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This my excavation, today is Kumran
Everything that happens is from now on
This is pouring rain
This is paralyzed

I keep throwing it down two hundred at a time
It's hard to find it when you knew it
When your money's gone
And you're drunk as hell

On your back with your racks as the stacks your load
In the back the racks and the stacks are your load
In the back with your racks and you're unstacking your load

I've been twisting to the sun, I needed to replace
And the fountain in the front yard is rusted out
All my love was down
In a frozen ground

There's a black crow sitting across from me
And his wiry legs are crossed
And he's dangling my keys, he even fakes a toss
Whatever could it be
That has brought me to this loss?

On your back with your racks as the stacks your load
In the back the racks and the stacks are your load
In the back with your racks and you're unstacking your load

This is not the sound of a new man or a crispy realization
It's the sound of the unlocking and the lift away
Your love will be
Safe with me



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

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  • U
    UnregisteredFeb 20, 2012 at 10:29 am
    This my excavation and today is kumran
    Everything that happens is from now on
    This is pouring rain
    This is paralyzed

    The kumran (qumran) are the caves where the dead sea scrolls were found. These scroll revolutionized christianity worldwide causing some to think differently, drop their religion completely, or ignore the new information. The first line can be interpreted as the rhetor stating that he has found something inside him that is revolutionary to whom he thought he was. The second line implies that this change is large enough to make all else irrelevant, and what happens after the discovery is all that matters. He goes on to describe his current state in a darker tone—this is important as it is the first textual hint that this discovery is a bad thing—refering to pouring rain and paralyzing.

    The song continues with:

    I keep throwing it down two hundred at a time
    It's hard to find it when you knew it
    When your money's gone
    And you're drunk as hell

    This portion of the song is the rhetor trying to avoid this new hurtful realization. He “throws” hundreds of dollars away trying to drink himself back to the state before he found this sorrow. He is slowly coming to the realization that he can’t return to that spot because he knew how it felt, and the rhetor accepts that he can’t get drunk enough to get back to that ignorant bliss.

    Then we come to the chorus:

    On your back with your racks as the stacks as your load
    In the back and the racks and the stacks are your load
    In the back with your racks and you're unstacking your load

    The chorus of the song exhibits the confusion of the rhetor as to what this new discovery means to him. He asks himself if this new burden (the stacks) is part of him or can he get rid of them. The last line "in the back with your racks and you're unstacking your load” is the only slightly coherent sentence. These lines may imply that it took time for the rhetor to find out just what he was doing in the woods. The rhetor shares that he is actually getting rid of some this burden by being alone with his painful thoughts.
    The next two stanzas:

    I've twisting to the sun i needed to replace
    The fountain in the front yard is rusted out
    All my love was down
    In a frozen ground

    There's a black crow sitting across from me; his wiry legs are crossed
    And he's dangling my keys he even fakes a toss
    Whatever could it be
    That has brought me to this loss?

    These lines communicate change. The rhetor is stating that he is allowing hurtful thing to remain in his life while neglecting those things that are beneficial to him. In the second stanza, the rhetor hints that he has considered death which will give him release from his emotional prison and that death tempts him often. He then asks himself what could have brought him to the point that he looks at death with consideration.

    The last stanza:

    This is not the sound of a new man or crispy realization
    It's the sound of the unlocking and the lift away
    Your love will be
    Safe with me

    In this final statement, the rhetor lets the audience know that nothing is new; nothing is changed about him. Everything that is here was always there, but now he has come to terms with it. He has simply chosen to open the metaphorical doors and “unstack” the skeletons in his closet. He then makes a final statement that he can be loved now, implying that the past burden was keeping him from giving or receiving love.

    This song doesn’t end on the nicest note, but it does end more positive than the beginning impying emotional transformation. Initiallythe rhetor was shocked by his discovery but then came to another realization that he had to stop living in ignorance because that state was hurting him and those around him.
  • b
    BlueSkyDynamiteDec 22, 2009 at 5:12 am
    I love tis song. I believe this song talks about when things in life stack up on your shoulders(metaphorically) and make life hard.

    I love the fifth verse the most. When he talk about the crow. I believe the Crow represents death and his keys represent his life. the crow is mocking him with his keys, and he is come close to death and doesn't know how he got there. The last verse says that he is not someone new, but the stacks on his back ( the pain and suffering he had brought on himself) are being realeased.

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