Vacate is the word.
Vengeance has no place so near to her.
Cannot find comfort in this world.
Artificial tear. Vessel stabbed, next up, volunteers?
Vulnerable wisdom can't adhere.

A truant finds home, and a wish to hold on, but there's a trap door in the sun.
Immortality.

As privileged as a whore.
Victims in demand for public show.
Swept out through the cracks beneath the door.
Holier than thou. How? Surrendered, executed, anyhow.
Scrawl dissolved. Cigar box on the floor.

A truant finds home, and I wish to hold on too, but saw the trap door in the sun.
Immortality.

I cannot stop the thought of running in the dark.
Coming up a which way sign.
All good truants must decide.
Stripped and sold mom.
Auctioned forearm and whiskers in the sink.
Truants move on, cannot stay long.
Some die just to live.


Lyrics submitted by Trent, edited by covert81

Immortality song meanings
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82 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentVedder has repeatedly said that its not about Cobain's death, but i still think it is. The line 'cigar box on the floor' probably refers to the cigar box that was found next to Kurt's body.
    belli67on August 03, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree there has got to be some inspiration from Cobains suicide, the scrawl desolved cigar box thing is too dead on. Vedder may have distanced himself from that notion for personal reasons or because he didnt want a song to be considered a ode to Cobains suicide. I also feel several lines reference Courtney Love and the way she was treated after Kurts death.
    Heatherondoon August 27, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentContrary to what everyone else thinks this song is clearly about the plight of Native Americans in the US. To vacate refers to the mass relocation of native americans onto reservations. vengence has no meaning in that they could not enact revenge. To be a truant (or someone without a place in society) as the native americans are. The trap door in the sun refers to a common native american belief in the sun being godlike and was worshipped however when they prayed for the killing and relocation to stop their worship of the sun ment nothing and they seemed to have been tricked into worshipping it. Victims in demand for public show refers to the many circus acts that payed many native americans to "act like indians" in their shows. This song also in its title refers to both the everlasting hate and pain that has been felt by the native americans.
    Duderon April 28, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song was debuted live before Kurt Cobain's death, so it wasn't originally about that. However, after Cobain died some of the lyrics were changed (eg "cigar box on the floor")
    tom65on September 22, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIcarus and Daedalus?
    popejameson March 01, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentugh I don't know. I think it's about suicide, maybe kurt cobain. Dying young is like eternal youth, immortality. You will be remembered as young, beautiful and talented. As somebody. Like someone before me said like layne, who died in 2002 long after aic had faded away... I think in the neil young song though it's spoken more of looking at the bright side, like saying "well, at least it's better to burn out than fade away" not to do it on purpose :/ I love this song. Immortality... amazing.
    DJgifon June 30, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhen I first heard this song many years ago I believed it was about the containment of the Jews in Germany. It has several references that make sence to that if you put it together in that way. For example: vacate is the word, people were forced to leave their homes, their country, everything they had. Victims in demand for public show: many were beaten and killed on the street by the Nazis. Holier than thou: probably refers to , how Hitler thought his race was supreme and how could he kill because he thought his race was better than others. Stripped and sold Mom, seperated from the mother going into the concentration camps, auctioned forearm: in reference to the tattoos that they recieved in the camps. Whiskers in the sink, all Jewish prisioners had to shave their whole bodys. Some die just to live: I believe that many of the Jews in the camp that new what their fate was, gave in because they knew they were dying for their religious beliefs.
    I may be totally wrong, but that is what I always thought that song was about.
    BillMcon August 31, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"Vengeance has no place, so near to her"

    To me, this is a reference to Cobain's daughter, who was left without a father.

    Great song. The line "cannot find the comfort in this world" always resonated with me.
    Tig45on January 24, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationHere's how I see the song.
    Vacate is the word.
    Vengeance has no place so near to her.
    Cannot find comfort in this world.
    Artificial tear. Vessel stabbed, next up, volunteers?
    Vulnerable wisdom can't adhere.

    A truant finds home, and a wish to hold on, but there's a trap door in the sun.
    Immortality.

    As privileged as a whore.
    Victims in demand for public show.
    Swept out through the cracks beneath the door. Holier than thou. How? Surrendered, executed, anyhow. , however.>
    Scrawl dissolved. Cigar box on the floor.

    A truant finds home, and I wish to hold on to, but saw the trap door in the sun.
    Immortality.

    I cannot stop the thought of running in the dark.
    Coming up a which way sign.
    All good truants must decide. Stripped and sold mom.
    Auctioned forearm and whiskers in the sink.
    Truants move on, cannot stay long.
    Some die just to live.

    I agree with Mr. Vedder's comments that this is not about Kurt Cobain's death. I do see it as a song about artists at a crossroads where perhaps they've been offered a contract by a major record label and aren't sure what to do. Do you take the deal and sell your soul, but in turn make your art available to the masses, or decline it and continue on the indie path, but be at peace with that decision?
    covert81on April 07, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Commentas in the last line 'some die just to live' this song is about that form of immortality, suicide
    ladybugon January 22, 2002   Link

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