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Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town – another Pearl Jam swoon-fest

Christian Elliott
Christian Elliott

Thanks for reading. Christian Elliott – Boring, Regular, Person.

You know the drill. Here are the lyrics:

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
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 you’re 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 it’s 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, fade away
Hearts and thoughts they fade away
Hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away
Hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away
Hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away
Hearts and thoughts they fade

and here is the official song on YouTube.

So, why am I posting this? I am posting this because I want to share my favorite music-listening experience.

First, I guess I ought to explain how I listen to music. I have Spotify, and I just keep a huge “liked songs” inventory. Rarely do I remove a song after I’ve liked it. Since I’ve had Spotify since like 2013 or 2014, I now have more than a decade of my music profile stored in that list. When I decide I like a song enough to save it, it’s almost always the case that I just like how it sounds. I don’t usually pay an ounce of attention to the lyrics the first 5 to 10 times I listen to a song. I just have to like the way it makes my brain feel through my ears, and nothing more.

Don’t get me wrong – I do kind of listen to the lyrics, but it feels like it’s usually the case that they aren’t deeply meaningful to me. When they are, however, I am overwhelmed with the most euphoric sense of humanity.

This is the feeling I found myself relishing in two days ago when I glanced at this song’s lyrics seriously for the first time. Many of Eddie Vedder’s songs contain notoriously muted and difficult-to-discern words, so sometimes I don’t even try to understand them. I am glad I did on this occasion.

Okay, Christian, tell them why you like the song already.

To me, Pearl Jam is being pretty explicit here in what we’re talking about. It’s in the title. I believe this song is from the perspective of an elderly woman, who is expressing her perspective in a world that is happy to let the elderly decay into oblivion. She starts by talking about how she knows she should remember someone, but she can’t. Then, how she’s just been left to exist in this one place in time. Ostensibly, by her family, who has moved away, which leads me to believe (also based on the later lyrics) that she’s talking to her child or other family member who has come to see her after a long period of time.

Now, for the main gut-punch of the song: “Hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away”. Why this line? I think the ultimate and tough message here is that we are all fated to oblivion. We all will grow old and fade while the world will continue around us, slowly forgetting our existence. To me, that is the core of this anthem. Shouting out about the feelings that reality brings as we must stare it down in our older years.

It’s this perception of the lyrics and story that gave me my dose of dopamine the other day. What kind of 90s grunge band sings about a topic like this? Only the coolest, that’s what.

I would love to promise that my next lyrical analysis won’t feature Eddie Vedder, but I simply cannot.

P.S. I have had a hard time recently with some mental stuff. I am struggling to even post things on my blog, because of the regrets of my past. I have never been a perfect person, and I’ve wronged a lot of people. Because of this, sometimes it feels like I deserve no voice at all. That all I can do to atone is live a quiet life hating myself for who I’ve been. I know I can’t do that (if I were to do that, why live at all?), but it takes time for me to forgive myself enough to share my feelings about the world with whoever wants to read them. On that note, if I have ever wronged you, and you want me to apologize, I will in a heartbeat. I have long debated whether or not I should reach out to people, and to some I have, but to others it feels too self-serving to remind them of times they might rather forget. If you’re reading this, just know that I’m sorry for being who I was, that I would give a lot to change countless transgressions in my past, and that if you give me the opportunity to tell you how remorseful I am, I will.