Song of the Day #3,150: ‘Stitch of the World’ – Tift Merritt

tift_stitch_worldThe title track of Tift Merritt’s Stitch of the World zooms out from the more personal focus of the earlier songs and takes a more metaphysical look at the world.

I’ll let Merritt explain the song’s origin in her own words:

The inspiration came when I was in California and had rented a cabin for my 40th birthday. I was looking out the window at one of those surreal California sea cliff views where the stars and the trees were just so startlingly beautiful that it didn’t look real. It looked like some of those old felt cut-outs where you could create your own landscapes. I just started to think about how it looked stitched together and how lucky I was that I was stitched into the picture as well. I asked myself what all of these invisible stitches that hold us together and to each other might look like. Where are all of those invisible seams? Which ones are in our control and which ones are not?

She goes on:

That metaphor turned out to be a idea about how to navigate life. If you pull the seams too tight, they’ll break. If you aren’t careful with them, they’ll knot. Maybe the best way to navigate life is to try and be gentle with this thread and be joyful and light-hearted about how we are connected to everything.

The thread of the world is making the sheet
From the word to the deed and the tree to the leaf
From the high overlook to the mountainside
Tying up to a star in the skirt of the sky

You must empty your pockets of stones
That light hearted you may go
For you must go with the stitch of the world
Into the stitch of the world

White is the quick of the loom and the pin
Red is the mark where the needle comes in
As it weaves through your heart, try not to be scared
Like a bird on a string in the blanket of air

You must empty your pockets of stones
That light hearted you may go
For you must go with the stitch of the world
Into the stitch of the world

Shape to a shadow, shadow to a dream
Where the mouth of the river is joined in a seam
With the wind and the waves pulling into a crease
At the strands of the bank, sewing into your feet

Empty your pockets of stones
That light hearted you may go
With the stitch of the world
Into the stitch of the world

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2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,150: ‘Stitch of the World’ – Tift Merritt

  1. Peter says:

    In another interview she was asked which songs would have been the most difficult to write for her. It was this one and one that will be mentioned here later. Kind of funny (or meaningful) that these two are my favorites on SOTW.

  2. Dana says:

    Beautiful song, and I love her explanation. As I write this from California, I would love to recreate the view that inspired this song, but, at the moment, I’m looking at a fog covered, rainy San Francisco.😄

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