The Decemberists

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Colin Meloy, Employing his trademark curtain trick during a photoshoot

The Decemberists are a indie/folk/rock/prog/retro band, formed in Portland, Oregon by Colin Meloy and five other people who happened to be in the room at the time. No one knows the name of any of these other people and very few people notice them onstage behind Colin Meloy. He often takes advantage of this and hides them behind a curtain.


The Decemberists were formed when (as he was then known) Colin Dickens-Wilde-Shakespeare-Mangum-Stipe-Morrissey Meloy's previous band "Tarki-os" (named after a box of cereal he imagined owning as a child) got sick of him taking everything so seriously, and decided to leave one day. Later, their single album "I guess I was hoping for something less serious, I mean I was only in a band to get laid in College, God Colin is such a Dick" was bundled with their EP "Songs We Stole From The Waterboys" and some rare tracks and released on Kill Rock Stars as a way to fulfil a contractual obligation when Meloy moved to a major label.

Unable to understand why the band would leave, Meloy moved to Portland, where he met Five Other People, who were all fans of his previous band. It was whilst basking in their affection that he got the idea to create another band, almost exactly like Tarki-os but more meaningful and deep and pitched the idea to them. They agreed to this and to his demands that they should never speak to anyone about the band ever and The Decemberists were born.

One Song[edit]

The Cover Of Their Debut

The Decemberists first official release was the EP "One Song" that actually contained 6 songs, and later, when reissued, 40 songs. The EP was funded by Meloy's work as a rent boy, a rapist and a rake, careers that he would later draw upon as inspiration for The Decemberists deep and meaningful lyrics. The song "Shiny" also marks the first literature reference in the bands output, being a love song from Colin Meloy to the main character of Twilight, Edward Cullen.


  1. "Canalside"
  2. "Shiny"
  3. "My Mother Was A Japanese Prisoner Of War Guard"
  4. "Angel, Please Stop Calling Me, I'm Colin Meloy Bitches Be Calling All Day and Night, I Can't Be Hung Up On One Ho"
  5. "I Don't Mind (as long as your my brother)"
  6. "Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta" (Geto Boys cover)

Castouts and Cutaways[edit]

After the success of their self produced EP, The Decemberists were approached by Indie Label, Kill Rock Stars about a full length. Colin Meloy and Five Other People immediately signed with them whilst maintaining artistic credibility. It was around this time Colin became increasingly concerned about a global population crisis that he felt was looming on the horizon. He concluded the only way to stop this was to convince people that life was pointless, and sat about recording the most depressing album he could. This remains many fans favorite Decemberists album, as it's too obscure for you to have heard of, and sets many of their trademarks as a band in motion, such as obscure impenetrable metaphors about builders, references to war that no one remembers and for all we know could of been made up by Colin Meloy, and of course, plagiarizing REM's better riffs and disguising them with the clever use of accordions.


  1. "Leslie Anne Levine" (a depressing song about infant mortality)
  2. "Here I Dreamt I Was Bob The Builder" (a depressing metaphorical song)
  3. "November, November" (a depressing song about Guy Fawkes)
  4. "A Depressing Song" (a depressing song)
  5. "Daliesque" (a depressing song about feeling like Salvador Dali)
  6. "Kakuna" (a depressing song about Colin Meloy's favorite Pokemon)
  7. "Grace Cathedral Pills" (a depressing song about Colin Meloy's visions whilst on valium)
  8. "Clementines" (a depressing song about Colin Meloy's least favorite fruit)
  9. "California One/Youth and Beauty Brigade" (a song depressingly long about falling in love. Colin hereafter made it his mission to include at least one depressingly long pointless song on each album.)

His Tragedy, The Decemberists[edit]

After the mass hipster suicides caused by Castouts and Cutaways, Meloy was no longer as concerned about the global over population crisis, and decided to write more cheerful songs, about rape, abortion, pregnancy, war and murder. Five Other People also came into their own, learning to play new and even more obscure instruments in order to try and attract Colin's attention. This however failed. The albums title was an early sign of Meloy's descent into madness and progressive rock, taking the pretentious route and including the bands name in a album that was not a debut or self titled.


  1. "Shandy for a loser"
  2. "William Truth"
  3. "Los Angeles, It's Not A Nice Place Really..."
  4. "The Gymnast, That I Watched Through A Crack In The Wall, Whilst Pleasuring Myself And Panting"
  5. "The Bachelor Colin Meloy and the Bride whore"
  6. "Song for Chuck Palahniuk"
  7. "The Soldiering Wife"
  8. "Red Right Ankle (Song About Thrush)"
  9. "The Chimney Sleep"
  10. "I Was Meant for the [Back]Stage"
  11. "As I Cry"


By this point 5 Other People had resorted to disguise in order to confuse Colin and appear in photoshoots

His Tragedy, The Decemberists was not as well received as Meloy had hoped, with only eight suicides in it's wake. Unfortunately the suicides were all talented reviewers leaving only Pitchfork Media to pass it's uneducated verdict upon the album, which wasn't good. Denouncing The Decemberists as derivative of Pavement, Pitchfork went on to wish death upon not only Meloy, but his whole family, their friends and anyone who'd heard his name, even if it was just in passing. Like everyone else, Pitchfork failed to realise that Five Other People were in the band.

Angry at their comments (Meloy didn't even like Pavement, they were far too mainstream for his tastes), He hired Chris Walla-Walla-Bing-Bong, Bass player for Death Cab for Cutie to produce what he felt would be one of his many, many magnum opus-es. The album was recorded in an old church, as Colin felt the souls of molested and sacrificed children would make a interesting atmosphere for the album.


  1. "The Infant, Colin Meloy"
  2. "Losing My Religion Part II: Now With 200% More Accordions!"
  3. "The Haunted Wheelbarrow"
  4. "Why I Was Bullied"
  5. "The Gambit's Bagman"
  6. "From My Own True Love (Lost Without a Sat-Nav)"
  7. "Sixteen Military Lives"
  8. "The Choo-Choo Driver"
  9. "On the Buses" (a tribute to Colin Meloy's favorite Brit-Com)
  10. "The Mariner's Revenge Song" (this albums depressingly long song)
  11. "Of Angles and Angels (Recorded In A Bathroom)"

The Crane Wives[edit]

Picturesque turned out to be a surprise hit for the band, and they immediately jumped ship for the first major label that came calling. Speculation was rife that [email protected] Record$ had no idea it was signing Five Other People as well as Colin Meloy.

Whilst on wikipedia one day, Colin Meloy, came across the Story Of The Crane Wife. After reading it through he decided he could write a better story, and rewrote the entire tale so it resembled the plot of the show "Dallas".

Meloy, with no help from five other people, decided to write the album as a series of two or three part songs, all of which would be self contained stories told in song. At some point he lost faith in this idea and was left with a disjointed mess that he insisted was "meant to be like that" despite b-sides which indicated otherwise.


  1. "The Crane Wives 3: I Know Who Shot JR"
  2. "The Island"
    1. "Ewan MacGregor Is A Clone?"
    2. "Oh Scarlett Johansson, More nudity please"
    3. "Wow This Film Sucked"
  3. "Pregnancy and War" (duet with himself)
  4. "O' Valets" – 3:47
  5. "Criminals and Why They're Poetic and Wonderful"
  6. "There's (The Grain Of Babylon) A War(The Grain Of Babylon)On and(The Grain Of Babylon) My Garden(The Grain Of Babylon) Is Really Important (The Grain Of Babylon)"
  7. "Shankill Candlestick Makers" – 4:39
  8. "Wintersong" – 3:31
  9. The Crane Wives:
    1. Sue Ellen, Sue Ellen
    2. Kristin Shepard, How Could You?
  10. "Donavon Plagiarism" – 5:13

The Love Of Hazards[edit]

A Typical Decemberists Live Show during The Love Of Hazards tour

After the phenomenal success of The Crane Wives, Colin went completely insane. He wrote an entire novel about a wood elf, and a woman and kidnapping and infanticide and possibly road signs and/or something like that, which no one really understood, least of all Colin himself. Annoyed that no one would publish his 6,000 page manuscript he sat to putting it to music, to really show the evil publishing giants what a genius he was. The Other Five People were confused, but went along with Colin's plans anyway. Colin had failed to notice that three of The Five Other People were different musicians and they had given up trying to impress him by this point and were just happy to get paid. After 4 months of constant recording, Colin's NovAlbum "The Love Of Hazards" was complete.


  1. "Prelude"
  2. "The Love of Hazards 1 (Falling Rocks Ahead)"
  3. "A Scene" -
  4. "Warning: Thorns ahead (Margret is The Blackberries)"
  5. "The Love of Hazards 2 (Low Bridge, 15)"
  6. "The Queen's Coming! Now! Look I Can See Her Headlights"
  7. "Isn't It Cold? Here Take My Coat, No I Promise You'll Enjoy It, Your Dad Won't Have To Know..Shush..."
  8. "The Waves, They're like A Metaphor For Something That Comes And Goes, Like The Tide? You Know"
  9. "An Interlude"
  10. "The Rapist Song"
  11. "The Abduction of Margaret or something"
  12. "The Queen's Here! Did You Not Heed My Previous and Clear Warning?"
  13. "Anna's Drowned"
  14. "Margaret in A Cage"
  15. "The Love of Hazards 3 (School Crossing Ahead)"
  16. "The Wanting Comes in Waves (Yeah, Those Waves, They're back. Yeap, See, Look How Deep That Is)"
  17. "The Love of Hazards 4 (Water Hazard, 3)"

Vegetables Are Murder[edit]

After The Love Of Hazards sold well enough to be used as an example in an iPod Nano advert, Colin began to listen to The Smiths and REM. He quickly decided for his next album he would steal REM's sound and The Smiths album title and deny that he had done either. So clever was Colin with his plagiaristic ways, that he even managed to convince REM's Peter Buck to play on the album. Of course by the time he realized that it wasn't an REM album and that Colin wasn't Micheal Stipe, it was far too late.

Colin recorded the album in a barn, which he'd previously used to hide the bodies that he found on Google by typing "rainy hell hole" in and hitting "I'm feeling lucky". After he bankrupted the farm owner with his outrageous demands for such things as M&M trees and Puppy Dog bushes, he finished the album in record time, and in a rare moment of philanthropy, shared the track "Drowned By The Water" for free on twitter. It later turned out this was a mistake and that Colin had been trying to destroy the internet through song alone.


  1. "Don't Carry Money In New York"
  2. "David Foster Wallace Refrences Are So Obscure"
  3. "Rise to Me (the erection song)"
  4. "Rox has a Box"
  5. "Secular Hymn"
  6. "Drowned By the Water"
  7. "All Die!"
  8. "Atheist Hymn"
  9. "This Is Why We Light Things On Fire"
  10. "Dear Colin, I'm Having Mixed Feelings About Our Relationship.."

The Future[edit]

Colin Meloy recently announced his intention to put The Decemberists on hiatus, whilst he worked on a series of children's books, aimed solely at himself.


  • Colin Meloy's Wife relies on The Decemberists as her sole source of income. No one else will employ her for her personal brand of ill-proportioned figures and badly drawn backgrounds.
  • It's speculated that the other people in the band could be called Scary, Sporty, Baby, Ginger and Posh
  • Colin Meloy claims to have never heard music aside from his own

See Also[edit]

For those without comedic tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia have an article about The Decemberists.

HowTo:Write Colin Meloy Lyrics