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Sapokanikan

This song is by Joanna Newsom and appears on the album Divers (2015).

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The cause is Ozymandian
The map of Sapokanikan
Is sanded and bevelled
The land lone and levelled
By some unrecorded and powerful hand

Which plays along the monument
And drums upon a plastic bag
The "Brave men and women, so dear to God
And famous to all of the ages rag"

Sing: Do you love me?
Will you remember?
The snow falls above me
The renderer renders:
The event is in the hand of God

Beneath a patch of grass, her
Bones the old Dutch master hid
While elsewhere Tobias and the angel disguise
What the scholars surmise was a mother and kid

Interred with other daughters
In dirt in other potters' fields
Above them, parades mark the passing of days
Through parks where pale colonnades arch in marble and steel

Where all of the twenty-thousand attending your footfall
And the causes they died for are lost in the idling bird calls
And the records they left are cryptic at best
Lost in obsolescence
The text will not yield, nor x-ray reveal
With any fluorescence
Where the hand of the master begins
And ends

I fell, I tried to do well but I won't be
Will you tell the one that I love to remember and hold me
I call and call for the doctor
But the snow swallows me whole with ol' Florry Walker
And the event lives only in print

He said:
"It's all right"
And "It's all over now"
And boarded the plane
His belt unfastened
The boy was known to show unusual daring
And, called a "boy"
This alderman, confounding Tammany Hall
In whose employ King Tamanend himself preceded John's fall

So we all raise a standard
To which the wise and honest soul may repair
To which a hunter
A hundred years from now, may look and despair
And see with wonder
The tributes we have left to rust in the parks
Swearing that our hair stood on end
To see John Purroy Mitchel depart

For the Western front where our work might count
O mercy! O God!
Go out, await the hunter to decipher the stone
And what lies under the city is gone

Look and despair
Look and despair

Credits

Written by:

Joanna Newsom

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