Have you heard this amazing song? It was written by Justin Vernon for his folk band Bon Iver and then re-recorded by Birdy, who made it into an international hit. There’s been lots of speculation on what it’s about, but recently Vernon gave an interview explaining the meaning and talking about the relationship that prompted him to write song. It’s about a love, of course, but the sort of love that’s destructive and unsustainable.

Anyone else out there who likes this song?

Illustration, above, by Contra Bellee.

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25 Comments on Skinny Love Explained

  1. oh dear, I do not like this version. I have loved Bon Iver for a long time, and have always thought this a fabulous song. I don’t think she at all does it justice.

  2. i will always love this song. always.
    i remembered watching a vid of bon iver live on jools holland and was so blown away by it. and like rachel above, i’m not sure if i like this version either. justin’s is very raw and emotional.

  3. I’ve loved this song ever since I first hear Bon Iver sing it. The cover’s nice…still not a tad on the original though. It’s so beautiful.

  4. I’ve loved this song ever since I first heard Bon Iver sing it. The cover’s nice…still not a tad on the original though. It’s so beautiful.

  5. I have been considering getting this very phrase tattooed between my ribs almost since the first time I heard the song. It definitely struck a chord with me.

  6. This has been one of my favorite songs since I first heard of Bon Iver. Their original version is incredible.

  7. I love the Bon Iver version. I dunno what it is about it though.. hmm. Thank you for the explanation, and sharing the cover version!

  8. I actually love both versions, which seems to be a minority on the comments here.

    It’s nice to know the meaning behind this song. I’ve always wondered. Was Bon Iver the one with 6 kids or was that the guy behind Iron & Wine?

  9. Her voice is beautiful. Thank you for sharing what Justin Vernon was writing about. Means even more now. I’ve never heard this song by anyone. Guess this is my lucky day, I will now go check out the Bon Iver version.

  10. Such a beautiful song. I love the original, but I think in this case, this is one of the few songs I prefer the cover over more than the original. Sorry Bon Iver!
    xo.

  11. I have always loved this song. Thanks for the meaning behind the words, gives it even more emotion if that is possible. I think Birdy does a great job. Thanks for sharing.