Bon Iver – “​Re: Stacks” Lyrics Meaning

Photo of author
Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

The song captures a moment of reflection, where the songwriter, Justin Vernon, contemplates his life, past mistakes, and the path forward. The imagery of excavation suggests digging through the past to understand and come to terms with it. The song’s message is about acceptance, moving on, and finding peace within oneself. It’s a personal narrative, possibly reflecting Justin’s experiences and emotions. The song was likely written as a form of catharsis, helping him to process and make sense of his feelings.

Are you ready to uncover the layers of “Re: Stacks” and dive into the emotional world Bon Iver creates with their music? We explore the intricate lyrics and uncover the hidden meanings behind this soul-stirring song.


“Re: Stacks” Lyrics Meaning

The song begins with the line “This my excavation,” immediately introducing the theme of digging deep into one’s past and soul. “Today is kumran” might refer to the Qumran Caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, drawing a parallel to unearthing personal revelations.

The line “Everything that happens is from now on” marks a moment of change, a decision to move forward. The imagery of pouring rain and paralysis captures the overwhelming nature of his emotions and the feeling of being stuck.

The references to gambling and alcohol could symbolize self-destructive behavior and the consequences of past actions. The stacks and racks might be metaphors for the burdens and responsibilities he carries.

The chorus reflects on external changes, like the rusted fountain, mirroring his internal state of decay and neglect. The black crow could symbolize death or change, sitting across from him as a reminder of what he’s lost or what has changed.

The question “Whatever could it be that has brought me to this loss?” shows his search for answers and understanding. He acknowledges his burdens and the need to un-stack his load, symbolizing a release of past mistakes and the start of healing.

The song closes with a sense of resolution. It’s not about the birth of a new self or a sudden realization, but the gradual process of unlocking and letting go. The reassurance that “Your love will be safe with me” speaks to a promise to oneself, a commitment to change and find peace.

The Story Behind “Re: Stacks”

“Re: Stacks” was written during a transformative period in Justin Vernon’s life, marked by isolation and introspection. The album “For Emma, Forever Ago” was born when Justin retreated to a cabin in Wisconsin, seeking solace and a break from his previous life and band.

This solitude and the natural surroundings played a significant role in shaping the sound and lyrics of the album, with “Re: Stacks” being the closing chapter. The song reflects the culmination of his journey, the lessons learned, and the peace found in solitude.

The songwriting process served as a therapeutic outlet for Justin, allowing him to process his feelings and make sense of his experiences. “Re: Stacks” stands as a testament to the power of reflection, acceptance, and the promise of moving forward, even when faced with the weight of the past.

Through “Re: Stacks,” Justin Vernon invites listeners to join him on his journey, encouraging them to reflect on their own lives and find their path toward healing and peace.