Song of the Day: “John My Beloved”


After the heartbreakingly gentle song, “John My Beloved,” ends, Sufjan Stevens takes a single audible breath. The breath, like many of Stevens’s choices on his revelatory new album, Carrie & Lowell, beckons the listener in by virtue of its strangeness. The record is a complete work of art no matter how it is viewed, but the breath suggests something unfinished. Though “John My Beloved” is a remarkable love song, Stevens leaves us wondering for whom it was written, man or deity, and if they will ever reply.

Read more of Max Gray at Big City Sasquatch or follow him on Twitter @City_Sasquatch. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Encounters, Mount Hope, Conte,, and English Kills Review. He co-hosts the etymology podcast Words For Dinner and is a graduate of the Rutgers-Newark MFA program. More from this author →