Friday, January 31, 2014

Decemberists -- "The Hazards of Love 4 (The Drowned)" (2009)

These hazards of love
Never more will trouble us

[NOTE: This is the sixth (and last) in a series of 2 or 3 lines posts about the Decemberists' The Hazards of Love.  Click here to read the first post in the series.]

In the last 2 or 3 lines, we left our fair heroine Margaret firmly in the clutches of the evil Rake, who has spirited her across the wild Annan water with the help of the Queen of the Forest.  William, her would-be rescuer, also manages to cross, but only after pledging to give his "precious bones" -- his life -- to the  river upon his return if he is successful in rescuing Margaret.

In "Margaret in Captivity," the self-satisfied Rake rubs his hands in glee and he prepares to have his way with the defenseless Margaret, who cries out desperately for her William.

Don’t hold out for rescue
None can hear your call
’Til I have wrest and wrecked you 
Behind these fortress walls

The Rake's murdered children
But suddenly the ghosts of Rake's three murdered children appear.  Each sings one verse of "The Hazards of Love 3 (Revenge )" to his or her father, which must have been a bit of a shock to the system of even a hardened bastard like the Rake.

Colin Meloy of the Decemberists
You may recall that the Rake's eldest child, Isaiah, tried to fight off his fillicidal father, who burned his body after finally murdering him -- teaching the child a lesson he won't soon forget.  Here's what Isaiah's ghost has to say upon his return encounter with the Rake:

Spare the rod, you’ll spoil the child 
But I’d prefer the lash 
My sisters drowned and poisoned, all, 
And me reduced to ash 
And buried in an urn
But father, I return
Singing,"Oh, the hazards of love!"

The specter of his murdered offspring apparently distracts the Rake long enough for William to rescue Margaret from under his nose.  The couple return to the river Annan, but realize that escape is impossible.  Even if William hadn't promised his body to the river in exchange for being allowed to cross it in the direction in pursuit of Margaret, there's still the Queen of the Forest to reckon with.

"The Hazards of Love," by Lyre
The star-crossed lovers decide to surrender to the wild water in "The Hazards of Love 4 (The Drowned)":

So let's be married here today
These rushing waves to bear our witness
And we will lie like river stones
Rolling only where it takes us

At the bottom of Annan water, William and Margaret will have nothing to fear from the Queen or the Rake.  Their trials and tribulations will be over.

So the two walk into the river, using their last breaths to speak their wedding vows and then surrender to the water.

And when the waves came crashing down
He closed his eyes
And softly kissed her

So endeth The Hazards of Love.  You can exhale now.

Here's "The Hazards of Love 4 (The Drowned)":

And here's one final chance to buy The Hazards of Love album from Amazon:

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