Such a shame that I can't get over this;
Put the axle on and roll again.

Such a Saturn eye will close again;
Watching every ring turning again.

And I close my eyes
To everything you've rearranged.
And I close my mind
To everything you've kept the same.
Put the axle on and roll again.

Cannot keep you in my bed again;
Wake up every time, leave your space again.

When the hairline breaks and leands you in
To the woman you've turned red again.

Lyrics submitted by girlboyrevolt

"A Loverless Bed (Without Remission)" as written by Sufjan Stevens

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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A Loverless Bed (Without Remission) song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI think we're missing a big piece of the song here.
    These lines have not yet been addressed.

    "And I close my eyes
    To everything you've rearranged
    And I close my mind
    To everything you've kept the same
    Put the axle on and roll again"

    I've always seen these lines as being addressed to God. I think this is saying that God is always changing some things and keeping others constant and when we're going through difficult times it is hard to recognize or accept this.

    I think that the narrator is speaking to God in the last line as well. I think "To the woman you've turned red again" means that God has ended this relationship, making this woman single.

    SmallFoxeson December 23, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm surprised no one has brought up cancer. I've always seen it as the story of someone who is trying to move on from the death of a loved one. Remission, first of all, is the period a person goes through when their cancer is going away. They're not quite cured-it could still come back-but they don't quite have it. "Without Remission" implies that the person will not be recovering. "When the hairline breaks" always reminded me of chemotherapy and the fact that it is common to lose your hair while going through it.

    This is all speculative, but based on some of Stevens' other work it seems relatively plausible.
    AlvinYakatorion October 17, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is just so stunningly beautiful and quite sad.
    must be about loss or change in a relationship, although the lyrics are muddled and clearly the person who posted them thought the same.
    redcedarfeveron July 28, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI submitted the lyrics for all the songs on "A Sun Came" after finding a scan of the original cover art, which included them.

    I submitted this song to be placed alongside girlboyrevolt's version, but a mod must have just written my version over his/hers.

    Anyway, the second-to-last line should read,
    "When the hairline breaks and lends you in," but since girlboyrevolt still retains control over the entry, I can't fix it.
    Periodixon October 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSaturn was a god in Roman mythology which was derived from the greek deity Cronus. In Roman mythology Saturn devours his children once they are born to prevent a prophesy that one would one day overthrow him and rule the universe.

    A "Saturn eye" could be a reference to the famous painting of Saturn savagly devouring one of his offspring. In the painting the eyes are large and white, bulging out in his madness and selfish ambition.
    zachharrismenton June 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think "Saturn eye" has to do with the odd cloud formation on Saturn known as the "eye".

    I can't figure out the last line. "hairline breaks"- aging? When you age...? Anybody?
    austereon June 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentaustere, your thinking of the eye on Jupiter probably. Saturn does not have any large eye. What Sufjan may be saying here is if Saturn had such an eye as human beings it would close it in order to not see the rings turning around it. It's environment changing. he uses "again" to imphasize the fact that it is not the first time, maybe it won't be the last that this has happened.

    It is interesting that he says he can't get over this, but he then states that he will put the axle on and roll again meaning he will move beyond it. Again he uses "again" to say he has experience with doing this.

    Finally, the narrator of this song may not be a male. The song is sung in falsetto which is not necessarily a given that it is a woman speaking, but it does make sense given the context of the song. The narrator is a woman who cannot keep the man she loves in her bed as he wants to sleep with other women. The last two lines are obviously a reference to sexual intercourse. The hairline is the vaginal pubic hairling which would split as the man she loves inters another woman.

    It does not make sense for the song to be from the point of view of Sufjan Stevens who is lamenting a woman leaving him. The last line would either have to be referring to a man or a lesbian or bi-sexual. So, the "you" throughout the entire song must be one of these three types of people.

    As a footnote, Sufjan is singing A Winner Needs a Wand from a woman's point of view.
    texas007on December 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYes, there is an eye on Saturn:…
    ggreenappleon May 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHere are the exact lyrics for this song, transcribed from Sufjan's handwriting in the first pressing of the album. The lyrics are originally written without line breaks.

    A loverless bed (without remission): such a shame that I can't get over this; put the axle on and roll again. Such a Saturn eye will close again, watching every ring turning again. And I close my eyes to everything you've rearranged, and I close my mind to everything you've kept the same. Put the axle on and roll again. Cannot keep you in my bed again; wake up every time and leave your space again. When the hairline breaks and lends you into the woman you've turned red again.
    Periodixon May 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a tough song to decipher. It's evident that it was meant to be cryptic and personal, devoid of any real meaning unless one was privy to the situation of the writer. It is however, written in beautiful poetic form.

    I disagree with the blatant sex imagery that texas007 suggested in the last line. That is not to say it isn't there. It just isn't as blatant as you suggest. "The woman you've turned red..." is such a subtle, "polite" way of putting it that preceding it with very physical graphic language describing the act of coitus is out of place. Maybe after, but never before. Being well versed in Sufjan lyrics also, I do not feel that this fits with his previous and later form.

    The word "hairline" takes on many meanings, which could be very intentional on sufjan's part. The image in my mind is a crack, or a hairline fracture, signifying tension and a sense of imminence, as in a dam, or a bone. Something will break and something must drastically change one way or another. This is supported by the phrase "when the hairline breaks."

    Then again, I could be wrong. I don't want to assume that I am the end all be all of lyrical analysis. And this song can really mean to you what it will. I frankly dont think sufjan would mind.
    quailbeaston June 12, 2007   Link

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