Lyrics submitted by Mellow_Harsher

Out of Egypt, Into the Great Laugh of Mankind, and I Shake the Dirt from My Sandals as I Run song meanings
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  • +4
    General Comment"Out of Egypt" is a common Jewish/Christian reference to God's salvation--by His own power bringing His people out of slavery and oppression.

    "The Great Laugh of Mankind" feels like more of a stretch, because contrary to how we typically view laughter (joy and happiness), in the Bible laughter tends to be more about mocking and sneering (esp. when talking about "mankind" as a whole). For instance, Psalm 44:14 says "You have made us a byword among the nations, a laughingstock among the peoples" and Psalm 80:6 says, "You make us an object of contention for our neighbors, and our enemies laugh among themselves."

    Regarding "And I Shake The Dirt From My Sandals As I Run," you'll find this in chapter six of the Mark's Gospel: "And [Jesus] said to them, '...if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, **shake off the dust that is on your feet** as a testimony against them.'"

    So put all that together and this could be a way of saying, "God has pulled me out of this mess we're all trapped in, and now I'm running headlong into the world's mocking and criticism to tell you what I know, but if you refuse to listen, then the consequences are on your own heads." Kind of a sobering way to close an album.
    travisseitleron August 29, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis is simply an astoundingly beautiful song. wow.
    it sort of like broken social scene, willlliw, though i see broken social scene as more organized chaos, and i don't find sufjan's music chaotic at all. just a personal opinion, though.
    sydddneyon January 30, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me this song is about the ultimate acceptance of social identity. Sufjan spent the first seventy minutes talking about vanity, murder, love, death, fear, ambition, failure, and it is all indeed very laughable. It is the mess of human life, and in the final song we plunge face first into that mess, free and content.
    holdenredcapon November 21, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSufjan Stevens is a fantastic composer, but this borrows heavily from the music of Steve Reich. Compare with Music for 18 Musicians, written in 1978: youtube.com/…

    It's super cool, but this technique is nothing new. The repeated tonal pulsating percussive beat with interwoven melodic lines is the same, with voices and woodwinds floating over the surface.

    What Sufjan's doing sounds gorgeous and this is a wonderful homage to Steve Reich!
    morgan1366on November 30, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTotally in agreement with morgan1366

    I'm not sure what the title means, and I think most of you guys have got the topic covered, but the music is very heavy Steve Reich. I think Sufjan does this type of minimalism on a few other songs on his other album "Michigan" ('Tahquamenon Falls' and even 'Alanson, Crooked River' have this sense of Reich). I love his approach, and obviously it has a Reich influence with the rhythmic tonal beats and an intertwined melody on top. It's a good try at creating minimalism, but Reich is the GOAT in that type of music. Great homage though. Sufjan gets better and better the more I listen to his stuff.
    YYZ2112on November 29, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsomething with the theme of God bringing his chosen people out of egypt maybe???
    searchingforabandon May 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsomething with the theme of God bringing his chosen people out of egypt maybe???
    searchingforabandon May 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah, I think so...
    coioon May 20, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentif this song is from come on,feel the illinoise(which i am assuming it is),its in reference to an area i live not far and sort of in
    there is a town called cairo way way south by missouri thus southern illinois is called little egypt. oh yeah and that whole lake,sand thing.
    stereogirlon May 20, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love that he chose to conclude the album with such an interesting song. There's just this serence sense of closure at the end.
    tranquilasadoveon December 01, 2006   Link

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