"Flume" as written by and Justin Deyarmond Edison Vernon....
I am my mother's only one
It's enough

I wear my garment so it shows
Now you know

Only love is all maroon
Gluey feathers on a flume
Sky is womb and she's the moon

I am my mother on the wall, with us all
I move in water, shore to shore;
Nothing's more

Only love is all maroon
Lapping lakes like leary loons
Leaving rope burns
Reddish rouge

Only love is all maroon
Gluey feathers on a flume
Sky is womb and she's the moon


Lyrics submitted by J.Diddy

"Flume" as written by Justin Deyarmond Edison Vernon

Lyrics © CHRYSALIS MUSIC OBO APRIL BASE PUBLISHING

Lyrics powered by LyricFind


Flume song meanings
Add your thoughts

63 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +13
    General Commenti just heard him play this live-in-studio on the radio today. AMAZING. he has ashow tonight near where i live, but i have finals tomorrow.

    honestly. best discovery ever. his songs make me just want to lie in the grass and watch clouds.

    this one seems like it might be about an unborn baby, as in "i wear my garment so it shows" and the refernces to womb. the whole feel of the song is that he's simulating being in the womb, surrounded by maroon and "lapping lakes" also "rope burns" could be the umbilical cord.

    it's almost kind of gross but it's still SO SO beautiful!

    i thank god for justin vernon.
    ddragonflyon January 17, 2008   Link
  • +8
    General CommentI am my mother's only one
    It's enough

    - he's saying this because he was abandoned/betrayed by people close to him

    I wear my garment so it shows
    Now you know

    - he's naked and vulnerable. now you know what it looks like to see him without his masks.

    Only love is all maroon

    - maroon is the color of dried blood. not only does love hurt, but it doesn't quite look as glorious after it's done with you.

    Gluey feathers on a flume

    - pieces of himself left behind as he parted ways...

    Sky is womb and she's the moon

    - womb is new birth. he's journeying down the flume. moon- could be guidance. he's still attached to whatever he left behind.

    I am my mother on the wall, with us all
    '
    - mother on the wall is a photograph of someone who passed away. she is not "with us all". neither is he.

    I move in water, shore to shore;
    Nothing's more

    - again, he is wandering down the river/stream..

    Lapping lakes like leary loons

    - feeling so alone it's driving him mad. same idea implied with the moon.

    Leaving rope burns
    Reddish rouge

    - rope burns don't happen unless he tried to hold on... he did. it hurt. he had to let go. now he's wounded reddish rouge.


    that's how I understand it. - Stefan
    stefansuarezon July 02, 2012   Link
  • +6
    General CommentI'm really hoping that this song means something, and that the lyrics aren't a bunch of nonsense that just sound good. This song is gorgeous but I'd much rather it be a profoundly beautiful song, as opposed to just a shallow, meaningless one. I've skimmed some of the comments and here's my two cents. Don't hate, it's probably nonsense but I'm trying here.
    I did more research on "loons", which some people think is a reference to some kind of crazy, as in looney but I disagree. I think it refers to the bird, the loon. The loon is an aquatic bird, that often dives underwater. Also, I don't believe that the line "Leary loons" has any connection to Timothy Leary, as someone else stated. It's probably a misspelling. I think it's supposed to say "lapping lakes like LEERY loons." Leery (not Leary) means cautious or distrustful. This wary bird must be symbolic of something. The bird explanation makes more sense to me, especially when you refer to the part that says "only love is all maroon, gluey feathers on the flume." What would make the feathers "gluey"? Blood. The bird has been shot or hurt in some way. It's not a literal bird he's singing about, of course, I think he's just meaning that there's an intense pain or suffering of some sort going on here. Maroon could represent the color of the blood, and the consequent pain brought on. The rope burns could support that also. I'm trying to see how the womb and the mother reference could tie into all of this but I just can't seem to put it together. I do not think it's about a literal pregnancy of any sort though. Help, someone:P
    Cel7on January 05, 2012   Link
  • +4
    General Commentits not just about a break up with his girlfriend (who, for the record, wasn't called Emma). the whole album is a cathartic response to the breakup of justin vernons previous bands and previous girlfriends. its not about one specific moment or relationship, more about the false hope that comes with each new one.
    having become overwhelmed he went into the cabin to get away from having to start something new, just concentrate on day to day living. the record is him putting everything that happened up until then into perspective.
    selfishisgorgeouson October 08, 2008   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThe line 'Sky is womb and she's the moon' is easily one of the best lyrics I've ever heard. Just so... Magical is really the only way to describe it.

    As for meaning... Well, the whole album's about the breakup with his girlfriend, hence For Emma... But I can't quite see how it fits in here...
    Samwiiiseon July 10, 2008   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationI believe this song is about losing his innocence, and the pain and confusion that come with maturity and first love. I believe he had a hard time facing the "adult world", and feels alone as he travels into maturity, down the flume. When he says "Only love is all maroon", I believe he is trying to convey the message that love scarred him, and he is creating a powerful image of the pain that has come with heartbreak. The maroon being the blood, and gluey feathers adding to the image of a hurt loon. I believe the picture he paints of the sky and the moon symbolizes how he felt about this girl who hurt him so, and he cannot quite get over her. This girl made him feel young again (sky is womb, and she is the moon). Now, he is lost again, facing the adult world, and as he tries to hold on to the broken love, it's hurting him in more ways than ever. Not only is he a heartbroken, wandering loon, he is rope burned, forever scarring him with the rouge.

    BUT that's just what I think. I'm such an amateur. ;D
    heeykaylynon August 10, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe lyrics here talk about simple things, about being a single human creature; about being fragile and vulnerable, being small and finite, being memories and scars.
    mausxxdogon June 25, 2011   Link
  • +2
    My OpinionBon Iver create the kind of music where you really have to close your eyes and feel it to truly appreciate the grandiloquence in each song. It's the kind of music you can't just love because of the sound, but because of the meaning and feeling behind it that really reaches out to each and every person in a different, exotic, beautiful way. In whatever way that might be, you feel that connection, that understanding, and it sends a chill of introspection through your entire body.
    RougeWoeon July 31, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Commenthere's what i get from the lyrics...

    he is playing an Icarus figure (Icarus who flew too close to the sun and his wings melted and he fell to his death). Icarus fell from the sky and left his dad, Daedalus, in the air. Bon Iver fell from his mother's womb and left his mother, the moon, at home.

    Icarus fell into the sea, this could help explain the "i move in water, shore to shore" but i'm not sure how

    so basically, I see that he fells like he's got no home, he fell from his mother when he did not want to and he survives (rather than living and thriving) at best warily ("leery").
    sagaxfiloson March 23, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with dragonfly on the pregnancy interpretation,

    "I am my mother's only one", rarely twins.

    His "Sky is womb, and she is the moon".

    Redness abounds, "Only love is all maroon", "Reddish ruse".

    Amniotic fluid, "I move in water, shore to shore", "Lapping lakes like leary loons".

    That umbilical cord, "Leaving rope burns".

    All I will say is that a Flume is a narrow water channel.


    Steve0hon February 06, 2009   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain