Does the border temple fall down
I fall down
When the approaching light in me has stayed
It takes me back
Do you float the sanctuary
And bury
What a messenger can trade in trades in

Takes me back against the everglades
Back against the out-of-state
This is the last place I go for now
It takes me back (back against the everglades)
It takes me back (back against the out-of-state)
This is the last place I go to
It takes me back (back against the everglades)
It takes me back (back against the out-of-state)
This is the last thing I say

Does it matter that I fall down
My wall down
When the border is inside or remained
Brings me back
Do you know the adversary
And carry
All the burdens of peoples' pasts

Takes me back against the everglades
Back against the out-of-state
This is the last place I go for now
It takes me back (back against the everglades)
It takes me back (back against the out-of-state)
This is the last place I go
It takes me back (back against the everglades)
It takes me back (back against the out-of-state)
This is the last thing I say
It takes me back (back against the everglades)
It takes me back (back against the out-of-state)
This is the last thing I say

The road can be stronger
The road can lay longer
The road can . . .
The road can lay longer
The road can be stronger
The road can . . .
The road can lay longer
The road can be stronger


Lyrics submitted by y2penni

Damascus song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentThis has got to be one of my favourite Sufjan Stevens songs. I'm not really religious at all, but I still think it's incredible.
    Islandsareforeveron April 07, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it's "back against the everglades, back against the out-of-state". I can see the conversion of Paul, but I also think there's a personal parallel there. When he says, 'This is the las place I go", that makes me think of someone seeking solitude. I think of him trying all of his usual places and not finding peace, then finally coming to this place (a 'Damascus' of sorts) where he can change. He recognizes his wrongs and asks to be forgiven of them.

    also, it's "do you know the adversary?" not "end is airy".
    DeoWulfon September 04, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHow could no one else comment on this! This track is a B-side and is somewhat more rare, but its beautiful.

    Testament to how good Sufjan is-- almost any other artist would consider this song one of their best works and feature it on their album, but Sufjan deemed this just a B-side. So cool.
    monkishtroyon October 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about the conversion of Paul.
    Paul was on a road to Damascus to persecute Christians. Having never met Jesus, Paul was blinded by a light and heard the voice of Jesus asking why Paul was persecuting him. From then on, Paul became influential in the spreading the gospel.

    The verse starting with "Does it matter that I fall down" is conveying that despite the worst of sins, a person can be saved with the faith and grace through Jesus.
    amanaplanacanalon March 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love it.
    beluved_immortalon April 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti thought he was saying everglades but i could be wrong. this song seriously hurts my heart. in the best way.
    ghost loveon June 15, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think the lyrics are,
    "It takes me back (against the everglades)
    It takes me back (against the honest abe)"

    and so on.

    i could be wrong.

    either way i love this song and i've been trying to obtain it, but the cd it's on is out of print.
    camelstoeon July 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree that it's about Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus. But I wonder what this verse means:
    "
    Do you know the adversary
    And carry
    All the burdens of peoples' pasts
    "

    The first half suggests Satan while the second half suggest Christ. Any ideas?
    forbes2000on April 30, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlyrics wise it sounds pretty clearly "out of state" to me.
    also, i don't think it's "airy" or "adversary," but "emissary"
    and though the difference seems small, i believe it's "of a people's past"
    and then there's this other part
    i actually hear "when the order isn't said (/set?) or remade." I'm not positive about that, but it's what i hear and it makes more sense to me than remained... i mean, something can't really BE remained.

    That said, i'm not entirely sure what this song's about... but it's moving all the same. I particularly like the "this is the last place i go for now" there is something desperate and almost self-loathing about it to me.... but i couldn't even tell you why.

    anyway... just saying what I thought I heard were the lyrics.
    liquidhotmagmaon December 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDefinitely have to agree with almost all the lyrical adjustments by liquidhotmagma, "emissary" for sure and also "a people's past, it...", as for the other part, I listened a bunch of times trying to hear each of the versions written and what I have come up with is "When the order isn't certain or made, it..." brings me back.
    d66j66on September 03, 2009   Link

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