"Heirloom" as written by and Sufjan Stevens....
When your heirloom's wilted brown
When the devil's pushing down
When your mourning has a sound
And you hesitate to laugh
How quickly will your joy pass
How quickly will your joy pass

And when you walk inside I feel the door
I'll never let it push your arms no more
And when your legs give out just lie right down
And I will kiss you till your breath is found
And when you walk inside I feel the door
I'll never let it push your arms no more

So do you think I came to fight?
And do I always think I'm right?
Oh no I never meant to be a pest to anyone this time
Oh no I only meant to be a friend to everyone this time

And when you walk inside I feel the door
I'll never let it push your arms no more
And when your legs give out just lie right down
And I will kiss you till your breath is found
And when you walk inside I feel the door
I'll never let it push your arms no more


Lyrics submitted by lesea

"Heirloom" as written by Sufjan Stevens

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Heirloom song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +3
    General Commenti love it when he says Oh no I never meant to be a pest to anyone this time
    Oh no I only meant to be a friend to everyone this time...it's so beautiful
    ettins10on August 24, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThe chorus is my favorite part, the chord progression is lovely and the words are so moving.
    It could be romantic, child to parent, or friend to friend even but it's definitely love, and definitely a life-long kind of love (I'll just assume it's a male speaking to a female to make it easier to analyze).

    It sounds like he knows her very well 'cause he knows what makes her sad and frustrated (maybe even things she might not realize), and they have a history of disagreement hence the second verse. And so this song is basically him apologizing and promising to make things right. He might not have realized until now the affection he has for her, which makes more sense of the line "And when you walk inside I feel the door/I'll never let it push your arms no more" if you think of that as a metaphor for shutting her out or not welcoming her in to get to know him better.

    But like I said, it doesn't have to be romantic, even if he mentions kissing (and the thought of it being romantic makes me go awwwwww). Some people kiss their close friends and relatives. You could even make a good case that it's about welcoming the presence of God, but you can draw that conclusion for yourself... 'cause that's the beauty of songwriting, good songs tend to be subjective and highly relatable. This song definitely hits the spot.
    rocknrollgirl47on October 24, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General CommentWhy is his music amazing?
    epilepticteenon November 11, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with ettins10. Definitely my favourite two lines of the song.
    DrakelikesNachoson August 30, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about loneliness. A romantic relationship has ended, and he blames himself for driving his lover away. I find this so moving, because most people won't admit what they've done wrong in a relationship.

    The lines "And when your legs give out just lie right down/And I will kiss you till your breath is found" made me think of Sufjan's illness, which affected his arms and legs, among other things. Perhaps it expresses a wish to have someone there to comfort him.
    sushisouschefon December 29, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI like the interpretations given above....but just to be different :

    I the first stanza he talks about somebody who is clearly at a low point in their life..........in the second stanza he speaks of himself and how he wants to help the first person and make himself always available to him/her.............in the third stanza he seems to be responding to doubts that the person has about him....saying that this time he isn't here to annoy or be a pest but only a friend.

    Now it's really up for grabs who these two people are.....a couple, parent and child, friends, maybe (knowing Sufjan) man and God.......or....and this is my radical interpretation.....man and a demon of sorts.

    The speaker of the first stanza is clearly vulnerable point in his life....and here comes somebody, who he has in he past known to be an agitator and hindrance....saying honeyed words of comfort and assistance.....maybe this person a a demon/devil of sorts come to seduce the first speaker and trick him into believing that he's a friend.

    Probably not the right interpretation, but I thought it was an interesting view.

    Cyberghoston September 16, 2011   Link

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