A musician’s song for his son with autism

The Decemberists' Colin Meloy singing "Rise to Me"

The Decemberists’ Colin Meloy singing “Rise to Me”

I love The Decemberists. Who can argue with a band that has accordion, pedal steel guitar, and upright bass? I like the band’s originality. I like their complicated lyrics. I even like lead singer Colin Meloy’s unapologetically nasal voice, especially in the song “Rise to Me”.

In an interview with Time Magazinepublished after Colin Meloy’s son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder — The Decemberists’ frontman said he wrote the song “Rise to Me” on The King is Dead album for young Henry. The lyrics are particularly moving during April — Autism Acceptance month:

Hey Henry can you hear me?
Let me see those eyes
This distance between us
Can seem a mountain size
But boy:
You are going to stand your ground.

When the Time reporter asked about the song, Meloy said, “It’s chronicling our feelings as a family and the sort of face that we have to put on to remain sane.” You can listen to “Rise to Me” on YouTube — see what you think.


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  1. Walter Says:

    No I wrote the song and play bass guitar. Thanks for the listen