It is impossible for any character to make it through an entire Decemberists song without drowning; heaven help us if anyone ever relates the tale of Atlantis to Colin Meloy, who will immediately begin to shake and bleed and spew out song lyrics about sailors walled up in catacombs and ancient queens’ abortions if he ever learns that there is an entire drowned city in the annals of folklore. If someone is not drowning, they are merrily rattling their scimitars in the Boer Civil Spanish War or flinging infants into cisterns and committing gang rape in coastal cities. Here is a thorough and exhaustively researched list of all of the prosecutable felonies named in the Decemberist’s six studio albums; may their sentences be extensive.
Castaways and Cutouts, 2002
Infanticide, “Leslie Anne Levine”
Bootlegging, possible manslaughter, “July! July!”
Rape, multiple counts; aggravated assault; kidnapping, “A Cautionary Song”
Rape, assault, assault with a lethal weapon, “Odalisque”
Election fraud, “Cocoon”
Possession of a controlled substance (Class I), “The Legionnaire’s Lament”
N.B. The admission of “paying [one’s] debt to society” in “California One” is inadmissable, as library fines do not qualify as a felony, no matter how large the amount owed
Her Majesty The Decemberists, 2003
Criminal threat and assault, “Shanty For the Arethusa”
Indecent exposure, “Billy Liar”
Assault and battery, infanticide, “The Bachelor and the Bride”
Providing alcohol to a minor, “The Infanta”
Rape, criminal liability in relation to suicide, “We Both Go Down Together”
Murder of a police officer in the line of duty, treason, bribery of a public official, “The Bagman’s Gambit”
Aggravated assault and battery, “The Mariner’s Revenge Song”
The Crane Wife, 2006
Assault and rape, “The Landlord’s Daughter”
Murder in the first degree, “You’ll Not Feel The Drowning”
Manslaughter, suspected arson, “O Valencia”
Kidnapping, grand theft, manslaughter, “The Perfect Crime #2”
Criminal threat and murder in the second degree, “The Shankill Butchers”
Bribery of a police officer, multiple counts; kidnapping, “The Perfect Crime #1”
The Hazards of Love, 2009
Murder in the first degree, three counts; desecration of a corpse “The Rake’s Song”
Kidnapping, “The Abduction of Margaret”
The King Is Dead, 2011
There are no felonies committed in The King Is Dead. While “scores of innocents die” in “Calamity Song,” the fault cannot be pinned on the narrator; the “you” in “All Arise!” commits multiple acts of theft, but it’s unlikely that this would constitute a felony in most states, given that it’s in the context of dollar store shoppers.
The Decemberists appear to be rehabilitated and are recommended for parole.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.