"When the War Came" as written by and Colin Meloy....
[Chorus]
With all the grain of Babylon
To cultivate, to make us strong
And hidden here behind the walls
Are shoulders wide and timber on
'Til the war came
'Til the war came

A terrible autonomy
Has grafted onto you and me
Our trust put in the government
They told their lies as heaven-sent
'Til the war came
'Til the war came

[Chorus]

And the war came with a curse and a caterwaul
And the war came with all the poise of a cannonball
And they're picking out our eyes by coal and candlelight
When the war came, the war came hard

We mae made our oath to Vavilov
We'd not betray the solanum
The acres of asteraceae
To our own pangs of starvation
When the war came
When the war came

[Chorus]

With all the grain of Babylon
With all the grain of Babylon


Lyrics submitted by toadtws, edited by SlowestRunner

"When the War Came" as written by Colin Meloy

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When the War Came song meanings
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32 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentFrom an interview from Pitchfork:

    "The last great book I read was Hunger by Elise Blackwell. It’s about the siege of Leningrad in World War II, and there was a botanical institute. During the siege, which lasted a long time, the entire population were starving, but all of the botanists in the institute swore themselves to protect the catalog of seeds and plants and things, from not only a starving population, but also from themselves. It’s pretty amazing. I actually ended up writing "When the War Came", a song on the new record, about that."
    Penguincubuson September 16, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentVavilov refers to Nikolai Vavilov who was a prominent botanist and geneticist who created the largest collection of plants and seeds in the world
    khammerson October 08, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentVavilov refers to Nikolai Vavilov who was a prominent botanist and geneticist who created the largest collection of plants and seeds in the world
    khammerson October 08, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSo, not everyone is allowed to "rock-out", and should stick to one type of music? I'll bet you didn't like "Perfect Crime #2" either because it sounded too disco-y, right? If you want to hear more of the old Decemberists, then listen to the old Decemberists. If they kept producing the same music over and over, would you be satisfied?
    makeshifton October 14, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbadass.
    WriterOfFictionson August 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbadass, indeed.
    JDSalingeron September 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis reminds me of a led zepplin song...believe it or not
    mattmattmattmatton September 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell...it's alright. I prefer their older sound to this new, more....rock-y sort.
    helicopter seedson October 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI prefer the older sound, too. This isn't nearly as good.
    nowxisxforeveron October 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAfter finding out about the song's source material, I think I might pick up Hunger. I have to admit I do like the "With all the grain of Babylon" line.
    OmnipotentSealon October 09, 2006   Link

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