Come on skinny love just last the year
Pour a little salt we were never here
My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my
Staring at the sink of blood and crushed veneer

I tell my love to wreck it all
Cut out all the ropes and let me fall
My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my
Right in the moment this order's tall

And I told you to be patient
And I told you to be fine
And I told you to be balanced
And I told you to be kind
And in the morning I'll be with you
But it will be a different kind
And I'll be holding all the tickets
And you'll be owning all the fines

Come on skinny love, what happened here?
Suckle on the hope in light brassieres
My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my
Sullen load is full, so slow on the split

And I told you to be patient
And I told you to be fine
And I told you to be balanced
And I told you to be kind
And now all your love is wasted
And then who the hell was I?
And I'm breaking at the britches
And at the end of all your lines

Who will love you?
Who will fight?
Who will fall far behind?

Come on skinny love

my my my, my-my my my-my my my


Lyrics submitted by AnneTUDUDUDU, edited by madi101498


Skinny Love (Bon Iver cover) song meanings
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  • +8
    My InterpretationI have a really odd interpretation of this song, but here it goes...

    Come on skinny love just last the year/

    I think that she is literally speaking of a love that is "skinny," like a love that is fragile and lasts a short amount of time? I actually think this love is toward herself.

    Pour a little salt we were never here/

    In history, when a city was destroyed, they salted the earth to purify it. She believes she is destroyed, but that if she erases her presence that she can purify the people around her in some way.

    My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my
    Staring at the sink of blood and crushed veneer/

    Veneer is a type of wood, not very sturdy. It sounds like she wants to kill herself, but then again she doesn't, so she takes her frustrations out on the bathroom counter, the blood in the sink from the wound she acquires.

    I tell my love to wreck it all
    Cut out all the ropes and let me fall/

    She is telling her love to let her go, to cut all ties with her to spare him/her pain, but in the process, he would let her fall because he is the only thing tying her to this world.

    My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my
    Right in the moment this order's tall/

    He doesn't want to let her go. He loves her too much, and he will never let her go now that he has learned the extent of things, making the order too much.

    I told you to be patient
    I told you to be fine
    I told you to be balanced
    I told you to be kind/

    She is trying to feel better about herself, but it is a long process. She is asking him to be patient with her, but also to not worry and to live his life, making him "fine" and "balanced."

    In the morning I'll be with you
    But it will be a different kind/

    She is saying that she will still be with him tomorrow, but only in spirit.

    I'll be holding all the tickets
    And you'll be owning all the fines/

    She will be the one to commit the deed, but he will be the one who has to suffer the consequences.

    Come on skinny love what happened here/

    At this point, I believe that the girl is watching her love from another world. She wonders how the boy she loved could turn out the way he does.

    Suckle on the hope in lite brassiere/

    A brassiere is a place that sells alcohol, so I believe that he takes up drinking to cope with her suicide.

    My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my
    Sullen load is full; so slow on the split/

    His load is full because he believes he could have saved the girl. The guilt and grief is slowing breaking him.

    I told you to be patient
    I told you to be fine/

    She told him to be patient because he would find someone else to love. She told him to be fine after she was gone, but he is obviously not.

    I told you to be balanced
    I told you to be kind/

    She told him to remain the same as he was, but he has slowly turned bitter. He loves her, but he also feels betrayed. He cannot remained balanced, and the anger toward her makes him a different person.

    Now all your love is wasted?
    Then who the hell was I?/

    He has become so bitter toward the girl that he believes that he wasted his time with her, after all, he wouldn't feel this way if he had never loved her. However, she knows that their love was real, it just hurts him too much to admit it anymore.

    Now I'm breaking at the britches
    And at the end of all your lines/

    She regrets her decission now, because she knows that he will never quite get over her because of the unanswered questions she left behind her.

    Who will love you?
    Who will fight?
    Who will fall far behind?/

    She is asking him who will fight through the hard shell he has built for himself and still love him. She also knows that not many people will bother to try and love him.

    Come on skinny love
    My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my/

    He has little love for himself now, just as she did.
    indigojadeon August 05, 2012   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationPersonally, I think it's the kind of love that's easily broken. It doesn't have to be someone who's anorexic. The title.. Skinny Love.. can be interpreted as brittle love or fickle love.

    In the song, it was kind of implied that the relationship between those two lovers wasn't based on something strong or meaningful. In my opinion, their relationship was based on need. The need for someone to be there. The need for company.

    The need for 'help' as Justin Vernon said.

    That kind of love is easily broken since it's only based on the need for someone to be there. That kind of feeling passes pretty quickly and what happens then? What if that 'need' ceases to exist?

    That's why it's called skinny love. Because it has no meaning it has no 'weight' (Again, Justin Vernon, sort of said that)

    That's what I think was implied in the song. These are my thoughts and I'm perfectly fine if no one agrees with me.
    Sylmeriaon May 21, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis cover is simply gorgeous.
    focusedon May 10, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think this song is absolutoly beautiful, the credit of course goes to Bon Iver for writing such a song but I personally prefer the sound of Birdy's cover and think she has huge talent for a 14/15 year old!

    At the end of the day everybody interprets songs very personally and nobody is wrong. Most people have said this song is about a failed or failing relationsip somebody is desperately trying to hold together and I can see that. My interpretation is slightly different however due to my personal circumstances. I'm half in love with somebody who doesn't return my feelings, but initially said there "may be a chance".

    I said a lot of foolish things to them and in all honesty wish I could just cut them out of my life to forget them and not have my false hope fed. Unfortunately I can't do this and have to see them regulary for at least another year. Hence the "Come on skinny love just last the year." I see myself as skinny love personified,somebody who loves another but is receiving no love in return so emotionally you're just wasting away

    Having said this I have this natural need to be close to the person and want to be with them, so I have to force myself to avoid them as much as I can without being unpleasant. This is cutting the ropes to me and the acknowledgement that it's a tough thing to do or a "tall order". Like giving up a drug.

    And I have told this person to be all the things listed in the song as I find the whole situation socially difficult and it's caused some issues. To me the line "And in the morning I'll be with you, But it will be a different kind" refers to the fact that once I've calmed down I will accept that we will just have to be distant friends.

    The last stanza reers to the feelings of being lead on and the fact that I wonder if others will love this person as much as I would given the chance. The genereal references to blood and salt I do think are related to emotinal pain being like a wound, and maybe even literal wounds of self harm. The veneer to me is the seemingly lovely image I had of us being together because it's not real and never will be and it's been crushed.

    Anyway that's all just my opinion and it's very personal...I suppose anybody going through the same thing would get what I meant though
    abcd161193on June 23, 2011   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI believe that a song cab have multiple meanings, depending on who is listening to it. You can interpret the words to best suit your emotional mood or needs at the moment. No song has ONE meaning. It is up to you to decide how you want to interpret it.
    As for "Skinny Love," I've read many great possible meanings. Anorexia, the voice of a mother helping her child, fickle love. And I completely agree with all of them.
    Nice job guys. (:
    EmmaLeahon June 23, 2013   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationThe way I interpret it (which is probably not the same interpretation its author had in mind as he was writing the song yet is how I get to related to myself). This song, to me, is about best friends who fell in love but know they're never really going to be together. However, they have already crossed a very delicate line between friendship and lovers. Skinny love refers to a love who is too fragile and complicated to make it too far. As a girl, I'll give out my interpretation of this song in such situation from a girl's point of view. So.. the girl would like to try to make it work or at least would like to keep seeing her friend for a little longer even if they don't make it concrete that they're in a relationship with each other.


    Come on skinny love just last the year -----> Let's keep seeing each other for a little longer.
    Pour a little salt we were never here ---> we'll pour a little salt to heal the hurt this relationship is causing us.
    My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my
    Staring at the sink of blood and crushed veneer -----> even though is a little late to not be hurting.

    I tell my love to wreck it all ----> I try to tell myself that it doesn't matter what the odds are,
    Cut out all the ropes and let me fall----> let's just give in and fall in love freely.
    My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my
    Right in the moment this order's tall ---> I know right now though it seems to be impossible . " the order is 'tall'", or 'large', difficult.

    I told you to be patient ---> maybe she told him to be patient, maybe if they wait it out they can work things out.
    I told you to be fine ---> to keep himself collected.
    I told you to be balanced ---> and balanced; again, collected.
    I told you to be kind -----> to be nice to themselves and not feel guilty.
    In the morning I'll be with you -----> She'll always be there for him, regardless
    But it will be a different "kind" ----> but things will change and she'll try to see him as a friend.
    I'll be holding all the tickets - --> she knows she's going to regret that they never tried to work things out, so she will be left with all the regret 'tickets'.
    And you'll be owning all the fines ---> and he will own all the "fines".. while she's gonna be sad regretting everything that happened, he's gonna be moving on, maybe even forget their romance, or maybe even brag about one more number in his list of past lovers.

    Come on skinny love what happened here ----> what happened to "our love" (this line is why I think he's moving on while she's still "holding all the tickets.")
    Suckle on the hope in lite brassiere----> she still had some hope they'd be together some day but he moved on faster than her.
    My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my
    Sullen load is full; so slow on the split - to slow down on the split, to slow down how distant he's getting and how fast he's forgetting her



    I told you to be patient
    I told you to be fine
    I told you to be balanced
    I told you to be kind
    Now all your love is wasted? ---> That was it ? She thought his love for her was bigger.
    Then who the hell was I? ----> then what was she to him, really, all along?
    Now I'm breaking at the britches
    And at the end of all your lines

    Who will love you?
    Who will fight?
    Who will fall far behind? ---> I think these speak for themselves.

    Come on skinny love
    My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my
    funnygirl03on August 30, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIn my opinion it's about a love that is collapsing:

    As for the title "Skinny Love" it could be an affectionate term he gave his petite girlfriend, or maybe the fact that their love is wasting away. The love wasting away is probably more likely.

    "Come on skinny love just a year, pour a little salt, we were never here"
    Skinny love implies that the love they once shared is no long wholesome and full of joy and that it is wasting away. Salt has healing substances and was once used for wounds to help speed up the healing process. This suggests that he wants to pour salt on the relationship to keep it going, even just for one more year. The fact that the word 'veneer' is used is symbolic as veneer is the thin layers of wood glued together to form plywood - suggesting that apart they are nothing but together they are strong like plywood. The blood and crushed veneer in a sink is as if a vase was broken in a fit of rage.

    'Tell my love to wreck it all, cut out all the ropes and let me fall'
    This basically is telling us that he wants her to end it as he isn’t strong enough and can’t bring himself to hurt her.

    The third stanza is just showing that they blame each other for the deterioration of their relationship.
    'I'll be holding all the tickets and you'll be holding all the fines' - this indicates that the one of them feel that they are always in the wrong (This could not be a problem it’s just a problem that can be fixed while the real problem may not be)
    Stanza four seems like a mixture of memories, stating why they have gone wrong when we once loved each other so much. Just generally questioning where they went wrong.
    Stanza Five: ‘And now all your love is wasted, and then who the hell was I?’ suggests that this love is wasted so what was the point of falling in love at all.

    The last part gives us a glimpse as to WHY it went sour - it seems she led him on, that she wasn't that into him- when he really cared for her. It also seems like he is angry about it and asks ‘who will love you? Who will fight? Who will fall far behind’ is if asking, who will love you enough to fight for you? As if no one could fight for her as much as he did. He then states that it’s unlikely she'll find anyone worthwhile, no one will be able to love her for all the stuff she puts her partners through.
    emily32on May 17, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti thought this one was about the girl in the song, the narrator's suicide... "We were never here" "staring at a sink of blood" "cut out all the ropes and let me fall". She blames him for not being there for her so she kills herself, but he "told her to be patient / And I told you to be fine / And I told you to be balanced / And I told you to be kind". But she still can't take it, so she had to "be with him in a different kind" (she could only be happy with him through the peace that would come with her death). "Skinny Love" could refer to their love, or the fact that she is wasting away in the moments before her death. No matter what the interpretation, it's a beautiful, haunting song!
    JoJoSanon October 06, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOkay, here's an extract from an interview with Justin Vernon (singer/writer from the band Bon Iver, who wrote this song);

    " "Skinny Love" is about that time in a relationship that I was going through; you're in a relationship because you need help, but that's not necessarily why you should be in a relationship. And that's skinny. It doesn't have weight. Skinny love doesn't have a chance because it's not nourished."

    So there you go. It's basically about half-heartedly being in a relationship because you're still dealing with baggage from a previous one.
    raycfinnon September 02, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation"Skinny Love" is about that time in a relationship that I was going through; you're in a relationship because you need help, but that's not necessarily why you should be in a relationship. And that's skinny. It doesn't have weight. Skinny love doesn't have a chance because it's not nourished."

    I feel like this too is hinting at the aneroxic/bulemic
    The girl was in the relationship because she needed someone to care for her, but it didn't necessarily mean she cared for him, the relationship was indeed skinny in both ways, she cared so much about her ED that it was consuming her and she didn't have time to indulge in the relation ship because she was depressed, and depressed people tend to isolate themselves. So she wasn't nourished and neither was the relationship.
    He basically described in that quote, the relationship between a person w/ an ED and a person who is in love with that person.

    Heres my interpretation of the song,
    "Come on skinny love just last the year" Referring to the state the girl was in, she was probably becoming increasingly thin, he was noticing and was wondering if she was gonna even last a year in her condition, He was pleading with her to just hold on a little longer and maybe she can get over her condition.

    "Pour a little salt we were never here" He wants her to get over her condition and forget about it, pouring salt on wounds is said to slow the bleeding process down,

    "Staring at the sink of blood and crushed veneer" People who suffer from ED's are also well known to self harm, he might have caught her cutting with a piece of veneer, weather its tooth veneer or wood veneer, which are both sharp. Referring back to the salt on the wound, maybe he caught her cutting, said, "Don't worry about it, it never happened, lets move on"

    "I tell my love to wreck it all
    Cut out all the ropes and let me fall" He wants her to stop, she is dependent on him to keep her alive. He's giving up because he is sick of trying and being around someone who he loves, but who is slowly killing themselves and he doesn't want to stay around and watch, but he feels like he has to so she has to stop so he doesn't feel like this.

    "Right in the moment this order's tall" watching and dealing with her ED and depression is too much for him and he doesnt think he can handle it.

    "I told you to be patient" he told her that there is a healthy way to lose weight and that she could love herself if she just gave it time,

    "I told you to be fine" He wants her to be okay because he thinks she's perfect the way she is but she just couldn't see it, people with ED are obsessed with the idea of the perfect body and they don't care what it takes to get it. He wants her to be normal and fine but she can't because she is diseased with an ED.

    "I told you to be balanced" He wants her to eat a balanced diet but she won't eat at all, and he told her but she just won't listen.

    "I told you to be kind" people with ED's are overly critical of not only themselves but other people, he wants her to be kind to herself, but she hates everything about herself and often punishes herself by cutting, because she hates her body so much. He told her to stop cutting and learn to love herself but she won't listen.

    "In the morning I'll be with you
    But it will be a different "kind"" he's going to be there for her still, but he can't continue to be her boyfriend because he's giving up, and he did everything he could but she wouldn't listen.

    "I'll be holding all the tickets
    And you'll be owning all the fines" He saw and was there through it all, he has the memories with him, but she is the one who is going to be paying for her ED in the long run, cuts, organ failure, death ect.

    "Come on skinny love what happened here" Most ED's start out of nowhere, with no known cause, what happened to her to make her this way?

    "Suckle on the hope in lite brassiere" when he found her, possibly when she was cutting herself, he might have found her dying, in that case he probably found her in her bra, because people with ED are obsessed with being skinny and small and often get undressed to see where they are at progress wise, she got upset, cut herself and now is laying on the floor dying. He wants her to feed off his hope that she is okay, she is in his arms, like a baby, and he wants her to suckle on his hope...

    "Sullen load is full; so slow on the split" The sadness in her finally reached its capacity, it took a while for her to finally "split"

    "I told you to be patient
    I told you to be fine
    I told you to be balanced
    I told you to be kind" He told her again and again, she never heard him, she just heard the voices in her head telling her she was worthless and fat.

    "Now all your love is wasted?" All the love he had for her is wasted because it never reached her and she never understood it because she didn't even love her self, how could she love him, let alone except his love.

    "Then who the hell was I?" If she couldn't love him back then what is he to her?

    "Now I'm breaking at the britches" britches means pants, people with ED often cut not only their arms, but their stomachs, and their thighs. She could have cut herself on her legs and he was checking to see if she cut there as well.

    "And at the end of all your lines" His heart is breaking because she is talking to him and the things she is saying is so depressing and sad, how she wants to die, and she's no good,

    "Who will love you?
    Who will fight?
    Who will fall far behind?" Who is going to love you in the condition your in, besides himself, she's probably sickly thin and has cuts all over herself, people with and eating disorder often have thin dry hair, when it gets really bad they look bald in places. Who's going to fight to keep you alive? No one besides himself who's been fighting her back the whole time, If he can't keep her alive and put up with this then no one will. She is a lost case, hopeless.

    "Come on skinny love" one last plea before he has to move on from this


    My my my the whole time is his desperation and astonishment at how bad its gotten.
    gemaa9on September 08, 2012   Link

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