"Love Is All" as written by and Kristian Matsson....
Well I walk upon the river like it's easier than land
Evil's in my pocket and your will is in my hand
Oh, your will is in my hand

And I'll throw it in the current that I stand upon so still
Love is all, from what I've heard, but my heart's learned to kill
Oh, mine has learned to kill

Oh, I said I could rise
From the harness of our goals
Here come the tears
But like always, I let them go
Just let them go

And now spikes will keep on falling from the heavens to the floor
The future was our skin and now we don't dream anymore
No, we don't dream anymore

Like a house made from spider webs and the clouds rolling in
I bet this mighty river's both my savior and my sin
Oh, my savior and my sin

Oh, I said I could rise
From the harness of our goals
Here come the tears
But like always, I let them go
Just let them go

Well I walk upon the river like it's easier than land
Evil's in my pocket and your strength is in my hand
Your strength is in my hand

And I'll throw you in the current that I stand upon so still
Love is all, from what I've heard, but my heart's learned to kill
Oh, mine has learned to kill

Oh, I said I could rise
From the harness of our goals
Here come the tears
But like always, I let them go
Just let them go


Lyrics submitted by synapsistapped

"Love Is All" as written by Kristian Matsson

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Love Is All song meanings
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  • +14
    General CommentHmm.
    I think people may be looking at this the wrong way. Maybe we shouldn't be assuming everybody feels love is a great thing.
    I don't think he's talking about a break up or losing somebody. Rather, I think he's talking about losing himself, about not loving anymore, or at least, trying not to. Look, love is all, right? That's what everybody says. Well, my heart has learned to kill, he's saying. Not that he wants it this way, which is why the tears come. But something in him fights them, pushes them back, and so he lets them go.

    Notice how he says he walks on the river like it's easier than land. This paints an image of a man who is of a different breed than other humans, doesn't it? Everyone loves. Everyone loves to love. That's normal. Like walking on land. But he's a little different. It's as if he walks on water. He knows this of himself, and it's almost as if he's warning other people, don't try to love me. He's got evil in his pocket, you see, and he'll throw your will into the current that he stands upon still.
    Sort of reminds me of Chris McCandless, or Alexander Supertramp as he is more commonly known.

    Also, when he says he can rise from the harness of our goals, I don't think he's speaking of the goals of he and some significant other. I think he's talking of the goals of your typical society. Those goals having to do with love and companionship. These goals are a harness, strapping him down, keeping him in. And he can rise from them, letting go of the petty human need of companionship.

    Remember in The Wild Hunt, how he said time and time again how he plans to be forgotten when he's gone? I don't think he's looking for love, guys. I think he's looking to get away from it.

    It's kind of funny, because when you glance at the track listings for the first time, not knowing what to expect from each song, you read "Love Is All" and you imagine he'll sing of how love is all there is worth having. But really, it's just the opposite.

    Hope I don't sound too pretentious. I'm not trying to be.
    sytchon September 07, 2010   Link
  • +7
    My Interpretationwe can only interpret songs with our own experiences, so here goes mine:

    "Well I walk upon the river like it's easier than land
    Evil's in my pocket and your will is in my hand
    Oh, your will is in my hand"

    He desires change. Always. Which is problematic when in a relationship with someone who looks for security and a future. He also has enough confidence in his ability to cope with change and moving on that he can hold her will in his hand because he is not completely committed, and she, in order to compensate for this, has committed herself even more.

    And I'll throw it in the current that I stand upon so still
    Love is all, from what I've heard, but my heart's learned to kill
    Oh, mine has learned to kill

    He's been hurt enough times by love and considers himself a rambling man, destined to continue on breaking hearts and finding new experiences. Despite how much he knows he's supposed to care about her, he acquires confidence by throwing away people who care about him.

    Oh, I said I could rise
    From the harness of our goals
    Here come the tears
    But like always, I let them go
    Just let them go

    But upon making the decision to break up and move on, he finds it is not so easy. Breakups are always hard, especially when there were "our goals"-- indicating that at some point the future was imagined by both parties. The only way to move on, to feel better, is just let the tears flow.

    And now spikes will keep on falling from the heavens to the floor
    The future was our skin and now we don't dream anymore
    No, we don't dream anymore

    Everything is falling apart. All that held them together was these imagined futures, and they're gone. They don't dream of the future, because it's impossible.

    Like a house made from spider webs and the clouds rolling in
    I bet this mighty river's both my savior and my sin
    Oh, my savior and my sin

    His ability to change and his drive to move on and search for something better is a savior, because he knows he can always eventually move on. However, it's also his sin, because it means he will forever be a pain-giver, and will never find happiness and stability. He relied on the drive to move on to be his "house," but it's made of spiderwebs, ready to deteriorate in the oncoming storm. It's not real, not like the skin that was his stable relationship.

    Oh, I said I could rise
    From the harness of our goals
    Here come the tears
    But like always, I let them go
    Just let them go

    Well I walk upon the river like it's easier than land
    Evil's in my pocket and your strength is in my hand
    Your strength is in my hand

    And I'll throw you in the current that I stand upon so still
    Love is all, from what I've heard, but my heart's learned to kill
    Oh, mine has learned to kill

    Oh, I said I could rise
    From the harness of our goals
    Here come the tears
    But like always, I let them go
    Just let them go

    ---------
    Best song on the album, in my humblo opinion. Love the "oh-oh-oh-oh" at the end of "let them go" and the way it's somehow optimistic and also sad. It's like cathartic crying. Also love the water imagery, word choices of "skin, harness" as the stability of a relationship.

    God, does this describe my life...
    poelaureate13on July 09, 2010   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationThis song has become a bittersweet addiction to me. My read on "Love is All" seems to deviate from what most of you are saying. Here's hoping that doesn't make me dumb!

    I think the song is from the perspective of a person struggling with either an intelligent sociopathy or mild psychopathy. He tries being a valid and innocuous member of society, but with little sustained success. He's introspective and currently in touch with some of his empathy before losing it again. He's experiencing the last moments of the the calm before another period of mental turmoil. Perhaps my interpretation does overlap with those of you who are saying it's about a breakup. I think perhaps the song is being sung to the one person who was able to help him think he could be better, but no longer has that ability as he becomes more consumed in his more real connection with hopelessness and destruction.

    - - -

    "I walk upon the river like it's easier than land"
    When he's trying to, accomplishing things that appear impressive is easier for this person than the simple day-to-day things he see others doing with ease. He gets credit for being an extraordinary individual, but struggles with what should be natural to him (connection, relationships, love).

    - - -

    "Evil's in my pocket and your will/strength is in my hand"
    He will always have it in him to be a bad person, but he's trying, hard, to be good because of the person he's singing to.

    - - -

    "Love is all, from what I've heard, but my heart's meant to kill"
    He has to take the best part of being human on faith because he does not experience the same joys everyone else seems to. What he feels is the darkness which makes him harmful.

    - - -

    "And now spikes will keep on falling from the heavens to the floor
    The future was our skin and now we don't dream anymore"
    We are disillusioned. We were idealistic and optimistic when we were young and inexperienced. Life is filled with more pain than we had realized.

    - - -

    "Like a house made from spider webs and the clouds rolling in
    I bet this mighty river's both my savior and my sin"
    His version of the security others have in a relationship/ties to others is flimsy and won't withstand his next period of depression or violence, which he feels coming on. Perhaps ending it all could be both his best and worst moves at once.


    - - -

    "And I'll throw it/you in the current that I stand upon so still"
    The current = violence and destruction, either physical or emotional. He can navigate situations where he is attacking, assaulting or destroying something without the madness of the action disquieting his mind.
    Stand upon so still = not phased by what he's doing/experiencing.
    Throwing it/you in the current = How he deals with the things that bring him struggle. The person he's singing to is no longer sacred by the end of the song, despite his/her former good influence. Where s/he may have tried to bring the singer over to the side where a normal life feels good, things have transitioned to a perspective wherein the singer destroying the person he's singing to could feel just as normal.

    - - -

    His submission to the crying is the most powerful part of this song to me. He doesn't try to control them because from his experience there's no way to stop them, even if he did understand them fully.

    Titling the entire narrative "Love is All" makes it sound even more hopeless, if truly he cannot feel any of it. If love is everything, and he cannot make himself feel love, he knows he exists and struggles for nothing.

    So sad, from my point of view. Thanks, Mr. Birbiglia.
    joystreeton August 07, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think it's a "break-up" song. Sounds like a man who feels held-down by a relationship. "The future is our skin," "house made of spider webs," "the harness of our goals," etc. These all suggest feelings of being trapped in a life that has a pre-determined path, like marriage for example. Perhaps the evil is an affair, or his desire to get out. He's not necessarily killing the woman but killing the marriage, aside from his wife's will to maintain it. This song really moves me. I was just listening to it in my car while watching a couple through my rear-view mirror arguing in the car behind me. The woman was crying and the guy was rubbing her arm and just staring at her looking pained. Really stung. This is an amazing song, an amazing album.
    killedbyjudeon May 12, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think it's about the relationship, the communion of fisherman and fish.

    "I walk upon the river like it's easier than land
    Evil's in my pocket and your will is in my hand
    Oh, your will is in my hand"

    The Fly Fisherman walks through the water as easy as walking on land. The evil that's in their pocket is a knife or club used to kill the fish. The will that's in their hand is the fish caught on their line, the fish are being reeled in against their will.

    "And I'll throw it in the current that I stand upon so still
    Love is all, from what I've heard, but my heart's learned to kill
    Oh, mine has learned to kill"

    When you fly fish it's important to stand still in the current so not to spook the fish. Most if not all the fisherman I know, fish because they love to do it, it brings them closer to nature. They have all learned to kill these animals at some point or have killed them. their hearts have learned to kill.

    "And now spikes will keep on falling from the heavens to the floor"

    The spikes are the fly's, the lures casting from the rod to the bottom of the river.

    "I bet this mighty river's both my savior and my sin
    Oh, my savior and my sin"

    Its his savior because he's closer to nature but it's his sin because he knows he'll kill the fish once he's caught it.



    "Oh, I said I could rise
    From the harness of our goals

    The fish rises to fly, the fisherman uses the fly to catch the fish. Its the harness of both their goals. Both their goals are to catch their prey.

    "Here come the tears
    But like always, I let them go
    Just let them go"

    Here come the tears, here comes the tragedy of killing. But like always the fisherman let's them go, out of love. This is a common thing in Fly Fishing most fisherman let the fish go, they only do it for the love of the sport and to hold the mystery and beauty of nature in the palm of their hand. Love is all.

    This also could be an allusion to Hemmway's Big Two-Hearted River
    Sockeyeon July 05, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretationi agree with killedbyjude about it being about a break-up. i notice that the narrator feels guilty about wanting out of a relationship. "evil's in my pocket and your strength is in my hand" suggests he can so easily and quickly hurt this person by admitting he's not happy in the relationship any more. his partner will probably be shocked by that kind of announcement, hence the guilt aspect. a beautiful song and the album is one of the best i've heard in this genre, maybe even of all time.
    pjfsupertrampon September 03, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI've been listening to this a lot, I think the song is about a loss of faith because not having faith was a lot easier than having the faith. "Evil's in my pocket, but your will is in my hand" It's the struggle of sin within him. He thought that he could rise above and follow through on his faith but it was too hard...
    jblazeon November 04, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYeah all the explanations are pretty good. Except the one about Obama. That's just the biggest load of bullshit I've seen on this site. :-D
    infinityontrialon July 31, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI interpreted that the narrator cheated on his spouse. "Evil's in my pocket and your will is in my hand". Evil being the affair, and your will being the person he is in a relationship with. When he says he threw her will in the current he is saying that he threw the relationship away by cheating on her, keeping the evil in his pocket. The rest of the song talks about the thins he threw away, like the house. Of course this is just one of my opinions. This song definitely can be interpreted in many ways.

    I love The Tallest Man!!!
    Aerozeppelin35on March 18, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI wonder if he is talking about two people who fall in love and fiind they have an unplanned pregnancy that would make it impossible to meet their goals. They want to stay together and would like to have children someday. They may have a history of being told it is killing to end a pregnancy and they may feel this way also. A difficult decision to make and it came from their love for each other. It leaves them sad about the future due to the loss of a child they shared.
    lilybeanon November 18, 2012   Link

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