COVER TO COVER: Cocoon – The Decemberists

This particular song from Portland based indie folk rock band The Decemberists has been buzzing on my head for a month now. Admittedly, they are a recent discovery, but a very good one! Their lyrical and musical aesthetics appeals to me the in such a way a blanket warms me during cold nights.

Colin Meloy, the singer/songwriter fronting the band, confessed a “slavish love” for Morrissey, one of his principal influences. I must say, we share the same strong emotional attachment to Moz and The Smiths. Hence, my interest in The Decemberists. They are now added to the list of few American bands I dig. And I’m quite sure there’s still a lot out there to discover.

There have been references and comparisons in the past about my band The Camerawalls and The Decemberists especially with our song “The Emperor, The Concubine and The Commoner” from our debut album Pocket Guide To The Otherworld. A tragic epic story about the demise of two lovers defying royalty, set in the background of Forbidden City in China. It was my first attempt for storytelling. Apparently, The Decemberists favors that approach in songwriting, as evidenced in songs like “The Mariner’s Revenge” and “My Mother Was A Chinese Trapeze Artist“, and other tales that are either epic, whimsical or dark.

The very first record I intently listened to was their first studio album “Castaways and Cutouts“, released in 2002. My objective was to check out their musical progression, aside from that I saw my name on the track list, giving me a knee-jerk response to hit the play button. I was mesmerized. By the time I reached the song “Cocoon“, I envisioned myself sitting on wet sand facing a vast ocean, waiting for a fateful breeze or a gentle wave to touch my bare self and usher me into the water and swim forward, never looking back.

this cocoon, caught in vesuvius’ shadow
only the ashes remain
and i waited there for you
why couldn’t you?
here we lie waiting for something to startle
to shake us from gravity’s pull
and so sleeping hours are through
what can we do?

the sorry conclusion, the low dirty war, it happened before you came to
but this is solution, and this is amends
the joke always tends to come true
and there on your windowsill over the unmoving platoon
written in paperback, the view to the quarterback’s room
under waning moon

this quiet serves only to hide you
provide you
what i knew
what i knew
it’d come back to you

take this palm, follow the lines here are written
tracing the veins and the shapes
and feel your fingers falling slack and all folding back

the tainted election, the hole in the sky
command what is tried, what is true
without solution, with feet on the ground
it won’t make a sound ’til you’re through
so loosen your shoulderblades
this is your hour to make due
’cause there on the timberline
deep cold november shines through
soft and absolute

this quiet serves only to hide you
provide you
what i knew
what i knew
it’d come back to you

This is the best I could muster for the meantime. Ironically, it was rather hard to keep up with the slow singing speed of the song, so I upped the tempo a bit, strumming in a more evident 3/4 signature.

Cocoon – The Decemberists (Acoustic Cover)

The Decemberists will be releasing a new album on January 18 called “The King Is Dead“, probably an allusion to The Smiths song “The Queen Is Dead”. Visit the band’s website at

2 Responses to “COVER TO COVER: Cocoon – The Decemberists”

  1. Mikhail Enver

    kind of reminds me of the demo version of the talking bird by death cab for cutie.


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