Go follow your gem, your white feathered friend
Icarus, point to the sun
If history speaks of two baby teeth
I'm painting the hills blue and red
They said beware, Lord hear my prayer
I've wasted my throes on your head
These allegories of Greek and Christian mythology being crafted swiftly into something aesthetically pleasing can only be seen in the lyrics of Sufjan Stevens.
The song ‘John, My Beloved’ itself is a reference to the apostle John of Jesus, who was willing to give everything up for the love of Jesus, henceforth divine love.
Sufjan Stevens's rise into mainstream popularity was through the song, ‘Mystery of Love,’ a song which has many allusions to Greco-Roman history as well as a seemingly gloomy tone due to the apparent split between the lovers.
How much sorrow can I take?
Blackbird on my shoulder
And what difference does it make
When this love is over?
It’s quite extraordinary that Sufjan Stevens can fuse two completely unrelated things into something extremely beautiful and soothing.
A lot of his songs have a reference to Jesus, something quite similar to the Gospel songs of devotional tone, but they can similarly be interpreted for another human being. For example, in the song, ‘To be Alone with You,’ Sufjan writes,
You gave your body to the lonely
They took your clothes
You gave up a wife and a family
You gave your ghost
These lines are a clear indication towards the sacrifices made by Jesus.
Although the themes of love and that of Christian devotions are some of the dominant themes of a lot of songs of Sufjan Stevens, his works are not confined to them in any way.
He has a song about a notorious American serial killer, named John Wayne Gracy Junior where he tries to humanise the person as well depicts the pain that he inflicted on other people,
Oh the dead
Even more, they were boys, with their cars, summer jobs
Oh my God
Ooh, are you one of them?
He also constantly draws references about his home state Michigan, he even has a song named ‘Michigan.’
His themes are multifaceted and he has a penchant for creating stories with the lyrics, often combining many topics which in normal view does not have any similarity.
But whatever comes out of his mouth, ends up becoming some of the most beautiful things ever written.
Sufjan Stevens is a modern day Bard, there really is no doubt about this. It is very likely that in the future, his songs might constitute a completely different genre of the musical realm, as from an aesthetic point of view, they are unmatched.
Because, The only reason why ‘he’ continue(s) at all is Signs and wonders, sea lion caves in the dark.
Because he doesn’t care about anything as he has to live with her ghost In a veil of great disguises.
Because Everything ‘he’ see(s) returns to ‘her’ somehow!