"The Apology Song" as written by and Colin Meloy....
I'm really sorry, Steven, but your bicycle's been stolen.
I was watching it for you 'til you came back in the fall.
I guess I didn't do such a good job after all.
I was feeling really sorry, Steven, and I spent all morning grieving.

And everybody's saying that you'll take the news gracefully.
Somehow, I don't think I'll be getting off that easily.

I meant her no harm when I left her unlocked outside the Orange Street Food Farm.
I was just running in, didn't think I'd be that long.
I came back, she was gone and all that was there was some bored old dog,
Leashed up to the place where your bicycle had been.
I guess we'll never see poor Madelline again.

Let this be consolation, Steven, that all the while you were in England,
I treated her with care and respect and gave her lots of love,
And I was usually pretty good 'bout locking her up. Where has she gone?
Well, I bet she's on the bottom of the French Town Pond, rudely abused on some heshner's joy ride.
So I wrote you this song in the hopes that you'd forgive me even though it was wrong,
Being so careless with a thing so great and taking your poor Madeline away.


Lyrics submitted by gyroscope

"The Apology Song" as written by Colin Meloy

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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The Apology Song song meanings
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25 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentOn Sunday night (June 27th, 2004) the Decemberists played a show at the Great American Music Hall. Prior to this song, Colin explained how this was, indeed, a true story. A few months after Colin wrote this song, he saw a guy he knew riding Madeline, the very same bike that was stolen. The guy riding the bike claimed that he found it in a dumpster. So Colin takes the bike back to Steven, who I'm sure is very much appreciative. A few months later again, Steven asks Colin to help him move. Colin agrees. Ironically enough, the bike was on the back of Colin's van when he backed up into a tree, I believe, thus leaving the bicycle in disrepair. The bike is currently locked up by the warehouse being described in "July, July!"
    thundergodon July 03, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIf anyone can get away with writing a song about a stolen bicycle, it's Colin Meloy. I love it.
    strangelittlesecreton March 28, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMissoula's a huge bike town (buncha hippies) and you really do need to be careful to lock up your ride, as there are theft's a plenty. There were signs posted up all inside the university theatre telling us not to leave anything valuable around, or it'll get hocked! Great town, but damn! Everytime I drive by the Food Farm now, I have to smile.
    agentzx3on March 30, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI would love it if someone wrote me a song to make up for something that was stolen of mine.

    Especially if they put it on a CD.

    "I'm really sorry, Sean, but your Identity has been stolen..."
    TheSFletcheron May 10, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti live in the town in which this took place and visit the orange street food farm often as well as the frenchtown pond this is all in missoula Mt
    kappelchickenon October 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti really hope that this song was written like was said in the song.
    duckadoozon June 15, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti know a guy named steven who got his bicycle stolen from him. played him the song, and he laughed and laughed. his bicycle wasn't called madeleine tho. and it wasn't england it was vancouver, but hey.
    thegirlmostlovelyon February 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's so great that someone could actually pull off a song about apologizing for losing your buddy's bike and not come off cheesy. Such a cute song.
    Bryia_026on April 01, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with the above comment. It made me laugh when I first heard it.
    YourGypsyUncleon April 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe Decemberists are my new fav band, I think there has only been one album on full release in the UK, maybe wrong on that. Bought it on one of those 'that cover looks nice' missions and haven't looked back since. Downloaded this song as you can't buy it anywhere here and fell in love. Who are these guys where have they come from and thought I liked Arcade Fire, but these guys rockin me and my friends world.

    You just instantly love this song and then it gets under your skin and you just have to play it to everyone you meet.
    notuyourmateon October 11, 2005   Link

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