Meaning of ”Your Bones” by Of Monsters and Men

Written By Michael Miller

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

Of Monsters and Men’s “Your Bones” is a lyrical journey that tugs at your heartstrings. It’s about change, loss, and the struggle to hold onto something meaningful in a chaotic world. The song might not be about a specific person, but it encapsulates a universal feeling of melancholy and contemplation. The boat made “out of feathers, out of bones” symbolizes life’s fragile beauty, and “setting fire to our homes” talks about willingly embracing change, even if it hurts.

Stay with me as we sail through the depths of this poetic masterpiece to uncover its hidden treasures.

“Your Bones” Lyrics Meaning

Let’s dive right in. The song begins with, “In the spring we made a boat out of feathers, out of bones.” Spring signifies rebirth, a fresh start, but the materials used for the boat aren’t exactly cheerful. Feathers and bones are remnants of something once alive—suggesting a melancholic undertone. It’s a new beginning, yes, but one built on remnants of the past.

“We set fire to our homes, walking barefoot in the snow.” Here, burning down homes represents willingly parting from comfort zones. Walking barefoot in the snow embodies vulnerability but also signifies a willing acceptance of the harsh journey ahead.

“Distant rhythm of the drum as we drifted towards the storm.” The drum represents destiny or fate. Even though they hear the rhythm, they still drift towards the storm—embracing the challenges life throws at them.

“Baby lion lost his teeth, now they’re swimming in the sea.” This line exemplifies the loss of innocence and youthful vigor. The sea can be interpreted as life’s unpredictability; where things that once defined us get lost.

“Troubled spirits on my chest, where they laid to rest. The birds all left, my tall friend, as your body hit the sand.” This section of the song delves into personal struggles and the loneliness that accompanies hard times. It touches upon the sadness of seeing someone you care about fall, captured in the metaphor of a “body hitting the sand.”

“A million stars up in the sky formed a tiger’s eye that looked down on my face, out of time and out of place.” The universe watches but doesn’t intervene. The characters in the song seem out of sync with their environment and time, emphasizing a sense of displacement.

Throughout, the chorus “So hold on, hold on to what we are, hold on to your heart” acts as an anchor. It tells us to hang onto our core selves and the things that truly matter, amidst the whirlwind of change and loss.

Why Was “Your Bones” Written?

Behind the song lies the essence of existential pondering. At the time of its creation, Of Monsters and Men were transitioning from a small-town band to global stardom. The song captures that emotional turmoil, the sense of losing and finding parts of oneself in the chaotic ride of life. It’s a musical testament to the emotional and philosophical crossroads that we all, at some point, stand at.