• Classwork

    The Mariner’s Revenge Song: An Analysis

    “The Mariner’s Revenge Song” is a sea shanty by the Decemberists that tells the story of a young man who spends his whole life hunting down the man who cheated and destroyed his recently-widowed mother. The story is told achronologically, with the beginning of the song taking place in the present (the hunter and the hunted both trapped in the belly of a whale). For most of the rest of the song, the hunter explains to the hunted (and the audience) how the hunted ruined his life and the life of his mother by wooing her after the death of her husband and then abandoning her to take the blame…