top of page
Skinny Love

Skinny Love

Bon Iver
Skinny Love

Song Meaning of Skinny Love by Bon Iver, and what it is about

In 2006, Vernon moved to his father’s isolated cabin in Dunn County, Wisconsin. He moved there primarily to try and heal from events in his life, from not only a breakup of a relationship, but also the breakup of a previous band he was in, DeYarmond Edison, as well as illness. It was in this cabin that Vernon wrote Bon Iver’s first album “For Emma, Forever Ago”, and wrote, recorded and played everything himself, without the help or aid of producers. “Skinny Love” is the third track off the album and probably the most well-known and popular song of the band’s. Despite it only having two verses, the song still manages to be extremely heart wrenching and relatable.

The chorus portrays Vernon as a very controlling and demanding partner who dictates to his partner how to behave. Maybe this is just him advising the partner how to treat him patiently during a difficult period in his life. Even though he feels like they haven't been what they intended them to be, he will still be with his sweetheart in the morning, so things will feel different. As a result, he will be handing the partner "tickets" that she must pay the fines for. This could imply that Vernon is holding the partner responsible for his feelings or that this is the reason the relationship is "skinny."

Certifications: 7x Platinum in Australia, Platinum in Belgium, Gold in Canada, Platinum in Denmark, Platinum in France, Platinum in Italy, Gold in Switzerland, and Platinum in the US and the UK.

Song lyrics of Skinny Love by Bon Iver

Come on skinny love just last the year

Pour a little salt we were never here

My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my

Staring at the sink of blood and crushed veneer


I tell my love to wreck it all

Cut out all the ropes and let me fall

My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my

Right in this moment this order's tall


And I told you to be patient

And I told you to be fine

And I told you to be balanced

And I told you to be kind

And in the morning I'll be with you

But it will be a different "kind"

I'll be holding all the tickets

And you'll be owning all the fines


Come on skinny love what happened here

Suckle on the hope in light brassiere

My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my

Sullen load is full; so slow on the split


And I told you to be patient

And I told you to be fine

And I told you to be balanced

And I told you to be kind

And now all your love is wasted?

Then who the hell was I?


Now I'm breaking at the britches

And at the end of all your lines

Who will love you?

Who will fight?

Who will fall far behind?

Ooh, ooh

Release Date

8th July 2007


Justin Vernon


For Emma, Forever Ago (2008)


Genre: Rock, Indie, Folk

Other Songs

bottom of page