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Little Sisyphus

Elevator Song

by Nora Nygard

I applied to college and I got in. They say that makes me special cuz think of all the suckers who didn't. I wanted to go to school, go to school to be an artist, not become some unproductive shit who's fucking heartless. No I don't mean like that, don't mean I got no romance, I just mean that I got no will. It's four in the morning. I'm hanging in an elevator. Singing and standing fucking still. Maybe I better go home. Maybe probably tomorrow. There I got all that I need. I'll pack up my van, wave with a hand and leave. I think if I stick I'll fail cuz I can't listen anymore. Like, what's that guy saying? What's that guy saying it for? But I guess I'll ride out the semester, try and make a friend. I've got a guy down on the south end. Got a couple of things to attend. I met a girl from Alaska. I asked her advice. She gave me some. She said, "I was an artist, a nurse, an archaeologist, a businessman and now I'm a bum."


Recorded to cassette the day it was written in that horrible place where I lived for a while.

On November 15th, 2011, I posted this song on a private website that my friends used: "Wrote this at about 4 AM, standing in the elevator here at my dormitory, after a day or two of anxiety over realizing I'd really rather not be going to school. The last lines are about a conversation I had with A— the week earlier."

The original timestamp I made in the file name suggests I wrote it on September, 27th, 2011.

"Bum" is a sad and mean word. I feel bad saying it and hearing it. It's how my friend described herself. Please never call anyone a bum, it sucks. She lived somewhere, but she always seemed to live somewhere sort of sketchy. There are a lot of people who don't have homes. A lot of them are trans and queer kids, so I take it personally to say the least.

I was thinking about a lot when I wrote this. My friend's struggles. My garbage life. I'm pretty sure I was thinking about Occupy, the recession, how screwed my generation is, how rigged the system is, and how much of a failure the political class is. I remember feeling all of that, and parts of those feelings contributed to me dropping out of university, but also Occupy Minneapolis didn't start until October. Occupy Wall Street in Zuccotti Park had started on September 17th, and it must have been on my radar. I was excited when the Occupy protests began in Minneapolis.

That whole period of my life was extremely brutal and formative.

This single was updated on November 29th, 2019. The audio was remastered and the artwork was edited.


released November 15, 2011

Nora Nygard: songwriting / vocals / acoustic guitar / recording / mastering / transfer to digital / graphic design / cover

Jake Rice: film photography




Nora Nygard Bismarck


everything is under construction right now, including the music here, and actually my whole life 🐇

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