“Severed” – The Decemberists

“What is demagoguery, and where does it come from?” This is the question Colin Meloy of The Decemberists sought to explore in the single “Severed”. The lyrics keep this exploration fairly abstract, with the speaker spewing manipulative, incendiary rhetoric and descriptions that are common to all demagogues but exclusive to none. The video, on the other hand, betrays the fact that “Severed” was written during the 2016 presidential campaign and inspired by Donald Trump’s rise to power.

“…It’s sort of an exploration of the voice of a demagogue, and so hopefully people will find it reviling,” said Meloy. “I can only hope.”

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