"Alive" as written by Stone C. Gossard and Eddie Jerome Vedder....
Son she said
Have I got a little story for you
What you thought was your daddy
Was nothin' but a fool

While you were sittin'
Home alone at age thirteen
Your real father was dyin'
Sorry you didn't see him
But I'm glad we talked,

Oh I, oh, I'm still alive
Hey, hey, I, oh, I'm still alive
Hey I, oh, I'm still alive

Oh she walks slowly
Across a young man's room
She said I'm ready, for you
I can't remember anything
To this very day
'Cept the look, yeah the look
Oh, you know where

Now I can't see, I just stare
I, I, I'm still alive
Yeah, yeah I, oh, I'm still alive
Yeah, yeah I, oh, I'm still alive
Yeah, yeah I, oh, I'm still alive

Is something wrong
She said
Of course there is
You're still alive
She said
Oh do I deserve to be?
And is that the question? Oh
And if so, if so
Who answers?
Who answers?

I, I, I'm still alive
Yeah, yeah I, oh, I'm still alive
I'm still alive

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah


Lyrics submitted by LittleW, edited by chriscmn, SMUSER17506205

"Alive" as written by Eddie Jerome Vedder Stone C. Gossard

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

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Alive song meanings
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  • +13
    General CommentThis song was actually the first of a mini-opera that Eddie wrote known as the "Mamasan Trilogy". The song describes a boy who grows up believing that one man is his father but finds out that he is not. He grows up to look just like his biological father and his mother falls in love with the son and sexually abuses him. The song "Once" is part II of the story and describes the boy obviously mentally disturbed who is not able to control his rage and goes on a killing spree. The triology is concluded with "Footsteps" where the boy is siting in his cell on death row awaiting his execution.
    Matzy94on January 09, 2002   Link
  • +9
    General CommentTaken from "Five Against the World"
    by Cameron Crowe
    Rolling Stone 10/28/93
    The following is an excerpt. Rather read the whole thing?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "Alive" set the tone for everything that would follow. The first song on Ten was also the first song to bring attention to the band. It was clearly Vedder's creative breakthrough, and the band's initial video celebrated a cathartic live performance of the song. In an early Los Angeles Times review, writer Chris William had even compared the song to the Who's "My Generation." Today, "Alive" is a Gen X rallying cry, but tonight, sitting in the Nightlite, Vedder reveals the true meaning of the song. "Everybody writes about it like it's a life-affirmation, thing - I'm really glad about that,' he says with a rueful laugh "It's a great interpretation. But 'Alive' is ... it's torture. Which is why it's fucked up for me. Why I should probably learn how to sing another way. It would be easier. It's... it's too much." Vedder continues: "The story of the song is that a mother is with a father and the father dies. It's an intense thing because the son looks just like the father. The son grows up to be the father, the person that she lost. His father's dead, and now this confusion, his mother, his love, how does he love her, how does she love him? In fact, the mother, even though she marries somebody else, there's no one she's ever loved more than the father. You know how it is, first loves and stuff. And the guy dies. How could you ever get him back? But the son. He looks exactly like him. It's uncanny. So she wants him. The son is oblivious to it all. He doesn't know what the fuck is going on. He's still dealing, he's still growing up. He's still dealing with love, he's still dealing with the death of his father. All he knows is 'I'm still alive' - those three words, that's totally out of burden." Elvis' "Suspicious Minds" blasts on the jukebox as Vedder continues. "Now the second verse is 'Oh she walks slowly into a young man's room... I can remember to this very day . . . the look . . . the look.' And I don't say anything else. And because I'm saying, 'The look, the look' everyone thinks it goes with 'on her face.' It's not on her face. The look is between her legs. Where do you go with that? That's where you came from." "But I'm still alive. I'm the lover that's still alive. And the whole conversation about 'You're still alive, she said' And his doubts: 'Do I deserve to be? Is that the question?' Because he's fucked up forever! So now he doesn't know how to deal with it, so what does he do, he goes out killing people - that was [the song] 'Once.' He becomes a serial killer. And 'Footsteps,' the final song of the trilogy [it was released as a U.K. B side to 'Jeremy'], that's when he gets executed That's what happens. The Green River killer... and in San Diego, there was another prostitute killer down there. Somehow I related to that. I think that happens more than we know. It's a modern way of dealing with a bad life." Then he smiles as he says, "I'm just glad I became a songwriter."
    modernaudreyon August 25, 2007   Link
  • +5
    General Commenti guess this song is about some kid who's real dad dies and he apparently looks just like him so his mom, still being in love with her deceased spouse falls in love with her son. This is from Vedder i dont know if i said it exactly right though.
    reverand_chrison December 15, 2001   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIm really suprised at all the weird stuff everyone has come up with about the meaning of this song. This is my favorite song and I knew it wasnt about the oedipus complex or all the mamason trilogy thing watch this and eddie vedder himself will tell you what it did mean and what it now means.

    youtube.com/…
    Newbert_Zeroon February 12, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI believe the great beauty of any art (e.g. Music) is that it is open to countless interpretations. Don't ever think that you are "wrong" for mentioning how you see something, because it is like Dreams, they are your own. You can always share them, just don't push it on other people if they don't want it.

    (What is the difference between Life & Dream?)
    PinkMorrisonon June 23, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOther tidbits on the mamasan tri . . .

    Eddie wrote thought up the trilogy while surfing in Pacific Beach. The Night Stalker was the big news at the time, which got Eddie to thinking what would get someone to go out and do such a thing. He create this storey which blends his dealings with not knowing his real father in Chicago (which he later got to know) and the undertakings of serial killers. The sexual feelings from the mother, to my knowledge, is added.

    My sources include the Rolling Stones storey back around 1992 (Eddie with mask on cover) and discussions with Eddie's brother Mike (went to high school with him in San Diego). Think this is a reasonable explaination.
    NPB_STYLEon January 22, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about a boy that grows up not knowing that his father is dead until his mother tells him so. The boy grows up looking like his father and the mom falls in love with him and sexually abuses him.The boy goes on a killing spree.
    dejanon May 14, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHolly! You guys really know your shit.
    dejanon May 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentfinally someone with some knowledge of the mamasan trilogie :) i believe it was first played by Pearl jam in 1992 in Zurich the trilogie that is
    flinkaflenkaflrskon January 15, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHave just read a book about Pearl Jam and apparently the song is an amalgam of a few things - a news story about a lad who went on a killing spree - and the part about the lad being told by his mother that the man he thought was his father actually isn't, is about Eddie Vedder. He found out who his biological father was only shortly before his father died.
    youngbloodon January 18, 2002   Link

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