It's 3:00AM in the morning, and I can't seem to sleep. So I picked up my guitar and played the first song that came to mind that I knew how to play.
The song that oozed out of my fingers and my mouth was a song from a band called Pearl Jam. Of course, this is what usually comes to mind with someone who grew up with grunge. This particular song was significantly relevant twice in my life so far (not hoping for a 3rd, 4th, or nth... for that matter). And it has always managed to carry me through those tough times. Nowadays, I play it on guitar and sing it not because of current relevancy, but because it is a great a song, with a lot of emotion packed into it.
There isn't a music video for this song. So I looked for a live concert version instead. There were music videos with lyrics made by others, but I found them ultimately too videoke-ish for my liking. Anyway, the visuals and prose of the song are below.
by Pearl Jam
Sheets of empty canvas, untouched sheets of clay
Her legs spread out before me as her body once did.
All five horizons revolved around her soul
As the earth to the sun
Now the air I tasted and breathed has taken a turn
Ooh, and all I taught her was everything
Ooh, I know she gave me all that she wore
And now my bitter hands chafe beneath the clouds
Of what was everything.
Oh, the pictures have all been washed in black, tattooed everything...
I take a walk outside
I'm surrounded by some kids at play
I can feel their laughter, so why do I sear?
Oh, and twisted thoughts that spin round my head
I'm spinning, oh, I'm spinning
How quick the sun can drop away
And now my bitter hands cradle broken glass
Of what was everything?
All the pictures have all been washed in black, tattooed everything...
All the love gone bad turned my world to black
Tattooed all I see, all that I am, all I'll be... yeah...Uh huh... uh huh... ooh...
I know someday you'll have a beautiful life,
I know you'll be a sun in somebody else's sky, but why
Why, why can't it be, why can't it be mine
Too doo doo too, too doo doo [many times until fade]
The MTV Unplugged version of the song totally rocks. I actually like the acoustic version better.
Below is a live acoustic cover of the same song done by Aaron Lewis of Staind. I know that he kinda bastardized the song. But hearing him cover it motivated me to learn the song as well. I agree with Aaron that this is a song worth covering.
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