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Bonnie Prince Billy – I See A Darkness lyrics

Well, you're my friend, that's what you told me
And can you see what's inside of me
Many times we've been out drinking
And many times we've shared our thoughts
But did you ever, ever notice, the kind of thoughts I got
Well you know I have a love, a love for everyone I know
And you know I have a drive to live I won't let go
But can you see it's opposition, comes arising up sometimes
That it's dreadful antiposition, comes blacking in my mind

And then I see a darkness
And then I see a darkness
And then I see a darkness
And then I see a darkness
And did you know how much I love you
Is a hope that somehow you, you
Can save me from this darkness

Well I hope that someday buddy
We have peace in our lives
Together or apart
Alone or with our wives
And we can stop our whoring
And pull the smiles inside
And light it up forever
And never go to sleep
My best unbeaten brother
This isn't all I see

Oh no, I see a darkness
Oh no, I see a darkness
Oh no, I see a darkness
Oh no, I see a darkness
And did you know how much I love you
Is a hope that somehow you
Can save me from this darkness

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  • d
    Damien Murphy
    Firstly, a few corrections that affect the meaning. In the first verse, "antiposition" should be "end position". The first chorus should be "And THAT I see a darkness". (It is the conclusion to a three-part question to his friend - more about that in a moment...) And the second chorus is "I'LL KNOW I see a darkness..."

    As to what it means, I see this song as a confession of depression to a friend. He starts by saying "You know me but do you know that I have depressive thoughts." He then says that though he loves life and people too much to actually kill himself, he does have suicidal thoughts. The three-part question is: "Can you see that a) sometimes I don't have that "drive to live" ("opposition"); that b) I think of suicide (the "dreadful end position") and that c) I suffer from depression (i.e. "THAT I see a darkness").

    In the second verse, he simply hopes that, as their friendship continues with this new openness, it will grow and develop and he can find a deeper happiness ("pull the smiles inside") despite his depression. As the music reaches its brighter climax, he acknowledges his depression won't go away - but that by acknowledging it, both to himself ("I'LL KNOW I see a darkness.") and to his non-depressive friend ("my best unbeaten brother"), he can come to terms with it, and live with it. "This isn't all I see" means that the darkness, the depression is not all that defines him.
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