Did I ever once turn my mind from the thought of revenge
If there is one word to describe "The Mariner's Revenge Song" it is "epic." This sea chantey by The Decemberists is exactly what the title says it's about. I'd highly recommend reading the lyrics while listening in order to follow the story line. Although the song is almost 9 minutes long, and possibly not the most accessible to those who have never heard the Decemberists before, it is the perfect example of what this band is capable of. Lead singer Colin Meloy's lyrics always tell a story of human trials and tribulations centered around love, death, betrayal, and of course, revenge; makes sense, considering that prior to joining the band he was studying creative writing. But don't get me wrong, their music is just as good and interesting as their lyrics.
Their latest album, The Crane Wife, was the first to be released by a major label. Oddly, it is far from being a commercial album with two songs being over ten minutes long. The album is somewhat based on a Japanese folk tale with the same title as the album. Early last month, in a newsletter to fans, the band revealed that their next LP will be released some time next year and will be titled The Hazards of Love. Then, during their set in Baltimore, Meloy confirmed that the album will be released in March.
The Crane Wife isn't the only folkloric influence on the Decemberists music. Back in 2004, they released an 18 minute EP titled The Tain based on an Irish myth. Earlier this year, a video was released set to the entire EP. Made by filmmaker Andy Smetanka, the video is entirely "silhouette crepe paper stop motion animation," says Meloy.
Lastly, in case you ever wondered, their album art is actually done by the artist Carson Ellis, who happens to be Meloy's wife.