Death with Dignity – Sufjan Stevens

Song: Death with Dignity

Artist: Sufjan Stevens

Album: Carrie and Lowell

Year: 2015

Setting in Which this Review is Based off of: 7:56 pm, my bathtub.

To be fair, I did not just discover this song.  One of my very good friends showed me this artist back in March when Carrie and Lowell came out and I probably listened to it during every shower I took for a solid week or two.  It’s the type of music that makes you think.  You’re very in your head– but in a good way.

I sat submerged in a mountain of bubbles thinking about everything.  How my life would be different if I looked a different way… how I would have changed if I said that one thing that one time– stuff like that.  Very self conscious thoughts but not bad self conscious.  Just aware conscious.

The melody begins with light harp-like strumming of the guitar and all I can imagine is an old video of a family member spinning in a sun filled field.  Stopping ever so often to make eye contact with the camera.

The title is a reference to Oregon’s physician assisted death law, Death to Dignity Act of 1994. According to Genius, Stevens wrote the song in relation to his emotionally distant mother, and her later death.

“Again I’ve lost my strength completely, oh be near me

Tired old mare with the wind in your hair”

Stevens writes about his troubled relationship with his mother and his constant love for her, even when not reciprocated.  Though the song’s lyrics and tune steadily hold a depressed energy, Stevens manages to keep you somewhat upbeat through it all.  At the end of this tune I don’t feel depressed or upset, I feel grateful.  I feel grateful for my mother and our relationship and that she’s still here with me today.

Listening to Stevens sing, I feel connect to his energy, as if he were an old friend or older cousin.  But maybe it’s just because he’s relatable.  The 40 year old 13 instrument playing musician is based in Detroit.  He’s played countless festivals and has released over 12 albums in the past 16 years.

WELL I wasn’t aware that it was this many albums until I just visited Steven’s Spotify page, so actually, I’m going to go listen to a few of them.  I’ll report back with my favorites from the other albums soon.


‘Chicago’ Audio Video

Sufjan Stevens Website‘All Good Naysayers’ Audio Video

‘To Be Alone with You’ Live Video

Not the Official ‘Death with Dignity Music Video’ but I Love it
Sufjan Steven’s Website


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