12/17/12

Album: What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World (2015)
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Songfacts®:

  • This song was written by Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy after watching President Obama's speech in the wake of the December 14, 2012 Newtown school shootings. He explained to The Sun: "There is an incredible feeling of helplessness when you see things like this, but we feel an intimate desire to do something."

    "It happened that day when Obama did a press conference and he read out the names of the kids. It was a powerful moment and the song was in some way my attempt to do something."
  • Meloy contrasts the horrific incident and his own domestic bliss. "I was probably more affected by it than if I had no children," he said. "My kid (Hank) was that age at the time. He was in first grade, so you see your own kid in those kids and it's terrifying."
  • The album title comes from the end of this song as Meloy reflects upon President Obama's speech: "What a terrible world, what a beautiful world, what a world you make here."

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