Song of the Day #4,348: ‘Decatur, Or Round of Applause For Your Stepmother!’ – Sufjan Stevens

Here’s a track from Sufjan Stevens’ 2005 album Come On Feel the Illinoise!, the second installment in his stated goal to record an album about each of the 50 states. The first was about Michigan.

He later admitted that he was joking about the project, but I continue to think it’s a wonderful idea.

This song name-drops the city of Decatur while looking back fondly on a stepmother who was given a bad rap by the narrator. Sweet song.

Our step mom we did everything to hate her
She took us down to the edge of Decatur
We saw the lion and the kangaroo take her
Down to the river where they caught a wild alligator

Sangamon River it overflowed
It caused a mudslide on the banks of the operator
Civil war skeletons in their graves
They came up clapping in the spirit of the aviator

The sound of the engines and the smell of the grain
We go riding on the abolition grain train
Stephen A. Douglas was a great debater
But Abraham Lincoln was the great emancipator

Chickenmobile with your rooster tail
I had my fill and I know how bad it feels
Stay awake and watch for the data
No small Caterpillar, go congratulate her

Denominator, go Decatur, go Decatur
It’s the great I Am
Abominate her, go Decatur, why did we hate her?
It’s the great I Am

Denominator, go Decatur, anticipate her
It’s the great I Am
Appreciate her, appreciate her
Stand up and thank her

Stand up and thank her
It’s the great I Am
Stand up and thank her
It’s the great I Am
Stand up and thank her
It’s the great I Am
Stand up and thank her

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,348: ‘Decatur, Or Round of Applause For Your Stepmother!’ – Sufjan Stevens

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    If he had actually done an album, or at least a song, about every state, this would have made for the ultimate mix tape to accompany our family’s goal of seeing all 50 states.

  2. Peg says:

    Definitely Dana 😊 I had the same thought

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