And the winter moves about Illinois
When my sister picks a fight with the Alexander boy
And my father locks the car by the store
Still we figure out the keys and follow him once more

Oh my God, we see it on the floor
The woman on the bed the ankle brace she wore
Stones and sled it could have been some other
The mind that knows itself has a mind to serve the other
And we run back scratching at the door, scratching at the door

If I'm hiding in the sleeves of my coat
When my father runs undressed, he's pointing at my throat
And my brother has a fit in the snow
And the traffic stops for miles, we take him by the elbow

Oh my God, the shuffling at the floor
(Oh my God)
A mind that knows itself is a mind that knows much more
(No one came to our side)
So we run back, scrambling for cover
(To carry us away from danger)
A mind that knows itself has a mind to kill the other
(Oh my God, no one came to our side)

Oh my God, he left us now for dead
(Oh my God)
He left us now for dead



Lyrics submitted by musicforlife!

"The Mistress Witch from McClure (Or, The Mind That Knows Itself)" as written by Sufjan Stevens

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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The Mistress Witch from McClure (Or, the Mind That Knows Itself) song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentYeah they walk in while their father is having and affair and the "shuffling at the floor" is like when they catch a glimpse of their (him and his brother) father doing it with his mistress (witch). The mind that knows itself knows much more is that he didnt actually see his dad doing anything, but knowing himself he can pretty much guess what's going on. I think the best lines are when his dad comes out pointing at his throat, and his little brother has a fit in the snow stopping traffic (lol), brilliant. And "we take him by the elbow" is also great, its like both sufjan and his dad have to somehow reconcile his obviously traumatized little borther going nuts in the snow (lol). The repetitions of oh my god makes me think that he was quite traumatized by the experience, which isnt surprising for what I think is a very young sufjan stevens with his little brother in this story. Anyway all these really simple sufjan songs where he just uses his banjo-like-guitar are great like Romulus and For the Widows of paradise and the Upper Peninsula.
    hasbuleliason October 06, 2006   Link

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