"The Hazards of Love 4 (The Drowned)" as written by and Colin Meloy....
Margaret, array the rocks around the hull before we're sinking,
A million stones, a million bones, a million holes within the chinking.

And painting rings around your eyes, these peppered holes so filled with crying.
A whisper weight upon the tattered down where you and I were lying.

Tell me now, tell me this, a forest's son, a river's daughter?
A willow on the willow wisp, our ghost will wander all of the water.

So let's be married here today, these rushing waves to bear our witness,
And we will lie like river stones, rolling only where it takes us.

[Chorus]
But I pulled you and I called you here,
And I caught you and I brought you here
These hazards of love, never more will trouble us.

Margaret, the lapping waves are licking quietly at our ankles
Another bow, another breath, this brilliant chill has come for the shackle.

With this long last rush of air we speak our vows in starry whisper,
And when the waves came crashing down, he closed his eyes and softly kissed her.

But I pulled you and I called you here,
And I caught you and I brought you here
These hazards of love, never more will trouble us.
And these hazards of love, never more will trouble us.


Lyrics submitted by MarcelLionheart, edited by Hrimrisar

The Hazards of Love 4 (The Drowned) song meanings
Add your thoughts

33 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +3
    My InterpretationSo, here's my interpretation of the song:

    During Annan Water, William makes a deal with the river to allow him to pass just once so that he can be with his love one final night. He knows he's already made a deal with his mother that he could only have the one night before she reclaimed him (a la Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid "And if I grant you this favor, to hand you your life for the evening I will retake by morning"), so rather than be ripped from his true love once more, he chooses to be swallowed in the Annan waters.

    Meanwhile, as he's crossing the river, The Rake is haunted (or driven mad if you like) by the ghosts of his murdered children. They drive him out (as I'd like to imagine, before he rapes Margaret) freeing William to rescue his true love. She agrees to follow William to their death in the Annan rather than be torn apart again, so one final time he heaves the makeshift raft into the water to carry them off.

    As they drift the river begins to claim its prize, and William asks Margaret to marry him before they're taken. The chorus, where they sing "But I pulled you and I called you here (Didn't I? Didn't ? Didn't I?)" is sung by both Margaret and William, because in a way both have rescued the other. Margaret first helps William who was wounded while in the form of a faun, and later calls him to her during Margaret in Captivity. She also in a greater sense frees him from his mother, who wouldn't allow him to leave the Taiga. William frees Margaret from the Rake, and calls her to him in Won't Want for Love.

    “And these hazards of love never more will trouble us”. Margaret and William now in death are free.
    calamormineon March 21, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI'm sorry. William is not the Rake. The Queen's Rebuke backs this up. By saying the Rake has removed the temptation from her innocent child and by helping the Rake cross the river. If the Rake is William, why the hell does William need help crossing to save Margaret?

    And there's defiantly a boat. And I'm still pretty sure it's "around the hull". I don't care what the book/website says. Booklets are wrong all the time.
    AcidMilkon August 22, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's a bit tougher to figure out the context of this track, but my take is that after The Rake is haunted/killed by his children, Margaret and William escape back to the river. They try to cross, but the Annan Water sinks their boat. It could be that they were truly trying to return to the Taiga, but I like to think that since William made the deal with Annan Water to let him cross but not return, Margaret agreed to perish with him in the river. She would rather be with him in death than let him be taken by the Queen of the Taiga.
    CaptainSpoonon March 14, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHmmm... I'm not sure, but I thought maybe when he tells Annan Water he can have his bones on his return - he didn't really take it seriously. I thought of it as sort of a hyperbole. He was so dying to get to Margaret he just sort of thought it didn't matter what happened to him after. But it turned out he could take Margaret back with him, so they went to cross the river and the river held him to his "promise." He realizes this is happening, and he and Margaret reconcile themselves with the idea of dying because at least they'll die together. And as far as the chorus, I think its worth noting that they BOTH sing it. I think, in the end, they both just think "It's all my fault. I'm so sorry for ruining your life. You'd probably have been better off without me, but I love you, etc..."

    absolutely beautiful song. I'm debating between 2 and 4 for my favorite hazard.
    liquidhotmagmaon March 30, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI said this in a reply upthread, but it bears repeating:

    I don't think there IS a boat. The hole (around which Margaret is arraying the rocks) is the grave of their stillborn child, who most likely died in utero, due to the punishment Margaret received at the hands of The Rake.

    I think that William and Margaret have resigned themselves to the fact that they'll soon be giving themselves to the river, and this is their last act before entering its cold embrace.

    "Tell me now, tell me this, a forest's son, a river's daughter?" = William asking the Margaret the sex of their child.
    bagofbeefon May 04, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentProbably one of the most touching songs I've heard in a good while. To me it shows their strife, all culminating in their dying vow. He's rescued her, risked everything to make it there, including agreeing to perish upon his return. He seems to blame himself for getting her killed as well.

    Really a beautiful song.

    "With this long last rush of air, we'll speak our vows of starry whisper
    And when the waves came crashing down, he closed his eyes and softly kissed her"
    Tarvoson June 25, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think william gets there too late and margaret is already dead.
    I think that The Wanting Comes in Waves song right after the revenge song can tell a lot about this one. It's William's light motif, so it's clearly about him at that moment. He says "here comes the waves" and I think this is literal, that he is jumping in to cross the river. The music is heroic, like he's rushing toward her, and then suddenly turns ominous, like horror. At that moment He sees he is too late.

    "A million stones, a million bones, a million holes within the chinking"
    Her bones are broken in a million pieces

    "And painting rings around your eyes, these peppered holes too filled with crying"
    She has black eyes from being beaten, and cuts on her face, possibly even lost her eyes

    "A whispered weight upon the tattered down where you and I were lying"
    She's now just an empty body "a whispered weight"

    So he sees she is dead, or possibly near death and decides to walk into the river with her so they can be married in death.

    On a side note, I think it's so cool that they make a few musical allusions to Pink Floyd's The Wall. The unintelligible screaming between A Bower Scene and Won't Want for Love sounds just like the transition between two of the songs in The Wall, and later between the Revenge Song and the Wanting Comes in Waves there is a bit of organ music that sounds like the transitions Pink Floyd uses.
    kchowon October 22, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is breathtaking. I agree with the above interpretation, but I am confused on a couple points -- first of all, who does the chorus come from? Maragaret, William, or both of them? I assume the latter, because she comes in at that point in the song, but does anybody else see it another way?

    Second, can anybody see a particular reason he switches to third person for the last line of the fourth verse? I noticed that he makes a similar change in The Abduction of Maragaret.
    PieSniperon March 19, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI dunno...I was of the impression that during "Revenge!", the Rake's children that he killed came back to haunt him, and at the same time all the evil deeds had caused him to snap, so he took Margaret back to the Annan and drowned her during "The Wanting Comes in Waves (Reprise)". As William is crossing the Annan, he sees the Rake drowning Margaret, so trying to defend his love, he attacks the Rake, but he is too late, and the Rake gets away. William he swears his love to Margaret, and kills himself so he won't have to be with her.

    I also for some reason believe that when it is the "narrator" singing, it is actually the Rake, as some sort of suicide-note thing. He, like William, had "fallen in love" with Margaret (really more of an obsession with her), and when he learns of her tryst with William, he strikes up a deal with the Queen to take Margaret away, so her "innocent child" will be protected from the hazards of love, and also so he can be with his "true love" (a win-win situation).

    That would kind of explain why it opens with "*MY* true love..." but then seems to switch to the third person. It's almost as if the Rake is a stalker-ish type, and after he had first seen Margaret (well before the events in the story), he had "fallen in love" with her (become obsessed; she was beautiful so he must have her). He'd followed her around, and saw that she had fallen in love with (and been impregnated by) the forest prince, William. (And kids aren't the Rake's strong suit, which may/may not add to anything.)

    Then the last line of "The Drowned" is sung by the Rake (who may/may not also sing the "I pulled/called/caught/brought you here" line, though it makes sense for William to sing this as well), before an echo of the chorus, sung by William (seems to be the general consensus), is heard. I think that after the Rake got away, he returned, and watched William with Margaret's body from afar, and, realizing that theirs was really true love, a big difference from his obsession, that he had been wrong all along. So perhaps he returns to his fortress, writes down the story, and kills himself?

    A lot of what I've just written isn't explicitly referred to in the album, but that's how the story has unfolded in my head since the first time I listened to it.
    Seluneion March 21, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI hope their child survived. If there was a slight reference in a song later on, about an orphan who's parents were drowned by a river...
    deathwriter08on March 22, 2009   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain