The Decemberists - Clementine

Artist: The Decemberists

Song: Clementine

Album: Castaways and Cutouts (2002)

“There’s an odd bond between the music of the British folk revival and classic metal,” says The Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy. “A natural connection between, like, Fairport Convention and Black Sabbath—of course, Sandy Denny from Fairport even sang with Led Zeppelin on ‘The Battle of Evermore.’ I think there’s a shared sense of narrative and ambience, of moving beyond the first person in your… Read

As its title would suggest, Castaways and Cutouts is a record populated with an eclectic array of unlikely characters in various states of abandonment and revelry. While the likes of Spanish gypsies, infant specters, and Turkish prostitutes are not common elements in modern pop music, these figures find ample footing within the songcraft of Colin Meloy, supported comfortably by the band's lush and orchestral instrumentation. Recorded over a two-month period in a warehouse in Portland's Industrial Southeast, the record swims gracefully between heart-rending, deftly arranged pop and scrappy off-the-cuff dirge --This text refers to the Vinyl edition.


Obviously this song is telling of a young relationship and despite social constraints such as people telling them that they cannot be in love, they love each other regardless. Even though some may refute their love because of their ages, they know it's as true as it can be.

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you slept in your overalls
after the wrecking ball
bereft you of house and of home
and left you with sweet fuck-all
so we got in your car
with our kickabout hearts
and we hollered out 'sweet clementine'

tell your mom to marry us
a candle to carry us
with cans on our bicycle fenders
so sweet and hilarious
and we'll find us a home
built of packaging foam
that will be there 'til after we die

and, i'll play the clarinet
use clamshells for castinets
we play with our bags on our shoulders
my sweet lady lioness
and i watch as you sleep
so indelibly deep
and i hum to you sweet clementine

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