16 Reasons I listened to The Decemberists’ ‘Philomena’ 16 times today

Some days certain songs seem to really hit the spot, like in a physical way. The song seems to settle into the space where your ear attaches to the side of your head and just feel good. Today that song was “Philomena” off The Decemberists’ new album “What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World.”

  1. That piano and (I think) high hat intro with the bass drum.
  2. The song starts so innocently with this sort of 50s-ish kind of “Mr. Sandman” vibe thing going.
  3. Then those great “oooh wah” back up singers, which becomes better the more you hear the song.
  4. “You in a tawdry gown.” Could this be seen as slut-shaming? Perhaps, but I see it as the character’s ham-handed attempt at flattery.
  5. The whole song is basically a plea to a bored girl from a bored boy on how to cure their boredom together through oral sex.
  6. And, in what could be seen as a shocker, he wants to go down on her.
  7. I really, really love Colin Meloy’s voice.
  8. “All I wanted in the world was just to live to see a naked girl.” Oh Colin Meloy, we’ve all been there. For some of us, it was boys that we wanted to see naked, which was kind of hard to do if you went through puberty in the 80s. Naked women were easy to see, I mean in pictures and in movies. But I digress. . .
  9. Songs about oral sex amuse me greatly.
  10. Alas, the poor character who I am calling Colin because I always think all songs are about the songwriter/singer even though that’s probably not wise, gets bored and he wants more, and he offers to be all sorts of phallic things for young Philomena.
  11. “And I’ll be a lashing loop of a leatherette.” I don’t even know what that means, but the way it sounds when he sings it sounds a lot like licking.
  12. Eventually, I decided all background la-la-lahs and ooooohhwwwoooos could be interpreted as orgasmic sounds if you were so inclined to think those kinds of things.
  13. Colin Meloy and I share the same favorite Replacements’ song, which has nothing to do with this list really, but I felt the need to share.
  14. Listening to this song makes me smile, which is a much welcome relief in these days of endless anxiety.
  15. It has made me decide to make a playlist featuring songs about oral sex, because it makes me laugh.
  16. I like it and it is good.
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1 Comment

  1. devx 12.May.15 at 7:51 am

    I don’t know much about the decemberists but I did not expect this kind of song on their album. I was taken aback when I heard it for the first time. English is not my native language so i was like ‘is this really what I’m hearing’. Everything is innocent about this song except the lyrics. 🙂


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