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Her Majesty the Decemberists

by The Decemberists

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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    For the inaugural pressing of "Her Majesty The Decemberists" on Kill Rock Stars we've updated the cover art to the original album cover and are including a 10" x 57" poster of the full cover landscape by Decemberists art maven Carson Ellis.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Her Majesty the Decemberists via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 7 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $18 USD or more 

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Crystal clear digital audio on these highly portable compact disc.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Her Majesty the Decemberists via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 7 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $12 USD or more 

     

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $8 USD  or more

     

  • Limited Edition KRS Colored Vinyl
    Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    * * BACK IN STOCK * * For the inaugural pressing of "Her Majesty The Decemberists" on Kill Rock Stars we've chosen a lovely rose color marbled vinyl for our limited run. We've also updated the cover art to the original album cover and are including a 10" x 57" poster of the full cover landscape by Decemberists cover artist Carson Ellis. Available only from Kill Rock Stars and the Decemberists shop.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Her Majesty the Decemberists via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Sold Out

1.
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 a clipper that's bound for South Australia The water's warm there, the natives 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 Say goodnight, boys, goodnight
2.
Billy Liar 04:08
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 thrift As you dole out the packages, no-one seems to want you around All skulking around. Let your legs loll 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 the nogood boyo Sent a-fishing for a whalebone corset frame (The 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 your legs loll on the lino 'Til your sinews spoil Will you stay here for a while, dear, 'Til the radio plays something familiar? Plays something familiar.
3.
There is a city by the sea A gently 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 And here's a plaintive melody A truncated symphony. An ocean's garbled vomit on the shore: Los Angeles, I'm yours. O ladies, pleasant and demure Sallow cheek'd and sure (I can see your undies) And all the boys you drag about An empty, fallow fount From Saturdays to Mondays You bridge and tunnel crowd Hanging your trousers down at heel. This is the realest thing As ancient choirs sing A rushing rabble revels from above: Los Angeles, my love. O what a rush of ripe elan! Languor on divans Dalliant and dainty! But the smell of burnt cocaine, The dolor and the drain It only makes me cranky. O, great calamity Den of iniquity and tears. How I abhor this place! Its sweet and bitter taste Has left me wretched, wretching on all fours Los Angeles, I'm yours.
4.
The gymnast, high above the ground, Limbers up and falls timber down. Ankles splayed and all tied. The gymnast long has arrived. Lanky, your long sister lays Waiting out this long light brigade. Prayed for snow a long time. And lanky, 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 calling 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 calling 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.
5.
There's a wrinkle in the water Where we laid our first daughter And I think the wind blows 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 hands. In her hands. And his fingers, are they telling Of the barren of her belly? Do his calluses cure her wrinkled 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."
6.
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 in seaweed swim where stick-limbed Maya 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 and 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, finicule, finicula.. Listen in as shin-kicked Jim relates his story sad About a boy who kicked until his shins were all but rubber bands But now I know New York I need New York I know I need unique New York.
7.
Ambling madly all over the town The arbor wall you likened to a whisper I likened to a radio. You were a brickbat, a bowery tough, So rough they culled you from a cartoon. 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 have never felt so alive Than tonight, huddled in the trenches, Gazing on the battlefield. Our rifles blaze away. We blaze away. Corporal Bradley of regiment five In proud array, standing by the bathing Soldiers and the stevedores. 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 have never felt so alive Than tonight, huddled in the trenches, Gazing on the battlefield. Our rifles blaze away. We blaze away. We laid on the mattress and tumbled to sleep Our eyes aligned, swaddled in our civies Cradled in our dungarees.
8.
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 and rift with wrinkles In the picture in your head. And remember how you found the key To his hideout 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 Some were sweet, some were cruel and snuffed you Some just laid around in bed. Some had crumbled you straight to your knees Did it cruel, did it tenderly Some had crawled their way into your heart To rent its ventricles apart This is the story of the boys who loved you This is the story of your red right ankle.
9.
I am a chimbley, a chimbley sweep No bed no 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 a 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."
10.
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 my hands With quiet all about me. Mother, please be proud Father, be forgiving Even though you told me, "Son, You'll never make a living." And from the floorboards to the flies 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. And from the floorboards to the flies 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.
11.
As I Rise 02:14
I have come a few miles I've got blisters on my slipper'd feet As I rise As I rise California's okay But I think I might stay in the shade For a while For a while Ladybug, ladybird You're the prettiest song I heard In a while In a while

about

For all intents and purposes, "Her Majesty. . ." could best be described as the charming older brother to the band's previous outing. And, while being recognizably related to its sibling predecessor, it is an altogether different beast. Present and accounted for are the Victorian literary tropes, the rakish mariners, and the Dickensian downtrodden that slouched their way across the laser imprinted surface of "Castaways and Cutouts"; in "Her Majesty the Decemberists," a new cast of characters is introduced as well, giving further depth to the richly bizarre song-craft of the band's bespectacled leading player, Colin Meloy: an aristocratic Jewess, slumming it blindfolded among the exotic avenues of a Chinese bazaar, the coifed and coked-up bon vivants of greater Los Angeles, the writer Myla Goldberg, and a pair of affectionate soldiers, celebrating their camaraderie among the mortar blasts and trench mud of World War I Belgium. Musically, the band travels over new territory as well, mining deeper into their Beatle-pop influences to create a record that is as lush as it is intricate.

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released September 9, 2003

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