Song of the Day The Decemberists Feature Picture

“Grace Cathedral Hill” by The Decemberists – SOTD

Lyriquediscorde Song of the Day

“Grace Cathedral Hill” by The Decemberists
Song of the Day

“And, the world may be long for you,
but it’ll never belong to you.
But, on a motorbike,
when all the city lights blind,
your eyes,
tonight.
Are you feeling better now?”

“Grace Cathedral Hill” is the 7th track from The Decemberists debut album, Castaways and Cutouts.

SOTD The Decemberists Castaways and Cutaways

It is the 2nd song by The Decemberists that I ever heard, and it is by far my favorite. The first song was from a different album (“Engine Driver” from the album, Picaresque, the band’s 3rd), but it was only a few hours later that I head this one. I fell for it near immediately.

There is so much story in “Grace Cathedral Hill”, so much melancholy emotion. Some days I play it and it brings me to tears. Some days I hear it and I swear I see every, single person in the song, and the town they live in. And, other times I hear it and I want to write my own stories to it. I want to use it as a writing diving board to leap off of.

“Grace Cathedral Hill” by The Decemberists

This song has been reported to be about when The Decemberists’ lead singer’s wife (then girlfriend) Carson Ellis’ father died and they went to Grace Cathedral Hill in San Francisco for the funeral which was on New Years Day. If this is the true story behind the song I can understand why it often plays like a postcard sent home.

Funnily enough, for years I thought the song was about a village somewhere in the UK. In my imagination, it was a small place in Wales. I could see that version so vividly in my mind.

I never thought it was from a place I’ve been to myself. I don’t know which I prefer, my version, or this possibly real one.

SOTD The Decemberists Grace Cathedral Hill

“Grace Cathedral Hill” (live) by The Decemberists

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