"A Bower Scene" as written by and Colin Meloy....
Thou inconsolable daughter
Said the sister
When wilt thou trouble the water
In the cistern

And what irascible black Bart
Is the father

And when young Margarete's waistline
Grew wider
The fruit of her amorous centaur
Inside her

And so our heroine withdraws
To the Taiga


Lyrics submitted by MarcelLionheart

"A Bower Scene" as written by Colin Meloy

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A Bower Scene song meanings
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20 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentThe sister is clearly a nun and the cistern described is a baptismal font. I believe the sister is asking Margaret when she will baptize the baby, i.e. when the baby will be born. It also could be that she has gone to a nun as a confidant and the nun wishes Margaret to be baptized herself.
    witeshadoon November 30, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationAs continued from Hazards of Love I:

    A bower is a lady's house...kind of like a sorority, I'm guessing. Anyway, Margaret is obviously not getting over William and is unconsolable. I do like the previous comment about the sister being a nun...but im not sure if its right. Not to mention what cistern means. I personally cistern (which means 3 different things) Cistern I believe in this context is talking about the amniotic fluid around the baby (as in the water...) And basically yeah...who's the father?...obviously william. So Margaret leaves the bower before her pregnancy becomes too noticable.

    musicismylife926on April 09, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAlternative interpretation- she is advising Margaret to throw herself into the cistern (i.e. commit suicide with her illegitimate child from sorrow).
    mulberryon April 26, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTHANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS.
    Oh my goodness.
    jxnarcoticzon March 04, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentContinued literal/creative translations:

    "Yo sis," Margaret's (probably older sister) asked
    "when is your water going to break? (when is the baby due?)
    and what hot-headed rude guy is the father? (of the baby)"

    And when Margaret started to get fatter/show the baby bump
    the fruit of her love (rape-baby) started moving all around in there
    so she went off alone back to the forest [where she first got sexually assaulted... seems logical]
    wanderingaloudon March 12, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentso not a rape baby.

    the only rape in the whole album takes place within the rake's "fortress"
    annanwateron March 17, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentagreed. The love between Margaret and William is legit.. no unwanted advances.
    jfoxxon March 19, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is not a rape baby. The love between William and Margaret is quite genuine. Basically wandering alouds interperetation (except references to a rape baby) is good.
    YoungMaragaretsWaistlineon March 22, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbut...colin meloy is always writing about rape and dead babies
    Fatallyourson March 22, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe first verse is not about her blood relative; it's about a nun.

    "thou unconsolable daughter" said the sister (nun)
    "When will thou trouble the water in the cistern?
    (When will you repent your sin of premarital sex) a cistern is a basen of holy water in the catholic church.
    jenamariemon March 31, 2009   Link

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