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Sufjan Stevens - Fourth of July

The evil it spread like a fever ahead
It was night when you died, my firefly
What could I have said to raise you from the dead?
Oh could I be the sky on the Fourth of July?

"Well you do enough talk
My little hawk, why do you cry?
Tell me what did you learn from the Tillamook burn?
Or the Fourth of July?
We’re all gonna die"

Sitting at the bed with the halo at your head
Was it all a disguise, like Junior High
Where everything was fiction, future, and prediction
Now, where am I? My fading supply

"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"

The hospital asked should the body be cast
Before I say goodbye, my star in the sky
Such a funny thought to wrap you up in cloth
Do you find it all right, my dragonfly?

"Shall we look at the moon, my little loon
Why do you cry?
Make the most of your life, while it is rife
While it is light

Well you do enough talk
My little hawk, why do you cry?
Tell me what did you learn from the Tillamook burn?
Or the Fourth of July?
We’re all gonna die"

We're all gonna die
We're all gonna die
We're all gonna die
We're all gonna die
We're all gonna die
We're all gonna die
We're all gonna die

This song is a conversation between Sufjan and his mother, Carrie, while she was dying in the hospital. Each stanza alternates between them. Sufjan spoke of this time in an interview: "She had stomach cancer, and it was a quick demise. We flew to see her in the ICU before she died. She was in a lot of pain, and on a lot of drugs, but she was aware. It was so terrifying to encounter death and have to reconcile that, and express love, for someone so unfamiliar. Her death was so devastating to me because of the vacancy within me… At that point, I was only interested in communicating my love for her, unconditionally. There was a reciprocal deep love and care for each other in that moment. It was very profound and healing." Courtesy of "AustinRoryHackett" on Genius.com

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