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Lost 90 Friends We’ll Never Know

Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam is a Rock band started in Seattle, Washington in 1990 and is still going. Despite their age, their music is still relevant today, especially for those who like the indy rock scene. The five current members are Eddie Vedder who is the lead singer and guitarist, Mike McCready is lead guitarist, Stone Gossard also plays guitar, Jeff Ament plays bass, and Matt Cameron is the drummer. If you like Pearl Jam, check out Grant-Lee Phillips. The Pacific Northwest has a specific sound to it– sort of a nautical oceanic roll that can be heard in some of their songs. The streets of Seattle can be heard in their music.

 

To be honest, I hadn’t heard enough about Pearl Jam to be really interested until this week when they changed the lyrics of “Love Boat Captain” to honor those in Paris who lost their lives. Of course, that is the first song of theirs I looked up. It was first written when nine of their fans died in the crowd at a music festival. Eddie Vedder changed the line “Lost 9 friends we’ll never know, 2 years ago today” to the number of years when the fans died in 2000. The day after the Paris shootings, Pearl Jam was playing in Brazil and changed the lyrics in honor. “Lost 90 friends we’ll never know, oh, again today”.

 

It’s an art to live with pain,… mix the light into grey,..

Lost 9 friends we’ll never know,.. 2 years ago today

And if our lives became too long, would it add to our regret?

And the young, they can lose hope cause they can’t see beyond today,…

The wisdom that the old can’t give away

Hard To Imagine is about Eddie Vedder finding it hard to imagine all the fans who have come to see them and met, made friends and that they each have individual motivations that brought them here to their concert.

Tear into yourself, count days upon your arms

All the beatings ticking like a bomb.

After having seen all that they saw.

Things were different then. All is different now.

I tried to explain. Somehow.

Things were different then. All is different now.

I tried to explain. Somehow.

“Lightyears” is a wistful song about how things change, but the memories remain. Distance will change people, but the memories still make people who they are.

but we were miles apart

every inch between us becomes light years now

no time to be void or save up on life

you got to spend it all..

and wherever you’ve gone

and wherever we might go

it don’t seem fair…you seem to like it here

your light’s reflected now, reflected from afar

we were but stones, your light made us stars

Towards the second part of the “Oceans”, Vedder’s voice seems to get farther and farther away and more tinny. One could almost imagine it was being sung from underwater.

You don’t have to stray

The oceans away

Waves roll in my thoughts

Hold tight the ring…

The sea will rise…

Please stand by the shore…

I will be…

I will be…

There once more………

 

“World Wide Suicide” is an anti-war song. It expresses how tired people are of waking up to news of war and tragedy. It brings to mind the George S. McGovern quote,“I’m fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.”

 

Medals on a wooden mantle. Next to a handsome face.

That the president took for granted.

Writing checks that others pay.

Looking in the eyes of the fallen

You got to know there’s another, another, another, another

Another way

It’s a shame to awake in a world of pain

What does it mean when a war has taken over

It’s the same everyday and the wave won’t break

Tell you to pray, while the devils on their shoulder

The whole world,… World over.

It’s a worldwide suicide.

 

“Life Wasted” is the type of song you would listen to driving along an abandoned road with the windows down in the middle of summer.

 

I seen the home inside your head,…

All locked doors and unmade beds.

Open sores unattended

Let me say just once that

I have faced it,… A life wasted,…

I’m never going back again.

I escaped it,… A life wasted,…

I’m never going back again.

Darkness comes in waves,… tell me,why invite it to stay?

You’re warm with negativity,

Yes, comfort is an energy,…

But why let the sad song play?

“Amongst the Waves” is a sweet love song about survival. The lines “If not for love, I would be drowning// I’ve seen it work both ways” really speaks about how love will either make you sink or swim, and sometimes it is hard to tell which is happening.

 

And once outside the undertow

Just you and me, and nothing more

If not for love, I would be drowning

I’ve seen it work both ways

But I am up riding high amongst the waves

Where I can feel like I

Have a soul that has been saved

Where I can feel like I’ve

Put away my early grave

It’s rare when there is nothing wrong

Survived and you’re amongst the fittest

Overall, Pearl Jam has some amazing music. Sort of sad, kind of hopeful, with great lyrics. Eddie Vedder’s vocals aren’t really my cup of tea, but the lyrics are what matter in their songs anyway.

 

Question:

Are there songs you can’t listen to anymore? Why?

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