Seven Swans

Label
Soundsfamilyre
Release date
22 Aug 2006
Running length
12 tracks
Running time
45:57

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Tracklist

    Track     Duration Listeners
1 All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands 4:13 196,070
2 The Dress Looks Nice on You 2:31 260,365
3 In the Devil's Territory 4:56 158,584
4 To Be Alone With You 2:44 447,141
5 Abraham 2:33 170,131
6 Sister 5:59 148,946
7 Size Too Small 3:04 159,519
8 We Won't Need Legs to Stand 2:12 150,674
9 A Good Man Is Hard to Find 3:15 165,077
10 He Woke Me Up Again 2:42 144,290
11 Seven Swans 6:31 148,696
12 The Transfiguration 5:17 135,308

About this album

Seven Swans is a music album by Sufjan Stevens. It includes songs about Abraham and Christ’s Transfiguration, among many others.

The album is softer and sparser than other albums by Stevens, relying more heavily on his trademark and melodious voice.

Seven Swans was received well by critics. The Guardian called it “a record of remarkable delicacy” and Spin magazine said it sounded “like Elliott Smith after ten years of Sunday school”.

The album was released on compact disc and vinyl LP; the vinyl was released by Burnt Toast Vinyl.

Biblical allusions
Many of the songs on Seven Swans tell stories directly from the Bible.

All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands is a reference to Isaiah 55:12, where Isaiah says, “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”
In the Devil’s Territory is probably a reference to Matthew 4:1, where Jesus spends forty days and forty nights fasting in the desert in order to face the temptation of the devil. The first line of the song references Psalm 46 and possibly the Brian Wilson song Be Still.
To Be Alone With You discusses Christ’s atonement and how it has made him intimately connected with humanity (“You gave your body to the lonely, they took your clothes. You gave up a wife and a family, you gave your goals; to be alone with me…to be alone with me you went up on a tree.”) The beginning could also be a lament of Judas Iscariot; “I’d give my body to be back again, in the rest of the room ,” or Sufjan himself lamenting past sins, comparing himself to Judas.

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