Song of the Day #3,517: ‘Mystery of Love’ – Sufjan Stevens

Due to the Winter Olympics, this year’s Academy Awards are ridiculously late (March 4), which buys me a little time to sneak in some pre-Oscars blog posts. Specifically, I’m going to spend the next ten days featuring this year’s Best Original Song nominees as well as five of my favorite Best Original Song winners.

Michigan indie artist Sufjan Stevens is this year’s unlikeliest Best Song nominee. The eclectic multi-instrumentalist will seem as out of place on the Kodak Theatre stage as Elliott Smith did performing ‘Miss Misery’ from Good Will Hunting in 1997.

Stevens nominated song is ‘Mystery of Love’ from Call me by Your Name, a film I regretfully still haven’t seen. I believe the film plays over the end credits, following the movie’s most celebrated scene, in which the young protagonist’s father delivers a speech every gay kid wants to hear from his dad.

To be eligible for this category, a song must be clearly presented in the film (or over the end credits) and have been “written specifically for the motion picture.” As Genius.com points out, the references to Oregon in this song suggest that it might have been originally intended for one of Stevens’ earlier records about that state. Or maybe he just likes Oregon that much.

[Verse 1]
Oh, to see without my eyes
The first time that you kissed me
Boundless by the time I cried
I built your walls around me
White noise, what an awful sound
Fumbling by Rogue River
Feel my feet above the ground
Hand of God, deliver me

[Chorus 1]
Oh, oh woe-oh-woah is me
The first time that you touched me
Oh, will wonders ever cease?
Blessed be the mystery of love

[Verse 2]
Lord, I no longer believe
Drowned in living waters
Cursed by the love that I received
From my brother’s daughter
Like Hephaestion, who died
Alexander’s lover
Now my riverbed has dried
Shall I find no other?

[Chorus 2]
Oh, oh woe-oh-woah is me
I’m running like a plover
Now I’m prone to misery
The birthmark on your shoulder reminds me

[Verse 3]
How much sorrow can I take?
Blackbird on my shoulder
And what difference does it make
When this love is over?
Shall I sleep within your bed
River of unhappiness
Hold your hands upon my head
Till I breathe my last breath

[Chorus 3]
Oh, oh woe-oh-woah is me
The last time that you touched me
Oh, will wonders ever cease?
Blessed be the mystery of love

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,517: ‘Mystery of Love’ – Sufjan Stevens

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I have no desire to see this movie, but the song is lovely.

  2. Peg Clifton says:

    I haven’t seen this movie either but would like to see the scene you just described. Pretty song

  3. Maddie says:

    Great movie and song 🙂 Such a lovely and atmospheric piece.

  4. willedare says:

    A beautiful movie and a lovely song. Thanks for giving me a chance to hear it again.

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