I thought surely I would not find it again
How I was wrong, it is as fateful as sin
This feeling that I belong to something in some way 'til the end
And I am making an effort to stay with you here
It has been easy to say that I could never lose sight of what my heart truly is
But the moment you step away, I am forced to look in
And face all the things that I have ever been without you
It is true at times one can see I am strong
I am not at home, yet I know where I belong
I am silence now, but I am always song
Can you hear me?

I thought this time last year I'd be dead
It's quite strange the thoughts that pop into your head
When you're busy smiling surrounded by your closest of friends
It is impossible to escape the sound of the dark that is following around
But I just go for a walk in my mind and the light can be found
And the moment I step away, you are forced to look in
And face all the things that you've ever been without me
It is true at times one can see you are strong
You are not at home, yet you know where you belong
You are silence now, but you are always song
I can hear you


Lyrics submitted by ariennba, edited by ProjectPure, smallwonderrobot

You Are Song song meanings
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  • 0
    My InterpretationThere is a twist to this song that is not readily apparent unless you take the song as a whole. In the first lines, for example, she says she has found love many times before, and so it is not a surprise that she has found it again. What is such a line doing in a song about the endurance of love? In fact she is not speaking about other lovers, but about the cycles of one particular relationship. When she says 'And I am making an effort to stay with you here / It has been easy to say that I could never lose sight of what my heart truly is', she may be speaking to the difficulty of maintaining their bond even though there have been plenty of times that the truth of her heart - their love - is perfectly clear. The song then proceeds in two parts, naming the conditions ('when you step away') in which they find themselves as separate people.

    Here Angel Olsen gestures towards what Judith Butler has said so eloquently about loss, even if she doesn't draw out the implications as Butler has done:

    ​"...when we undergo what we do, something about who we are is revealed, something that delineates the ties we have to others, that shows us that these ties constitute what we are, ties or bonds that compose us. It is not as if an 'I' exists independently over here and then simply loses a 'you' over there, especially if the attachment to 'you' is part of what composes who 'I' am. If I lose you, under these conditions, then I not only mourn the loss, but I become inscrutable to myself. Who 'am' I, without you?" (from Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence)

    We must also ask about silence. The lovers are now estranged. It appears that in the past they have spoken to each other through song. Perhaps they sang to each other; perhaps they opened each other's worlds through music. So tightly does the experience of music bind them to one another that even in silence, even with the distance that separates them, even then...There is song.

    Can you hear me?
    hearsongon January 12, 2017   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationIt is worth reconsidering this line:

    'It has been easy to say that I could never lose sight of what my heart truly is'

    My earlier interpretation had the truth of her heart being the love between them, but could the truth of her heart be something else? Something shameful, something that keeps them apart? I do not think it is likely, given how the song proceeds, but the question is open.
    hearsongon January 16, 2017   Link

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