My Perspective on Sufjan Stevens’ Song Vesuvius

vesuvius Sufjan illustration meaning song lyrics

To me, the song ‘Vesuvius’ by Sufjan Stevens, is almost a worship song.  Not a typical one. And others might say it has nothing to do with God at all. To me it’s a song about choosing to follow God. To prefer Him above all things. 

Vesuvius, I am here, you are all I have
Fire of fire, I’m insecure, for it has all been made to plan
Though I know I will fail I can now be made to laugh
For in life as in death I’d rather be burned than be living in death

Vesuvius, are you a ghost? Or the symbols of light or a fantasy host?
In your breast, I carry the form, the heart of the earth and the weapons of warmth

Vesuvius, the tragic oath, for you have destroyed with the elegant smoke
Oracle, I follow at last, to pay for the feast of the permanent blessed

Vesuvius, oh, be kind, it hasn’t occurred, no, it hasn’t been said
Sufjan, follow the path, it leads to an article of imminent death

Sufjan, follow your heart, follow the flame or fall on the floor
Sufjan, the panic inside, the murdering ghost that you cannot ignore

Vesuvius, fire of fire, fall on me now as I favor the ghost
Vesuvius, fire of fire, fall on me now as I favor your host

(It’s in your favor)
Follow me now or fall on your death
(It’s in your favor)
Why does it have to be so hard?

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