"The End" as written by and Ashley Beedle Neal Howard....
What were all those dreams we shared
Those many years ago?
What were all those plans we made now
Left beside the road?
Behind us in the road

More than friends, I always pledged
Cause friends they come and go
People change, as does everything
I wanted to grow old
I just want to grow old

Slide up next to me
I'm just a human being
I will take the blame
But just the same
This is not me

You see?
Believe

I'm better than this
Don't leave me so cold
I'm buried beneath the stones
I just want to hold on
I know I'm worth your love

Enough
I don't think
There's such a thing

It's my fault now
Having caught a sickness in my bones
How it pains to leave you here
With the kids on your own
Just don't let me go

Help me see myself
Cause I can no longer tell
Looking out from the inside
Of the bottom of a well

It's hell
I yell

But no one hears before I disappear
Whisper in my ear
Give me something to echo
In my unknown future's ear

My dear
The end
Comes near
I'm here
But not much longer.


Lyrics submitted by mlew10

"The End" as written by Eddie Vedder

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The End song meanings
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23 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentI believe that this song is about a man who is dying.

    What were all those dreams we shared
    Those many years ago?
    What were all those plans we made
    Now left beside the road?
    Behind us in the road
    -- This is a couple that has been together for awhile. He is looking back on their early years and reminiscent of all the dreams and plans they had for the future. He wants to know what happened to all the dreams that they had and believed in as a couple. He is thinking about all the plans that somehow got left behind as they "traveled" through life together.

    More than friends I always pledged
    Cause friends they come and go
    -- He thinks as his wife and his relationship and more than friendship. He knows most friendships are fleeting, and recognizes that he has more than that with his wife.

    People change as does everything
    I wanted to grow old
    Just want to grow old
    -- Another reference to the fact that this is a mature couple. He is different than the man he was when they first married. He wants to grow old with his wife and seems desperate, pleading to do so, the first indications that this man is ill.


    Slide on next to me
    I’m just a human being
    I will take the blame
    But just the same
    This is not me
    You see
    Believe
    I’m better than this
    -- He is asking his wife to be with him. He is reminding her that he is human and susceptible to the faults of humanity. I personally think this may be an indication that the illness is changing who he is. Perhaps he is not handling it the way he or his wife think he should be. Maybe he is angrier or loses his temper and argues b/c of the stress, etc. He is saying that its not him, wants her to see that. He is better than what the illness has made him.

    Don’t leave me so cold
    Or buried beneath the stones
    I just want to hold on
    And know I’m worth your love
    Enough
    I don’t think
    There’s such a thing
    -- He is asking her not to distance herself from him(another reason I think what I wrote above). He wants her love and to be worthy of it. However, he doubts that anyone is worthy of such love(since she is such an amazing woman).

    It’s my fault, Now I been caught
    A sickness in my bones
    How it pains to leave you here
    With the kids on your own
    Just don’t let me go
    -- It never says what illness he may have, but perhaps he blames himself for it. I don't think that it was self inflicted. I think the blame is simply his thinking that someone has to be blamed(ie- I should have been stronger, etc). He knows that he is going to die, and the it hurts him to know that his wife with be left alone to raise their children. He pleads for her not to let him go.

    Help me see myself
    Cause I can no longer tell
    Looking out from the inside of
    The bottom of a well
    It’s hell
    I yell
    But no one hears
    -- He is so lost in the illness, and it has changed him. He wants his wife to help him remember who he was before, he cannot even recognize himself anymore. He sees this illness differently from everyone else looking at him. He is trapped in a hell that no one can understand. He is screaming on the inside, but no hears him.

    Before I disappear
    Whisper in my ear
    Give me something to echo
    In my unknown futures ear
    -- He wants his wife to say something comforting to him before he dies.

    My dear
    The End
    Comes near
    I’m here
    But not much longer
    -- He is talking to his wife, telling her that death is coming. He is with her, but it will not be for much longer.
    Orion510on September 23, 2011   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationIn my opinion this song is reflecting about how people who know they're getting Alzheimer's or Dementia feel... the line "I just want to hold on and know I'm worth your love, and I, don't think, there's such a thing" is showing the two sides of emotion, one knowing that it's true, the other not even knowing what love is.

    Also, "Give me something to echo in my unknown future" could be seen as the person hoping that one last whisper will stay in their memory when everything else is forgotten.

    That's how I see this song, it's an amazing song from an amazing band =)
    PcPirateon February 02, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSorry to disagree with you guys, but the song is clearly about a terminally ill man dying and saying goodbye to the world and his loved ones...
    benny123456789on September 20, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningEddies father died when Eddie was only young. He had a debilitating disease that ultimately resulting in him dying, can't recall what it was. Eddies mother and father got separated when he was young and when the father realized he was dying they decided to keep the fact that he was his father from Eddie, to protect him.

    The song is about young love that resulted in a family with children ie Eddie. Then one of the parents dying and knowing they are going to have a slow death ie Eddies father.
    rplon August 01, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAre poeple getting the feeling this is the last album from Pearl Jam?

    This song is like, the final song a band would make, don't you think?

    It's moving and backed with strings, emotive and rich.

    'What were all those dreams we shared those many years ago,
    What were all those plans we made, now left beside the road.
    Behind us in the road.'

    'I just want to grow old.'

    'I'm here, but not much longer. '

    Whatever they are getting at - I LOVE this song, and LOVE this album.

    PhoenixBalmon September 16, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI feel like it's Pearl Jam coming to a realization, that everything they were/stood for before, really isn't them any longer. Who are to say who they are or should be? Maybe this song/album is them letting go of all preconceived notions of who they are suppose to be. Given, this album is quite different than their self-titled and even Riot Act. I kind of see it as, them being reborn. /drunk rant
    cato11087on September 19, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentits definitely about a rocky relationship between eddie vedder and his wife and how the rock star lifestyle can be hard and demanding. it sounds like she wants to leave him and he's begging her to come back so he can make it better
    tacobender44on September 20, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI thought this was co-written with Damien Echols, the member of West Memphis 3 sentenced to death?
    Army Reserve was co-written with him as well.

    Vedder + Pearl Jam are pro freeing the West Memphis 3 as is anyone with half a brain in their head that's seen all the evidence. How they got convicted is anyones guess: zero physical evidence.

    Read up on it on Wiki, it's a fucked up case - with the normal level of police ineptitude and corruption leading to them pinning it on the weird kids in the village.
    xdvron September 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthas anyone else picked up on the 'hidden' vocal at the very end of this song. And by that I mean, how there's a 'breathe' (gasp) on the right speaker when Eddie sings (but not much longer)...

    this song is beautiful.
    lifeonthehorizonon September 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment@lifeonthehorizon
    yep, i picked up on that too. It's as if it's this person's last breath, it's pretty chilling!

    and Benny is right, this is a song about a man dying of a terminal disease, knowing he'll have to say good-bye to his family. as a man with a family, this song can bring tears to my eyes. And no, Eddie is not dying (I've heard some PJ fans say this). Eddie is a master of writing songs from another person's perspective. (Army Reserve, Come Back)
    Hrd2Imaginon September 27, 2009   Link

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