"Amongst the Waves" as written by and Stone Gossard Eddie Vedder....
What used to be a house of cards
Has turned into a reservoir
Save the tears that were water falling
Let's go swim tonight, darling

And once outside the undertow
Just you and me, and nothing more
If not for love, I would be drowning
I've seen it work both ways

But I am up riding high amongst the waves

Where I can feel like I
Have a soul that has been saved
Where I can feel like I've
Put away my early grave

I gotta say it now
Better loud than too late

Remember back, the early days
When you were young, and less amazed
Suddenly the channel changed
The first time you saw blood

Cut to later, now you're strong
You've bled yourself, the wounds are gone
It's rare when there is nothing wrong
Survived and you're amongst the fittest

Love ain't love until you feel it
Up riding high amongst the waves

I can feel like I
Have a soul that has been saved
I can see the light
Coming through the clouds in rays

I gotta say it now
Better loud than too late
I gotta say it now
Better loud than too late

Hey yeah

Riding high amongst the waves
I can feel like I
Have a soul that has been saved
I can see the light
Coming through the clouds in rays

I gotta say it now
Better loud than too late

I gotta say it now
Better loud than too late

Say it now
Better loud than too late


Lyrics submitted by Hrd2Imagin

"Amongst the Waves" as written by Stone Gossard Eddie Vedder

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Amongst the Waves song meanings
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15 Comments

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  • +7
    My InterpretationI think this song is excellent. One of the best on the new album.

    I think this song is about loving, and losing love. In the first verse, the speaker is in love, "if not for love I would be drowning". And he's incredibly happy, "I am up/Riding high amongst the waves". Later on, "the channel changed/The first time you saw blood". He's been hurt for the first time. But after having been hurt, later on, "Now you're strong/You've bled yourself, the wounds are gone". So, even though he's loved and lost, he's stronger for the experience.

    "Love ain't love until you give it up": In my opinion, the best lyric in the song. Sums up the character's experience.

    Just incredible songwriting, Ed.

    -Ryan
    fanman475on September 18, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionAmazing song, and +1 to the guy above.
    Boosemoon September 21, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHe's not saying "Love ain't love until you give it up" he's saying "Love ain't love until you give it" the "up" goes with the Riding High Amongst the Waves as it did in the 1st verse.

    I believe this is a song of intense gratitude. For a love that may have saved his life and how that has helped him to now see the light finally crack the darkness.

    dmb1bartenderon October 30, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentReally positive song this - absolutely love it.

    Lots of stuff coming from it, love, living life, reflecting on life.

    Beautiful
    PhoenixBalmon September 16, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think fanman475 got it backward. This song is about him and Jill. "Let's go swim tonight, darlin ... Just you and me and nothin' more"

    It's because they have both loved and lost that they can love each other fully (because you know what's like to lose it). "Love ain't love until you give it up"

    Hrd2Imaginon September 27, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song to me sounds like it was written from the point of view of a drug addict newly in recovery. His love is an inspiration to him and his sobriety. He is telling her that she can save the tears, that he is changed... now that he is free of his addiction (outside the undertow) he is going to live his life for her.

    More references to recovery in the chorus... I can feel like I have a soul that has been saved... I put away my early grave... better now than too late.

    Consider these lines:
    Remember back the early days when you were young and thus amazed--A user in the early days/stages of addiction, justt having fun and being curious
    Suddenly the channel changed the first time you saw blood--A reference to the blood drawn into the syringe before shooting up. Almost any addict will tell you that once they started that, their addiction took a turn for the worst. The addiction becomes not only one to a drug but also the needle.

    nortneybeanon October 29, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYes, yes, and yes, dmb1bartender. Beautifully put.
    Katzenjammeron November 02, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song makes me wanna start tearing. Beautiful! Reminds me a lot of Given to Fly.
    Tig45on February 23, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentRyan, nicely summed up. I relate to the first part like yourself. However for the 2nd part, I feel he is talking about surviving through the pain as love matures in the relationship and when he says "Love ain't love until you give it up", in my opinion, it is not love unless you learn to give up the bitter painful experiences
    pranamon April 04, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFor me this song is about surfing and all the beauty of that. Surfing is a spiritual experience and can change lives "I can feel like I.. Have a soul that has been saved.. I can feel like I've.. Put away my early grave.." The best song from Backspacer.
    ikon88on January 16, 2012   Link

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