"Christmas Unicorn" as written by Ian Kevin Curtis, Peter Hook, Stephen Paul David Morris, Bernard Sumner and Sufjan Stevens....
I'm a Christmas Unicorn, in a uniform made of gold
With a billy-goat beard, and a sorcerer's shield, and mistletoe on my nose

Oh, I'm a Christian holiday, I'm a symbol of original sin
I've a pagan tree, and a magical wreath, and bow-tie on my chin

Oh, I'm a pagan heresy, I'm a tragic-al Catholic shrine
I'm a little bit shy, with a lazy eye, and a penchant for sublime

Oh, I'm a mystical apostasy, I'm a horse with a fantasy twist
Though I play all night, with my magical kite, people say I don't exist

For I make no full apology for the category I reside
I'm a mythical mess, with a treasury chest, I'm a construct of your mind

Oh, I'm hysterically American, I've a credit card on my wrist
And I have no home, or a field to roam, I will curse you with my kiss

Oh, I'm a criminal pathology with a history of medical care
I'm a frantic shopper, and a brave pill popper, and they say my kind are rare

But I've seen others in the uniform of a unicorn just like me
We are legions wide, and we choose no sides, we are masters of mystique

For you're a Christmas Unicorn, I have seen you on the beat
You may dress in the human uniform, child
But I know you're just like me

Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

I'm the Christmas Unicorn
You're the Christmas Unicorn too

I'm the Christmas Unicorn
(Find the Christmas Unicorn)
You're the Christmas Unicorn too
(It's all right, I love you)

Love, love will tear us apart, again
Love, love will tear us apart, my friend


Lyrics submitted by ThatsCaleb, edited by peelmanan

"Christmas Unicorn" as written by Peter Hook Ian Kevin Curtis

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Christmas Unicorn song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI really don't feel confident even after studying the song that I know what a Christmas Unicorn is.
    Ayavaronon September 14, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it might be about how Christmas became something separated from religion,
    Love the song though
    FuzzyTeaon November 26, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMaybe the answer is there :

    Aside from loving basically everything that Sufjan put out on Silver and Gold (not to mention everything he’s ever done), I was struck by the last song on the album: “Christmas Unicorn.” The song over 12 minutes long and carries an intriguing message about the nature of Christmas. As we would expect from Sufjan, the lyrics are simultaneously playful and deep, communicative and yet elusive (and allusive).

    The song begins:

    I’m a Christmas unicorn
    In a uniform made of gold
    With a billy goat beard
    And a sorcerer’s shield
    And mistletoe on my nose

    We see from the first words that Sufjan is mixing categories that don’t appear to belong together. What has Christmas to do with unicorns? What do either of these have to do with billy goats and sorcerer’s shields? He continues:

    Oh I’m a Christian holiday
    I’m a symbol of original sin
    I’ve a pagan tree and magical wreath
    And a bowtie on my chin
    Oh I’m a pagan heresy
    I’m a tragical Catholic shrine
    I’m a little bit shy with a lazy eye
    And a penchant for sublime
    Oh I’m a mystical apostasy
    I’m a horse with a fantasy twist
    Though I play all night with my magical kite
    People say I don’t exist

    Category confusion. That seems to be what Sufjan is implying. Many of our Christian Christmas traditions do indeed have pagan roots. Sufjan sees these elements combined and highlights the oddity of a single holiday that manages to nod to each of these diverse traditions. He adds later:

    Oh I’m hysterically American
    I’ve a credit card on my wrist
    And I have no home nor field to roam
    I will curse you with my kiss
    Oh I’m a criminal pathology
    With a history of medical care
    I’m frantic shopper and a brave pill popper
    And they say my kind are rare

    Now we have American consumerism, which results in the stress of frantic shopping, thrown into the mix. What are we to make of all of this? Sufjan’s unicorn explains:

    For I make no full apology
    For the category I reside
    I’m a mythical mess with a treasury chest
    I’m a construct of your mind


    Sufjan Jumbled ChristmasOur Christmas season is a jumbled mess of categories. So many sectors of our modern society look at the same holiday and see very different things. Is this good or bad? The song ends with the affirming refrain: “It’s alright! I love you!”

    Sufjan’s view of Christmas is explained in the album’s artwork (which includes a fine essay about the eschatological connotations of the advent season by the protestant pastor Vito Aiuto (of The Welcome Wagon) and an essay on the meaning of the Christmas tree written by Sufjan himself). Why does Sufjan enjoy Christmas even with its jumble of traditions and connotations? I will quote a significant chunk of his answer because I think it can help all of us think through the Christmas season:

    In spite of my best judgment, in spite of public opinion, in spite of common decency, in spite of seasonal affective disorder, mental disease and Christmas fatigue, I’ve continued the musical tradition (ever onward forever amen), in pursuing all the inexplicable songs of the holidays, season after season (without rhyme or reason), relentlessly humming, strumming, finger-picking, ivory-tickling, finger-licking, soul-searching, fact-finding, corporate ladder-climbing, magic hatter rabbit hiding, rapping, slapping, super-sizing, miming, grinding, flexing, perplexing, plucking and strumming all the celestial strings of merriment with utmost Napoleonic fever. This tradition will not die.

    What is it about Christmas music that continues to agitate my aging heartstrings? Is it the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen? Or the boundless Potential Energy inherent in this bastard holiday so fitfully exploited, subverted, confounded, expounded, adopted and adapted with no regard for decency. Christ­mas is what you make of it, and its songs reflect mystery and magic as expertly as they clatter and clang with the most audacious and rambunctious intonations of irrever­ence. And all its silly-putty, slippery-slope, slap-dash menagerie of subject matter (be it Baby Jesus or Babes in Toyland) readily yields itself to the impudent whims of its contemporary benefactors, myself included.

    Though Jesus is who he is, and his birth signifies what it signifies, Sufjan is right to point out that the Christmas season is what we make of it. Some choose to ignore Jesus at Christmas, and that’s their prerogative. Many of us claim that Christmas is about Jesus, yet behave as though it’s about consumerism and Starbucks’ seasonal beverages. Christmas is what we make of it.

    But at its best, Christmas reflects “mystery and magic.” It seems our society as a whole has a sense that this is true, and this shows up in stories about Santa Claus, elves, Jack Frost, and an endearing red-nosed reindeer. It also shows up in a beautiful (true) story of a Creator who mysteriously appeared in a manger, was worshipped by shepherds and kings, and eventually went on to save the world. That’s magic if I’ve ever seen it.


    Well it's a little bit complex and theological but this song is a masterpiece and a twelve minutes trip with good neutral headphones


    From December 19, 2012 ↔ 1 comment
    Sufjan Stevens’ Christmas Unicorn
    Mark Beuving in facultyblog.eternitybiblecollege.com/2012/12/sufjan-stevens-christmas-unicorn/
    JefTaleon February 18, 2016   Link
  • 0
    Song Meaningi think the last part--"Love will tear us apart" is a reference to the song of the same name by Joy Division, a british post-punk band from the early 80s.
    lightningrod14on October 30, 2012   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningSo, at the first show of the Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant on Ice, Sufjan said that this was about his relationship with Christmas songs. When he started the Christmas EPs, he HATED writing, playing, and having anything to do with Christmas music, since the style was too complex and ambiguous to truly define.

    Having forced himself to work with the genre for 10+ years (around the time when Volumes VI-X were recorded), he started to develop a love for the music that he once hated.

    Take from that what you will! I hope it helps!
    pbboltonon November 26, 2012   Link

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