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To Be Alone With You
Sufjan Stevens Lyrics


I'd swim across Lake Michigan
I'd sell my shoes
I'd give my body to be back again
In the rest of the room

To be alone with you
To be alone with you
To be alone with you
To be alone with you

You gave your body to the lonely
They took your clothes
You gave up a wife and a family
You gave your goals

To be alone with me
To be alone with me
To be alone with me
You went up on a tree

To be alone with me you went up on the tree

I've never known a man who loved me

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management
Written by: SUFJAN STEVENS

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Asif Hassan

I'd swim across Lake Michigan
I'd sell my shoes
I'd give my body to be back again
In the rest of the room

To be alone with you
To be alone with you
To be alone with you
To be alone with you

You gave your body to the lonely
They took your clothes
You gave up a wife and a family
You gave your goals

To be alone with me
To be alone with me
To be alone with me
You went up on a tree

To be alone with me you went up on the tree

I've never known a man who loved me



alexleitch37

This song is about the great lengths Jesus goes to to show everyone God loves them and that Jesus knows what it is like to be left unloved and all alone after giving everything you have to give.

The singer laments in the first verse that he can not go back in time and love the woman he left all alone after a sensual encounter. He left her alone in a room and he now wishes he could perform a great romantic feat like "swimming across lake Michigan" or "giving his body" to "be back in the rest of the room" to prove his love or express his guilt and shame. But it is an idle gesture. It can never be done. He may wish he could conquer "aint no mountain high enough - aint no valley low enough - there's no river wide enough - to keep me getting to you" but he can not do this. It's romantic nonsense. He is left in shame and regret and he feels alone. All he can do is "to be alone with you" in his memory and lament the experience. This is why there is a female vocal part to the chorus of verse one. 

Verse two is about Jesus being crucified all alone after His disciples had fallen asleep and a great friend had betrayed Him. This rejection from friends came after the crowds that followed Jesus also rejected Him and Jesus was as alone in the world just as the woman was in verse one. The singer realises His only hope at peace and forgiveness is asking God to forgive him for God knew the loneliness the singer had created by deserting his lover. Just as Jesus disciples had left Jesus all alone so he had left the woman alone and unloved. The singer realises with shame that God lives in everyone and "what ever you do to the least of these you do unto Me". Thus the singer has left God all alone and unloved.

The song ends with "I've never known the man who loves me" which represents the woman from verse one and the man in verse two and Jesus. 

This is a beautiful heart aching end to a beautiful tender songs. Jesus prays for the soldiers crucifying him ("they took your clothes") who stripped Him naked. The woman in verse one was left naked too. She and Jesus have that in common. Jesus died for love of fallen sinful humanity. Jesus hung on a cross "to be alone with you". Jesus died for the woman and the man. Jesus died for the guilty and the innocent. Jesus died for you. So If you find your self alone and abused please know Jesus knows exactly how you feel. If you find you have committed a crime against your self or others and it has left you feeling all alone and without hope or faith then please know that Jesus died "TO BE ALONE WITH YOU" and you are FORGIVEN. "You gave your body to the lonely. They took your clothes. You gave up a wife and a family. You gave Your Ghost. To be alone with me.................. I've never known the man who loves me" . Jesus cried "Father why have you forsaken me" and the women in verse one cried "Lover why have you forsaken me".

That last verse also applies to Jesus. It is a lament, for Jesus loved everyone and there He is nailed to a cross of crucifixion unknown by the world. Unloved by the world. Left all alone............. so will you fall in love with Jesus and be alone with Him?



All comments from YouTube:

Bella Noonen

literally all his songs are on a sliding scale of being gay to loving jesus... this is about midway

vitor paiva

@lox yes, some say that Jesus and John had a relationship, since, in similar words to the bible, john was the only one who jesus loved in every way possible. In this same album, in the song called seven swans, Sufjan again mentions disciple john.

lox

@Bella Noonen Yes, he said something of the like an interview :). I believe John My Beloved refers to the apostle John, who was described as "the disciple who Jesus loved" or something similar in the bible

Bella Noonen

@Yorgi Von-Schmourgeuss'Borgi his parents were in some sort of pan-religious group when he was born that wasn't clearly anything but wikipedia says hes Christian rn + songs like this one/the transfiguration/ man of metropolis/arguably john my beloved(??? sort of) are at least in part lyrically/thematically about jesus

Yorgi Von-Schmourgeuss'Borgi

Isn't he Jewish?

Daniel Cropp

One of the interesting things about Christianity is that in theory, it is all about a man who isn't afraid to love, or say he loves, and yet, the way it is practiced, there seems to be quite a few Christian men who are afraid to love, or say they love.

`tobias gallardo

@Bernice Rogers it's just so sad how common it its

big boi

@Bernice Rogers sadly this is many peoples experience i was lucky to grow up in a church where the male figures of the church openly expressed unconditional love even when people like me where not doing well or needed guidance

Bernice Rogers

You must have been to some bad churches then. Sorry to hear that.

Zamiul Alam

Songwriting level: God.

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