"Perth " as written by and Justin Vernon....
I’m tearing up, across your face
Move dust through the light
To find your name
It's something faint
This is not a place
Not yet awake, I'm raised to make

Still alive who you, love
Still alive who you, love
Still alive who you, love

In a matter of an month
From forests for the soft
Gotta know been lead aloft
So I'm ridding all your stories
What I know, what it is, is boring, wire it up!
You're breaking your ground


Lyrics submitted by thuglifeforevs, edited by Gabriellaella23, HollyRayne, MCalladine, Bertozzi, aneroid, bulljargon, culprit, MarioXMan

"Perth" as written by Justin Vernon

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Perth song meanings
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19 Comments

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  • +10
    General CommentThese lyrics posted here are completely incorrect. Below are the official lyrics and I've seen the band 5 times and he is definitely sayings "still alive who you love"

    Iʼm tearing up, acrost your face
    move dust through the light
    to fide your name
    it’s something fane
    this is not a place
    not yet awake, I’m raised of make

    still alive who you love
    still alive who you love
    still alive who you love

    in a mother, out a moth
    furling forests for the soft
    gotta know been lead aloft
    so I’m ridding all your stories
    what I know, what it is, is pouring — wire it up!

    you’re breaking your ground
    SongMeanings2010on December 15, 2011   Link
  • +8
    General CommentBeautiful song to start off a beautiful album! I remember listening to a radio interview where Justin explained that he was with a friend of Heath Ledger's when Heath died. It was a really hard thing for his friend, and Justin spent time with him when he was grieving, and he wrote this song during that time. So "still alive who you love" I think is just saying that if you love someone, they're still alive with you even after they die. He also said in the interview that Perth was like birth for him, like a messy beginning. He just got out of the US and to Australia, so it was like a new start for him away from everything. All together, to me the song feels like coming out of chaos to something new, something you need to be better, like "you're breaking your ground" on a new life.
    llscienceon May 20, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI've listened to this song over 100 times. The first ten seconds of the song you can hear a clanging sound of metal on metal. I spent 5 years in the United States Marine Corps and the first time I heard this song it immediately brought me back to the sound of the US flag clanging against the flagpole.
    killoranusmcon July 23, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningI'd say these are the official lyrics, as Vernon typed them up himself. If he saw fit to put in some errors to throw people off, that would be his prerogative but I'm not gonna try and correct this. In most cases the official lyrics sound more correct than what I heard in the songs before reading them.

    As for meaning: One thing I noticed in the beginning stanza of the song is that the two words "fide" and "fane" look like abbreviations. Of course, fane could be spelled other ways for other meanings (fain or feign). But "confide" and "profane" sort of fit in the contexts. And another thing: this interpretation puts an extra emphasis on the parts that are taken out, "con" and "pro", which would add their own meaning.

    Just some random musing.
    ikefoxon June 20, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti love the break-down in this song. so insanely genius.
    ReadingMay14on June 27, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAlthough I do love the interpretation of the lyrics that crow heart posted, these are in fact the correct ones. See boniver.org/
    Manxbasson June 29, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentActually Justin wasn't friends with Heath. But its kind of about Heath and his death. Heres a excerpt about the song:

    The first thing I worked on, the riff and the beginning melodies, was the first song on the record, 'Perth,'" Vernon says. "That was back in early 2008. The reason I called it that right away, is because I was with a guy that I didn't know very well, but basically, it's a long story, but in the three days we were supposed to spend together – he's a music video maker – in those three days, his best friend [Heath Ledger] died. And his best friend was from Perth. It just sort of became the beginning of the record. And Perth has such a feeling of isolation, and also it rhymes with birth, and every song I ended up making after that just sort of drifted towards that theme, tying themselves to places and trying to explain what places are and what places aren't.
    07tanduon September 12, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThis song is very expository; I live in Perth, Australia, and the line "this is a place / not yet awake" is very, very true. Perth is very sleepy and lazy. That line also seems to me like the time before the sunrises, and it feels like somewhat of a resolution. "furling forests for the soft" seems to me like Vernon looking out to rolling forests. I saw Bon Iver a few years back and he played up in the hills overlooking the city. This line fits the setting perfectly. The line "In a mother out a moth" is also intriguing; I can only read it as mother = giver of live and moth = full completion. I also love the confide / profane - con /pro ellipsis interpretation. In reviewing all of this I think it's half in part in exploring Perth, the place itself, and half about resolution or finding resolution there - becoming a moth, revealing a finality.
    romano21on June 23, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Commentwhat's the closest you can get to death without actually dying? perth, australia. perth is isolation, perth is transcedentalism. i'm still alive in australia if you need me.
    k.eshon May 07, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is about his friend mourning heath ledger's death in Perth.
    rabî66022on December 21, 2016   Link

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