Sufjan Stevens


Sufjan Stevens, the American singer, gave a moving concert in Melbourne last weekend. He is a young man, or perhaps not so young now at thirty–nine, who has been profoundly affected by his mother’s mental health. She suffered from depression and schizophrenia, and Stevens lived mostly with his father, while always craving to see more of his mother. Over many years he has written songs about this. His latest album Carrie and Lowell is in part about his attempt to come to terms with the fact of her death.

Here are a few lines from his song Romulus from 2006:

 We saw her once last fall

Our Grandpa died in a hospital gown

She didn’t seem to care

She smoked in her room and coloured her hair


I was ashamed of her

Was ashamed of her I was ashamed

I was ashamed

Of her

And here is the whole song below


7 thoughts on “Sufjan Stevens

      1. The one song I heard was not the best amplification for him. I couldn’t really hear his voice at it’s best but what I did hear was very pleasant.

  1. Love, love, love Sufjan Stevens! How wonderful it must have been for you to see him live – I’m rather jealous of that. I’ve been listening to Carrie and Lowell quite a bit lately, plus one or two of his early albums (Seven Swans and Michigan are favourites). His lyrics feels steeped in meaning.

  2. I must disabuse you Jacqui. My daughter went to the performance which she said was absolutely wonderful. I always miss these things. In my own weird internet nerd way I discovered him ten years ago and was intrigued by his voice and lyrics and the story of his life, missing his mother and with a well meaning but strange father who was a follower of unusual religions. She said the performance had a band, lights, colour, the full deal. I rather like him in his sad solitary moments.

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