Storyteller Series / Sufjan Stevens “Casimir Pulaski Day”

Some songs tell stories just as vivid and intricate as any film or TV show. The Storyteller Series highlights those special pieces of music with lyrics that captivate the audience from beginning to end.

Really it’s hard to pick just one of Sufjan Stevens‘s songs to identify as an example of brilliant songwriting.  This is the guy who made a name for himself through his intricate concept albums.  The music world is waiting with bated breath to see what The Age of Adz will bring (check out “I Walked” on Listen Before You Buy).  Because of this though, so many of the songs on his albums weave together and its often hard to separate out individual tracks.  Off of Illinois, “Chicago” gained prominence largely because of it’s use in Little Miss Sunshine.  I also always recall “John Wayne Gacy, Jr” due to it’s morbid subject matter.  But for today’s Storyteller Series I thought I would highlight a particularly touching track for me – “Casimir Pulaski Day.”


Animal Kingdom: Bird Brained

Allow me to take a moment to drop some poetry on you, by one of my absolute favorite poets, Emily Dickinson…

A Bird Came Down

A bird came down the walk:
He did not know I saw;
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw.

And then he drank a dew
From a convenient grass,
And then hopped sidewise to the wall
To let a beetle pass.

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all abroad,–
They looked like frightened beads, I thought;
He stirred his velvet head

Like one in danger; cautious,
I offered him a crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home

Than oars divide the ocean,
Too silver for a seam,
Or butterflies, off banks of noon,
Leap, splashless, as they swim.

I think one of the reasons I love Emily Dickinson is that her whole bag is translating emotion and desires into images you can feel.  Just by reading her work you can tell how repressed she is.  So many of her poems capture this urge to escape, to take a leap, to fly – I imagine she would have particularly liked to be a bird.  Not a poetry fan?  Well, take flight with these tracks instead…

Animal Kingdom: For The Birds by teamanda

And two very different videos of the day.  One suggested by my very clever boyfriend (I quote, “Bird themed band, song AND video. That’s how you say BOO-YAH.”)

And a classic video that you can even SING ALONG TO.


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