"Souverian" as written by and Andrew Wegman Bird....
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Souverian song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentSo who is Souverian? A google search turned up a farmer named Souverian P. Frigon who was born in 1850 in Canada and immigrated to Iriquois County, Illinois (Andrew Bird's home state). Might just be a coincidence, but this Souverian being a farmer fits in with the pastoral images of parsnips, thistles, thrushes, and grasses.

    Perhaps Andrew Bird is spinning a story around a real but mostly unknown figure?
    thriggleon December 17, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI am surprised no one has pointed out a few interchangeable words that are alternated throughout the song. During the "Souverian" Chorus, I believe he is saying "So very young" on every other line; "So very young, the free". Try it next time you listen. Also, more importantly at the end, the word "Alder" is used in place of "Elder" on a few lines. It makes more sense too.

    "Under the alders
    The older get younger
    The younger get over
    Over the elders
    Under the alders
    Bending your branches down"

    It's a song about growing old and dying as well as the contrast of youth and age I believe. The trees are used to symbolize age and themes like spring are used to symbolize youth.

    "Souverian Souverian the elder
    So very young the free
    Souverian Souverian we feld her
    So very young so very young were we"
    GrimSunon March 17, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMy favorite part of the sing is:

    "So here it comes the chorus
    You'll never fear anymore
    If you join a chorus
    We will meet on a fatal shore"

    Obviously you think it's going to break into the chorus... and then... silence... and the song just keeps going. It's cruel, in a beautiful Andrew Bird type way. I'm not exactly sure what he means by it, but when I first heard this song that part hit me really hard.
    Soupsoncreepon May 08, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is really beautiful.
    wild_ cosmiaon December 18, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlet go, perhaps?
    eating_for_youon January 03, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song really stood out to me on his new album, at least of what I've heard of it. It's so heartbreaking.
    MNTwinsfanon January 05, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFor some reason, this song reminds me of the Smashing Pumpkins song Today.

    Etymology:From Old French soverain

    Souverain= french used as noun or adjective = sovereign= Exceptional in quality.

    Of course...he just could have made up the word because it sounded right too. (smirk)
    Bug2on January 11, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentis anyone else seeing the sovay/souverian similarities here?
    i can already see a similar discussion unfolding on this page that seems to be following the whole "what does the word sovay come from" discussion on the sovay page

    sovay=sauvee=sophie=etc, etc....

    he could have just carried it out more and created souverian

    i hope someone is following me here, afterall i am pretty deHIGHdrated
    AlexKuykendallon February 02, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIgnore the title. "Souverian" is just a pretty French word Mr. Bird liked. He was asked about it in an NPR interview just before the album release.

    Host: I don't know if I'm saying this right, Sou-
    Bird: "Souverian," yeah. It's French.
    Host: Oh, what's it mean?
    Bird: I do not know.

    You know him, he'll use random words even if they don't add to the theme or message.

    BTW, for the curious, "souverian" means being powerful or having control.
    LadyZephyruson February 06, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA breakup song...?

    Andrew Bird tends to move away from complete and explainable meaning in order to allow the listener to come to their own conclusions, or just enjoy the sound of the words. But, as he's mentioned in interviews, much of this album was written after a breakup. The lines in the verses seem to say that he can see that everything around him is supposed to be fine, but there's just a deep feeling that it will never go away.

    "Thrushes sing
    Still my lover won't return to me..."
    IAteTheLotuson June 15, 2009   Link

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