Red Right Ankle

Words & Music:

Colin Meloy (The Decemberists)


This is transcribed in the August 2007 issue of Acoustic Guitar.  This version in G is correct.  Ideally, you want to keep the D going as a drone in all the G & Em chords by keeping a finger on the 3rd fret of the B string.


G/F#  G  G/F#  G


G/F#                      G                G/F#                          G

This is the story of your red right ankle, and how it came to meet your leg

And how the muscle bone and sinews tangled, and how the skin was softly shed

Em                           A          Em7                    A  Asus4  A

And how it whispered, "Oh, adhere to me, for we are bound by symmetry.

Em7                           A          Asus4  D           G         G/F#

And whatever differences our lives have been--, we together make a limb"

Em7                       A           G/F#  G  G/F#  G

This is the story of your red right ankle


This is the story of your gypsy uncle, you never knew cause he was dead

And how his face was carved and ripped wrinkles, in the picture in your head

And remember how you found the key, to his hideout in the Pyrenees

But you wanted to keep his secret safe, so you threw the key away

This is the story of your gypsy uncle


INTERLUDE:  Em7  Em9  A  Asus4  A  Em  Em9  Em  A  Asus2/4  A  A6  A


This is the story of the boys who loved you, who love you now & loved you then

And some were sweet and some were cold and snuffed you, and some just laid around in bed

And had crumbled you straight to your knees, did it cruel did it tenderly

And some had crawled their way into your heart, to rend your ventricles apart

This is the story of the boys who loved you




Bm11  G/A  G  G/F#


Em7                       A         D

This is the story of your red right ankle



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