This post is about poetry set to music, specifically that of Pearl Jam.

Earlier this year my husband said “I’m afraid I’ll regret it for the rest of my life if I don’t see them live.” A strong statement! So…even though I wasn’t – at that point – as dramatic about attending this particular concert, I started planning for a possible trip and started listening to the SiriusXM Pearl Jam station almost exclusively.

I soon fell back under their spell and realized I did want to see the concert as much as him. I even started noting my ideal playlist.

As it turns out, we won’t be at this concert. And that sucks. But it’s also OK because that’s just the result of being adults and parents with various priorities and responsibilities.

So in honor of the concert that I won’t be attending, here are the songs I’d love to hear live someday:

  1. Just Breathe

This song reminds me of when I really fell for Eddie – listening to the “Into The Wild” movie soundtrack.

In this movie, based on the memoir of the same title, the character heads to Alaska to live a simple life off of the land but he realizes, too late, that human connections are essential to a life after all.

From the song:

“Oh I’m a lucky man
To count on both hands
The ones I love
Some folks just have one
Yeah others they got none,
Stay with me
Let’s just breathe”

Here they are playing it on Austin City Limits:

Correction: I realized this morning when I pulled out this disc this song is not on it! I checked wikipedia and: “The song was triggered by a chord from ‘Tuolumne’, an instrumental from Eddie Vedder’s soundtrack for the 2007 film Into the Wild.” However, I’m keeping it here because it has reminded me of this book & movie for about 10 years now even if I was technically wrong – ha!

2. “Come Back

This is an oh-so-beautiful, and sad, song about a lost love.

“If I keep holding out, … will the light shine through?
Under this broken roof, … it’s only rain that I feel
I’ve been wishing out the days, … come back
I have been planning out, … all that I’d say to you
Since you slipped away, … know that I still remain true
I’ve been wishing out the days, …”

Here they are playing it last time at Wrigley in honor of Sarah, a fan who had passed away:


3. “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town (Remastered)

This is the song that starts playing in my head at the mere mention of Pearl Jam. Eddie Vedder said he is obsessed with small towns. Well being from one, I can tell you  that all kinds of memories remain “hauntingly familiar.”

“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

And then the clincher, just wow at this part:

“Well, I just wanna scream, “Hello”
Oh, my God it’s been too long
Never dreamed You’d return”

Here’s the official video:


4.  “Future Days

On my Iphone notes app where I was keeping this list, this song has a triple asterisk next to it. I guess I really wanted to hear this one! This one is actually an optimistic song about love!

Here they are playing it in Chicago last time:

“Back when I was feeling broken
I focused on a prayer,
You came deep as any ocean
Did something out there hear?

All the complexities and games.
No one wins but somehow they’re still played.
All the missing crooked hearts.
They may die but in us they live on.”

5. “I Am Mine

I love this song because it’s about ME. Not actually me of course but how we are all responsible for OURSELVES. I get strength from this song about my power and responsibility as an individual.

“Me, I figure as each breath goes by
I only own my mind

North is to South what the clock is to time
There’s east and there’s west and there’s everywhere life
I know I was born and I know that I’ll die
In between is mine
I am mine”

Here’s the video:

So here’s the top five of my ideal playlist.

Are you one of the lucky ones who gets to see Pearl Jam live? What songs would you most want to hear?



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