All the time we spent in bed
Counting miles before we said
Fall in love and fall apart
Things will end before they start

Sleeping on Lake Michigan
Factories and marching bands
Lose our clothes in summertime
Lose ourselves to lose our minds

In the summer heat I might

Lyrics submitted by avuncular

Holland Lyrics as written by Sufjan Stevens

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Holland song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentI love this song. Here's what Sufjan has said about it:

    This was the summer it got so hot we put a fan in each window. At night we teamed up with the Palestinian students and stole tulips from Centennial Park. We used them as garnishes: we arranged bouquets on table ends and desktops.

    We burned a wicker chair on the beach at night. We cooked steaks and pork chops on sticks over the fire. We went skinny-dipping. We huddled under the towels. We told stories about our fathers, about our first kiss, about that one uncle who was always drunk at family reunions.

    We bought guitars and accordions and played them under blankets in the park. We tried to follow the Dutch dancers. We mowed lawns and stole flags from construction sites and kissed on the lips at the drinking fountain. We drank Boone’s Sangria and cried and cried and cried on the couch.

    We sewed shirts for our friends, with decorative borders made from ribbons, with zippers, with billowing collars, with floral patterns. Nothing fit right. We went around shirtless, even the skinny ones, even the fat ones, even the ones with terrific arms and shoulders.

    We took our time talking things out; we listened carefully, with a serious look. We prayed. We read Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. We tried very hard to understand this.

    We went to a church that was in English and Spanish. We tried very hard to understand this.

    We made omelets on the weekends. We whittled wood. We knitted hats. We smoked cigarettes. We gave each other gifts. Elaborate, handmade, complicated passive aggressive gifts.

    We were afraid to be left behind. We were afraid to be loved. We were afraid this would come to an end, as all things do. We sat on the couch and cried and cried and cried.
    desticatelikearaton December 17, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSufjan attended Hope College in Holland, so it's a safe bet to assume that this song relates to college experiences.

    Structurally, it's pretty neat; all the verses have seven syllables, and he makes good use of slant rhymes. The sort of thing one might write for (or study in) a college poetry class, in fact.
    avuncularon October 09, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOh my goodness, I have been in love with this song since the first time i heard it. i'm from holland, and it captures the city perfectly. sleeping on the beach. the factories that are all over the town. marching bands i would bet is about the week of parades during tulip time, which is held downtown, practically on hope's campus. this song is so beautiful, it makes me homesick.
    sinews_tangleon November 01, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti go to hope, so sufjan is like... i don't know. like lady gaga to the rest of the country. you know? everybody talks about/listens to/critiques him. mostly they listen to him. and love him.
    anyway, i am in love with this song. i never relate to songs - i just listen to them. but this one is different because it's like hope college and the summertime in holland bottled up into three and a half minutes of happiness, and i can completely relate. rollerblading to lake michigan at 3 in the morning and just sitting on the beach, freezing but so happy. smelling the pickle factory in the morning. walking to the civic center for nykerk rehearsals. the whole old-time clasic feel of the town. he nailed it.
    i work at hope's radio station, and one time we were talking about sufjan, and somebody told this story about him. apparently he took a nerf gun to class on his professors birthday and shot his professor with it. and sufjan said i bet you've never been assasinated on your birthday. and then he just sat down. what a guy.
    fghtffyrdmns09on April 14, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song
    precipitateon December 01, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHolland, Michigan. Not Holland, the country.
    PemberleyTeaon January 02, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe most soothing song ever. the dry vocals do wonder for the effect the song is suppose to have.
    alt.rockon January 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentso that makes sense, it's probably about a relationship he had with someone while he was in college. maybe that goes without saying, but it really adds a lot more to the song. plotting their lives ahead of them, falling in and out of love and away from each other. for how song the sad is, it's incredibly intimate. i guess that's the way it's supposed to be though.
    tiredgorillaon January 31, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a beautiful romantic song. I agree, I think it's about his college experiences.
    ApplesInMonoon May 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song makes me cry.
    ifnotnowhenon February 13, 2006   Link

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