting to grow
Inside you're old
Sew wings to your pigeon toes
Put paper to pen
to spell out "Eliza"
Eliza

. . .



Ambling madly all over the town
The call to arms, you're likened to a whisper
I liken to a radio
You were a brick bag a bowery tuff, so rough
They called you from a cartoonâЂ¦
Pulled out of your pantaloons

But You
My brother in arms
I'd rather I'd lose my limbs
Than let you come to harm

But You
My bombazine doll
The bullets may singe your skin
And the mortars may fall

But I
I never felt so much life
Than tonight
Huddled in the trenches
Gazing on the battle field
Our rifles blaze away
We blaze away

Corporal Bradley of regiment five
And proud array standing by the bathing
Soldiers and the stevedores
We laid on the mattress and tumbled to sleep
Our eyes align, swaddled in our civies
Cradled in our dungarees

But You
My brother in arms
I'd rather I'd lose my limbs
Than let you come to harm

But You
My bombazine doll
The bullets may singe your skin
And the mortars may fall

But I
I never felt so much life
Than tonight
Huddled in the trenches
Gazing on the battle field
Our rifles blaze away
We blaze away
We blaze away

. . .



This is the story of your red right ankle
And how it came to meet your leg
And how the muscle bone and sinews tangled
And how the skin was softly shed
And how it whispered,
"Oh, adhere to me for we are bound by symmetry
And whatever differences our lives have been
We together make a limb"
This is the story of your red right ankle

This is the story of your gypsy uncle
You never knew cause he was dead
And how his face was carved an ripped with wrinkles
In the picture in your head
And remember how you found the key
To his hide-out in the Pyrenees,
But you wanted to keep his secret safe,
So you threw the key away?
This is the story of your gypsy uncle

This is the story of the boys who loved you
Who love you now and loved you then
And some were sweet and some were cold and snuffed you
And some just layed around in bed
And some, they crumbled you straight to your knees
Did it cruel, did it tenderly
Some they crawled their way into your heart
To rend your ventricles apart
This is the story of the boys who loved you

. . .



I am a chimbley, a chimbley sweep
No bed to lie, no shoes to hold my feet
Upon the rooftops in dead of night
You'll hear me cry, I'll shake you from your sleep

To hear me weep
"Your day will come indeed
For I am a poor and a wretched boy
A chimbley, chimbley sweep."

I am an orphan, an orphan boy
I've known no love, I've seen no mother's joy
A dirty doorstep my cradle laid
My fortune's made, I'll shake you from your sleep

To hear me weep
"Your day will come indeed
For I am a poor and a wretched boy
A chimbley, chimbley sweep."

"O lonely urchin!" the widow cried,
"I've not been swept since the day my husband died."
Her cheeks are blushing, her legs laid bare
And shipwrecked there, I'll shake you from your sleep

To hear me weep
"Your day will come indeed
For I am a poor and a wretched boy
A chimbley, chimbley sweep."

For I am a poor and a wretched boy

. . .



I was meant for the stage,
I was meant for the curtain.
I was meant to tread these boards,
Of this much i am certain.

I was meant for the crowd,
I was meant for the shouting.
I was meant to raise these hands
With quiet all about me. oh, oh.

Mother, please, be proud.
Father, be forgiven.
Even though you told me
'Son, you'll never make a living.' oh, oh.

From the floorboards to the fly,
Here I was fated to reside.
And as I take my final bow,
Was there ever any doubt?
And as the spotlights fade away,
And you're escorted through the foyer,
You will resume your callow ways,
But I was meant for the stage.

The heavens at my birth
Intended me for stardom,
Rays of light shone down on me
And all my sins were pardoned.

I was meant for applause.
I was meant for derision.
Nothing short of fate itself
Has affected my decision. oh, oh.

From the floorboards to the fly,
here i was fated to reside.
And as I take my final bow,
Was there ever any doubt?
And as the spotlights fade away,
And you're escorted through the foyer,
You will resume your callow ways,

. . .



I have come a few miles.
I got blisters on my slippered feet
As I rise, as I ri-ise.
California's ok.
But I think I might stay in the shade
For a while, for a whi-ile.
Ladybird, ladybird
You're the prettiest song I heard
In a while, in a whi-ile.

. . .


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