22 (Over Soon)

Album: 22, A Million (2016)
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • The opening track of 22, A Million, this was inspired in part by Bon Iver mainman Justin Vernon's unsuccessful attempt to find himself during a vacation. He explained during a press conference in Eau Claire, Wisconsin that he had taken a solo trip to an island off the coast of Greece in 2015. "Don't go to the Greek islands off season by yourself," Vernon said. "Trying to find myself and I did not. I felt really poor. And I just heard this chorus in my head: 'This feeling might be over soon'. That ended up turning into the opening line of the album's first song, '22 (OVER S00 00N).'"
  • This was premiered at Justin Vernon's Eaux Claires Music Festival on August 13, 2016.
  • Vernon heard the line, "It might be over soon" as a kind of mantra that could suggest relief, loss, mortality or a reason to get to work. "The bad stuff might be over soon, but maybe the good stuff might be over soon," he explained to The New York Times. "So you'd better figure out how to enjoy this life and participate in it."
  • Each song title on 22, a Million begins with a number that holds a private significance for Justin Vernon. While growing up and playing sports, he chose 22 as his jersey number; he also sets wake-up alarms to 22 minutes after the hour. Vernon explained that as he chopped up the phrase "It might be over soon" in the sampler, "soon" began to turn into "two, two": 22.
  • This contains a sample of gospel legend Mahalia Jackson's live recording of "How I Got Over." Vernon told Uncut:

    "If there's anybody who's ever sung for all of humanity, it's her. I couldn't have sung that. I had to have that piece of music in there. It just made me happy."
Please sign in or register to post comments.


Be the first to comment...

Don Brewer of Grand FunkSongwriter Interviews

The drummer and one of the primary songwriters in Grand Funk talks rock stardom and Todd Rundgren.

Who's Johnny, And Why Does He Show Up In So Many SongsSong Writing

For songwriters, Johnny represents the American man. He has been angry, cool, magic, a rebel and, of course, marching home.

Amanda PalmerSongwriter Interviews

Call us crazy, but we like it when an artist comes around who doesn't mesh with the status quo.

Oliver LeiberSongwriter Interviews

Long before she was judging contestants on American Idol, Oliver was producing Paula Abdul. Here's how he helped turn this unknown choreographer into a star.

Experience Nirvana with Sub Pop Founder Bruce PavittSong Writing

The man who ran Nirvana's first label gets beyond the sensationalism (drugs, Courtney) to discuss their musical and cultural triumphs in the years before Nevermind.

Rosanne CashSongwriter Interviews

Rosanne talks about the journey that inspired her songs on her album The River & the Thread, including a stop at the Tallahatchie Bridge.