Song of the Day #3,102: ‘Jacksonville’ – Sufjan Stevens

illinoiseYour randomly selected New Year’s Eve song is ‘Jacksonville,’ from Sufjan Stevens’ album Come On, Feel the Illinoise!.

Back in the early ’00s, Stevens vowed to write an album about every one of the 50 U.S. states, capturing the best and worst qualities of each. He started with Michigan then moved on to neighboring Illinois. But that’s where it ended. He has since dismissed the idea as absurd.

Personally, I think it’s an amazing idea. I love the idea of every state getting its own carefully researched and lovingly recorded tribute. I can also appreciate that it might take him the rest of his life (and then some) if he put a lot of time and care into each. But still, you’d think he could at least crank out a dozen or so before giving up.

[Verse 1]
I’m not afraid of the black man running
He’s got it right, he’s got a better life coming
I don’t care what the captain said
I fold it right at the top of my head
I lost my sight and the state packs in
I follow my heart and it leads me right to Jackson

[Hook]
Oh, Keller, oh, oh, oh
She gave us a medal, she gave us a map
Oh, Canner Row, oh, oh, oh
If seeing is right, then look where you’re at

[Verse 2]
I’m not afraid of Nichols Park
I ride the train and I ride it after dark
I’m not afraid to get it right
I turn around and I give it one more try
I said things that I meant to say
The bandstand chairs and the Dewey Day parade
I go out to the golden age
The spirit is right and the spirit doesn’t change

[Hook]
Oh, Keller, oh, oh, oh
She gave us a mirror, she gave us a map
Oh, Canner Row, oh, oh, oh
If seeing is right, then look where you’re at

[Verse 3]
Andrew Jackson, all I’m asking
Show us the wheel and give us the wine
Raise the banner, Jackson hammer
Everyone goes to the capitol line
Colored preacher, nice to meet you!
The spirit is here and the spirit is fine!
Education, ask the nation
You gave us our sight and the hearing is fine
Andrew Jackson all I’m asking
Give us the wheel and give us the wine

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One thought on “Song of the Day #3,102: ‘Jacksonville’ – Sufjan Stevens

  1. Dana says:

    Given my wife’s aspiration to visit all 50 states, I’m sure she would have been 100% behind this idea, that is assuming she ever heard of this guy.

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