"The Perpetual Self, or ''What Would Saul Alinsky Do?''" as written by and Sufjan Stevens....
Everything is lost, uh oh
But I know that you can take it to the Lord
Everything you want, uh oh
Is it all that you can gather for yourself?

Do you love a lot, uh oh?
It's the love that changes gifts to everyone
Everything is lost, uh oh
Is it strange that you perpetuate yourself?

You wonder what it costs, uh oh
It's the joy that he will carry to the door
Everything is lost, uh oh
Still I know that you can take it to the world

All that he has given to the world
All that he has given to the world
All that he has given to the world
All that he has given to the world

All that he has given to the world
All that he has given to the world



Lyrics submitted by evanreyes

"The Perpetual Self, Or "What Would Saul Alinsky Do?"" as written by Sufjan Stevens

Lyrics © NEW JERUSALEM MUSIC

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The Perpetual Self, or ''What Would Saul Alinsky Do?'' song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentSaul Alinsky was a notable community organizer (community organizing is, according to Wikipedia, when "people are brought together to act in common self-interest.") and critic of passive liberalism. The novel "The Jungle," by Upton Sincaid, is about the horrible working conditions of the Union Stock Yards during Alinsky's organization of the Back of the Yards neighborhood, which is in one of the 77 official "community areas" of Chicago.
    Invader Z?on April 02, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love sufjan. i wish i could meet him and he would like me.
    nuumbon May 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSaul Alinsky, not Paul Alinsky.
    Way_AEon July 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAh, such a good song.
    Kemutsemuon September 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAh, such a good song.
    Kemutsemuon September 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song makes me want to dance
    brosephlion November 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWOOHOOOO YAYYYY
    pinkcakepartyfavorson September 08, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSaul Alinsky is generally considered the father of community organizing.
    liesse00on March 09, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentare you sure it's "It's the love that changes gifts to everyone"

    and not "it's the love that Jesus gives to everyone"?
    bbqamazingon September 07, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationQUOTE bbgamazing: "are you sure it's "It's the love that changes gifts to everyone"
    and not "it's the love that Jesus gives to everyone"? "

    It does sound like that, or at least a play of words to sound like that.

    Saul Alinsky's influence can be related to present day because of Obama's past experience with "Community Organizing" as a job. According to Saul tho, the answer to politics is a "say anything" attitude, to "win" in all of politics.

    I think what Sufjan sings about is love, and how you can relate a "say anything" attitude with love.

    "Still I know that you can take it to the Lord"
    "But I know that you can take it to the Lord"

    Personally i see it as, not giving love to Saul Alinsky, or a politician, because of the attitude, but to give it to the Lord. If the play on words is intentional then the Lord = "Jesus" Christ. But if it isn't intentional, you can somewhat put together the fact that Sufjan sings about his own experiences, and then look at his Christian background.
    xtrabiotoxinon May 06, 2009   Link

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