Pearl Jam: Release Meaning
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Feel the chill
Which way to go
I see the words
On a rocking horse of time
I see the birds in the rain
Oh dear dad
Can you see me now
I am myself
Like you somehow
I'll ride the wave
Where it takes me
anonymous Feb 11th report
For those poopooing those of us with faith who find meaning in this song in regards to God, in my case, at least, i knew it was about his father, and i know Ed’s stance on God, that doesn't stop me relating to the song when i am suffering from the depression that has plagued me, and it feeling like a song i have to sing to the Lord. Music is not a finite thing, lyrics speak come to people where they are and they relate them to what they need them to in their life to feel connection, and for me healing. Ed and Pearl Jam helped me survive my 20s without self destructing because i had it to hide in. Don’t disparage those who relate the lyrics of this song to their higher power. Music is transformative. Music is a gift from God whether you believe in him or not.
anonymous Aug 6th 2019 report
Great song about loss and longing. Vedder lost his biological dad before he even knew who he was. People saying this is about God have no idea who Vedder is apparently. Don't insert your dumb religious interpretations into this beautiful song written by someone who believes religion is trash.
anonymous May 22nd 2019 report
I think it's simply a song about living up to a fathers expectations but not getting there before he died. Or getting there and not hearing it before his Dad passed. Anyway, it's a great tune!
anonymous May 7th 2019 report
I think it was about Ted Bundy & his girlfriend Liz
anonymous Dec 9th 2018 report
Always come back to music of my youth and find more in it now then I ever did then. This makes me think of drug addiction and asking to be released in an intimate conversation with God himself. After all, music is what purpose it serves. Thank you for a song so that all of us can find ourselves in it.
Thank you Eddie
anonymous Feb 26th 2018 report
That is him, his Dad, and the Father. It happens how one chooses to create and then shall be created. It is who you are, only one source then gifted life from the Mother.
Once in a lifetime, it happens at the highest energy power source, not at old age. He was with him then, ask Ed, And now.
And as you are Alive the gift of who you are in this form is alive. Energy, constant, balance.. it is no fun when the struggle is over, nothing. The present is the gift, it is how you choose to invision and set a course.
anonymous Dec 15th 2017 report
I think it's about someone holding there pain and releasing it weather a bad relationship. Me personally I haven't seen my daughter for years 15 years her mother was able to keep her from me and no matter what I tried to do no one would listen to me or help me more or less I hold the pain release that's the way I take it someone that holds the pain it's one of my favorite songs.
anonymous Nov 8th 2017 report
This song is about Eddie Vedders dad. He lost him without even knowing there was something to lose. He is speaking of letting go of his anger and also letting go of his dad. "I'll wait up in the dark for you to speak to me", meaning the spirit of his father. This song is NOT about suicide, so whomever said that has no idea what they're talking about. It is simply Mr. Vedder "releasing" his hurt and anger and pain into a beautiful song about missing his father. LOVE YOU ED
anonymous Sep 26th 2017 report
The song is about one's decision to end your their own life. Suicide. Release from the pain. Which way to go? Windowsill. Jumping off the roof of a building to become one with the birds and the rain......
Possible that Eddie's father committed suicide, though I cannot be sure.
Eddie Vedder/Seattle scene/Darkness
Music can deeply effect the highly suggestible among us. Many people commit suicide with music set in the backdrop of the idea's inception all the way to the conclusion. Nobody wants to admit the importance of music while considering the concept of suicide. Nobody really cares.
anonymous Jul 7th 2017 report
This song is Eddie himself trying to release his past. His past includes his father's death and him wishing he could have had a real father in his life. He's just trying to find who he is now looking back. Which way is he supposed to go? Which way are any of us supposed to go? What is the best path to take? It is a son and his father and they are a million miles away in their souls. He can't find anybody to look to in life. And with this fact he sees the world and he's terrified.
anonymous Aug 30th 2013 report
The song is about his biological father and what he would thing of eddie if he was still alive hence why it says "oh dear dad, can you see me know?" and its also about god too
anonymous Apr 28th 2013 report
It seems that Ed is talking about his own father and you can sub God in for that too. I am myself like you somehow as in the image of God. Wait up in the dark for you to speak to me. Release me.
While the others thoughts above are good and may be true, its also been said that this song was thrown together in a jamming session the band had during the Ten sessions and that Eddie just wrote the lyrics on the fly. But yes he must have got the thoughts from somewhere.
Eddie Vedder was still coming to terms with his "daddy issues" at the time the songs for "Ten" were being penned. This song and "Alive" are testaments of the feelings he had about his biological father, as well as the man he grew up thinking was his father. It's a recurring theme in his songs, especially the first three Pearl Jam albums.
Interestingly, in the line: "I see the words on a rocking horse of time," Vedder is making a reference to the short story, THE ROCKING HORSE WINNER, by D.H. Lawrence. In this story, a boy rides a rocking horse to magically gain advanced knowledge of the winners of numerous horse races. At the end of this story, the obsessed boy dies mysteriously while riding the rocking horse as hard as he could to learn the winner of the next race. In his dying breath, he states the name of the winning horse, which would eventually bring his family out of poverty.
There are strong schools of thought that maintain that D.H. Lawrence was, in fact, alluding to the act of masturbation. However, Vedder refers to this horse as a vessel through which one would gain advanced knowledge through the passage of time.
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