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Pearl Jam — Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
Album: Vs.
Avg rating:
7.5

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2943









Released: 1993
Length: 3:12
Plays (last 30 days): 4
I seem to recognize your face
Haunting familiar yet I can't seem to place it
Cannot find the candle of thought to light your name
Lifetimes are catching up with me
All these changes taking place I wish I'd seen the place
But no one's ever taken me
Hearts and thoughts they fade fade away

I swear I recognize your breath
Memories like fingerprints are slowly raising
Me you wouldn't recall, for I'm not my former
It's hard when, your stuck upon the shelf
I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate
Perhaps that's what no one wants to see
I just want to scream, hello
My god its been so long, never dreamed you'd return
But now here you are, and here I am
Hearts and thoughts they fade, away

Hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away
Hearts and thoughts they fade, away
Hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away
Hearts and thoughts they fade
Comments (293)add comment
My mother passed a few months ago and there’s so much truth in this song. Eddie must have lost someone too.
 karlishappy wrote:

Has to be the best reincarnation song ever. 



That isn't my interpretation at all!
Has to be the best reincarnation song ever. 
 h8rhater wrote:

Wow... talk about an unpopular opinion.  I bet there is much that escapes you 99% of the time. 

Kudos, though, for the image of a reanimated Elvis singing Vedder.  Better yet, WITH Vedder.  That could have made for one helluva duet.


WTF is the point of holding an opinion based on how popular it is? But maybe conformity and lack of personal identity is important to you.

Eddie still can't sing. Elvis could. Fact. 
 kcar wrote:
Bill, are you kidding me?!?!

Beethoven "Moonlight Sonata" --> this. 

Why don't you just segue into a recording of a car crash instead? 

I'd link to the video "Panic" by The Smiths but the text editor isn't cooperating...

 
That's a whole lot more "I didn't like this segue" than seems warranted.
This song strikes so much harder when you’re dealing with an elderly loved one. Hearts and thoughts they fade away...
As I grow older, this song becomes more relevant.
 Wisecrowe wrote:
This song sends chills down my spine. Never forget the feeling/experience of seeing PJ live for the first time at Hershey stadium in 2003 and hearing the entire stadium belting this out. Beautiful stuff!
 
I *thought* that was you singing! ;) Used to live a stone's throw from the stadium and we could usually hear the music wafting on the warm summer breezes from our balcony. Good memories. 
HELLO!!
Bill, are you kidding me?!?!

Beethoven "Moonlight Sonata" --> this. 

Why don't you just segue into a recording of a car crash instead? 

I'd link to the video "Panic" by The Smiths but the text editor isn't cooperating...

Picked up my six-string and suprised myself by remembering how to play this. I'm more used to four (thicker) strings these days so it didn't feel great but it *felt great* :)
 jelgator wrote:


yobyot wrote:
I've never understood the appeal of Pearl Jam. Fake seriousness, banal lyrics and boring melodies make for (at least for me) an instant next command.

jelgator wrote:

Agreed.  I wore Ten out, then after that they turned into exactly how you describe.  Yuck.
 
For me they have always been hit and miss, where the hits are stellar, while the misses are grating (like having to listen to "Jeremy" ever again...). Good antidote for me is the "Rearviewmirror" double CD greatest hits -- CD1 is mostly their heavier edgier stuff that sounds overblown now (like "Jeremy", "Even flow", ... just never anymore, thanks). CD2 extracts the slower, more thought-provoking songs that demonstrate the band's musicianship more. I'm sure swathes of folks will disagree one way or the other..
 yobyot wrote:
I've never understood the appeal of Pearl Jam. Fake seriousness, banal lyrics and boring melodies make for (at least for me) an instant next command.
 
Agreed.  I wore Ten out, then after that they turned into exactly how you describe.  Yuck.
I've never understood the appeal of Pearl Jam. Fake seriousness, banal lyrics and boring melodies make for (at least for me) an instant next command.
My God this song does it for me.
So many insights into the human emotion
Many chapters we go through to reach the end
This song is timeless... I swear I recognize your breath...memories, like fingerprints, are slowly raising...me you wouldn't recall, for I'm not my former...WOW!!! Goosebumps. 
From Beethoven to one of my favourite PJ songs, ah frabjous day 😁
 eileenomurphy wrote:
Great Tune! ...the sheep in the photo, has a face that looks like Billy Idol! ...LOL!
 Haha...Billy Idol...that made my day! LMAO . Thank you! :-)

BTW I made a picture of a horse that looks like Steven Van Zandt! :-) 
Great Tune! ...the sheep in the photo, has a face that looks like Billy Idol! ...LOL!
PJ brings me back to the beginning.
"Tharts and tharts they fade away..."
Still the coolest song I can play on guitar. Thanks, Eddie & Co.
One of my favorites, tnx RP for playing it quiet often <3
Just love Eddie vedder and these amazing Lyrics.
This song speaks to anyone who spent serious time in a town with a single stop light and a humble country store.
 kcar wrote:

I would prefer the Chipmunks version. I would prefer the Yoko Ono version. I would prefer the Elvis Presley version if you dug him up and did the worst job of re-animating him for the few minutes it would take to sing this song. 

Eddie's charm completely escapes me 99 out of 100 times. The ukelele fad was just a punchline to his lack of vocal ability.  
 
Wow... talk about an unpopular opinion.  I bet there is much that escapes you 99% of the time. 

Kudos, though, for the image of a reanimated Elvis singing Vedder.  Better yet, WITH Vedder.  That could have made for one helluva duet.
The first upload of mine ever to make the cut.....counting the additions per decade the average remains 1.
 junebaby65 wrote:

Yes, annoy the hell out of people.{#Frustrated}
 
Most people wouldn't be able to glean that level of annoyance of "people" from the 7.5 average rating.  Well done.
This song sends chills down my spine. Never forget the feeling/experience of seeing PJ live for the first time at Hershey stadium in 2003 and hearing the entire stadium belting this out. Beautiful stuff!
My local radio station plays a live version of this song. I get goosebumps every time listening to the crowd singing along. 
 dc_zee wrote:
I don't hit the message boards often. And having two parents with Alzheimer's, I probably read too much into lyrics like those in this song. But I came here to read interpretations of those lyrics. Too bad I find mostly grumblings. (That said, the goat/mic pic is funny.)

 

Yep. I don't get the hate/dislike for Vedder and PJ. Always thought they were one of the better bands.

1→2

See...I am maturing slightly and well this isn't puke inducing to me anymore.  Maybe next time I'll take it out of the marginal realm to merely ho-hum?!  Keep playing it, BnR - and Long Live RP!!

 1000370999 wrote:
Eddie did exactly what he wanted to do with the vocals.
 
Yes, annoy the hell out of people.{#Frustrated}
It's always amazing when this happens. Astonished delayed recognition and missed connection.
'TEN' and 'Vs.' 
The end.
-
Pearl Jam's lead singer has spent the last 24 years trying to sound like Eddie Vedder. 
I don't hit the message boards often. And having two parents with Alzheimer's, I probably read too much into lyrics like those in this song. But I came here to read interpretations of those lyrics. Too bad I find mostly grumblings. (That said, the goat/mic pic is funny.)
One of my favorite songs and albums...remember how much anticipation was toward the release of this album, after their monumental debut. I was in high school and called the records store every day, asking when will it get there... 
Robert is not amused.

https://thebluesmobile.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/1401x788-1406905427image2extralarge_1402505965178.jpg 


kcar wrote:

Donovan's not doing too badly for 70:

head shot of Donovan the folk singer 

Check out Robert Plant for the sake of comparison—he's 68. 

 


thanks, Bill, for including Pearl Jam in your regular rotation...!  This is high among my very favorite songs.
Heard quite a few people cover this at open mic nights and it's never been my favourite. In fact, I prefer many of the covers I've heard. Like Pearl Jam, just not this song, particularly.
on this one i agree with Dr S below

 DaveInVA wrote:
 kcar wrote:

Eddie's voice on this song is astounding...for a goat. 


I think Donovan will be insulted that his pic is being used for this comparison however.

 
Donovan's not doing too badly for 70:

head shot of Donovan the folk singer 

Check out Robert Plant for the sake of comparison—he's 68. 
perfect :) it doesn't get eddie vedder than this 
Why do I hear a hint of "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" in the guitar strumming in this song?
Brilliant.
Hey, goats are people too!

"9" for Eddie and the band.
 kcar wrote:

Eddie's voice on this song is astounding...for a goat. 

Goat bleating into microphone 


I think Donovan will be insulted that his pic is being used for this comparison however.
 kcar wrote:

Eddie's voice on this song is astounding...for a goat. 

Goat bleating into microphone 

 

Most......awesome.......post.......ever
 bam23 wrote:

But on the other hand, it's not a good song. Truly, the lack of any vocal control makes this painful. I recognize that this statement can be made about any number of contemporary singers, but on my person scale, this is in the basement.

 
Eddie's voice on this song is astounding...for a goat. 

Goat bleating into microphone 
A classic!
way too sad.
 dw wrote:
Not a bad song but after "Gimme Shelter" - tough for anything to sound great!
 

 
But on the other hand, it's not a good song. Truly, the lack of any vocal control makes this painful. I recognize that this statement can be made about any number of contemporary singers, but on my person scale, this is in the basement.
It's 4:20
 
 dw wrote:
Not a bad song but after "Gimme Shelter" - tough for anything to sound great!
 

  Word.


I listened up because of the drums (I hardly know Pearl Jam at all).
This is some really, really fine drumming.
Not a bad song but after "Gimme Shelter" - tough for anything to sound great!
 
this song always sends my heart soaring!
thanks for playing Pearl Jam, Bill!
 Grammarcop wrote:
And people complain about Dylan mumbling...

 
(a) those complainers shouldnt. if it really bugs them the lyrics are readily available to (2) read. and (C) i hear mr michael stipe in this.
 Grammarcop wrote:
And people complain about Dylan mumbling...

 
It seems that the folks who complain about Zimmerman's vocal stylings are usually the same people who carp about Eddie Vedder's dulcet tones.  Anyhow, I can't tell from the title - what is this song about?
Everybody in my homeless camp loves this song...

time flies when we're having fun... 
And people complain about Dylan mumbling...
some fine music this one here
When I was in high school we read a novel and these lyrics seemed to have come from the same story.  I can't for the life of me remember what it was though..
20000 stop to scream "hello" every night on tour
I will not comment on smoking tobacco or pot today.  {#Wall}
 daniel_rusk wrote:
Please no more Pearl Jam please no more. Let them fade away. Pease?

 
AMEN BROTHER!!!!    This band is lame
 daniel_rusk wrote:
Please no more Pearl Jam please no more. Let them fade away. Pease?

 
Please turn off your sound or please GTFO. Pease?
 jbunniii wrote:
Very nice. I like these guys a lot more now than I ever did in the '90s.

 
How true:)
Really not looking for top 40 today. Or really any other day.
No, she's his daughter.

johnjconn wrote:

Keith Richards twin sister?
 


Please no more Pearl Jam please no more. Let them fade away. Pease?

They were great in concert, and 20 years later this still slows me down to listen..


Damn good run of music today Bill
 scrubbrush wrote:


I bet you didn't mean to be so ironic in the tone and comments of your post, did you?

 
Touche!
I can't leave these comments on top, so i have to say something:

love u Eddie......and RP of course !
Beautiful song, band, sentiment, feeliing at a concert when 20,000 people scream "HELLO"
 midigitguy wrote:
Just thinking as I listened to Billy whining/"singing"  in Drown from the Smashing Pumpkins, it could only get worse if it is followed by the other dirge whiner...  And here it is...
blurghh...
 

 

I bet you didn't mean to be so ironic in the tone and comments of your post, did you?
Just thinking as I listened to Billy whining/"singing"  in Drown from the Smashing Pumpkins, it could only get worse if it is followed by the other dirge whiner...  And here it is...
blurghh...
 
 kcar wrote:

Eddie's charm completely escapes me 99 out of 100 times.

 

Precisely what I think every damn time I hear them -- I know that there is talent there, somewhere, because many people with good taste love them - but this statement is perfect!  So good, it's worth repeating...

Eddie's charm completely escapes me 99 out of 100 times.
Longest title in the Pearl Jam catalog... 
 rromulus wrote:
I wish there was a Chipmunks version of this song. Vedder's tremelo lends itself very well to their style. It would also make it a bit more upbeat in the process *

 
I would prefer the Chipmunks version. I would prefer the Yoko Ono version. I would prefer the Elvis Presley version if you dug him up and did the worst job of re-animating him for the few minutes it would take to sing this song. 

Eddie's charm completely escapes me 99 out of 100 times. The ukelele fad was just a punchline to his lack of vocal ability.  
Very nice. I like these guys a lot more now than I ever did in the '90s.
It truly does not get much better than this....Damn, but I do love Pearl Jam!
 
9 > 10
junior year of college, harrisonburg va.

great memories     {#Cowboy}

Everybody in my churches loves this song...
 
 rdo wrote:
It reminds me of Joni Mitchell and her song "Both Sides Now".
   
It goes "I've looked at life from both sides now..."
 
She was 24 at the time she wrote it.     

 

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard a wise man say,
‘Give crowns and pounds and guineas
But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies
But keep your fancy free.’
But I was one-and-twenty,
No use to talk to me.
When I was one-and-twenty
I heard him say again,
‘The heart out of the bosom
Was never given in vain;
Tis paid with sighs a plenty
And sold for endless rue.’
And I am two-and-twenty,
And oh, ’tis true, ’tis true.

A. E. Housman
I wish there was a Chipmunks version of this song. Vedder's tremelo lends itself very well to their style. It would also make it a bit more upbeat in the process *
Fun sing along live. "I just want to scream, Hello......" Amazing live shows from these guys!
m fading away as i speak
my favorite reincarnation song!
 MassivRuss wrote:
Everyone in my head loves this song.{#Sunny}

This one just never ever ever ever ever gets old.
 
True! {#Angel}
Everyone in my head loves this song.{#Sunny}

This one just never ever ever ever ever gets old.
 rdo wrote:
It reminds me of Joni Mitchell and her song "Both Sides Now".
   
It goes "I've looked at life from both sides now..."
 
She was 24 at the time she wrote it.     
 
I had a job inteview once which went something like:

Interviewer: Are you divorced?
Me: No...why?
Interviewer: You look like you've had a hard life.

I was 21 at the time!
It reminds me of Joni Mitchell and her song "Both Sides Now".
   
It goes "I've looked at life from both sides now..."
 
She was 24 at the time she wrote it.     

 rdo wrote:
I think he wrote this in his 20s.  Who was this elderly woman he was dating? 
  
Nancy Reagan

..LOL..


 rdo wrote:
I think he wrote this in his 20s.  Who was this elderly woman he was dating? 
 
Nancy Reagan
 renegade_X wrote:

Pear Jam was questioned why nearly all of their song titles where only one word long. Eddie gave the title in reaction. LOL

Check out me doing this song on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tWigP-CTAw&feature=plcp
 
 
Nice work! And, thank you for giving me a reason to push some of the other comments down the list.
I think he wrote this in his 20s.  Who was this elderly woman he was dating? 
 elemmoth wrote:
The longest title in the Pearl Jam catalog. 10
 
Pear Jam was questioned why nearly all of their song titles where only one word long. Eddie gave the title in reaction. LOL

Check out me doing this song on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tWigP-CTAw&feature=plcp
 
Had the good fortune to fall in love recently. Felt from the first I had known this person for centuries. This song says it...."It is so good to see you again!"
 bluecshells wrote:
Great song....and sounds odd with Juice Newton singing "Angel of the Morning" in the background. 
 
I'll bet it does!  (not our doing...)
Great song....and sounds odd with Juice Newton singing "Angel of the Morning" in the background. 
 lemmoth wrote:
The longest title in the Pearl Jam catalog. 10
 
Eddie, Live On Two Legs ;)
 lemmoth wrote:

Its an amazing experience to hear 20,000 scream "hello" in unision

 
Hah, I bet it is.


Horrible or not, it makes a nice change from the usual high tenor warbling of unbroken voices evidenced by the majority of male front persons.
 sirdroseph wrote:

Vedders horrible caterwail or whatever he does actually works with this song.


 
Its an amazing experience to hear 20,000 scream "hello" in unision

The longest title in the Pearl Jam catalog. 10
 rdo wrote:
All things considered.  This is the best Pearl Jam song.  Yep.   Someone had to say it.  So there.  Live with it.  It my own damn opinion.  Deal with it.
 
+ 1
All things considered.  This is the best Pearl Jam song.  Yep.   Someone had to say it.  So there.  Live with it.  It my own damn opinion.  Deal with it.

timeless song from the dated grunge years...
Beautiful!

 FrankRizzo wrote:

Ejfalgo, there are 1000's of internet stations. I've been an RP fan for 10 years. My most favorite station period. The dynamic of music played here is amazing!

Enjoy!
 
Second Frank!

Not my favorite song, but sure brings back memories.


Gaah — plain bad
funny to see PJ haters liking this one... great song by a great group

Vedders horrible caterwail or whatever he does actually works with this song.



{#Hearteyes}LOVE{#Hearteyes}
PJ following PF "Wish You Were Here"...what a back-to-back.
Quite a remarkable voice, literally and figuratively.
Brilliant song. Lyrics that stir the human soul.