Artist: The Decemberists

On The Bus Mall ~ The Decemberists

The Decemberists are an indie rock band from Portland, Oregon, United States, fronted by singer/songwriter Colin Meloy. The other members of the band are Chris Funk (guitar, multi-instrumentalist), Jenny Conlee (hammond organ, accordion, melodica, piano, keyboards), Nate Query (bass guitar, string bass), and John Moen (drums, backing vocals, melodica).

The band’s songs range from upbeat pop to instrumentally lush ballads, and often employ instruments like the accordion, Hammond organ, Wurlitzer organ, and upright bass. In its lyrics, the band eschews the angst and introspection common to modern rock, instead favoring a storytelling approach, as evidenced in songs such as “My Mother Was A Chinese Trapeze Artist” from the 5 Songs EP and “The Mariner’s Revenge Song” on Picaresque. The band’s songs convey tales ranging from whimsical (“The Sporting Life“) to epic (“The Tain”) to dark (“Odalisque”), and often invoke historical events and themes from around the world. Early in their career, The Decemberists’ musical and lyrical aesthetics frequently prompted critics to compare them to Neutral Milk Hotel.

On The Bus Mall

On the Bus Mall is the 9th song on The Decemberists’ 2005 album, Picaresque.  Inspired in part by the Gus van Sant movie My Own Private Idaho it is about the problem of street kids,  prostitution, vagrancy, and taking freedom where you can get it in a world where there is no escape from exploitation in any direction.

The song “On the Bus Mall” is an ode to the ubiquitous street kids and prostitutes of Old Town today.

On The Bus Mall – Colin Meloy

In matching blue raincoats
Our shoes were our show boats
We kicked around.
From stairway to station
We made a sensation
With the gadabout crowd.
And oh, what a bargain,
We’re two easy targets
For the old men at the off-tracks,
Who’ve paid in palaver
And crumpled old dollars,
Which we squirreled away
In our rat trap hotel by the freeway.
And we slept-in Sundays.

Your parents were anxious,
Your cool was contagious
At the old school.
You left without leaving
A note for your grieving
Sweet mother, while
Your brother was so cruel.
And here in the alleys
Your spirits were rallied
As you learned quick to make a fast buck.
In bathrooms and barrooms,
On dumpsters and heirlooms,
We bit our tongues.
Sucked our lips into our lungs
’til we were falling.
Such was our calling.

And here in our hovel we fuse like a family,
But I will not mourn for you.
So take off your makeup
And pocket your pills away.
We’re kings among runaways
On the bus mall.
We’re down
On the bus mall.

Among all the urchins and old Chinese merchants
Of the old town,
We reigned at the pool hall
With one iron cue ball
And we never let the bastards get us down.
And we laughed off the quick tricks–
The old men with limp dicks–
On the colonnades of the waterfront park.
As 4 in the morning came on, cold and boring,
We huddled close
In the bus stop enclosure enfolding.
Our hands tightly holding.

But here in our hovel we fuse like a family,
But I will not mourn for you.
So take off your makeup
And pocket your pills away.
We’re kings among runaways
On the bus mall.
We’re down
On the bus mall.
We’re down
On the bus mall.
Down on the bus mall.
Oh ooh oh

Play 
  • Audio from the 2005 album, Picaresque:

picaresque
Purchase Music

Views:   (945)

Infanta ~ The Decemberists

The Decemberists are an indie rock band from Portland, Oregon, United States, fronted by singer/songwriter Colin Meloy. The other members of the band are Chris Funk (guitar, multi-instrumentalist), Jenny Conlee (hammond organ, accordion, melodica, piano, keyboards), Nate Query (bass guitar, string bass), and John Moen (drums, backing vocals, melodica).

The band’s songs range from upbeat pop to instrumentally lush ballads, and often employ instruments like the accordion, Hammond organ, Wurlitzer organ, and upright bass. In its lyrics, the band eschews the angst and introspection common to modern rock, instead favoring a storytelling approach, as evidenced in songs such as “My Mother Was A Chinese Trapeze Artist” from the 5 Songs EP and “The Mariner’s Revenge Song” on Picaresque. The band’s songs convey tales ranging from whimsical (“The Sporting Life“) to epic (“The Tain”) to dark (“Odalisque”), and often invoke historical events and themes from around the world. Early in their career, The Decemberists’ musical and lyrical aesthetics frequently prompted critics to compare them to Neutral Milk Hotel.

Infanta

[flv]http://djallyn.org/media/the-decemberists_the-infanta.flv[/flv]

Here she comes in her palanquin
on the back of an elephant
on a bed made of linen and sequins and silk
all astride on her father’s line
with the king and his concubines
and her nurse with her pitchers of liquors and milk
and we’ll all come praise the infanta
and we’ll all come praise the infanta

Among five score pachyderm
each canopied and passengered
sit the duke and the duchess’ luscious young girls
within sight of the baroness
seething spite for this lithe largesse
by her side sits the baron
her barrenness barbs her
and we’ll all come praise the infanta
and we’ll all come praise the infanta

A phalanx on camelback
thirty ranks on a forward tack
followed close, their shiny bright standards a-waving
while behind in their coach-and-fours
ride the wives of the king of Moors
And the veiled young virgin, the prince’s betrothed
and we’ll all come praise the infanta
and we’ll all come praise the infanta

And as she sits upon her place
her innocence laid on her face
from all atop the parapets blow a multitude of coronets
melodies rhapsodical and fair
and all our hearts afire
the sky ablaze with cannon fire
we all raise our voices to the air
to the air…

And above all this folderol
on a bed made of chaparral
she is laid, a coronal placed on her brow
and the babe, all in slumber dreams
of a place filled with quiet streams
and the lake where her cradle was pulled from the water
and we’ll all come praise the infanta
and we’ll all come praise the infanta

  • Audio from the 2005 album, Picaresque:

picaraesque
(338)