"Sleeping Bear, Sault Saint Marie" as written by and Sufjan Stevens....
Oh Sleeping Bear!
Ran to the top and got scared
Of what I could see.

Oh Lamb of God!
Tell us your prefect design
And give us the rod.

Oh Sturgeon Bay!
Covered completely in sand
Completely in sun.

Oh Saint Marie!
Give up, the rocking boats drowned,
The captain is done.


Lyrics submitted by drinkmilk

"Sleeping Bear, Sault Saint Marie" as written by Sufjan Stevens

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, NEW JERUSALEM MUSIC

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Sleeping Bear, Sault Saint Marie song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +5
    General Commenti love the crickets.
    halfway Imaginedon December 28, 2008   Link
  • +3
    General Commentyeah this is one of my favorites. I didn't know about the sleeping bear so i looked it up on wikipedia, of course, and this is what it said:

    According to the legend, an enormous forest fire on the western shore of Lake Michigan (now Wisconsin) drove a mother bear and her two cubs into the lake for shelter, determined to reach the opposite shore. After many miles of swimming, the two cubs lagged behind. When the mother bear reached the shore, she waited on the top of a high bluff. The cubs, exhausted, drowned in the lake, but the mother bear stayed and waited in hopes that her cubs would finally appear. Impressed by the mother bear's determination and faith, the Great Spirit created two islands (North and South Manitou Island) to commemorate the cubs, and the winds buried the sleeping bear under the sands of the dunes where she waits to this day. The location of the "bear" is a patch of dark sand, which once covered the entire bluff top and was visible from the lake. Wind and erosion have caused the "bear" to be greatly reduced in size over the years.

    Sweet.
    Miss Miseryon July 03, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm surprised more people haven't commented on this one. I love this song, even more so after I read the Legend of the Sleeping Bear. It's such a sad tale, and I think Sufjan does a beautiful tribute to it here.
    NorthWriteron June 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFrom visiting Sault St. Marie, I know that it is a big port for Great Lakes shipping boats, and that is where the famous doomed ship, the Edmund Fitzgerald, was docked (I believe). There is a museum of shipwrecks there, too. Thousands of boats have sunk in the nearby lakes over the centuries.
    whateverlolawantson April 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah this is one of my favorites. I didn't know about the sleeping bear so i looked it up on wikipedia, of course, and this is what it said:

    According to the legend, an enormous forest fire on the western shore of Lake Michigan (now Wisconsin) drove a mother bear and her two cubs into the lake for shelter, determined to reach the opposite shore. After many miles of swimming, the two cubs lagged behind. When the mother bear reached the shore, she waited on the top of a high bluff. The cubs, exhausted, drowned in the lake, but the mother bear stayed and waited in hopes that her cubs would finally appear. Impressed by the mother bear's determination and faith, the Great Spirit created two islands (North and South Manitou Island) to commemorate the cubs, and the winds buried the sleeping bear under the sands of the dunes where she waits to this day. The location of the "bear" is a patch of dark sand, which once covered the entire bluff top and was visible from the lake. Wind and erosion have caused the "bear" to be greatly reduced in size over the years.

    Sweet.
    Miss Miseryon July 03, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhen I was younger, I ran to the top of the Sleeping Bear dunes and was so scared. It was way up over looking lake Michigan and freaked me out.

    I'll bet there is so much more story behind this than we'll ever know.
    zachharrismenton October 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI've visited the Sleeping Bear Dunes when I lived in Michigan. I've got a book about it. It was a lot of fun, and sort of a mystical experience for me.

    Also of note, I just (an hour ago) got to see him play a free show at the Kennedy Center Opera House in downtown DC. He played this song for the first time ever live.
    companyofghostson February 05, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is one of my favorite sufjan stevens songs
    dan356on March 04, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti actually tried to run down the dunes here to the shore and got scared-there are warning signs for weak at heart not to try it.i love this song-it's my son's favorite too
    indierodon July 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti actually tried to run down the dunes here to the shore and got scared-there are warning signs for weak at heart not to try it.i love this song-it's my son's favorite too
    indierodon July 13, 2007   Link

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