Quick post: "The Crane Wife"

I don't have time for finding the right picture or the right title for tonight's post. I'm at work, enjoying a few minutes of down time, so I'm going to make this as quick and painful as possible for everyone.

This isn't breaking news, and you can probably find this song on dozens of music blogs at this point. I myself found it on one of my weekly blog hunts, but unfortunately can't remember who posted it so I can give a proper citation.

All I know is this: "The Crane Wife (1 and 2)" is from the upcoming DECEMBERISTS album of the same name, and this track is a stunner.

The only thing perplexing me is why these two songs are combined into one track. I understand the continuity of it and how both songs are part of a whole story. It's a retelling of an old folk tale about a man who nurses a crane back to health, and who is rewarded when that swan comes back to him in the form of a beautiful bride. His eventual greed makes her return to her form as a crane and fly away forever. It's all summed up in this Wikipedia Entry on the upcoming record.

Like I was saying, they tell the whole story but the two don't exactly segue into each other the way another similarly lengthy but ultimately fantastic Decemberists' song, "California One/Youth and Beauty Brigade" does. I guess I'd just rather see these as two separate tracks, but who am I to say what works?

While The Crane Wife doesn't hit stores for another month, the album leaked onto the web a few weeks ago. While I've read several rave reviews of the record, I've avoided pursuing any other material so I can have fresh ears when I buy the album for myself.

For now, enjoy:
"The Crane Wife 1 and 2"

In addition to "CW" and the aforementioned "California," here are a few other fave Decemberists tracks from past releases:
"I Don't Mind"
"Here I Dreamt I Was an Architect"
"Shanty for the Arethusa"