What does White Winter Hymnal mean?

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Fleet Foxes: White Winter Hymnal Meaning

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White Winter Hymnal Lyrics

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I was following the,
I was following the,
I was following the,
I was following the,
I was following the,
I was following the,
I was following the,
I was following the,
I was following the pack,
All swallowed in their coats
With scarves of red...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Jan 2nd, 2019 1:11am report


    I agree with the French Revolution bit, but not the Michael part. Remember that Michael is an angel, and he was supposed to be a warrior of some sort. He was a saint to many (including many French) people, and in one battle he was defeated but resurrected by god. Apparently he “fell” to earth, as in “And Michael you would fall” as if he were to fall, or if people were to stop fighting, they, too, would fall.



  2. 2TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Jan 18th, 2013 1:30pm report


    The song is ripe with references to the french revolution.
    "Swallowed in their coats" refers to the style of puffy coat that was popularized during the revolution
    "Scarves of red" refers to the red scarves or hats worn to show loyalty to the revolution and those who didn't, especially nobility, were executed, hence the "keep their heads" and the "White snow as strawberries".



  3. 3TOP RATED

    Izzy
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    Dec 5th, 2017 12:34pm report


    I’m almost 100% sure it’s about the French Revolution. If people did not wear red hats or scarves and they would be seen as,”Not supporting the revolution.” So then they would decapitated

    “I was following the
    I was following the
    I was following the
    I was following the
    I was following the
    I was following the
    I was following the
    I was following the pack” part to me resembled. A team of French revolutionist; multiple people a repeating the same thing as they are all following each other.

    “All swallowed in their coats
    With scarves of red tied ‘round their throats to keep their little heads from falling in the snow”

    They had to wear coats because-well-it’s cold. And the scarves resemble the red scarves they had to wear, or else their little heads would get decapitated. (most likely young boys, that’s probably why it says little heads)

    “And I turned ‘round and there you go
    And Michael you would fall and turn the white snow red as strawberries in the summertime.”

    Maybe Michael tripped and his scarve fell off so while he was rushing to find it (so he wouldn’t get decapitated) he possibly accidentally buried it under the snow. Or he was tired of living a miserable life having to fight in the revolution so he took it off wanting the sweet release of death.

    If you listen to the instrumental you can hear drums.OH GOD I HAVE ANOTHER THEORY. Maybe Michael was a young drummer boy who is extremely tired from carrying and playing a heavy drum so he passed it but as he was falling the scarf fell off and he got decapitated because they though he took it off on purpose.(this next one is following my first theory) Maybe the drums resemble the drums that the drummer boys are playing at his funeral, if they even gave him a funeral that is.

    Apart from all the theories, I must say that this is a very catchy and brilliant song.



  4.  

    anonymous
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    Jan 5th, 1:39pm report


    It was the main singers brother, Michael. I’m pretty sure he killed himself so when they say you turned the snow red like strawberries in the summer time it’s referring to Michael killing himself in the winter. It’s sad really



  5.  

    anonymous
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    Jan 1st, 1:01pm report


    I agree that it may be about the revolution though I always thought it was about hanging people.



  6.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 24th, 12:09pm report


    I just thought it was like an Alice and wonderland scenario where if the kids took of their scarf they’re head would fall off. So the blood would turn or red... this makes more sense though



  7.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 23rd, 12:12pm report


    Although it may have been written one way with a meaning in mind the art transcends and comes to mean other things. Ansgogical.



  8.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 21st, 12:18pm report


    I have always thought this song was talking about kids playing along with each other, and a kid named Micheal a child who had on a red scarf. Fell down and his head started to bleed, and when it said to keep their little heads from falling in the snow was just figuritive language, but anyway his head started to bleed and turned the white snow red.



  9.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 20th, 12:56pm report


    I think it’s about red birds be happy people.
    I’m



  10.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 18th, 12:25pm report


    I always pictured a pack of young foxes playing in the snow, and one of them clumsily leaps into a big pile of snow



  11.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 16th, 12:21pm report


    I thought this was about the Soviet revolution and the execution of the people who opposed. Hence the red scarves round their throats the let people know that they supported the revolution. Also the coats thing, as they needed their fur coats to keep warm. Finally I think the snow red like strawberries in the summertime was like the people being killed and painting the snow red.



  12.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 14th, 12:28am report


    I think it is about robins with their feathers fluffed up (coats) . Can look like their heads are stuck on buried in their feathers.
    Michael falls backwards in the deep snow exposing his chest , looking like a strawberry .



  13.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 9th, 12:18am report


    You all are idiots. The singer explained the meaning of the lyrics back in 2009. Go to the Song Facts website. It's basically about growing up with the same people and watching them taking different, wretched paths.



  14.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 5th, 12:23pm report


    It’s about goats.



  15.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 5th, 12:15pm report


    I thought at first Michael fell into another dimension, but when I kept listening I thought when it said ”with scarves of red tied round their throats...” it meant they had scarves around their necks to keep their heads from falling off.



  16.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 4th, 12:26pm report


    I don't know if this is correct, but my friend told me that this song was about a kid named Michael who was playing in the snow. Then suddenly he saw a pack of dogs so he went chasing after them, and slipped on ice. When he slipped, he hit his head on a rock and started bleeding so the white snow turned red as strawberries in the summertime. However, I thought something completely different. I heard this song and the only phrase I was focusing on was, "And Michael, you would fall and turn the white snow red
    As strawberries in the summertime." So, I thought why would the snow turn red if he just fell? Well, it answers my question when it says, "With scarves of red tied 'round their throats To keep their little heads from falling in the snow." This can mean various different things, but the one, in my opinion, that makes the most sense would be that Michael could be one of the many prisoners who are supposed to be executed, and they didn't have a place to hold their heads so they had scarfs on so the executors could hold them in place. Sadly when it was Michaels turns his head fell into the snow, like the rest, and the blood turned the snow red.



  17.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 4th, 12:13pm report


    i think this song is about the sacrificing of lambs like in the bible



  18.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 4th, 12:31pm report


    To me it sounds like children are dying playing in the snow



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