What does Blindsided mean?

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Bon Iver: Blindsided Meaning

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Song Released: 2008


Blindsided Lyrics

Back down
Down to the downtown
Down to the lockdown
Boards, nails lie around

I crouch like a crow
Contrast in the snow
For the agony I'd rather know

'Cause blinded
I am blindsided

Peek in
Into the peer in
I'm not really like...

  1. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 3rd 2012 report

    No need to interpret. John Prine, who wrote the song, explained the song in an interview, possibly available online. The altar boy section was a literal memory from his childhood, when another young boy from the neighborhood was killed by a train. One of many sad events in his life.

  2. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 17th 2012 report

    Bruised Orange - Chain of Sorrow... "A Song Review" lyrics by John Prine, sung by Justin Vernon.. Reviewed by "Anonymous"

    A "Bruised Orange" can represent a wounded piece of juicy fruit &/OR the healing process our bodies experience after a major trauma .. Our flesh and skin go through a type of metamorphosis as they begin to heal... After the initial blow, the blackish-bluish colour which develops on the epidermal layer eventually fades with time into the greenish and orange hues the skin takes on as the contusion continues to mend.. This is an "inbetween stage". The bruises are obviously still very apparent. Sometimes they even appear more gruesome than they did when they were "fresh". Orange is a very interesting colour... It falls directly between yellow (which can represent cowardice) and red (which represents bravery, boldness and blood) AND festively combines the energy from the red with the happiness from the yellow. NORMALLY, orange is associated with joy & sunshine. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement. Orange gives the sensation of heat. The colour orange produces an increased oxygen supply to the brain so it invigorates us & stimulates our mental activity. Orange is symbolic of strength and endurance and creates an effect of overall SALUBRIOUSNESS (which is juxtaposed with the bruises' lugubriousness).. Of course, orange can be golden as well. The meaning of goldish orange is all about illumination, wisdom, and wealth. It often symbolizes high quality. Hence there is something INCREDIBLY incongruous about being a goldenish orange and all bruised. This is what the singer is trying to convey to us.. A bruised orange just ain't "right". The colour orange has long represented change. Obviously this song is about thirsting for action while sitting in limbo... It is a song about letting go of anger and sorrow while clinging to hope... Justin's is a stunning version, sung by a man who patiently awaits some changes in his life while he tends to his sore and painful bruises.

    First, we hear the footsteps in a prison hallway.. Also : There are some metaphors in this song and I just thought I should make that clear..

    My heart's in the ice house come hill or come valley
    Like a long ago Sunday when I walked through the alley
    On a cold winter's morning to a church house
    just to shovel some snow.

    His heart feels like it was placed in the ice house and in that state it remains no matter if things seem to be looking up or looking down. It sounds as if many years ago he walked through the alleys of his neighbourhood on a cold winter's morning to the "church" home of the woman he is love with. By shoveling the snow, he wanted to melt her heart. Sunday is a designated day of rest in our workweek and he wanted to spend some time with his love. They would go over to each other's houses upon occasion just so they could look at each other. They knew in their hearts what was up without having to say anything to the other. They'd just gaze at each other like two cats who had screwed the pooch. One time he even confused her by bringing her some windex. All incredible wittiness aside, I hear the pain in his voice and it sounds as if he thinks it is extremely challenging to try to seek humour in ANYTHING when he carries around so many bruises..

    I heard sirens on the train track howl naked gettin' nuder,
    An altar boy's been hit by a local commuter
    just from walking with his back turned
    to the train that was coming so slow.

    Suddenly he hears sirens on the nearby train track. The loud whistling signal was howlin "naked, gettin' nuder". This means the alarm was shrill and clear and it was VERY apparent that something was about to go down.. Then our singer receives word that an "altar boy" was hit and killed by the train that was chuggin down the tracks so slow. The altar boy is himself. He is "a boy" because his love makes him feel young. He is an "altar" boy because he worships at the shrine of his girlfriend. He believes in his love.. He never saw the train coming as a person in love is oblivious to the coming wreckage. He just kept walking to his destination with his back to the train. He knew exactly where he wanted to go as he had his heart set on his neighbour girl. He was in love with her and he trusted her. The singer never has to tell us that his love is the conductor of the steam engine. We know just by listening.. She railroaded him. He receives word of this devastating tragedy when his heart informs his head of the event by sayin, "Boy. She just plowed you down."

    You can gaze out the window get mad and get madder,
    throw your hands in the air, say "What does it matter?"
    but it don't do no good to get angry,
    so help me I know

    The man thinks anger is a shitty but valid emotion. It is crucial to get it out in some healthy constructive way, because as he knows.. when he hangs on to resentment it comparable to him swallowing poison and expecting her to die. It does no good to him. In fact, quite the opposite. Anger is even more destructive to his life than the demolishing train was... Still, sometimes he wonders, "What does it matter?" As in, what is the point to all of the extreme bullshit in life? And, why would she do this to me?

    For a heart stained in anger grows weak and grows bitter.
    You become your own prisoner as you watch yourself sit there
    wrapped up in a trap of your very own
    chain of sorrow.

    When his love mows him down with the locomotive steamer, he has no choice but to deal with it. He knows he didn't do it to himself. She did this to him. Everyone in the whole town knows THAT. So, what are his choices? If he stays angry and doesn't let it out it could potentially become very toxic to his body. That's where his actual friends come in. He needs to talk to them about his ordeal. He is so thankful he has actual friends to talk to because otherwise he might become sick. If he just sits there and doesn't let his anger out it will turn to bitterness & he'll become a prisoner of his own heartbreak. He is wrapped in the trap of despair his love has created for him, so what does he do? He chooses to talk to his actual friends, he goes to acupuncture, he finds a great therapist & he writes (not to his friends, of course). If he had chosen to simply rage on and churn his pissed-off feelings & retaliate towards his love, he'd only create his own "chain of sorrow". Instead he must wake up, get dressed, go outside and JUST TRY to get through his day. Some days it can be quite difficult to feel motivated when he feels an all encompassing contusion in the center of his soul.

    I been brought down to zero, pulled out and put back there.
    I sat on a park bench, kissed the girl with the black hair
    and my head shouted down to my heart
    "You better look out below!"

    When in love, our minds can signal a warning alarm to our hearts. No matter the pitch & frequency produced by the siren, his heart chose not to be careful nor to prepare himself in any fashion for the impending disaster. His heart did not listen because he loved HER with all of it.. When we truly love someone, we often allow them to treat us like dog excrement. The singer is saying, a truly wise person is the man who listens to his heart over his mind. Even though this feels utterly dreadful, it is how a person becomes sensitive and tender-hearted. If he was all mind, he could never have written this song. Instead, he'd spew numbers, facts & logic. He'd never take risks to have any honest, straight-forward & heartfelt dialogue with his loved ones. He'd miss every opportunity to form TRULY deep connections with the people in his life. This all reminds me of my favourite line about the communication and connection between heads & hearts which is by The Drive By Truckers... "You'll never lose your mind as long as your heart always reminds you where you left it." Sometimes the people who appear to have no hearts also seem to have no minds. The two can go hand in hand. These types of people seem so cold & uncaring. Of course we should always feel a strong link between our heads and our hearts. That relationship is what makes us "human"... But the driver of the train should ALWAYS be our hearts and then less train wrecks would occur. The woman who bulldozed her man was using too much mind and he allowed it to happen because he loves her so much. Now he is in the dark, waiting to see what actions she has taken and/or will take with her heart. Maybe she doesn't have one. Maybe the whole town is heartless aside from the devastated "altar boy" whose heart was smashed & driven into the tracks.

    Hey, it ain't such a long drop don't stammer don't stutter
    from the diamonds in the sidewalk to the dirt in the gutter
    and you carry those bruises to remind you wherever you go.

    The singer is saying that life goes on. He won't die from his injuries even though he physically and emotionally feels so awful that he'd LIKE to.. Taking an unnecessary and expensive pharmaceutical, which would cause the development of irreversible negative side-effects, such as stammering & other disorganized speech patterns, will simply not help him with this matter. It is not prudent to develop nervous tics simply because he is so frazzled and broken. He recognizes that the only way out of his pain is through it.. When he stood by his neighbour's side on their town's sidewalks he saw the beauty in life. Now he has also seen the grimiest of scum in the gutter. He has experienced a broad spectrum of life because of his love. But the bruises she created for him are not healing, and they do not disappear. They just continually change into bizarre colours and he has no choice but to walk around with them.. He desperately wants to feel better. He wants to scream, yell & throw a tantrum, but the best way for him to react to the craziness of his love kicking in his heart, is with compassion, reason and patience. He realizes that when he summons these qualities they are a powerful antidote to his anger. He needs both his head and his heart when dealing with this trauma. He knows that many people misjudge reason and patience as signs of weakness while he views these characteristics as signs of true inner strength. The arousal of anger isn't necessarily a weakness inside of us, but the ways in which we choose to deal with it can be. He knows it is a selfish and weak mind which employs retaliation. He'd rather cry by himself than lash out. He fully realizes that when his love mowed him down with the train, she harmed herself as well. Even tho' he feels alone, he knows he's not. She is grieving in her own way, even if she seems like a frosty bitch. He also knows that his "enemies" are indispensable because they are teachers who will help him to develop a tranquil mind. He knows he's boring as he often recites, "A truly compassionate attitude toward others does not change even when they behave negatively". He tries to do what he can to prevent human misery as he walks around town as a black and blue, greenish-orange person. He brings his bruises to the Honey Lounge to hear his friend play guitar with her band. She is a stellar musician and an inspiration. She gives his heart a break from its aching for a few enjoyable hours of great music..

    You can gaze out the window get mad and get madder,
    throw your hands in the air, say "What does it matter?"
    but it don't do no good to get angry,
    so help me I know

    For a heart stained in anger grows weak and grows bitter.
    You become your own prisoner as you watch yourself sit there
    wrapped up in a trap of your very own
    chain of sorrow.

    My heart's in the ice house come hill or come valley
    Like a long ago Sunday when I walked through the alley
    On a cold winter's morning to a church house
    just to shovel some snow.

    It is like he is saying this: "You beat me up, you raped me, you abused me, you lied to me, you exploited me, you threw me into treatment, you called me crazy, you pushed frightening drugs on me, you created major upheaval in my life> You FLATTENED ME WITH YOUR TRAIN and you know what? I forgive you. I will not judge you. You have your own pain. I'm bruised and battered but I will not die from your actions. I refuse to allow my life to be ruined by your shitheel ways." He says "shitheel" as it is a term not meant in judgement but in expressing compassion. He is forever changed from the experience of being run over by her train, hence he is now branded and stamped the colour BRUISED ORANGE and/or he's a traumatized fruitty individual.

    This is all just a guess, of course, and I am most certain I am wrong. Definitely, it makes no sense and I do apologize. I have so many problems, you see. I'll try to be better, I promise. Thank you. I might have even submitted this interpretation on the wrong song. Oh no. :-/


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