O Valencia! Introduction
About the Song
|Artist||The Decemberists||Musician(s)||Colin Meloy (rhythm guitar, lead vocals), Chris Funk (lead guitar), Jenny Conlee (piano, background vocals, glockenspiel), Nate Query (bass), John Moen (drums)|
|Album||The Crane Wife|
|Producer(s)||Christopher Walla, Tucker Martine|
Learn to play: Chords and Lead Guitar
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This type of story is used so much it even has a name: "star-crossed lovers." We get that from a line in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, which is the gold standard for tales like it. Romeo and Juliet has remained popular for more than four hundred years, so it's not surprising that other authors have tried their hands at revamping its ideas (you should also know that Shakespeare's play was itself a re-imagining of a Greek tale). Books like Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, and F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby all deal with difficult loves ending very badly for at least one person involved. Edgar Allan Poe even gets in on the action with his poem "Annabel Lee," in which the speaker blames angels for killing his girlfriend out of their jealousy over a perfect earthly love.
Does "O Valencia!" fall short of its timeless influences, or is it an admirable example of how contemporary culture can breathe new life into old stories? That one's for you to decide.
On the ChartsThe Crane Wife peaked at #35 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, #12 on the Rock Album chart, #117 on the Digital Album chart, and #5 on the Tastemaker Album chart (comprised of sales info from independent record stores).
Despite being released as a single, "O Valencia!" never charted.
The Crane Wife went over well with listeners and critics. It was picked as the #1 album of 2006 by NPR listeners, and made Pitchfork's Top 50 Albums of 2006, Spin's Top 40 Albums of 2006, and Rolling Stone's Best Albums of 2006.