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The Decemberists – Red Right Ankle lyrics

This is the story of your red right ankle
And how it came to meet your leg
And how the muscle bone and sinews tangled
And how the skin was softly she'd
And how it whispered,
"Oh, adhere to me for we are bound by symmetry
And whatever differences our lives have been
We together make a limb"
This is the story of your red right ankle

This is the story of your gypsy uncle
You never knew cause he was dead
And how his face was carved an ripped with wrinkles
In the picture in your head
And remember how you found the key
To his hide-out in the Pyrenees,
But you wanted to keep his secret safe,
So you threw the key away?
This is the story of your gypsy uncle

This is the story of the boys who loved you
Who love you now and loved you then
And some were sweet and some were cold and snuffed you
And some just layed around in bed
And some, they crumbled you straight to your knees
Did it cruel, did it tenderly
Some they crawled their way into your heart
To rend your ventricles apart
This is the story of the boys who loved you
This is the story of your red right ankle

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    It's very abstract, but the overall sense is of loneliness. Everyone is a mystery, but we stick together even though we'll never really understand each other because we desperately need to. The ankle and the leg are not the same, but they fit together. The woman in the song has all these relationships that helped her or hurt her, but were fuelled by love. Even when they hurt her, they were only able to do so because the connection ran so deep. The gypsy uncle led a solitary, secretive life, but she even has a connection with him through his very secrets. Just one interpretation. I think it's a lovely song.
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