Bon Iver: Skinny Love Meaning
Skinny Love Lyrics
Come on skinny love just last the year
Pour a little salt we were never here
My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my
Staring at the sink of blood and crushed veneer
I tell my love to wreck it all
Cut out all the ropes and...
anonymous Aug 30th, 2013 8:28am report
"Come on skinny love just last the year"
This statement seems as if his begging what happens to be withering love to last longer than it looks like it will. It could be he hopes with enough time things would get better.
"Pour a little salt, we were never here"
Salt is usually used on wounds to help them heal, so he might mean to heal the withering love over this period of time in hopes that everything would get back to as they were before the love withered, like nothing happened ( we were never here).
"Staring at the sink of blood and crushed veneer"
Veneer means a deceptive, superficial show; a facade. The blood could symbolize the sacrifices that have been made over this withering love but even in that it's just an illusion and nothing really has been gained or changed from this. The love continues to wither
"Tell my love to wreck it all
Cut out all the ropes and let me fall
Right in this moment this order's tall"
This line could be directed to his significant other who probably doesn't have as much hope in the withering love as he does. So his almost sarcastically telling her to wreck it all, all they've been through before the love withered and to throw away the little love they've savored between them. He doesn't want her to but his tired of fighting for what seems to be already dead love, so he just wants to give up and that's all he wants (Right in this moment this order's tall)
"And I told you to be patient
And I told you to be fine
And I told you to be balanced
And I told you to be kind"
In this moment he reflects on how he asked his significant other to be rooted with him through the time he tries to fix their withering love. This almost makes it feel like the reason the love withered is cause of him and he asks his love to understand and stand with him as he tries to make things right. Which goes back to the first line "Come on skinny love just last the year", which he probably asked her to give him time.
"In the morning I'll be with you
But it will be a different kind
I'll be holding all the tickets
And you'll be owning all the fines"
This verse implies that after the time his asked to work on their love things will be different (In the morning I'll be with you
But it will be a different kind) I'll be holding all the tickets means he will own up to his part in the withering love, and the fines his referring too are the things his done wrong in the relationship, his willing to own up to them.
"Come on skinny love, what happened here?
We suckled on the hope in lite brassieres
Sullen load is full, so slow on the split"
In this verse his asking how their love withered. His remembering the things they or he took for granted (We suckled on the hope in lite brassieres) That it didn't happen over night but it took a number of situations over a period of time to wither there love.
"And now all your love is wasted
And then who the hell was I?
And I'm breaking at the britches
And at the end of all your lines"
He questions all the love they had for each other, and how she could just throw it away so easily if he had meant so much to her. It gives us the impression that she has indeed decided to walk away and not give him the chance to fix their withering love.
"Who will love you?
Who will fight?
Who will fall far behind?"
This statement is directed to himself, that if the one he loved could walk away from him after the love they had then who would love him and see him worth fighting for.
anonymous Jun 15th, 2014 6:15pm report
"After losing all his money playing online poker, catching mono and suffering through two breakups (one from his band, one from his girlfriend), Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon hibernated in his father's Wisconsin hunting cabin, where he wrote this ghostly, acoustic indie-folk ballad. Although he admits that "Skinny Love" is mostly about the end of his longtime romance, he explains that the concept behind the song runs deeper that that. "You're in a relationship because you need help, but that's not necessarily why you should be in a relationship. And that's skinny. It doesn't have any weight," Vernon said. "Skinny love doesn't have a chance because it's not nourished."
Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/song-stories/skinny-love-bon-iver
anonymous Feb 22nd, 2012 2:19pm report
The song has nothing to do with anorexia or any other kind of illness...Bon Iver himself has told what the song means, and defined skinny love:
"It’s about that time in a relationship that I was going through; you’re in a relationship because you need help, but that’s not necessarily why you should be in a relationship. And that’s skinny. It doesn’t have weight. Skinny love doesn’t have a chance because it’s not nourished.”
anonymous Jul 31st, 7:45pm report
It drives me crazy this isn't obvious. This song is about a man getting ready to murder his girlfriend after a night of domestic violence and then he needs to clean up the crime scene and get rid of the body the next morning.
This girlfriend didn't even last a year before he had to kill her.
He "poors a little salt" because he needs to use it as a cleaning agent to clean up the blood and gore. That way, no one will know they were there at the crime scene.
Salt works as an effective scouring agent and catalyst for other ingredients, such as vinegar, to boost it ability to clean and deodorize.
"Pour a little salt, we were never here." That is the point of clearning up the crime scene so no one would know they were ever there.
He literally looks in the sink and stares at the blood and crushed dental veneeers. That is what you see in crime scene photos of a vicious murder. Blood and crushed dental veneers.
In other words, if you hit someone in the mouth really hard you will crush their dental veneers and have blood everywhere. If you try and clean that up, there will be blood and crushed dental veneers in the sink and you will stare at it.
As he is cleaning up the crime scene, it occurs to him that the girl really disappointed him. He told her that she was the reason it all got wrecked. She wrecked it all and he blames her for his bad acts. It was her fault. At some point she is so tired of being tortured and beaten that she begs him to let her die - cut the ropes and let me fall.
He says "right in the moment this order's tall" because he is having a hard time taking the final action to kill her and he wants to delay it longer.
Now he starts blaming her again - he told her to be patient, be fine, be balanced, be kind, but she let him down and didn't do what he said. It is her fault he has to kill her.
He tells her that in the morning he will still be with her but it will be a different "kind," because she will be dead.
He is holding the court tickets because he committed the crime, but he doesn't intend to pay the fine or be punished or suffer any consequence. That is why he is cleaning up the crime scene. Instead, she will be the only one to suffer the consequences of his bad acts and she will be owning all the fines.
After he kills her he looks at the mess and says "Skinner love, what happened here?" sarcastically because he knows exactly what he did.
I'm not sure what "suckle on the hope in light brassieres" means. A baby suckles on it's mother's breast to get nourishment and that woman's brassiereres (bra) would be heavy. But a skinny women has smaller breast in a "lite" brassiereres and less nourishment to offer.
I think it means he needed "hope" from this women but she never had any to offer and he should have known that from the beginning. She was too "skinny" and not even capable of supplying anything he needed and that was obvious to him all along but he ignored that fact.
Her dead body would definitely be a "sullen" or miserable load. That load is a lot to move around so it is making it hard for him to "split" or leave the crime scene because he has to take it with him. It is taking him longer than he wants to clean up and move the dead body before he can split.
"Sullen load is full, so slow on the split."
It again occurs to him that it is really her fault because she couldn't be patient, be fine, be balanced, be kind.
Because she got herself killed, her love was "wasted." Gone forever. He thinks that if all that was wasted, then who is he?
He breaking at the britches - he is literally falling apart and ready to get out of there. Because it is the end of her existence - nothing is left of her lines and it is time to go.
Then it occurs to him that she is gone and no one will love her ever again. No one will fight with her. No one will fall far behind - because now she is dead and gone.
anonymous Sep 25th, 2016 9:46pm report
I have wondered a lot about this song's lyrics, because I love it so much.
I actually had another thought than most of the other comments here. Maybe the 'you' in the song is himself so instead of singing to his love he is singing to the part of himself that wasted the love? He is angry wih the part of himself that did not live up to his expectations. He told himself to be kind and patient, but instead he ended up wasting his love. So in the song he has reached that place where he tells his girlfriend to leave him. And in the end he Wonders if anyone is able to love him and fight for him and thereby fall behind with him?
Arguments for this perspective:
The expression 'skinny love' is not the girlfriend - it is a metaphor for poor or destructive love.
When he mentions the girlfriend he says 'I told my love...' indicating that he is speaking to another 'you' - the mirror of himself that he is talking to; the version of himself that has realised that the love is lost and his own faults in the proces.
The part where he talks about waking up anew and holding tickets - I interpret it as being his hope that he will change in the future - and that his old self will hold the fines for this doomed relationship.
anonymous Jan 13th, 2015 1:38pm report
I think this song is talking about the love between two people, but it is more of a one sided relationship now. He wants her to be balanced, kind etc, so he wants what is best for her, but not for him. He is Willing to let her go but is questioning that decision. When he says "but in a different kind" I think it means that he will be distant from her so she doesn't feel guilty or her wanting to stay. He will continue to love her, but wants her to have better.
I believe that the song was written about himself, in his addiction, and his girlfriend being desperate to have him be well and balanced. He is hanging on to this woman because she is his security. I view it as though she may be the only thing that has kept him from over dosing or killing himself in his lowest moments. She loves him very deeply and is torn because it is pure torture to be with him while having to constantly take care and watch over him. Never having a worry free moment. Always begging him to get better. He says to just let him go. She knows maybe she should let him go, but loves him so much that the fear of leaving will only speed up his slow suicide. So she lives in pain and terror, worrying about him every second and begging him to hold on and be well. I believe that by skinny he means that he has done so much damage, to the relationship, that there is next to nothing left, as far as ever having a trusting partnership with the correct kind of love. She has taken on more of a parenting role or a caretaker and his love for her is more of a selfish one .. As if she were one of his drugs, that he has to have. Since the drugs have numbed him to being fully aware of how much he's hurt her .. He won't know until he's better, how much he put her through. But she is there and says she will be there still to clean up all the messes, if he'll recover. I'm sure in recovery he learned that he needed to let her go. The passionate love was so "skinny" that it could probably never be recovered.
She loved him unselfishly and he loved her very selfishly.
anonymous Jan 31st, 2013 1:25pm report
I think this song about a couple that is falling apart because they're together for the wrong reasons. There's no doubt that they love each other, but one of them is emotionally broken, and they are only in a relationship because it makes them feel less broken. Justin Vernon said, "You're in a relationship because you need help, but that's not necessarily why you should be in a relationship, and that's skinny. It doesn't have weight. Skinny love doesn't have a change because it's not nourished."
"Pour a little salt, we were never here," is about how salt can have healing powers, and that they can just forget that they were ever together to save the heartbreak.
"In the morning, I'll be with you, but it will be a different kind." I think this line is about how when you wake up next to them, they won't provide that same comfort that they did the night before.
"Now all your love is wasted, and who the hell was I?" To me, this line is about how he was a different person with her, and that she wasted her time and love on him.
"I told you to be patient...fine... balanced...kind." I think this is about how he told her to be patient and fine while he wasn't there, or wasn't himself.
anonymous Nov 21st, 2012 11:45am report
I've listened to this song on repeat so many times. I feel like it can speak to everyone, and not just someone suffering from anorexia. This song is about someone who invested their love in another person, but that person betrayed them. In this case it is a boy singing about a girl. Who will love the traitor? No one, because no one wants to fall far behind with her. That's why she will will be stuck owing all the fines. The singer is broken hearted that she didn't listen to his advice, and all her love was wasted... he says, " then who the hell was I?" Questioning what he even meant to her. My My My is repeated to give a sense of grief or disbelief. He was in love with this skinny love, but she was destructive. He is leaving her behind, because he has a ticket. He hasn't done wrong, but she has.
anonymous Oct 28th, 2012 10:04am report
It´s a song about a relation,
between an ego and an alter ego?
Name them you and me,
as said in the song:
I told YOU to be patient...
Sink, blood, veneer, ropes, orders, brassiere, britches.
Attributes not quite common for a love song?
Sink not source,
blood not water,
veneer not tree,
rope not free,
orders not dreams?
And the wording goes on with crushed and wrecked an let it fall?
It is about dominance:
One tells the other what to do and how to behave?
A chain of imperatives in the text?
One is holding the tickets and one the fines?
In the morning I will be with you?
And where have you been at night?
Read between the lines and listen to the expression of the voice, bit angry and frustrated
You got it?
anonymous Sep 26th, 2012 9:30pm report
I think this song is actually in some ways, him leaving her or him even dying.
"I'll be with you but it'll be a different kind"
More Bon Iver song meanings »
Submit Your Interpretation
|When I Was Older||anonymous|
|Therefore I Am||anonymous|
|Santa Tell Me||anonymous|
|You're So Vain||anonymous|
|Light My Fire||anonymous|
|Never Gonna Give You Up||anonymous|
|Party in the U.S.A.||anonymous|