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"someway, baby, it's part of me, apart from me"
You're laying waste to Halloween
You fucked it friend, it's on it's 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
(Jagged vacance, thick with ice)
I could see for miles, miles, miles



Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/b/bon_iver/holocene.html

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  • U
    +8
    UnregisteredSep 1, 2012 at 3:59 pm
    Its a freaking car crash. Come on. They got in a car crash coming home from halloween(hence the highway aisle) and the rest of the verses are him remembering his life. The choruses are him slowly losing life, the first (strayed away from the highway aisle) is right after the crash. The second (hulled) is when someone pulls him away from the wreckage. The third (high above) is when he is gone. In each chorus he describes the highway saying: "jagged vacance, thick with ice", its dangerous. And when he's losing his life he realizes he wasnt important at all, but that one was pretty easy. Done. Youre welcome.
  • U
    +3
    UnregisteredAug 16, 2012 at 8:10 pm
    This song represents the ferocity of a shark riding on the back of a rhino, trampling and eating everything in sight. The results are not magnificent.
  • U
    +3
    UnregisteredJul 17, 2012 at 9:54 am
    You are just a speck on a dot in this universe. You are nothing. Nothing without your friends, without the sun, without love, without purpose. If you can see for miles and miles, you will realize how meaningless, but at the same time beautiful, life is.
  • U
    +3
    UnregisteredJun 4, 2012 at 3:05 am
    It's about understanding our faking of substance and looking down on our lives in great distance. We look at our lives seeing an outlined itinerary (the "highway"), an archetypal and unoriginal plan for our lives. In the end he is saying to make it as it should, ann's let life follow its course and to stop planning everything
  • U
    +2
    UnregisteredSep 2, 2014 at 7:13 pm
    Judging from the point of view of someone who has seen the music video I don't think it is about a car crash. It starts with a young boy waking up and getting out of his bed in some sort of cave. He starts walking around in nature and he sees mostly bigger and stronger things than himself, for example the sea, birds flying or huge rocks. So Holocene as the boy as part of something bigger.

    Justin himself said "The title is a metaphor for when you're not doing well. But it's also a song about redemption and realizing that you're worth something; that you're special and not special at the same time."
    I think this is one of the best songs ever written and published by Bon Iver. You can feel the pain even when there is no singing yet. The instrumental alone is enough to make you cry.

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