Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Jeremy

I guess I'm not very good with lyrics.

I've always kind of liked the song Jeremy by Pearl Jam, but I never knew the story behind it. I didn't know it was about a boy who killed himself in front of his class until just today, though apparently the incident that prompted the song happened about twenty years ago now. I had always assumed quite the opposite from the character of the lyrics; that this was a song about a kid who was bullied and finally stood up for himself and made everyone back off. I mean, the repeated line "Jeremy spoke in class today" suggested nothing to me so much as this person telling everyone else what's what, and impressing the singer who self-identifies as one of the boy's tormentors. I had always thought of the song as something of a pat on the back to someone who'd finally centred himself; it's troubling to find out it's really about someone destroying himself in public, in front of other young people. The song is deeper and darker now, perhaps even more significant, but all in all, I preferred my own take on it.

1 comment:

Scott Palmer, Ph.D. said...

I always get Pearl Jam mixed up with Stone Temple Pilots, and occasionally with the Bangles (but only when I'm extremely drunk). :-)