Thursday, December 11, 2008

Footsteps - Pearl Jam

Artist: Pearl Jam
Song: Footsteps
Year: 1992
Album: Jeremy single

This is the third and final song in the mamasan trilogy. The first song is "Alive". The second song is "Once" and "Footsteps" completes the story arc. The first song is about the burdens of a fatherless child, who looks exactly like his father, to his mother. The child cannot deal with those extra issues. Eventually, he becomes a serial killer, as illustrated in "Once". "Footsteps" deals with his execution.

The style for this song is perfect. The original song was just an acoustic guitar. Harmonica was added to later versions of the song. It echoed the loneliness and isolation of an inmate awaiting his execution. You can feel the conflict inside the character by his thoughts and his regrets and his misplaced anger.

"Footsteps" was propelled the argument that Pearl Jam's b sides were sometimes better than the album tracks. "Yellow Ledbetter" would be the ultimate argument of that statement. I loved this song in the early nineties. Mostly because it was almost like my own secret Pearl Jam song. No one except the true fans knew about this stuff. And if the others did, they didn't bother to listen to it. This was a treat for the fans.

I think that this still holds true today. Pearl Jam litters their singles with quality b sides that could make wonderful albums on their own. The rest of the world has caught up to the fans with the release of Lost Dogs. It contains b sides and unreleased gems from throughout Pearl Jam's career. And yes, it contains this song. Now that the secret is out, I still feel that it my own special Pearl Jam treat.

Don't even think about reachin' me
I won't be home
Don't even think about stoppin' by
Don't think of me at all
I did, what I had to do
If there was a reason, it was you...

Don't even think of gettin' inside
Voices in my head, voices
I got scratches, all over my arms
One for each day, since I fell apart
I did, what I had to do
If there was a reason, it was you...

Footsteps in the hall, it was you, you
Pictures on my test, it was you
It was you...

I did, what I had to do
And if there was a reason
Oh, there wasn't no reason, no
And if, there's something you'd like to do
Just let me continue, to blame you

Footsteps in the hall, it was you, you
Pictures on my chest, it was you, you

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