Song Obsession: Blue Bucket of Gold

Sometimes a song is so powerful by itself that any re-working, remix, or cover simply will never touch its original force. But sometimes, the original song inspires reimagining- a whole new territory for the lyrics to shine and for another artist to expand upon. This isn’t to say that only original songs are the best, or even that sometimes covers are better than the original. I think a really good song will merit others to emulate its brilliance.

With that being said, certain songs will hit me so hard that I will listen to them for days on end, insatiable. I will try to play something else, maybe a new album that was released, but I will be unsatisfied until I return to the object of my obsession. Then, as time passes, my obsession will grow, until I have to listen to every possible version of the song that I can find. Hoping to assuage my compulsion and relate to others who understand this cycle of dependence, I’m writing about my current song of choice: Blue Bucket of Gold.

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My blue bucket of gold
Friend, why don’t you love me?
Once the myth has been told
The lens deforms it as lightning

Raise your right hand
Tell me you want me in your life
Or raise your red flag
Just when I want you in my life

Search for things to extol
Friend, the fables delight me
My blue bucket of gold
Lord, touch me with lightning

Raise your right hand
Tell me you want me in your life
Or raise your red flag
Just when I want you in my life

  • Original version:

Quiet, introspective, and the perfect ending to Carrie & Lowell.

  • Remix:

Electronic, breathy, and the only version I’ve listened to at least 100 times. Most comparable to an ascension to the heavens.

  • Gallant x Sufjan Stevens

Painful to listen to in the best kind of way. My first introduction to Gallant. If you can make it through his last notes without crying, bless your poor frozen artichoke of a heart. Includes a low-key description of what a “blue bucket of gold” even means from Sufjan himself. Tl;dr: it doesn’t exist.

A day will come when my craving for Blue Bucket of Gold will cease, and another song will take its place. But in the meantime, enjoy the versions gathered here, and tell me what you’re listening to.

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