"Michigan" as written by and Mark Edward Kozelek....
I see through your thin cotton dress
I don't know if we'll get dressed
So pull by that store parking lot
You know I've missed your lots
Warn me of the cans and knots

I don't need a house in Lake Michigan
I don't need a purpose to plan within
I just want to feel your pulse again

Down town the exits just around
Can't you smell our future good and well?
I'll take you upstairs show you my bed and things
Share all my thoughts and cares

Here is my heart here is my soul
You pushed me past my lonely door
You are my everything

September a time of in betweens
Lazy month of nothing
All rainy gutters rushing

They're all true
All the good things you say
Will they all pass
Quit like the clouds today?

They'll be there in your pretty dreams
All full of color and sense of things
You blow breath of life in me

I felt this way the night before
You pulled me from this heavy floor
You are my everything
You are my everything

Lyrics submitted by ThreeMilesDown, edited by Oasisxo

"Michigan" as written by Mark Edward Kozelek

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Michigan song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentGiven his slurred delivery, some of the lyrics are hard to grasp. Despite this version appearing on all the lyrics sites, I'd like to offer a couple of potential corrections, some rather important:

    "I see through your thin cotton dress
    I don't know if we'll get to rest" (not "get dressed")

    - supported by the fact that, in wearing a dress, albeit a thin cotton one, she's already dressed and they're driving in a car, probably heading for a specific destination, but they end up making a few unplanned detours, first in a parking lot, then eventually to his place near downtown. For me the line "don't know if we'll get to rest", if correct, is my favorite of the entire song, and is poignantly erotic coming just after "thin cotton dress", indicating that either they'll be so involved in, shall we say, 'fun activities' that they won't get much sleep or, alternatively, that they've embarked on a long car journey and may not have time to stop along the way, but her beauty convinces him an initial detour is warranted. (See below)

    "You know I've missed you lots" (not "missed your lots")

    - In the live version on "Little Drummer Boy", he clearly sings "miss you a lot")

    "Warn me of 'cans' and 'nots'" (not "cans and knots")

    -In a further clue, in the live version he seems to sing "warn me what I can't and not". It would seem he's asking her to put boundaries on potential 'activities' they might engage in, either in the car while parked, or later when he shows her his room. For me, this line, along with the "show you my bed and things" line, indicates a youthful intimate relationship, perhaps his first, and again adds a youthful poignancy to the song's obvious eroticism

    "Will they all pass
    Quick like the clouds today? " (not "Quit like the clouds today")

    "I felt this way but not before (not "I felt this way the night before")
    You pulled me from this heavy floor "

    - while he does slur his words a bit, the female backing vocals on the studio version clearly sing "but not before", and it makes much more contextual sense, i.e., he feels more alive after she came into his life

    In any event, great song, and I'm sticking with my version (even if Mark himself says "No!") as this amounts to my absolute favorite RHP or MK song
    JSBachon February 17, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is definitely my fave RHP song. It's melancholy but uplifiting and romantic. The wavering guitar and stacatto (sp?) percussion keep the song moving unlike some other RHP songs that end up dragging. Vocals are excellent as always.

    I can always draw out a great mental image from this song.
    SiameseDreamon December 04, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis sounds like the midwestern dream i've fallen in love with.
    hoydenon October 09, 2007   Link
  • -4
    General Commentthere's nothing about the midwest, specifically michigan, worth falling in love with.

    trust me.
    gone again.on August 15, 2008   Link

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