Faith – Unraveling the Mystique of Devotion and Doubt


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Bon Iver's Faith at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. A Portrait of Devotion: The Canvas of Shattered Expectations
  5. The Pursuit of Authenticity Amidst Spiritual Struggle
  6. Embracing Life’s Complexities through Metaphorical Mazes
  7. The Hidden Meaning: Faith’s Inevitable Ebb and Flow
  8. Memorable Lines: The Loneliness of Faith and the Hope for Connection

Lyrics

Shattered in history
Shattered in paint
Oh, and the lengths that I’d
Stay up late
But brought to my space
The wonderful things I’ve learned to waste

I shoulda known
That I shouldn’t hide
To compromise and to covet
All what’s inside
There is no design
You’ll have to decide
If you’ll come to know if I’m the faithful kind

Time and again
(Got all that I need)
It’s time to be brave
Content to the phrases
That at dawn, we ain’t mazes
Just some kind of pages

This for my sister
That for my maple
It’s not going the road I’d known as a child of God
Nor to become stable
(So what if I lose? I’m satisfied)

Am I dependent in what I’m defending
And do we get to hold what faith provides?
Fold your hands into mine
Do I believe in
Seeing every time

I know it’s lonely in the dark
And this year’s a visitor
And we have to know that faith declines
I’m not out all the way

Full Lyrics

Bon Iver, an entity synonymous with lyrical depth and musical innovation, gifts the world a piece that transcends the auditory experience with ‘Faith’. It’s a mosaic of introspection framed in melody, and as we delve into the lyrics, we unlock a myriad of interpretations personal to each listener.

Through the vessel of a song, Bon Iver’s frontman Justin Vernon, serves up a communion of thoughts encapsulating the inner turmoil one faces when questioning the dimensions of faith. ‘Faith’ is more than a track; it’s an odyssey that charts the pilgrimage through doubt, devotion, and ultimately, self-discovery.

A Portrait of Devotion: The Canvas of Shattered Expectations

The opening lines of ‘Faith’ set a somber tone, painting a picture of history and memories fragmented like shattered glass. Vernon invites listeners into a space where the comfort of nostalgia is juxtaposed against the brutal awakening to reality, suggesting perhaps that whatever we hold as beautiful is often marred by the truths we later confront.

This shattered imagery subtly addresses the theme of disillusionment and the courage it takes to face the often-romanticized past. It’s a metaphor for the pieces we inevitably leave behind in our quest for growth, acknowledging the pain in the remnants of what once was.

The Pursuit of Authenticity Amidst Spiritual Struggle

‘I shoulda known, That I shouldn’t hide, To compromise and to covet’ speaks to the juxtaposition of inner knowledge versus action. Vernon confesses an innate understanding that concealing oneself is not the path to true fulfillment. This is an anthem of vulnerability, where the realization that the only design is the choice to be authentic.

The lines probe at the tension between faith and self-knowledge. There’s a palpable struggle within the decision to hold onto faith while seeking authenticity, hinting that faith isn’t about blind adherence, but an active, personal choice that demands self-examination.

Embracing Life’s Complexities through Metaphorical Mazes

Bon Iver often paints with a broad brush of metaphor, and ‘Faith’ is no different. When Vernon muses, ‘Content to the phrases, That at dawn, we ain’t mazes, Just some kind of pages,’ it’s an invocation to embrace life’s enigmas and to realize that as humans, we are narratives in progress rather than puzzles to be solved.

Playing with the duality of night and dawn, the lyrics suggest a rebirth or awakening, instilling the courage that’s needed to brave the unknown. It’s a reminder that our stories unfold in real-time and that the answers we seek may simply lie in accepting the chapters of our lives as they are written.

The Hidden Meaning: Faith’s Inevitable Ebb and Flow

In the reflection ‘Am I dependent in what I’m defending, And do we get to hold what faith provides?’ Vernon touches on a universally resonant doubt. He questions the reliability of faith, not as a mere spiritual concept, but as something that may diminish over time or in the face of tribulation.

This reflective passage is the emotional fulcrum of the song, articulating the ebb and flow of belief and the deeply human fear of lost conviction. It’s the hidden meaning found within the struggle for spiritual footing, laying bare the core question: what happens when faith cannot stand the trial of darkness?

Memorable Lines: The Loneliness of Faith and the Hope for Connection

‘I know it’s lonely in the dark, And this year’s a visitor, And we have to know that faith declines, I’m not out all the way’—these lines linger in the air long after the song has ended. They underscore the isolating journey of faith as well as the temporal nature of existence and belief.

It’s a poignant conclusion to a profound exploration, acknowledging that faith wanes as life’s visitors—be they joy, sorrow, or doubt—enter and exit. Yet, there’s an undercurrent of hope in Vernon’s admittance that he is not entirely lost to darkness—a glimmer that connection, be it to faith, to others, or to oneself, is still within reach.

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