it took a while for me to thoroughly understand this song. listening to it over and over again on the radio during those countless trips to and from the city, i passively allowed the meaning behind the words to slide off of me just as easily as the image of the city lights and moving cars slid off from my sight.
and much as i tried to dig deep into the song, i couldn’t. thank god for google, i found this very interesting piece of information about the song explained by justin vernon himself (that’s the guy who wrote and originally sang “skinny love”) of the american indie folk band, bon iver, during an interview and i couldn’t help but be drawn to the darkness of its meaning. because it’s the kind of darkness everyone has been through. or is going through.
like some form of universal pain that connects people together.
here’s an excerpt of that interview which i got from here:
Q: There’s this peaceful resignation going on all over For Emma. It suggests there’s been some time and distance between you and the stories you’re telling. Is that the case?
JV: In time, yes. But in earnestness and closeness of feel, they are current, or were when I wrote them. They hadn’t escaped or dissipated yet until I dealt with them, no matter how long ago they existed. It’s kind of like the sores are still open. Just scarred over. So it’s like me sitting and examining these scars. Trying to rip them off. Discard them. Or at least explain them, so I can be at peace with them.
Q: “Skinny Love” seems this one is about the moment you knew things were destined to fail.
JV: Well, this wasn’t about who you think it would be about. Part of the trouble with the old haunting love, is that it fucks with your future loves, and can damn and/or ambush your relationships. That’s who this is about.
but enough of the drama. you gotta admit it’s a very beautiful song, although i like birdy’s version better. =)