Lump Sum
Bon Iver Lyrics


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Sold my cold knot
A heavy stone
Sold my red horse for a venture home
To vanish on the bow
Settling slow

Fit it all, fit it in the doldrums
(Or so the story goes)
Color the era
Film it's historical

My mile could not
Pump the plumb
In my arbor 'til my ardor
Trumped every inner inertia
Lump sum

All at once
Rushing from the sub-pump
(Or so the story goes)




Balance we won't know
We will see when it gets warm

Overall Meaning

In "Lump Sum," Bon Iver describes the experience of freeing oneself from the burden of material possessions and the constraints of society to explore the unknown. The song begins with the lines "Sold my cold knot/A heavy stone/Sold my red horse for a venture home/To vanish on the bow/Settling slow," which suggest that the singer has sold everything that weighed them down and chosen to embark on a journey without a clear destination.


The next lines, "Fit it all, fit it in the doldrums/(Or so the story goes)/Color the era/Film it's historical," are more abstract, but they can be interpreted as the singer's desire to capture the essence of their journey and make it memorable for future generations. The song then shifts to a more personal perspective with the lines, "My mile could not/Pump the plumb/In my arbor 'til my ardor/Trumped every inner inertia/Lump sum," which suggest that the singer has come to a realization that their passion (ardor) is more important than anything else.


The final lines of the song, "All at once/Rushing from the sub-pump/(Or so the story goes)/Balance we won't know/We will see when it gets warm," are somewhat cryptic, but they can be interpreted as the singer's acknowledgement that the consequences of their journey are uncertain, and that they will only know if it was worth it once they have reached their destination.


Line by Line Meaning

Sold my cold knot
I let go of my emotional burden and pain


A heavy stone
It was weighing me down and preventing me from moving on


Sold my red horse for a venture home
I sacrificed something valuable for the potential of something new and better


To vanish on the bow
To disappear quietly into the distance without any attention or fanfare


Settling slow
Taking the time to adjust to the new changes and transition


Fit it all, fit it in the doldrums
Trying to make sense of everything in a stagnant and uninspiring period of life


(Or so the story goes)
Acknowledging that the narrative may not be entirely accurate


Color the era
Capture the essence of the time period with vivid detail and emotion


Film it's historical
Create a lasting record of the past for future generations to understand and learn from


My mile could not
I was unable to make significant progress despite my efforts


Pump the plumb
I was unable to reach the depths of my soul and tap into my innermost desires


In my arbor 'til my ardor
I was sheltered and isolated until my passion and determination exceeded my fears


Trumped every inner inertia
My motivation and drive overcame any mental or emotional obstacles that were holding me back


Lump sum
All of these experiences and emotions are overwhelming and cannot be easily dissected or compartmentalized


All at once
Everything seemed to happen suddenly and without warning


Rushing from the sub-pump
Overwhelming emotions that stem from the deepest parts of my being


(Or so the story goes)
Again, acknowledging that the telling of this story may not capture every detail or truth


Balance we won't know
It's impossible to fully comprehend or achieve a sense of balance in life


We will see when it gets warm
It's only when time and life warm up that we will see the results and impact of our choices and actions




Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
Written by: Justin Deyarmond Edison Vernon

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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