What does Holocene mean?

Search Login

Bon Iver: Holocene Meaning

Tagged:

No tags, suggest one.

Get "Holocene" on MP3:

Get MP3 from Amazon
Get MP3 from iTunes

Holocene Lyrics

someway, baby, it's part of me, apart from me"
you're laying waste to Halloween
you fucked it friend, it's on its head, it struck the street
you're in Milwaukee, off your feet

...and at once i knew i was not magnificent
strayed above the...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 3rd, 2012 2:56pm report


    About the journey of from our childhood, where we believe in the world around us; to the point that we realize our own insignificance in the world as vast as it is. But there's a beauty in that too - to know there is infinitely more we're not apart of than what we are.



  2. 2TOP RATED

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 11th, 2014 11:27pm report


    The places we went to when we we were hopeless,turning into the places that give us faith.That though we seem small we are huge.The universe will not end because of us but is incomplete without us.That even though there's so much about ourselves we don't know,we know enough to see that the possibilities are endless.Recognizing sometimes we have to be lost to find a way.Seeing that no one should be taken for granted.That we are not as great and at the same time greater than we think,and no where near as amazing as we can and are meant to be.



  3. 3TOP RATED

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 18th, 2012 6:50am report


    you can rely on the fact that you are smaller than the world, than the universe and everything around you. you can rely on the fact that your problems will always be smaller than the world and that you will always be part of something vast that you are unaware of at the time but will come to know later on. it makes you stop, think, and look at the world around you to know that you are smaller than you seem but that doesn't mean you are anything lest



  4.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 25th, 2019 9:31am report


    The first line is misleading, he is actually remembering an event. He's not talking about a woman but perhaps telling someone a story. It seems like the story is about a car accident mostly, or memories of his preceding this crash. Getting to look at the details is probably not so effective, the important thing with these lyrics is to understand the general idea to be able to follow what he wants to express through out the song.



  5.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 3rd, 2017 10:50pm report


    Not sure if interpretation is the right word..
    But this is the song I play to my 7 month year old son to help him to sleep.
    The line 'and at once I knew I was not magnificent' summarises how I felt the moment I looked into his eyes for the first time.
    I had the pleasure of seeing Bon Iver perform this live 25-09-17 and it was a truly spiritual experience.

    Be kind. Be loved. Love.



  6.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 7th, 2017 9:11pm report


    this is such a beautiful yet tragic song. it awakens such appreciation and yet anger towards nature. my interpretation is very direct as the lyrics say, seems the writer lost his brother to this holocene,it was brutal and massive that it hit straight into their shelter hence it 'hit above his brother'. i dont wanna say more but i love it at the same time dont know what to feel.



  7.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 18th, 2013 8:01pm report


    from an npr radio interview

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/allsongs/2011/06/23/137328981/bon-ivers-justin-vernon-talks-about-his-bands-new-album

    Jess Gitner: Relating to your lyrics, your song titles. I want to say they're all places. But what is "Holocene"?

    Justin Vernon: Yeah, yeah. Holocene. Holocene is a bar in Portland, Ore., but it's also the name of a geologic era, an epoch if you will. It's a good example of how all the songs are all meant to come together as this idea that places are times and people are places and times are... people? [Laughs.] They can all be different and the same at the same time. Most of our lives feel like these epochs. That's kind of what that song's about. "Once I knew I was not magnificent." Our lives feel like these epochs, but really we are dust in the wind. But I think there's a significance in that insignificance that I was trying to look at in that song



  8.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 2nd, 2013 8:29am report


    I believe that the true beauty of this song lies within the vast differentiation of each listener's interpretation. One of the many ways this song can be translated, in my eyes, is as being a reference to car crash (one which the writer may have endured with his brother or friend). There are many quotes that support this theory, including lines like,"You fucked it friend, it's on it's head, it struck the street," which could be referencing the car being flipped by a friend/driver's stupid decision. In addition,the line, "You're in Milwaukee off your feet," identifies the location of the crash as well as reinforcing the idea that a car was being flipped. The line,"and at once I knew I was not magnificent" could symbolize the writer's realization of how his existence was, in a way, meaningless, and how he acknowledged mother nature as a superior entity (therefore diminishing any self-idolization that consumed him before the crash). Furthering this idea, the lines "Strayed above the highway aisle,"
    "Jagged Vacance, thick with ice"
    "I could see for miles, miles, miles" all describe, in an obvious way, a crash, or, the setting of one. The line "above my brother, I and tangled spines" can be discerned in many ways, but in accordance to my theory, it can be seen as the outcome of the crash; the collision of bodies within the car. The following line is in correlation with it: "We smoked the screen to make it what it was to be." This, in my opinion, simply means the smashing or crashing of a windshield or window. Now, I know not for sure whether my interpretation is correct, but I know it is my own. In many ways, I view this song as being written about heartbreak, and as a journey of self-discovery, ect. (but I won't bore you with more evidence, aha). All in all, it doesn't really matter, because it is in the sense of individualism that this song innately brings out in a listener - a sense that forces one to relate and interpret- that makes it so wonderfully exceptional.



  9.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 25th, 2013 6:17pm report


    This is the way the song Holocene plays FOR ME, not the singer per se, FOR ME.

    "Someway, baby, it's part of me, apart from me"

    Referring to a girl that is part of him as per experience (ex), but the person themselves is gone from his life.

    "You're laying waste to Halloween"

    Referring to a girl being something they appeared not to be initially. You dress up for Halloween to be something or someone else for one night. This person is "laying waste" to Halloween by doing this on a regular basis. Or perhaps he is just drunk (as the singer himself admitted).

    "You fucked it friend, it's on it's head, it struck the street"

    Girl fucked the relationship up or perhaps guy did?

    "You're in Milwaukee, off your feet"

    Girl is with some other dude; thus the off your feet? Sex? Or dude is off his feet being polar opposite to being on your feet as in having your shit together. Job, etc.

    "And at once I knew I was not magnificent"

    That great feeling of having something you thought was significant gone and not knowing why it's gone or where it went?

    "Strayed above the highway"

    Far from society or life in general. Isolation.

    (Jagged vacance, thick with ice)

    Perhaps a scene in the literal sense (beauty) or perhaps a feeling in the figurative sense (isolation).

    "And I could see for miles, miles, miles"

    Again, perhaps a scene in the literal sense (crisp clear day) or perhaps a feeling of hope (figurative); meaning I can see that I have a future apart from this fucked up relationship and/or situation.

    "3rd and Lake it burnt away, the hallway"

    As someone noted, a place in Wisconsin in the college district. Sticking with the relationship theme here (this song could be about his brother, a girl, his dog, I don't know), I think this would refer to a back alley or the like (hallway burnt away).

    "Was where we learned to celebrate"

    That feeling of being with someone new that you love. That young love feeling that you can only experience for a brief period in life.

    "Automatic bought the years you'd talk for me"

    Relationship(s) are now older and they know each other so well they don't need words.

    "That night you played me 'Lip Parade'"

    Doesn't have to be 'Lip Parade' could very well be Holocene. Just a time where someone has given you something beautiful that you never would have discovered on your own. For me it was Jerry Garcia.


    "Not the needle, nor the thread, the lost decree"

    It wasn't a song (the needle), it wasn't an album (the thread), it was something wonderful that you never knew existed (the lost decree; the artist themselves or perhaps the person themselves); as per the explanation above.

    "Saying nothing, that's enough for me"

    I understand what gloriousness we had by just being alive and having had each other.

    "And at once I knew I was not magnificent"

    However, life is life and I know that nothing last forever...

    "Hulled far from the highway (Jagged vacance, thick with ice)"

    Hulled in this case being drifting aimlessly; again, isolation I think.

    "And I could see for miles, miles, miles"

    That great feeling of having something or someone you thought was significant gone and not knowing why it's gone or where it went? Or perhaps hope???

    "Christmas night, it clutched the light, the hallow bright"

    (Singer himself admitted this was about smoking a joint with his brother)

    However, I digress...

    For me it is being somewhere special (with family) with your special someone when things just ain't right with you and your special someone.

    "Above my brother, I and tangled spines"

    Brother is on the bottom floor of the house. On the second story is dude (I) and girl (tangled spines) doing whatever they are doing, loving each other? Sex?

    "We smoked the screen to make it what it was to be"

    Opposite of smoke screen. Smoked the screen as in to get the unnecessary information away so we can see what is really going on. As per the relationship theme.

    "Now to know it in my memory"

    One of those relationships where you cannot ever forget. For better or worse; you will never forget. It has both the bitter and the sweet and that's how you know they both exist.

    "And at once I knew I was not magnificent"

    Pick any line from above and stick it here, it will work.

    "High above the highway (Jagged vacance, thick with ice)"

    Totally isolated now...or just high to get away from yourself.

    But I could see for miles, miles, miles

    "And" changes to "but" and hope is renewed even more. I know that I will get through this; most of the time...



  10.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 25th, 2013 2:18am report


    A load of nonsense sung beautifully.



  11.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 23rd, 2013 2:08pm report


    I believe this Song is abut rushing into-the Sack to quickly and regretting that you took its beauty and magnificence for granted.



  12.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 27th, 2012 11:42am report


    I find it extremely dull to explain the meaning of a song. Just listen to the song, its meaning is in the way it makes you feel.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


  13.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 15th, 2012 5:49pm report


    "we smoked the screen to make it what it was to be
    now to know it my memory"

    you don't need photos and all the modern day stuff to reminisce,this how memories are supposed to be you are too busy held up in your life and suddenly bam you remember the good times and you cry a lil on the inside thinking of how things used to be



  14.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 24th, 2012 3:27pm report


    it means that we all realize how insignificant our actions are towards the rest of the world. the world > you



  15.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 22nd, 2012 2:08pm report


    It is realized that the love that gave you a feeling so powerful you could have been a superman, has now been pulled from beneath you. You are now off your feet with only the bitter winter surrounding you. In the cold air are memories of the love that has left you there. Winters cold air through your nose allows you to smell how bitter dry love can be. At its conception, your love made you see the world being conducted by your hand, now you see you were not that magnificent.



  16.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 3rd, 2012 2:52pm report


    we go through life thinking we choose our journeys....but there those moments when strange journeys choose us....and on those journeys we are taken from this engulfing darkness and brought to a sanctuary where all that we lost is gifted back to us....



  17.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 3rd, 2012 2:50pm report


    we go yhrough life thinking we choose our journeys....but there those moments when strange journeys choose us....and on those journeys we are taken from this engulfing darkness and brought to this sanctuary where all that we lost is gifted back to us....



  18.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 14th, 2011 12:03am report


    In part, a comment on loneliness. The lyrics repeat a certain gloominess of holidays/celebration, and images of a Wisconsin winter.



‹ prev 12



More Bon Iver song meanings »


 


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]






Just Posted

Gone anonymous
Better Man anonymous
Sick And Tired anonymous
Lovely anonymous
Rude Boy anonymous
Nice To Meet Ya kadds13
Still kadds13
Fool's Gold kadds13
Mirrors kadds13
Dollhouse anonymous
Therefore I Am anonymous
Therefore I Am anonymous
So Many Tears Jules2020
The Reason anonymous
Secret Garden anonymous

Get a weekly email update

(We won't give out your email)

Latest Releases

Devil Always Made Me Think Twice
Chris Stapleton
All The Cowboys
Alexandra Kay
Joy Of My Life
Chris Stapleton
Take Me Home For Christmas
Dan + Shay
Distance
Mammoth WVH
Under The Mistletoe
Kelly Clarkson
Maggie's Song
Chris Stapleton
Fly Away
Tones And I