The Rake's Song Lyrics - The Decemberists

Review The Song (13)



I had entered into a marriage
In the summer of my twenty-first year
And the bells rang for our wedding
Only now do I remember it clear
Alright, alright, alright

No more a rake and no more a bachelor
I was wedded and it whetted my thirst
Until her womb started spilling out babies
Only then did I reckon my curse
Alright, alright, alright
Alright, alright, alright

First came Isaiah with his crinkled little fingers
Then came Charlotte and that wretched girl Dawn
Ugly Myfanwy died on delivery
Mercifully taking her mother along
Alright, alright, alright

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What can one do when one is a widower
Shamefully saddled with three little pests?
All that I wanted was the freedom of a new life
So my burden I began to divest
Alright, alright, alright
Alright, alright, alright

Charlotte I buried after feeding her foxglove
Dawn was easy, she was drowned in the bath
Isaiah fought but was easily bested
Burned his body for incurring my wrath
Alright, alright, alright

And that's how I came your humble narrator
To be living so easy and free
Expect that you think that I should be haunted
But it never really bothers me
Alright, alright, alright
Alright, alright, alright






Click here to submit the Corrections of The Rake's Song Lyrics
NOT about Fascism | Reviewer: Kerri | 6/12/12

This song is NOT I repeat NOT about fascism. It is also not about inner feelings of torture or childhood trauma-- as previously stated: it is from "the Hazards of Love" album; a concept album that tell the story of William & Margaret.

The story is about a woman (Margaret) who falls in love and becomes pregnant by Willam- a man who has been cursed to be a fawn by day and a man by night, he was cursed by his "mother" the Queen of the forest who stole him as a baby. When the Queen finds out William has fallen in love she threatens to hurt Margaret, but William bargains with her to leave her be and he will never see Margaret again if he can spend one more night with her. But while they are sleeping Margaret is taken by The Rake- a horrible person who hated being monogamous, and when his wife died giving birth he disposed of his other children to live a life of "freedom." The Rake comes to a powerful dangerous river with Margaret in tow, and he cannot cross, so the Queen flies him to the otherwise so that he can remove Margaret from ever seeing her son again.
When William wakes Margaret is gone and when he tracks her to the river finds that he cannot cross, he prays to the river to slow it's rapids and if it lets him cross safely to the otherside, after he saves margaret he will come back and let the river have his body. It's slows, he crosses and fights the Rake, whom he cannot defeat--

BUT his kids all come back to haunt him and THEY kill him. William and Margaret go back to the river but Margaret won't let him go alone so they say their solemn vows in the water and kiss as the river takes them together.

Remain calm | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/23/11

Be not disturbed Nicole. It's simply a story being told in the form of a song. It's a mistake to assume a lyric is the artist's endorsement of a particular idea. I'm pretty sure Colin Meloy doesn't believe you should kill your children or that's his plan for his own kids.

And finding political ideology in a song like that probably means you could find it anywhere.

Advocates Fascism. | Reviewer: Anonymous | 6/3/11

If you read the lyrics carefully, they relate to fascism. Strong dominate the weak with no remorse in this case the father vs. his children. The chorus "Alright" hints a Right wing thought as Fascism is completely Right Wing. Just throwing this out there.

.......But is it REALLY weird? | Reviewer: Temperence | 1/8/11

This was the first song I'd ever heard by the decemberists, and I remember thinkins 'Wow, that's disgusting.' But as I listened to it more and more, I realised just how genius it really is. It's so friggen original for someone to take such a morbid lyric sheet and turn it into a terrific song. Also, now that I'm just a tiny bit more mature, it's not that disgusting; if anything, the lyrics were extremely well thought out. It takes a heck of a lot of courage to put out such a song knowing it'll receive such backlash. But, I mean, this is clearly NOT how the singer feels, but he's simply playing the role in order to deliver such a great, great song.

Great song! | Reviewer: Anna | 3/23/10

Ah, the Decemberists have done it again!
For all those worried or critical of the song`s message- this comes from "The Hazards Of Love" album, which tells a story that has to be listened to straight through to get the full story. The Rake`s Song gives a backstory to one of the brutal villians- and in a later track, the children have their revenge! Please don`t mistake a brilliant piece of songwriting for a morbid expression of the band`s alleged inner traumas!

What??? | Reviewer: Anonymous | 3/7/10

To quote the fucking imbecile:

"I really like the beat and you can dance to it, too bad the band sucks. What kind of childhood trauma spawned these lyrics? I hope that it is about a historical figure. If not I hope that your children killing ideas never come to fruition. Please think before you speak, some people don't enjoy infanticide as much as others. In the future please refer to more tasteful musical collaborations such as Gwar in order to more accurately judge the legacy you leave."

GWAR?? Are you comparing the brilliantine collaboration of amazing musicians to that disgusting excuse for music? Gwar is fucking awful! Your telling me that you would rather listen to a bunch of retarded heroin addicts sing about fucking women with fish as opposed to the intellectual projections of a lyricist who's primary essence is at least ten million times better than that of said fucktards in absolutely ridiculous outfits? You piece of shit, I hope you choke on your own bile.

FUCKING INCOMPETENT,honestly!

Alright?! | Reviewer: Nicole | 1/17/10

Good sound and all. But I'm very disturbed by the lyrics. Why would you write a song about killing your children?! I don't know what the Decemberists were thinking. But good for you for doing something out of the norm.

Great song off a brilliant album | Reviewer: Mike | 12/10/09

@justin...You really liked the beat and you can dance to it? Whatever dude. As always a clever story perfectly told with dramatic music backing it up. The whole song cycle of the album is so perfectly done it is like a modern day opera. The Decemberists are really an amazing and under rated group of musicians.

@ justin | Reviewer: Anonymous | 3/12/09

dude, of course it's about a fictional character. As you obviously don't know the Decemberists, you also don't know their usual album approach. They usually center an album around a particular story, delivering songs from different perspectives and characters. This one is cleverly done, narrating the story sharply and with a great beat in the background. Can't wait for the album!!!

Really? | Reviewer: justin | 3/6/09

I really like the beat and you can dance to it, too bad the band sucks. What kind of childhood trauma spawned these lyrics? I hope that it is about a historical figure. If not I hope that your children killing ideas never come to fruition. Please think before you speak, some people don't enjoy infanticide as much as others. In the future please refer to more tasteful musical collaborations such as Gwar in order to more accurately judge the legacy you leave.

Great song | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/24/09

Sharply narrated, performed with drama at the right places, this is a very powerful song. Witty and yes, I'd say it actually can be quite humorous if you look at it from some distance. Thank you Decemberists...

Amazing song | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/24/09

I found The Decemberists on KFOG radio station a couple months ago and I just can't get enough of their brilliant lyrics and just masterpieces.... Im just 14yrs old but I have music ranging from the 1920 to today and I have to say The Decemberists are one of the best bands I have ever heard. And I agree with "Sky" (Reviewer before me) 100%...

Tastefully Morbid | Reviewer: Sky | 1/15/09

Dark and beautifully written--even bordering on humorous, but not quite. Stronger and more morbid than many previous songs, and perhaps too heavy for those not yet familiar with their work.
Can't wait for the album.



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------ 09/01/2014

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