For the Widows in Paradise, for the Fatherless in Ypsilanti (3:57)

Cover of Greetings from Michigan The Great Lakes State

From Greetings from Michigan The Great Lakes State and 3 other releases

Sufjan Stevens on ‘For the Widows in Paradise, For the Fartherless in Ypsilanti’ :

Who can call us father, who can call us son? If we have regarded ourselves abandoned by whatever thing (a person, a lover, a parent, a false prophet, ourselves) then we have lost touch with the great family, ourselves, all of us together, on this great place called Planet Earth.

Who is your neighbor? He is your brother. Who is that stranger? She is your mother. The man downstairs hammering on the wall, the woman blow-drying her hair in the bathroom down the hall — these people are your family.
Have you lost your mother to death? Have you lost your father to disease, to war, to alcohol, drugs, a car accident? Nothing can replace them. They have been made known completely in death, to whatever supernatural landscape (who can say for sure?). Until then, it is our hard task to welcome the widows, the children, the orphans, the fatherless into our family. What little effort it takes — a friendly nod at the stranger on the street, giving change to the vagabond, saying hello or goodbye, opening doors, keeping our mouths shut. In the small things, the day-to-day gestures, the normal business of the day, we do the great work of the kingdom, which is to welcome each unlikely individual into the fold, one person at a time.


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  • Skittled

    Just Perfect.

    15 Aug 2013 Reply
  • Tuatara_Tim

    simply one of the most emotional songs of the millenia

    26 Mar 2013 Reply
  • wiefrafs

    Dis sohng is soo riduculoslslslsy gooohddd...gaddamit.....

    25 Jan 2013 Reply
  • sutrecht

    havent felt sad enough to listen to something this beautiful in a while.. <3

    5 Dec 2012 Reply
  • winterplay


    5 Dec 2012 Reply
  • AbOD7

    Beautiful, speechless, lovely... All "beauty" adjectives (2)

    18 Nov 2012 Reply
  • crazzyd77


    2 Nov 2012 Reply
  • zeena_L


    9 Sep 2012 Reply
  • Luat

    13 May 2012 Reply
  • lhdlovebooh

    Beautiful, speechless, lovely... All "beauty" adjectives

    9 Apr 2012 Reply
  • Brugelida

    Perfect song.

    11 Mar 2012 Reply
  • matt1337c

    This song makes me swoon for Sufjan.

    4 Mar 2012 Reply
  • Cozmofish

    Interesting story I swiped from - 'Sufjan performed in Belgium on March 10, 2004... He explains the origin of the name of the song. I'll just quote what he says here: "Let me do a song really quick about a small town up here called Paradise. Michigan has Paradise as well as Hell Michigan. It's kind of interesting. And, Um Paradise is a place...I noticed when we went up there to play a football tournament in high school, I noticed that there was all these single mothers and women and grandmothers but there weren't any men, and so I had sort of devised a story in my mind that they had all died in the war and that they were all widows. But they were really a very happy and optimistic community and they all seemed to be working together, and it was, like, women of the world take over. This is for the widows in Paradise." '

    28 Feb 2012 Reply
  • CageQwelBSBD

    Totally in love with this song.

    19 Feb 2012 Reply
  • MarinasMusic


    13 Feb 2012 Reply
  • ritsuka1988

    definitely the best track on Michigan. [4]

    9 Jan 2012 Reply
  • captainyodel


    3 Jan 2012 Reply
  • junkie815

    sad and beautiful

    20 Nov 2011 Reply
  • Roxannah


    24 Oct 2011 Reply
  • MarkusTunes

    This song will never grow old...

    20 Sep 2011 Reply
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