A Selection of Songs About Holidays You Never Knew Existed

“Casimir Pulaski Day” — Sufjan Stevens

One of the best things about “Casimir Pulaski Day” is that this Illinois track has absolutely nothing to do with Casimir Pulaski Day, apart from the fact that it’s set on that particular holiday, using it as a way of grounding the song in a place fraught with rusted history. Chicago kids often have the day off on Casimir Pulaski Day, and the song depicts one adolescent at the hospital on the holiday — the day of his crush’s death from cancer. The achingly slow, eight-minute song mimics the listlessly expansive feeling the world has when you’re young, and the melancholy of a day off — made a whole lot sadder, obviously, by death, and by Stevens’ perpetually mournful voice.