"Comrade" as written by Justin Deyarmond Edison Vernon, Christopher Michael Rosenau, Jonathan Edmund Mueller, Daniel Thomas Spack, Thomas John Wincek and Matthew David Skemp....
Like I didn't know it
Choking on the pulp of it
Semper fi
You kept me on your long line
Tugging in the whole time
Keep shining on

And that silent head grip
Can't do it no more

The honey bin
The bunny's in
Is telling you there's a countdown
Oh, damn your eyes

To add that one a long time
Sitting on a strip line
Said it will be a tall climb

Said that we could go back
Said that we could go find
Terra-forming!
Said that you were coke blind
Drinking in dramnesic
Tore out at the comrade

That's a comrade, making a comrade offer

That Ticonderoga's shit
Made my mind and my heart all split up over
The floor of the jackpot
There's a floor to the jackpot
Where'd you rise?

You don't even lie to me no more

They say you ain't a comrade
Still, I'd know you'd come back
For a folly-ridden Romeo, you break down a fortress now
Standing out in public
Stained with your conscience

I know that you love me
You are just lawless, son

Give it another fortnight
Eye to eye the culprit
Just rid the fucking pulpit
I ain't giving you another full ride
Underneath the combine
Said it didn't bump you right
Habitual falling right?


Lyrics submitted by digitalfabric

"Comrade" as written by Daniel Thomas Spack Christopher Michael Rosenau

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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  • +2
    General CommentLove this song.

    "Like I didn't know it
    Choking on the pulp of it
    Semper fi
    You kept me on your long line
    Tugging in the whole time
    Keep shining on"

    I feel like the first verse is Justin or the character of the song explaining how a girl he used to be with is still leading him on, pulling him along by maintaining a level of attention and interest, while never embracing again the connection they once had. It sounds like for whatever reason (perhaps she still does long for the connection their relationship produced, or likes knowing she has the option of taking him back, all the while enjoying her own exploits and forays into other relationships, and flings).
    This is just speculation, as I'm not so familiar with the term, but 'Semper Fi' appears to be shorthand for 'Semper Fidelis' which in latin means "Always loyal" or "Always faithful". It seems like the character mentions this in a kind of sarcastic way in the disarray he's feeling about the situation.

    "And that silent head grip
    Can't do it no more"

    So, by her pulling him along, and him still being completely infatuated with her, the stress and weight on his mind of knowing she's showing this basic interest is taking its toll on his mind 'silent head grip', and is slowly driving him crazy.

    "The honey bin
    The bunny's in
    Is telling you there's a countdown
    Oh, damn your eyes"

    This is still kind of vague to me, but I imagine it as the character expressing his strong desire to be with her again, by suddenly admiring the things that he finds beautiful about her.

    Anyway, the song goes on to show that there was conflict between them and that they needed to take a break, but that there was always the chance of them getting back together; though there was a tall climb to overcome their differences.

    The folly-ridden romeo verse sounds like he's expressing how helplessly and foolishly in love he still is with this woman. Which culminates beautifully in the passionate outburst of:
    "I know that you love me
    You are just lawless, son"
    This suggests that her pulling him along while pursuing other relationships isn't so arbitrary after all, perhaps subconsciously she knows she's meant to be with him, and she's just finding poor excuses at the current moment not to embrace that reality. She actually loves him still too.

    I then see the final verse as the character coming to terms with the situation, and empowering himself through an ultimatum. He screams that he will no longer be pulled along as a potential future love interest for convenience, he won't stand for that. She'll either have to realise she loves him still, or he will cut off the connection with her altogether.

    I could probably analyse more specific details of the lyrics like the 'habitual falling' in the final verse, but it would take too long.

    This is my general understanding of the song at the moment from listening and looking at the lyrics a few times. It's possible this song could be about anything because of the interesting lyrics used, but hopefully this makes a little sense to some!
    MrBrightside7on December 05, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think you had it right, MrBrightside7, on the introduction.
    A girl he can't quite shake, drawing him along. Always loyal.

    The honey bin, the bunny's in.

    That references drugs, their stash. Their pot of honey. The longer they're together the more they use, effectively creating a countdown. With addiction that is a thought that looms on the mind.

    To add that one a long time.
    Sitting in a long line.
    Said it will be a tall climb.

    Refers to cocaine being lined up. Discussing it.

    Said that we could go back.
    Said that we could go find
    Terraforming

    A common wish with drug addicts, to return to a point in the past (by doing more drugs, in some cases).
    Terraforming refers to changing a uninhabitable place to one that is habitable. Think amazing growth, life bursting forth from a barren wasteland. They are ingesting the drugs, feeling amazing at that exact moment. Life starts anew.

    Said that you were coke blind
    Drinking in dramnesic
    Tore out at the comrade.

    The immediate high wanes, things start to turn. Over stimulated. Sudden subconscious memory loss. Lashing out.

    That's a comrade making a comrade offer.

    I believe a comrade is someone addicted to drugs. People in the struggle together.

    That Ticonderoga's shit
    Made my mind and my heart all split up over
    The floor of the jackpot
    There's a floor to the jackpot
    Where'd you rise?

    Bad cocaine, probably impure/over cut. Heart and mind racing to a point of extreme discomfort. Coming down, running out of drugs. When they bought them, they hit the "jackpot". Here's the flip side, running out. The emotions between them are ugly.

    They say you ain't a comrade
    Still, I'd know you'd come back
    For a folly-ridden Romeo, you break down a fortress now
    Standing out in public
    Stained with your conscience

    Here it gets more vague, if I'm just going with my best guess it would be as follows:
    Sounds like she is trying to quit. She is conflicted, with a love for him and a drug addiction. Is she possibly turning tricks? (Highly speculative).
    To a lesser extent is she just struggling with the moral aversion to drugs.

    I know that you love me
    You are just lawless, son

    Give it another fortnight
    Eye to eye the culprit
    Just rid the fucking pulpit
    I ain't giving you another full ride
    Underneath the combine
    Said it didn't bump you right
    Habitual falling right?

    Definitely the vaguest but best guess is: after a short time, she returns and they consume drugs again, starting the cycle. Full ride refers to doing someone else drugs for free. Didn't bump right probably means she is asking for more.


    An amazing song with tons of depth. As always, the vocals are perfectly complimented and in a way, scored, by the instrumentals.
    ThHereticon July 12, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMr Brightside,

    That was spot on. Coming out of a similar situation, so I naturally took to your analysis. Thanks!
    rs209107on December 10, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationAs much as I respect the interpretation of MrBrightside7, and do not any opinion is wrong/right, I have a completely different view. The song is about DRUGS. At roughly the beginning half of the song he is talking to the drugs themselves and the end he is talking to a fellow druggie.

    In my opinion there are may references to drugs in the lyrics but I am too lazy to type it all out. Also spin magazine had the lyrics which contained this

    "sorting out the long pipe
    hoping that the copper fits
    make sure you stay oblivious"

    obviously it is not in the studio recording but it further suggests my opinion.

    Actually maybe he is talking to a lover about hiding addiction from them.

    I don't know the lyrics are so vague and I love MrBrightside's post as well great job dude.
    WhyDecipheron January 14, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the point of these lyrics, as with most of the lyrics Justin Vernon has written, is that they are supposed to be ambiguous. He has said that sometimes he just says some words because they sound good and he likes the tonality of them. (Bear in mind that he made up several words on Bon Iver's self-titled album and "dramnesic" in this one. And what the hell is "Terraforming?") He's a musician with a musician's ear for words. That said, of course there can be a meaning interpreted from them. Volcano Choir and Bon Iver are artists, and a major facet of art is the participation and reaction of its observers, so that the observers then become active artists in a sense. Could it be about love? Yes. Could it be about drugs? Absolutely. Could it be about a monkey throwing its own feces? It's a stretch, but if you see it that way, then yes.

    All things aside, this is an amazing song. The way he belts out "Terraforming!" is absolutely gorgeous.
    lkngroon February 21, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is just unbelievably beautiful.
    Crane42on June 27, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentActually terraforming means to make an other planet into a place similar to earth (livable for human) so in to put it in a song context it maybe means " to make it home" or to change in the right direction, or maybe just to conform to another's expectation which is what am going with in this song as sad as it seems, to me it just means giving up to a whim.
    rabî66022on December 21, 2016   Link
  • -1
    General CommentThe song isn't about drugs... MrBrightside's analysis is pretty spot on.

    "Like I didn't know it
    Choking on the pulp of it
    Semper fi"

    He's known that the relationship was going to end for a while... Pulp is what remains when objects, most likely plants or fruits, are broken down. The relationship is destroyed and it's making him feel awful.

    Semper fi is Latin for always faithful... He's aware this relationship won't work ever, but he can't help but go back to her every time. He's faithful to a fault.

    "You kept me on your long line
    Tugging in the whole time
    Keep shining on"

    They've broken up, but she keeps him "on the hook" as a backup plan if her current plans don't work out. Every now and then she'll "tug on the line" and make him think there's a chance of them getting back together.

    "And that silent head grip
    Can't do it no more"

    He feels like she has him in a headlock, figuratively... He can't let her go. Eventually he's had enough and puts his foot down.

    "The honey bin
    The bunny's in
    Is telling you there's a countdown
    Oh, damn your eyes"

    This is Justin presumably telling her off... "Honey bin, the bunny's in". He's saying he's fed up (Think along the lines of someone "throwing the towel in"). The "countdown" is him telling her that there's a limited time the relationship can be sustainable. "Oh, damn your eyes"... He's second guessing this whole thing now. He's obviously attracted to her and is having trouble sticking to his plan about this.

    "To add that one a long time
    Sitting on a strip line
    Said it will be a tall climb"

    They agree to try and get back together... They say this time it's going to work and last, but there's going to be a lot of hard work. It will be a "tall climb".

    "Said that we could go back
    Said that we could go find
    Terra-forming!
    Said that you were coke blind
    Drinking in dramnesic
    Tore out at the comrade"

    She has second thoughts about trying again... "Said that we could go back; Said that we could go find". She originally said yes and then changed her mind. A terra is a habitat that can sustain life... He said that they agreed to try and find a way to make the relationship work and be sustainable.

    Don't know if "coke-blind" is referring to being on cocaine or referring to coke bottle glasses, meaning she didn't see that the relationship wasn't going to work at first. Dramnesic is synonymous with amnesia... Justin is saying she told him that she could forget anything that happened in their past relationships and start fresh. By breaking all of her promises to him, she lost him as a friend as well.

    "That Ticonderoga's shit
    Made my mind and my heart all split up over
    The floor of the jackpot
    There's a floor to the jackpot
    Where'd you rise?"

    Fort Ticonderoga is a famous fort from the Revolutionary War... He's talking about it in reference to her shutting him out. She locked her emotions behind a fort. This caused him a lot of pain and confusion.

    The two "jackpot" lines refer to his thoughts of her and their relationship at the end as compared to the beginning. Talking about the jackpot in general means that he was very happy in the beginning... He had "hit the jackpot". As the relationship proceeds, he starts to see his jackpot dwindle... Until he hits the bottom of the pot, meaning their relationship is no longer valuable to him. His repeating of the line "There's a floor to the jackpot" is really him talking to himself in a questioning manner. He's almost in disbelief that there would be an end to his "jackpot".

    "They say you ain't a comrade
    Still, I'd know you'd come back
    For a folly-ridden Romeo, you break down a fortress now
    Standing out in public
    Stained with your conscience"

    Justin's presumably talking about his friends telling him that she was no good... That she wasn't treating him well, but he obviously thinks of her in a way different light than they do. He thinks that she will notice how much he loves her and will come back.

    She does come back to him... Publicly saying she messed up. But he thinks she is only doing it because she's guilty.

    "I know that you love me
    You are just lawless, son"

    In my opinion... This is the girl trying to pin their relationship issues on Justin. Saying their breaking up was somehow his fault. This leads him to his breaking point and his lashing out in the last verse.

    "Give it another fortnight
    Eye to eye the culprit
    Just rid the fucking pulpit
    I ain't giving you another full ride
    Underneath the combine
    Said it didn't bump you right
    Habitual falling right?"

    He's trying to convince himself to see her again in a couple weeks and maybe he'll feel differently than he does now... Angry. He decides it's really over and that he's not going to do that. A pulpit is another word for a podium or "soap-box"... He's telling her to stop trying to explain her way out of this and accept it's over. He isn't going to give the relationship another try.

    A combine is another word for a tractor or heavy farming equipment... He's saying he has been trapped underneath the heavy equipment... Aka he was in a lot of pain. I think the line "Said it didn't bump you right" should have a question mark at the end... I think this is Justin asking her why she wasn't in as much pain as he was. He then follows up with another question, "Habitual falling, right?"... Justin is basically saying that she was under the impression that he would always fall back in love with her. But he's done for good now.
    Burton8219on October 03, 2014   Link

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