"The Wolves (Act I and II)" as written by and Justin Deyarmond Edison Vernon....
Someday my pain, someday my pain
Will mark you
Harness your blame, harness your blame
And walk through

With the wild wolves around you
In the morning, I'll call you
Send it farther on

Solace my game, solace my game
It stars you
Swing wide your crane, swing wide your crane
And run me through

And the story's all over you
In the morning I'll call you
Can't you find a clue when your eyes are all painted Sinatra blue

What might have been lost -
Don't bother me


Lyrics submitted by J.Diddy

"The Wolves (Act I and II)" as written by Justin Deyarmond Edison Vernon

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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The Wolves (Act I and II) song meanings
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48 Comments

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  • +12
    General CommentTo me - this song is about a relationship gone sour. And while one person is in mourning the other is moving on....the disconnect between them is made most obvious at the end, when on person is saying "what might have been lost" as in we have given up on a great thing! and the other person says "don't bother me" because they want to move on!

    Going back to the beginning though:

    The person in mourning is conflicted with feelings of sadness and resentment of what they feel and want the other person to feel it too. "someday my pain will mark you." Almost like saying to them "you may not feel the loss of me now but you will....you'll miss me too. "

    And while the other one might already be moving on leaving the other alone to mourn, the mourner promises to be there for them when (IF) they ever come back "With the wolves around you, In the morning, I'll call you."

    The next stanza is so brilliant: "Solace my game," anyone who's been through a break-up knows you must act cheerful on the outside while the other person is hurting you so much "swing your crane, and run me through."

    this song chills me. he's managed to capture the inside turmoil that many of us have experienced when things "just don't work out."
    lyriclover81on July 09, 2008   Link
  • +7
    General Commentin the percussion bit, I always hear it as a train going by...
    "what might have been lost", as actually leaving
    runghollowon June 27, 2008   Link
  • +6
    General Commenthas such fervency in his voice which sounds like it's coated in some sweet molasses
    slinkstersarson May 20, 2008   Link
  • +6
    General CommentMy interpretation goes like this: “Someday, what you did to me will happen to you. Go ahead and blame me for everything if that works for you, if that clears your conscience. When your day comes I’ll be there to see it happen and I take comfort in that fact. So go ahead and finish tearing me down. I know you, I know your deal. And I will be there when you fall. You can’t see the fact that nobody else can take care of you like I can. And when you finally do realize it, when you start to wonder about what we could’ve had, don’t come around. I won’t have anything to do with you.”
    jjjax3on September 30, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis is fantastic live...the whole crowd chanting "what might have been lost..." is so fucking amazing and touching. Shivers.
    chickenflickeron June 01, 2008   Link
  • +3
    General Commentthe falsetto "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAh aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh" during the climax is the single most glorious moment of the entire album.
    Crane42on February 12, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentAs soon as I listened to Bon Iver I loved him. His music is lyrical, his lyrics musical.
    Everything sounds with a heart, everything is played for a reason and his melodies and harmonies sound like a heartstring to me.

    The Wolves is my favourite as it makes me feel so alive. To me, personally, it sounds bitter and resentful. "Some day my pain, will mark you."
    As if saying to someone, one day you will realise how much pain i was in.
    I listen to his songs, and i don't necessarily take in the lyrics, but the sounds and the interpretation, and what the lyricality of his music says to me, rather like the intent of Sigar Ros.

    "What might of been lost," the repetition alone either emphasises an intent on believing that it doesn't "bother" him, or that it does and he's trying to tell himself this, or at least that's how i feel when i listen to the song.

    It's just a good frigging song. Each songs says something to me, and i think his music calls to everyone.
    pombear2009on December 01, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis song moves me more than any other, i know his pain, and i feel it too.
    it's the most tragically beautiful song i have ever heard,
    and what kills me most is that i've been in exactly the situation as him.
    upinthewoodson April 29, 2010   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationTo me this is definitely about a relationship gone sour. I think the song, as its title suggests, is broken into two parts. Difficult to tell, but the more I look at it, the more I think every verse goes back and forth. It seems like the woman was pretty terrible to the man. At first, the man says, Someday my pain, will mark you. I think it means that the woman may think she's fine now after the relationship, but someday in the future she'll realize how much she hurt someone who loved her and she'll have to carry that with her forever. I think the next part is possibly a response by the woman, telling him to stop blaming her and to just get over it.

    The next part says, "with the wild wolves around you." I think it describes a person who has unexpectedly gotten in over their head. Probably describing the man who entered into a relationship with the best of intentions and expectations, but was suddenly surrounded by this woman who devoured him with no regard to him as a person. So I think the man responds, that after the relationship ends, he, in a serious sarcastic way, says he'll call her and tell her that she can just go ahead and do the same thing to someone else.

    When he sings, "solace my game" I think it is the woman admitting that this sort of game she plays where she destroys mens' hearts brings her comfort, and at the moment, he's in the center of it. Then, this lyric is my favorite because of its power and terror, he sings, "swing wide your crane, swing wide your crane, and run me through." To me, the man is saying that if she's really going to destroy him, his heart, his soul, that she'd better just destroy it all. She should break him as hard as she possibly can (maybe so that she'll also destroy any love he ever had for her).

    The next part I am not sure of. But it seems like the woman is saying that he is now enveloped in this situation and this relationship even though it has ended. And she's saying that she'll still try to call him in the morning and reconcile and repair the relationship, most likely so she can destroy it again soon. And the man responds with, "Can't you find a clue when your eyes are all painted Sinatra blue." Several people have said that Sinatra could refer to her naive view of love, but I think others are right when they say that the color of Frank Sinatra's eyes closely resemble the color eyes turn when they go blind. And I think he's telling the woman that he's not an idiot, and that she must be blind if she thinks he's not hurt enough to never return to her.

    And I think the last words are spoken by the man. He believes that while he did love her, maybe even still, and wanted desperately to be with her, that none of it is worth it anymore. He realizes that a future with her is hell. So while he's hurt and maybe regrets parts of the relationship, he says whatever future life I might have just lost, it doesn't bother me.

    Then the wonderful, emotional, angry bliss of music at the end I think well interprets the whole relationship. It's just an overwhelming of emotion and noise and you can't even think straight, you're just in the moment, listening to your soul scream.


    Well, anyway that's just how I would interpret it.
    EatenbyWolveson September 02, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentJustin Vernon stated in an interview that the end percussions are meant to sound like fireworks.

    This is a very healing song, allowing for a sort of celebration of acceptance of the pain and love lost that he sings about earlier.
    persephonesgrinon January 31, 2012   Link

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