Gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.
I don't know, I might be projecting a lot of my personal stances and experiences here, but those are just my two tokes.
Going along with your idea of the opening lines being about the speaker's position "at the top," it seems like we might interpret "concrete" differently.
We can't just accept defeat and decide that life is meaningless just because it's finite. Bon Iver premiered this song on 2 June 2019 at All Points East, a music festival held in London. These are some of my favorite lyrics and they hold some real emotional power, but I'm unsure how they connect to the rest of the song. Jelmore seems very much in the same vein as Naeem and all of them remind me of Holocene.
Everyone is connected.
He tries to enjoy his position at the top and take advantage of the perks, but it backfires. Almost like that you need the closeness of another, the touch (hence the bed and all that pizzaz) and the pain, to become aware of the whole, that we are all essentially awfully similar and that it's worth fighting. That's what I think he's conveying here.
I'm telling you that I do feel you), and in the anthropocene (cf. The human race will, eventually, be extinct like mastodons. I posted this a while back on FB, but wanted to share on here as well. Nuclear war might do it.
He's using fishing as a metaphor: he casts the line and tries to catch a fish, but is instead yanked off the boat into the water. Some good, some bad.
Laul, can’t we just patch this up is my absolute favorite line of the whole album. As someone who studied lit, I love when people dig as deeply as you did. Ooh, good point with the 'concrete' line. I think he is struggling with hope -- loses it sometimes in Jelmore's "slide right out the door," Naeem's "Mastodons." "Fall off a bass boat" seems to be a comment on what it's like going from mixing with superstars to walking the streets with a few people in a town in Wisconsin, with a sense that change is moving much too slowly (And the concrete's very slow).
We have to find meaning and rise above hopelessness.
I feel like there's a lot going on in Naeem so I thought I'd break it down lyrically: He's purely introspective.
Bon Iver is the name singer/songwriter Justin Vernon chose for his solo project when he retreated to a cabin in Wisconsin during 2006. It’s 2019, language matters. Or is the song telling us that there is no hope left? Keep it restaurant.
I go for the caste | I fall off a bass boat, And the concrete's very slow | And the concrete's very slow | All along the sideline's bigger, I'm over the dash | I'm having a bad, bad toke | But the berries still to come, I can hear, I can hear | I can hear, I can hear crying (I can hear). Can’t help but bounce my head. He's making up his mind not to become a bitter old man. The effects of our presence creates a new epoch.
I've been trying to understand Naeem for a while now, and the only single insight that has made sense of the whole song for me that it is about action on the climate crisis. I like your analysis, but my personal view is that the song is closely tied to the 'you' that somehow bridges the gap between the narrator and the 'them' (hence the scope being in a way lesser than what you're taking for your main point, if you don't mind me saying).
Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. These lyrics are almost phrased like pickup lines, beginning the relationship/familial metaphor that makes up this verse. "I can hear crying" is a call to hear the suffering of others.
But that can't be it.
There are so many ways to help solve the crisis we've created on mother earth (It's suddenly paths, mama), and we can't hide behind our first-world socio-economic privilege and just save ourselves, and it isn't just the rich who can act either: we have to help the poorest people, who will suffer the most (It ain't about class, mama).
He may have been "over the dash" but he's returning to earth now.
He can't ignore the movement that's building.
We refuse to accept that our civilization is doing everything it can. The first verse also refers to a personal anecdote involving an ATV crash around a frozen lake.
Great job! Instead of reading it as "concrete" (the material that sidewalks are made of), it could be "concrete" (adj: specific, definite, non-abstract, solid); in this context, it might refer to the "concrete" daily life that the majority of people experience (the "them" referred to in the refrain).
It reminds me of how, because of the two world wars and the holocaust (and now also colonial oppression), European civilization refuted its own claim to be the moral exemplar of humanity, and turned on its moral complacency, thoughtlessness, and decadence. Can't sit back long while you're forming that.
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