There's a wrinkle in the water
Where we laid our first daughter
And I think the wind blows so sweetly there
Over there
And the windows and the cinders
And the willows in the timbers
The infernal rattling of the rain
Still remains

"But I" said the bachelor to the bride
"Am not waiting for tonight.
No, I will box your ears
And leave you here stripped bare."

Hear the corncrakes and the deerhooves
And the sleet rain on the slate roof
A medallion locked inside her hand
In her hand
And his fingers are they telling
Of the barren of her belly
And his callouses cure her furrowed brow
Even now

"But I," said the bachelor to the bride
"Am not waiting for tonight.
No, I will box your ears
And leave you here stripped bare."

"But I," said the bachelor to the bride
"Am not waiting for tonight.
No, I will box your ears
And take your tears
And leave you, leave you here
Stripped bare."

Lyrics submitted by sendthestars

The Bachelor and the Bride Lyrics as written by Colin Meloy

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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The Bachelor and the Bride song meanings
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  • 0
    General Commentquestion. In the line "there's a wrinkle in the water where we laid our first daughter" do you think he's referring to baptism or a burial at sea?
    pumkinhedon November 11, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the wrinkle in the water is a burial at sea, pumkinhed put it, of a baby girl. This is an incredibly violent song, as some Decemberists songs are. Boxing someone's ears means beating the hell out of them.

    The basic plot, as near as I can tell, is of a woman and her abusive husband, living out in the sticks somewhere. She is unable to bear children, and he is continually punishing her for it. The medallion is either the memory of her lost daughter, or the secret of some other lover.

    Assuming Colin Meloy based this on some book...he's a real lit geek. But God, what a great song.
    thedouglason November 22, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentagreed with thedouglas. this song is spectacular and what really got me into the decemberists
    angelofthesilenceon January 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBoxing someone's ears doesn't mean to beat the hell out of them, though it is painful. Bascially, it's the action of using both hands to smack someone up side both sides of their head at the same time. Think cymbols clashing together with a head inbetween.

    I think the first daughter might be a miscarriage as well, tying into the "barren in her belly" line. And the medallion could possibly be a Saint Anthony of Padua medallion, since he's regarded as the patron of childless married women.
    sanguinaryon March 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm guessing the song is a reference to surrealist artist Marcel Duchamp's "La mariée mise à nu par ses cèlibataires" which translates as "the married woman stripped bare by her bachelors."

    However, I am unintelligent and don't really know how the song ties into the artwork beyond that.
    kickabouton April 02, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's their wedding night. The're in a church. The wrinkle in the water is holy water their first daughter was baptised in. He doesn't want to wait til the honeymoon later that night, he wants it now.
    bobbywon December 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think perhaps the infanta is something of a continuation of this story, because of the rather sly hints at the daughter's questionable birth in the infanta.
    sensitivetofateon January 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentas kickabout wrote, the title of this song is a reference to the duchamp piece. just thought i should mention the proper translation of the title is 'the bride stripped bare by her bachelors, even', also known as the 'large glass'.
    miserylandon January 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA tale of a baptism (of the bride, years before), abuse, lost love, illicit affairs, barrenness. Yeah, this is the Decemberists. One of their most violent and most beautiful.
    Cynothoglyson January 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThere is a wrinkle in the water....there is...
    MICon February 22, 2006   Link

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