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Pearl Jam – Yellow Ledbetter lyrics

Unsealed on a porch a letter sat.
Then you said, "I wanna leave it again."
Once I saw her on a beach of weathered sand.
And on the sand I wanna leave it again. Yeah.
On a weekend I wanna wish it all away, yeah.
And they called and I said that "I want what I said" and then I call out
And the reason oughta' leave her calm, I know.
I said "I know what I waited not a boxer or
the bag."

Ah yeah, can you see them out on the porch? Yeah, but they don't wave.
I see them round the front way. Yeah.
And I know, and I know I don't want to stay.
Make me cry...

I see... Ooh I don't know why there's something else.
I wanna drum it all away...
Oh, I said, "I don't, I don't know where there's a boxer or the bag."

Ah yeah, can you see them out on the porch? Yeah, but they don't wave.
But I see them round the front way. Yeah.
And I know, and I know. I don't wanna stay at all.
I don't wanna stay. Yeah.
I don't wanna stay. [x2]
I don't... Don't wanna, oh... Yeah. Ooh... Ohh...

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  • m
    Was written around the time of the Gulf War, and added that "it's an anti-patriotic song, actually."[10] On August 7, 2008, at a solo performance in Newark, New Jersey at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Vedder took a question from the audience requesting that he explain the meaning of "Yellow Ledbetter". At first, Vedder joked, saying, " mean there's lyrics?" He went on to talk about how the song took as its subject a friend of his from Seattle whose brother served in the first Gulf War. His friend received a "yellow letter" in the mail informing him that his brother had died in the war. Vedder and his friend then went for a walk. On this walk, the friend, whom Vedder described as "alternative-looking," happened by a house with an American flag flying, and people on the porch. He stopped and gestured to the flag, as if to salute it, however the people on the porch glared at him disapprovingly due to his appearance.[11].
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  • u
    I have no idea what this song is supposed to be about, but it's amazing nonetheless. I remember when I was 4 or 5 years old, my dad and I would jam out to this song while driving down the highway. It was awesome! This introduced me to Pearl Jam and I haven't stopped listening to this song ever since. My cousin would play this in the guitar all the time, but he passed away a few years ago. I too it upon myself to teach myself how to play it on the guitar. Every Christmas Eve, my entire family gets together and we sing this song and no one has a clue of what the lyrics are... It's still fun to sing along with. I love this song and this band!
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  • u
    Vedder has said that this is an unpatriotic song about the experiences of a friend of his just after the friend's brother died in the (first) gulf war.
    The "people on the porch" lyric was specifically written about vedder's friend (who he described as haning an "alternative look, whatever that means) making a gesture something like a salute at a flag on a porch but the people on the porch looked at him disaprovingly.
    What do *I* think the meaning was? There wasn't one. It was a great guitar riff and vedder decided he wanted to go the louie, louie route and mumble through the lyrics so shlubs like us would spend decades trying to ecode what the actual lyrics were.
    1 reply
  • s
    Yellow Ledbetter is about a couple, who at one time were very happy, but love lost, he seems to hold on to a false sense of hope, only to find his world shattered.
    She 's been unfaithful, which he could have handle but she been unfaithful with people close to him. "can you see them ,out on the porch, but they don't wave" now that he's knows the extent of her deviant ways, and the betrayal of ones once trusted. He feels empty and alone, a broken man. So much so that death is preferable. "i don't want to stay,at all." he does kill himself, he didn't anything wrong, instead he turned to music, wrote Yellow Ledbetter, and told his story.
    Well that's my spin on it anyway.
    1 reply

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