Sunday, January 19, 2014

Decemberists -- "A Bower Scene" (2009)

And when young Margaret's waistline
Grew wider
The fruit of her amorous entwine
Inside her

[NOTE: This is the second in a series of 2 or 3 lines posts about the Decemberists' The Hazards of LoveClick here to read the first post in the series.]

The primary focus of 2 or 3 lines is song lyrics -- except when its primary focus is on me (which is quite a bit of the time).  Part of the magic of The Hazards of Love is the extraordinary language of its lyrics.

"A Bower Scene" is short song that communicates one very significant fact -- which is that our young heroine, Margaret, is pregnant as a result of her "amorous entwine" with our enchanted young hero, William, a man who takes the form of a fawn by day.  (As you may recall from the previous post, Margaret interrupted a ride through the forest to help an injured fawn, which turned into William.  The  "amorous entwine" ensued.)

Margaret and William 
(after "amorous entwine")
I tip my cap to Colin Meloy, the Decemberists' frontman and chief songwriter, for coming up with the phrase "amorous entwine" to describe the act of love.  It's a remarkably poetic and sensuous phrase in and of itself, but it also is perfectly apt in the larger context of the entire album.  (If you had given me an unabridged dictionary, a good thesaurus, and a couple of years to work, I still wouldn't have come up with anything nearly as marvelous.)

Colin Meloy and Becky Stark
"A Bower Scene" segues into "Won't Want for Love (Margaret in the Taiga)," which is voiced by Becky Stark of Lavender Diamond.  In that song, the pregnant Margaret goes back to the taiga (which is a northern coniferous forest) to share her news with William -- and also to lie with him in "amorous entwine" once again:

And all this stirring inside my belly
Won't quell my want for love
And I may swoon from all this swelling
But I won't want for love

"Want" -- which is used here with two different meanings -- and "wanting" recur again and again in the lyrics of The Hazards of Love.  Ultimately, what the album is about is William's wanting to experience the greatest joy of being a man -- which is to love and be loved by a woman -- even if the cost of achieving that joy is the loss of immortality.

Here's "A Bower Scene":

Click here to hear "Won't Want for Love (Margaret in the Taiga)."

Click here to read the next post in this series.

Click here to buy The Hazards of Love from Amazon:

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