HAZARDS OF LOVE, THE - Decemberists, The
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The album began when Meloy—long fascinated by the British folk revival of the 1960s—found a copy of revered vocalist Anne Briggs's 1966 EP, titled The Hazards of Love. Since there was no actual song with the album's title, he set out to write one, but was soon immersed in something much larger.
The Hazards of Love tells the tale of a woman named Margaret who is ravaged by a shape-shifting animal; her lover, William; a forest queen; and a cold-blooded, lascivious rake, who recounts with spine-tingling ease how he came "to be living so easy and free" in the aforementioned "The Rake's Song". [Becky Stark and Shara Worden] deliver the lead vocals for the female characters, while [Jim James, Robyn Hitchcock, and Rebecca Gates] appear in supporting roles. The range of sounds reflects the characters' arcs, from the accordion's singsong lilt in "Isn't It a Lovely Night?" to the heavy metal thunder of "The Queen's Rebuke/The Crossing".
- The Hazards of Love 1 (The Prettiest Whistles Won't Wrestle the Thistles Undone)
- A Bower Scene
- Won't Want for Love (Margaret in the Taiga)
- The Hazards of Love 2 (Wager All)
- The Queen's Approach
- Isn't it a Lovely Night?
- The Wanting Comes in Waves / Repaid
- An Interlude
- The Rake's Song
- The Abduction of Margaret
- The Queen's Rebuke / The Crossing
- Annan Water
- Margaret in Captivity
- The Hazards of Love 3 (Revenge!)
- The Wanting Comes in Waves (Reprise)
- The Hazards of Love 4 (The Drowned)