Known Johnson

August 24, 2005

Sufjan Stevens’ “John Wayne Gacy, Jr”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 9:28 pm

From Sufjan Stevens’ gorgeous new album, Illinois, comes one of the most powerful songs I’ve heard in a long time, the kind of thing that just pounds into your gut and makes you kind of ill, and yet it’s so beautiful. I very, very rarely put up album tracks for download, but I’m so stunned by this song that I feel this great urge to share and hopefully get a few of you out there to pick up some of his music.*

Sufjan Stevens: John Wayne Gacy, Jr. (4.5mb)

His father was a drinker
And his mother cried in bed
Folding John Wayne’s T-shirts
When the swingset hit his head
The neighbors they adored him
For his humor and his conversation
Look underneath the house there
Find the few living things
Rotting fast in their sleep of the dead
Twenty-seven people, even more
They were boys with their cars, summer jobs
Oh my God

Are you one of them?

He dressed up like a clown for them
With his face paint white and red
And on his best behavior
In a dark room on the bed he kissed them all
He’d kill ten thousand people
With a sleight of his hand
Running far, running fast to the dead
He took of all their clothes for them
He put a cloth on their lips
Quiet hands, quiet kiss
On the mouth

And in my best behavior
I am really just like him
Look beneath the floorboards
For the secrets I have hid

*As with most things like this, if someone connected to Stevens or his label somehow stumbles upon this site before this track is removed after a week or so and is offended at the offering, please contact me and I’ll remove it immediately. I’m only trying to spread the word about one of the best albums of the year . . .

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