"Rake" as written by and Van Zandt....
I never felt so safe
A line I once told her
Warm resting place
Her arm on my shoulder

You are the rock
You are the rake
You are the one when I watch myself
You are the rock
You are the rake
You are the one when I watch myself

We ran into a safe
When the walls came closer
She turned into a cave
Where it turned colder

You are the rock
You are the rake
You are the one when I watch myself
You are the rock
You are the rake
You are the one when I watch myself
You are the rock
You are the rake
You are the one when I watch myself
You are the rock
You are the rake
You are the one when I watch myself


Lyrics submitted by ghelton, edited by Johey

"Rake" as written by Sufjan Stevens

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Rake song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentWow, nobody's commented?
    This song is really soft and quiet. Yes, somewhat repetitive, but it has this sort of loving and safe feeling to it.
    cutie_carnivoreon March 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's a beautiful song. I don't think repetitiveness makes it any less good.
    'Cept. The lyrics up there are wrong.
    It's 'We ran into a cave'. xD
    Mymsicalon July 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMymsical, there are two separate versions of this song: 'Rake' and 'You Are the Rake.' These lyrics are correct for the former and are taken verbatim from the original 'A Sun Came!' album insert.
    Periodixon July 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMymsical, there are two separate versions of this song: 'Rake' and 'You Are the Rake.' These lyrics are correct for the former and are taken verbatim from the original 'A Sun Came!' album insert.
    Periodixon July 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell, my ex-bofriend gave me this albulm right before we broke up. When he left me, I listened to this song on repeat over and over, not very helpful to getting over him, hehe. Anyway, to me the line "you are the rock, you are the rake" meant that as the rake you helped me grow and live, but you were also a rock and you broke me. At any rate, this song still makes me cry, and it's really beautiful, as is this whole albulm.
    _sunshine88on December 31, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI only have "You Are the Rake" for the re-release of A Sun Came! Either way, I can't help but say that Stevens has got a thing for ambiguity.

    "We ran into a safe..." "She turned into a cave..." "You are the one when I watch myself"? I mean... I was thinking "the One" and "the rock" (foundation of the Church, oh goody, more religious references)... But then I wondered what a rake is (isn't it a word that referring to a...libertine?).
    Heck, all I can tell is that the speaker's loved one's became hollow (a cave) when it got colder (feel ill? died?)... Anyone who can shed light on what Stevens meant would be of great help.

    Needless to say, no matter what Sufjan's singing, you gotta love the banjo. It makes the song even more melancholic. ;.;
    Tsuppion January 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHere are the exact lyrics for this song, transcribed from Sufjan's handwriting in the first pressing of the album. The lyrics are originally written without line breaks.

    Rake: I never felt so safe - a line I once told her. Warm resting place, her arm on my shoulder. You are the rock, You are the rake, You are the one when I watch myself. We ran into a safe when the wars came closer. She turned into a cave, where it turned colder.
    Periodixon May 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI am not sure if my interpretation is at all correct, however, I get the feeling Sufjan is portraying sexual desire for a girl, although he does not want to cross the line and take away her purity. He speaks of a warm resting place and a closeness being together. Then he adds, "a line I once told her." I get the feeling he means that he drew a line inbetween her and himself and set boundaries for the relationship, how far they will go sexually until marriage. He then goes to the chorus and I think he is referring to God as these figures. First a steady and solid Rock. And I think calling God a rake is to say that He pulls him away from danger and collects his desires. God is the one that keeps him strong when he is watching Sufjan while he attempts to keep himself from going too far. The second chorus I believe Sufjan is talking about the inner war he is experiencing, wanting to go further and feeling such desire too, but again God is the rake keeping him from it.

    I kinda rushed through that. Does anyone agree in any way?
    joeericksonon August 08, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI wish people would leave god out of their interpretations of sufjan's lyrics, unless it's very blatantly about god :\

    I understand, but it's also really irritating because I'm an atheist
    ohnoodleson December 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentUnfortunately, most f his songs are intentionally referencing god. You'll have to accept that.

    I'm surprised I've never heard this song cited as proof that Sufjan isn't gay.
    JpegMasterJesseon December 13, 2007   Link

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