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Sufjan Stevens is a prolific musical artist whose songs transcend genre. He demonstrates so much talent through his beautifully written lyrics and melodic compositions. His songs, spanning several albums, don’t conform to one particular style: some are slow and mostly acoustic, while others have heavy electronic influences. He is one of my favorite singer-songwriters, so I want to share with you my top ten favorite songs that will help you get a sense of how good his music is! Here is the list, in no particular order.


1. “The Predatory Wasp of The Palisades Is Out To Get Us!”

Favorite lyrics:

I can’t explain the state that I’m in

The state of my heart, he was my best friend

Into the car, from the back seat

Oh, admiration in falling asleep


2. “For the Widows in Paradise, For the Fatherless in Ypsilanti”

Favorite lyrics:

Like a father to impress

Like a mother’s mourning dress

If we ever make a mess

I’ll do anything for you


3. “He Woke Me Up Again”

Favorite lyrics:

But I’m still asleep

And you woke me up again

And I’m still asleep

But you woke me up to be holy


4. “Vesuvius”

Favorite lyrics:

Though I know

I will fail

I cannot be made to laugh

For in life

As in death

I’d rather be burned than be living in debt


5. The Hidden River of My Life”

Favorite lyrics:

A small betrayal, a simple thought to shrug it off, unoccupied

The precious lake, the riverbed, the rising tide


6. “Fourth of July”

Favorite lyrics:

“Did you get enough love, my little dove?

Why do you cry?

And I’m sorry I left, but it was for the best

Though it never felt right

My little Versailles.”


7. “Tonya Harding”

Favorite lyrics:

Has the world had its fun?

Yeah they’ll make such a hassle

And they’ll build you a castle

Then destroy it when they’re done


8. “Come On! Feel the Illinoise! Part I: The World’s Columbian Exposition Part II: Carl Sandburg Visits Me in a Dream”

Favorite lyrics:

Even in my best condition, counting all the superstition

I am riding all alone

I am running all alone


9. “All Delighted People”

Favorite lyrics:

And on your breast I gently laid all my head in your arms

Do you love me from the top of your heart?

I tried my best I tried in vain. Do you love me a lot?

Do you love me from the top of your heart?


10. “Mystery of Love”

Favorite lyrics:

Shall I sleep within your bed

River of unhappiness

Hold your hands upon my head

Till I breathe my last breath


These songs span different themes, from religion to his relationship with his mother, and can often be sad, but they are unique in style and their expression of beauty. Hope you enjoy all of these songs and seek out more of Sufjan Stevens’ music!


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Elle Provolo

Mt Holyoke '22

I’m a sophomore at Mt. Holyoke. I am an environmental studies major. I love running and baking.
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