I haven't written much, but here's a song. Maybe this is the way to go for a while--I have unlimited numbers of things to say about unlimited numbers of songs. And I found a place to host the files with minimum hassle. (You can't just right-click, I don't think. You have to go through a download page, so they can show you ads. But it's free. Pop-up Blockers On!) No pretentions to Randomness, here--that was supposed to be a fun exercise, but even the shuffle setting on iTunes was just putting Too Much Pressure on your poor, beleaguered Lieutenant. I'll write about the songs I pick.
"For the Widows in Paradise, For the Fatherless in Ypsilanti."
You must love Sufjan, even if you are rolling your eyes as you do it. He's ours, after all. Midwestern, sad and sincere. Unapologetic mystic and unapologetic banjo-ist. Sort of arbitrarily elevated to Hip Pantheon four years ago by people who would probably be uncomfortable if a man wearing wings (!) came up to him on the street talking about the various things Sufjan likes to sing about. Saul Bellow and serial killers and the God of Abraham, etc.
This is an early song, from the first of his records to get wide attention. So it's comparatively sparse. Banjo, piano, trumpet, delicate vocal harmonies...wait, did I say sparse? But it's nice. And, naturally, it seems to be sung from God's point of view. Sufjan knows just how He feels.
And place names are their own poetry, of course, and Mr. Stevens knows that as deeply as I do. Even if he were wearing the wings, I know that I could just say Ypsilanti and we both would smile. Wouldn't be awkward at all. Ypsilanti is a frail, mysterious sort of name for a sad and weary sort of place. And I walked there, once. It took a day. I was young and excitable. I pretend to be different now. A long and silly story that is nonetheless so useful that I'm saving it.