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The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades Is Out to Get Us!

from Illinois by Sufjan Stevens

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Thinking outrageously I write in cursive
I hide in my bed with the lights on the floor
Wearing three layers of coats and leg warmers
I see my own breath on the face of the door

Oh I am not quite sleeping
Oh I am fast in bed
There on the wall in the bedroom creeping
I see a wasp with her wings outstretched

North of Savanna we swim in the palisades
I come out wearing my brother’s red hat
There on his shoulder my best friend is bit seven times
He runs washing his face in his hands

Oh how I meant to tease him
Oh how I meant no harm
Touching his back with my hand I kiss him
I see the wasp on the length of my arm

Oh great sights upon this state. Hallelujah!
Wonders bright, and rivers, lake. Hallelujah!
Trail of Tears and Horseshoe Lake. Hallelujah!
Trusting things beyond mistake. Hallelujah!

We were in love. We were in love.
Palisades! Palisades!
I can wait. I can wait.

Lamb of God, we sound the horn. Hallelujah!
To us your ghost is born. Hallelujah!

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
All of my powers, day after day
I can tell you, we swaggered and swayed
Deep in the tower, the prairies below
I can tell you, the telling gets old
(Oh great sights upon this state. Hallelujah!)
Terrible sting and terrible storm
I can tell you the day we were born
(Wonders bright, and rivers, lake. Hallelujah!)
My friend is gone, he ran away
I can tell you, I love him each day
(Trail of Tears and Horseshoe Lake. Hallelujah!)
Though we have sparred, wrestled and raged
I can tell you I love him each day
(Trusting things beyond mistake. Hallelujah!)
Terrible sting, terrible storm
I can tell you...


from Illinois, released July 5, 2005


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Sufjan Stevens New York, New York

Sufjan Stevens is a singer-songwriter living in New York City.

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