November
19th, 2015
Keyhole - Digital Marketing Agency - Joe Dudeck
Joe Dudeck
President + Founder
Categories: Business Blogs
November
19th, 2015
Keyhole - Digital Marketing Agency - Joe Dudeck
Joe Dudeck
President + Founder
Categories: Business Blogs

Writing Prompts: Bon Iver’s Mesmerizing Mumblings

Nothing inspires me to write like great music. Here’s an artist or tune that’s been tickling my ears lately and serving as one of my writing prompts.


My wife and I play this game whenever we hear a Bon Iver song: GUESS THE LYRIC. He sings a line, and we spit back our best guess as to what he actually sang. It may sound like a boring pastime, but trust me—at this time of year when you’re stuck indoors on cold nights—it’s a good time.

And it’s necessary.

Having listened to the falsetto of singer-songwriter Justin Vernon for five years now, I can report with some confidence that I’ve accurately translated a total of seven lyrics. I’ve winced my way through every tune of his, going back to the band’s debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago. I’ve leaned my ear right onto my laptop, as if more volume is all that’s needed to make sense of the words. It’s not…greater pronunciation [pruh-nuhn-see-ey-shuh] on Justin’s part is.

But here’s the thing. It’s never mattered to me.

You’d think a guy who does content marketing for a living—who’s all about the words and the stories they tell—would be bothered by his speaking in tongues. But I never have been. In fact, the only thing that really upsets me about Bon Iver is that it’s been nearly six years since the band’s last release.

I need more mystifying mutterings.

Maybe it’s the hope that I’ll one day decipher some mysterious code in the lyrics that keeps me coming back. Maybe it’s the sound of his voice, wafting high above the tree line. Or maybe it’s the knowledge that Justin wrote his first album while hiding away in a cabin in northern Wisconsin and a part of me just wants to be him.

It doesn’t matter.  I’m a fan, and I’ll keep playing my Bon Iver game.

You should too. Watch the video below for “Holocene”—my wife’s favorite Bon Iver tune—and see if you can interpret the lyrics. Then see how you did. Enjoy the sound along the way!

 

“Holocene”

“Someway, baby, it’s part of me, apart from me.”
You’re laying waste to Halloween
You fucked it friend, it’s on its head, it struck the street
You’re in Milwaukee, off your feet

…And at once I knew I was not magnificent
Strayed above the highway aisle
(Jagged vacance, thick with ice)
I could see for miles, miles, miles

3rd and Lake it burnt away, the hallway
Was where we learned to celebrate
Automatic bought the years you’d talk for me
That night you played me ‘Lip Parade’
Not the needle, nor the thread, the lost decree
Saying nothing, that’s enough for me

..And at once I knew I was not magnificent
Hulled far from the highway aisle
(Jagged vacance, thick with ice)
I could see for miles, miles, miles

Christmas night, it clutched the light, the hallow bright
Above my brother, I and tangled spines
We smoked the screen to make it what it was to be
Now to know it my memory:

…And at once I knew I was not magnificent
High above the highway aisle
(Shake it, fake it, stick with us)
I could see for miles, miles, miles

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