The Civil War Connections Blog

Music Monday: Sufjan Stevens

In honor of what would have Abraham Lincoln’s 203rd birthday yesterday we bring you an Lincoln inspired Music Monday.  While this post is Lincoln inspired it is actually Lincoln’s wife Mary Todd who is the inspiration for this Sufjan Stevens song called “A Short Reprise for Mary Todd, Who Went Insane, but for Very Good Reasons.”  Sufjan Stevens has a unique sound that I would describe as poppy indie folk.


This song comes from Sufjan Steven’s 2005 album entitled Illinoise and it is exactly what it says: a short reprise.  The song acts more like an interlude lasting only 47 seconds long with no lyrics.


Now before you feel like you got cheated out of Music Monday this week we are offering up a bonus track!  The track that follows “A Short Reprise for Mary Todd, Who Went Insane, but for Very Good Reasons” on Illinoise, is another one with some Civil War and Abraham Lincoln influences.  “Decatur” is the name of this song and while it is partly about the Civil War it is not a reference to the Battle of Decatur that happened in Alabama in 1864.  In the song Sufjan Stevens sings about abolition and includes the line “Steven A. Douglas was a great debater / But Abraham Lincoln was the great emancipator.”


Take a listen here: