Here’s a song to welcome in the year: The Decemberists – “June Hymn”

The Decemberists. Photo by Autumn de Wilde; courtesy of

The Decemberists’ “June Hymn” is perhaps my favorite song of 2011. For sheer song-craft, tunefulness, lyricism and beauty, it can’t be topped – in my book. There were plenty of great songs in 2011, but this is one that I have come back to over and over and it always makes for a heartening listen. Colin Meloy’s poetic lyrics are mixed with a sweet folk melody that swirls around like honey in your soul. Their brilliant album The King Is Dead  also featured a good song called “January Hymn” which might have been more apropos for ringing in 2012, but I couldn’t find an official version of that to post here. Anyway, I’m glad I could use “June Hymn” since I like it even more. This is footage of a live performance of the song at MusicfestNW in their home base of Portland, Oregon in September 2010, from The Decemberists’ official YouTube channel. The King Is Dead (released on January 14, 2011) had not yet come out so this song was new to audiences at that time. It’s beautifully filmed and a wonderful performance of a memorable tune. As the opening line says, “Here’s a hymn to welcome in the day…”

Happy 2012, music lovers…



  1. Denis, This song has been part of my running playlist since the album was released. Helps with the rough patches in the run, it does! The Decemberists recently purchased one of my little brother’s handmade dobros. You should check them out []. “They are gorgeous!,” said the proud sister. Happy new year!

  2. Thanks for including this song on our “Best of Jukebox Delirium 2011” CD you sent for Christmas! Patrick and I made a little mix of songs to be played while people arrived at our wedding ceremony and this was one of our favorites. We still think fondly of that rainy Friday night whenever we hear this song and always will. Thanks! Love to you brother and keep up the great blog!!

    1. Thanks for reading, Kristine. I don’t think any of us will ever forget that rainy (a.k.a. thunderstormy) Friday night. I had forgotten that song was among those played when people were arriving; maybe the thunder crashes drowned it out?!

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