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Sufjan Stevens - Casimir Pulaski Day

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I've loved Sufjan's music since his 2003 album, Michigan. I grew up in Michigan, too, so immediately felt a resonance with him and loved the lyrics in his beautiful songs. I was SOOO happy and proud to see him at the Academy Awards this year, singing the nominated song, "Mystery of Love," that he wrote for the movie, Call Me By Your Name. Early on he was identified as "Christian" in articles and interviews, but I don't know if that is still true. If so, he's a very evolved Christian. ?


This song, Casimir Pulaski Day, from the 2005 album, Come On Feel the Illinoise, haunts me and is one I go to when I need a good cry. The lyrics are sublime and I appreciate them on their own as a poem. This song, about budding sexuality, death, and questioning religion, is so so beautiful on so many levels.



Goldenrod and the 4H stone
The things I brought you
When I found out you had cancer of the bone


Your father cried on the telephone
And he drove his car into the navy yard
Just to prove that he was sorry


In the morning, through the window shade
When the light pressed up against your shoulder blade
I could see what you were reading


All the glory that the Lord has made
And the complications you could do without
When I kissed you on the mouth


Tuesday night at the Bible study
We lift our hands and pray over your body
But nothing ever happens


I remember at Michael's house
In the living room when you kissed my neck
And I almost touched your blouse


In the morning at the top of the stairs
When your father found out what we did that night
And you told me you were scared


All the glory when you ran outside
With your shirt tucked in and your shoes untied
And you told me not to follow you


Sunday night when I cleaned the house
I find the card where you wrote it out
With the pictures of you mother


On the floor at the great divide
With my shirt tucked in and my shoes untied
I am crying in the bathroom


In the morning when you finally go
And the nurse runs in with her head hung low
And the cardinal hits the window


In the morning in the winter shade
On the 1st of March on the holiday
I thought I saw you breathing


All the glory that the Lord has made
And the complications when I see His face
In the morning in the window


All the glory when he took our place
But he took my shoulders and he shook my face
And he takes and he takes and he takes






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Mike Cleverly

I love his recent "Carrie and Lowell" Album! Some lovely vulnerability to it. 


You must hear this song though, I absolutely head over heels love it. Its the first song of his that I ever heard - Its a fantastic cover of "Free man in Paris" originally by Joni Mitchell. It appeared on an album of cover tributes to Mitchell a year or two ago (EDIT: 2007. oops):


Edited by Mike Cleverly

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Sufjan is so talented and sweet...I just want to take care of him!


Edited by Rosario

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Leela Corman

When I saw this post I thought, "Did Sufjan Stevens cover Big Black?!" But now that I see the lyrics I see they're not the same. However, Big Black have a song by the same title, from their iconic album Songs About Fucking, which is possibly the most abrasive music I have ever heard and I have been in love with it since I was 18. Big Black were a storied Chicago noise rock band fronted by Steve Albini, who went on to be in the band Shellac and also to become a very well-known recording engineer and brilliant commentator on many things, most notably the ethics of the music industry. But I would not call these lyrics beautiful and inspiring, more...um...testy?


I'll go listen to the Stevens song now! xo



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@Leela Corman Wow, I don't think two songs with the basically same title could sound any different from each other. 😄


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