"Carrie & Lowell" as written by and Sufjan Stevens....
Carrie and Lowell
Such a long time ago
Like a dead horse
Meadowlark drive your arrow

Season of hope (after the flood)
Valentine, spurn my sorrow
Head on the floorboards (covered in blood)
Drunk as a horsefly
Climb on the mattress pad
Twist my arm

Under the pear tree
Shadows and light conspiring
Covered bridge, I scream
Cottage Grove shade invite me

I will bow down (Dido's lament)
Lord of the ancient waters
From the backyard (as far as she went)
Carrie surprised me
Erebus on my back
My lucky charm

Carried by stones
Fairyland all around us
Like a dead horse
Sign of your children's fever

Carrie, come home (Thorazine's friend)
Holding your hands with opal
Like a dead horse (shall we ascend)
Flight of the mayfly
Ephemera on my back
She breaks my arm

Lyrics submitted by Akaforty

"Carrie & Lowell" as written by Sufjan Stevens

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Carrie & Lowell song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentWow surprised no one has picked this apart yet. My favorite from the album, this is just loaded with symbolism. Here's some stuff I looked up that I think fits pretty well.

    Dead horse: symbolizes something that once gave you strength but then failed you.

    Meadowlark: messengers, bringers of change.

    Horsefly: symbolizes masculinity? Couldn't find too much about this.

    Pear tree: symbolizes motherhood and fertility.

    Dido's lament: famous classic lament, sang before she dies

    Erebus: darkness and death personified

    Thorazine is a drug used to treat a lot of symptoms like vomiting or nausea

    Opals: symbolize hope or inner change for the better

    Mayfly: symbolizes inner change and growth, also childhood and innocence

    Ephemera: it's a Latin name for a genus of mayfly

    Broken arm: in dreams this symbolizes a perceived inability to help oneself or loved ones

    So given all that, and the context of the album, it's pretty clear this song is an exploration of sufjan's mother's absence, sickness, return and death altogether.
    coolcroweon June 10, 2015   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThorazine is also an anti-psychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia.

    I'm not sure about the scope of the song you paint there.
    Ephemera things that are enjoyed for only a short time.

    It seems to me to be more directly about the relationship with his mother and the torment caused at her hands due to her condition. A longing to be with her, his mother, but suffering at her hands.
    edgebadgeron June 20, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGod this song is heartwrenching. Does anyone know if Carrie really did break Sufjan's arm?
    Waimeaon April 20, 2018   Link

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