Meaning of “Saint Bernard” by Lincoln

Written By Michael Miller

Michael is a music teacher and professional cellist. He loves uncovering the deeper meaning of popular songs.

“Saint Bernard” by Lincoln seemingly paints a vivid picture of internal conflict and search for identity. The song appears to be about grappling with one’s past, upbringing, and personal demons. The protagonist is shadowed by his religious background, symbolized by patron saints, while struggling with feelings of unworthiness and self-loathing. The reference to Saint Bernard hints at a lingering desire for love and acceptance, possibly depicting a relationship or friendship. The songwriter, Lincoln, likely wrote this song to express a state of constraint and a quest for self-love and freedom.

Dive deeper as we dissect the lyrics and unearth the myriad layers, shedding light on Lincoln’s creative genius.

“Saint Bernard” Lyrics Meaning

“Saint Bernard” is a profound exploration of internal turmoil, roots, and the relentless pursuit of self-acceptance and love. Lincoln’s narrative begins with images of patron saints – a representation of his Catholic upbringing, serving as a constant reminder of his perceived foolishness and the contrasting embodiment of holiness in his environment.

The song’s protagonist feels shackled, referencing Ohio as a metaphorical prison contrasting the freedom and sanctity of the saints. This metaphor may mirror Lincoln’s own struggle with confinement and the longing to break free from his shackles, establishing a semblance of freedom and unholy existence, contradictory to his upbringing.

The poignant plea, “Make me love myself, so that I might love you,” delves into the human quest for self-love and acceptance, crucial for forming loving, genuine relationships. Lincoln’s admission to potentially being a liar reflects a brutal honesty and an acknowledgment of the volatility of human emotions and thoughts.

The mention of Saint Calvin sheds light on the universal and perpetual struggles we all face, highlighting the shared human experience. Calvin’s advice to not worry implies a shared understanding, and the acknowledgment of dealing with individual problems emphasizes a collective solitude in suffering.

The culmination with Saint Bernard at the driveway is deeply symbolic. Saint Bernard, often associated with rescue, possibly represents someone significant, a beacon of hope and love, a metaphorical rescuer. The analogy of howling and barking these songs illustrates a primal, raw expression of emotions, a calling out for connection, love, and understanding.

Why Was “Saint Bernard” Written?

Lincoln’s “Saint Bernard” seems to emanate from a place of introspection and confrontation with his past and inherent beliefs. The emotional dissonance and the vivid depiction of internal battle suggest a period of Lincoln’s life marked by self-discovery and an ardent quest for meaning and self-worth.

The lyrical journey, juxtaposing religious symbolism with self-doubt and desire, reveals a struggle with accepting one’s true self, possibly due to external expectations and ingrained beliefs. This search for identity and the urge to love and be loved is universally relatable, reflecting the existential dilemmas we all navigate.

In concluding, the composition of “Saint Bernard” could be a cathartic expression for Lincoln, a means to articulate his internal battles, and a beacon for those wading through similar seas of uncertainty, beckoning a light of understanding and shared human experience.