Tuesday, January 8, 2008


One of the new features I get with cable (that I just recently received--thus more blogging from this point on) is the On Demand channels. Yesterday, I was watching Music On Demand, specifically VH1's "classics." They featured three Pearl Jam videos from their first album, Ten. These tracks were "Alive," "Even Flow," and "Jeremy."

What really caught my attention was the "Jeremy" video. The other two videos just features Pearl Jam rocking out live at a concert. "Alive" is in black and white with a wave constantly surfacing behind it. "Even Flow" shows more of their wild side, featuring Eddie Vedder jumping from a high point into the crowd to crowd-surf back to the stage. On the other hand, "Jeremy" is told as a story because that's the premise of the lyrics.

Even though I am a Pearl Jam fan, and yes I am behind the times with this blog post, but I never really looked into the "Jeremy" lyrics before yesterday. The music video, acting out much of the lyrics, intrigued me to look into it more. The song is based on a fifteen-year-old boy, Jeremy Wade Delle, who shot himself in front of his entire class in 1991, the same year as the release of the album. Delle entered the classroom and announced "Miss, I got what I really went for" (referencing the gun) and then shot himself in the mouth in front of the class. Nobody saw this coming, but there must have been warning signs as to this end result.

The video ends and begins with newspaper postings and typewriter script writing "Sixty-three degrees. Cloudy. Suburban neighborhood." Vedder comments on the placement of this, and on the music video (from Wikipedia): "It came from a small paragraph in a paper which means you kill yourself and you make a big old sacrifice and try to get your revenge. That all you're gonna end up with is a paragraph in a newspaper. Sixty-three degrees and cloudy in a suburban neighborhood. That's the beginning of the video and that's the same thing is that in the end, it does nothing … nothing changes. The world goes on and you're gone. The best revenge is to live on and prove yourself. Be stronger than those people. And then you can come back."

I do think many people want to commit suicide to prove themselves or bring their pain to others. They want to show others how rotten they've been feeling through the physical act, and that is their way of showing it. It will make others feel that they should have done something (or maybe they shouldn't have done something to the individual) and now they must live with it forever. I've heard many say that suicide is a selfish act. Do we agree?

I agree with Vedder.

The song is also partly based on a kid named Brian who Vedder went to school with. This kid opened fire in the classroom--along the same story lines, in a way, as the Jeremy story. I think this song is ahead of its time, as later on in the later 1990s and early 2000s, school shootings would become more prevalent and would sweep the nation with fear.

Check out more information about the real Jeremy and more on the song. It's actually a really interesting website.

Watch the video here. The lyrics are below to look at.

Comments on anything above? Suicide? "Jeremy"? School shootings?

Pearl Jam -- "Jeremy"

At home
Drawing pictures
Of mountain tops
With him on top
Lemon yellow sun
Arms raised in a V
Dead lay in pools of maroon below
Daddy didn't give attention
To the fact that mommy didn't care
King Jeremy the wicked
Ruled his world
Jeremy spoke in class today
Jeremy spoke in class today
Clearly I remember
Pickin' on the boy
Seemed a harmless little fuck
But we unleashed a lion
Gnashed his teeth
And bit the recessed lady's breast
How could i forget
He hit me with a surprise left
My jaw left hurtin
Dropped wide open
Just like the day
Like the day i heard
Daddy didn't give affection
And the boy was something mommy wouldn't wear
King jeremy the wicked
Ruled his world
Jeremy spoke in class today
Jeremy spoke in class today
Try to forget this...
Try to erase this...
From the blackboard.

1 comment:

Steele said...

Information on Jeremy Wade Delle's suicide can be found at http://www.ssheps.com/jeremynew.htm Thanks,
Steele Shepherd