Bon Iver’s “Jelmore” Lyrics Meaning

The setting of Bon Iver’s “Jelmore” is an impending apocalyptic situation. The track actually reads as if Bon Iver’s lead singer Justin Vernon is anticipating some type of large-scale calamity.

The exact nature of this event is not clear, though he alludes to the idea that it will affect air quality. Some fans have speculated that “Jelmore” actually serves as a protest song against global warning due to this and its utilization of terminology such as “heat”. And while he may reference global warming at a specific juncture, the threat he is speaking to seems to transcend that subject. For instance, in the chorus he states that “we will all be gone by the falling light”. That can be perceived as a reference to a particular time frame and/or the descent of a missile, but both lend to the same idea – a devastating event which occurs more suddenly than say global warming.

Another subject matter that is brought up is social inequality, as in the singer perceiving a sort of injustice in labor relations. And the implication is that such is related to the aforementioned apocalyptic event, perhaps not directly but in the sense that both of these issues have him concerned.

What is the meaning of “Jelmore”?

It should be noted that Bon Iver like to play with words, which seem to be intentionally ambiguous in order to encourage varying interpretations. And this track is no different. For example, there is no clear indication how the word “Jelmore”, which is a surname originating from the United Kingdom, relates to this song. And by the way, “Jelmore” is never mentioned in song! But all things considered, this is one of simpler tracks the band has released, as in it has relatively-distinguishable storyline. And in that regard, it is sort of a social commentary, where the singer portrays himself as being part of the society he is criticizing. And what he is basically saying is that it is rife with injustice and will ultimately experience a devastating event.

"Jelmore" Lyrics

When did this song come out?

On 11 July 2019, Jagjaguwar (an American independent record label) released “Jelmore” in advance of the album it appears on, Bon Iver’s 2019 album i, i. It was released on the same day as another single (“Faith”) from this i, i. Other singles from this album include:

Who wrote “Jelmore”?

Justin Vernon, Bon Iver’s lead singer, wrote the song along with songwriter Buddy Ross. Vernon also produced the track with producers Brad Cook and Chris Messina, both of whom worked extensively on i,  i.

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1 Response

  1. Kevin says:

    The surname “Jelmore” may not be directly in the song, but when you take the lyrics apart in the first verse, it’s hidden in “Well Angel Morning sivanna”. Breakdown: “Angel Morning” –> “gel Mor” –> “Jelmore”

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