Casimir Pulaski Day - Sufjan Stevens (2005)
In a perfect world, this would be a chart-topping single, overplayed on the airwaves like so many modern singer/songwriter ballads before it. But this track, it stands to reason, would never lose its potency, no matter how many playlists watered it down with an incessant familiarity. Songs about death aren't usually blessed with such a vibrant awareness of life. Propelled along by a skeletal guitar reel, growing with ever-building instrumentation and voices,this stark questioning of faith from a devout Christian author speaks volumes in its six minutes. Images of youth, love, sorrow and doubt cascade through the listener's mind until it reaches it's conclusion that our maker "takes and he takes and he takes". It leaves us touched to our core, lost in an emotional flood of remembering the time when we ourselves lost our innocence. I don't think this Illinois album cut could sound any better, unless of course it was being introduced by Casey Kasem
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