Analysis of "Lump Sum" by Bon Iver

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Lump Sum by Justin Vernon Sold my cold knot A heavy stone Sold my red horse for a venture home To vanish on the bow Settling slow Feel it all, feel it in the doldrums (Or so the story goes) Colour the era Film it, it's historical My mile could not Pump the plumb In my arbor 'till 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 Lump Sum was the first ballad that Justin Vernon wrote while he secluded himself in a cabin in the snowy wilderness of rural Wisconsin. Justin Vernon had left a band that had started his music career and he was in a deep depression about his struggle to break into the industry with no money and no ideas. Vernon wanted the ballad to be telling the story of how he regained success. The structure is evidently chronological. The plot development starts with a crisis. The first stanza talks about what he decides to do, which is leave for a remote cabin in the woods. The second stanza is about how he feels that the retreat will bring him luck in his music. The third and fourth stanza is about how he wrote many new songs after he was isolated. The last line is quite literal, he means after being alone all winter, when summer comes, he will come back to the world and potentially release his new music. Vernon’s lyrics are plentiful in imagery, mostly metaphors. The first two lines, 'Sold my cold knot A heavy stone' Says that Vernon left behind his heavy burden of depression. 'Sold my red horse for a venture home' Vernon sold his red car or other mode of transportation as he did not have enough the money to survive three months in his cabin. 'Colour the era, Film it, it's historical' Vernon feels that he will make musical history which may change the year

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