Oh my friends I've
Begun to worry right
Where I should be grateful
I should be satisfied

Oh my heart I
Would clap and dance in place
With my friends I have so
Much pleasure to embrace

But my heart is
Returned to sister winter
But my heart is
As cold as ice

Oh my thoughts I
Return to summertime
When I kissed your ankle
I kissed you through the night

All my gifts I gave everything you
Your strange imagination
You threw it all away

Now my heart is
Returned to sister winter
Now my heart is
As cold as ice

All my friends, I've
Returned to sister winter
All my friends, I
Apologise, apologise

All my friends, I've
Returned to sister winter
All my friends, I
Apologise, apologise

All my friends, I've
Returned to sister winter
All my friends, I
Apologise, apologise

La la la la la . . .

And my friends, I've
Returned to wish you all the best
And my friends, I've
Returned to wish you all the best
And my friends, I've
Returned to wish you all the best
And my friends, I've
Returned to wish you a happy Christmas

To wish you a happy Christmas
To wish you a happy Christmas
To wish you a happy Christmas


Lyrics submitted by Way_AE

Sister Winter song meanings
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46 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI tend to this that this song has something to do with the neglect of friendship that comes when one is in a serious relationship with someone.

    In this case, it seems as though the point of view is from someone who gave all their love to someone over the summer months, ignoring their friends, and after their love scorned them ("You threw it all away"), they return with hardened heart back to their friends, apologetic for the neglect and realizing that Christmas is a time to celebrate with all of them.

    That said, it's a beautiful song.
    andthroughadayon December 03, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOh dear...this is such a beautiful song. I love how Sufjan can talk about Christmas in a song without the song being competely about christmas. I do, of course, feel that winter is used here to show the state of the narrarators broken heart being cold and angry and Christmas is a happy time within the cold of winter in which friends can be happy together and the narrarator can try to overcome his broken heart.
    kev404on September 26, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI kind of think it's more a simple charge of emotion--the summer was happiness and joy, mirth and romance, and now he's gone dark like the weather, but he's come back to wish all those friends the best, knowing that 'tis the season for all that. I kind of adore that about Sufjan--he's able to nail very nuanced emotions in short pieces.
    oncloudfiveon November 03, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI tend to this that this song has something to do with the neglect of friendship that comes when one is in a serious relationship with someone.

    In this case, it seems as though the point of view is from someone who gave all their love to someone over the summer months, ignoring their friends, and after their love scorned them ("You threw it all away"), they return with hardened heart back to their friends, apologetic for the neglect and realizing that Christmas is a time to celebrate with all of them.

    That said, it's a beautiful song.
    andthroughadayon December 03, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentCloud Five said it
    "he's able to nail very nuanced emotions in short pieces.

    I love that So Honest Your Heart Could explode-ish-ness about his writing...Such a clever fellow
    IveyNowon December 17, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song definitely speaks to how i feel in winter - i think that the other interpretations are totally valid but I think it might also just be a song about the experience of seasonal affect disorder.
    luxlucison December 24, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt could be that he's depressed that he lost his love and even though his friends are there for him and he should be grateful or satisfied, he still can't be happy. So he is apologizing to his friends that he just wants to be alone and depressed, but hopes that they have a better and happy christmas. Very nice song... so sad...
    Mendieon December 25, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentcould it be that the love has frozen over. sister winter?
    lampon February 24, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAlthough I agree with the interpretations that he has been neglecting his friends because of a relationship, I think more along the lines of what Mendie said: that he is broken-hearted and is trying to deal with his sadness, and it happens to be Christmas- a happy time of year, where he wants to be there for his friends, even if his heart is 'as cold as ice'. I believe he is apologizing to his friends for being distant from them, he realizes that he has been reclusive from the ones he loves, and wants to wish them 'all the best', but finds himself sad and wanting to be alone, perhaps in a state of seclusion, which I take to be 'sister winter' a dark, cold place. I love that so many different interpretations can come out of one song. I tend to interpret things in a way that relates to my own life situations. This song describes perfectly what I am going through right now. Sufjan is always there for comfort, a beautiful minded, and extremely talented artist in my opinion.
    confoundedon December 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe falsetto chorus is KILLER
    dan356on September 06, 2006   Link

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