"Light Years" as written by and Jimmy Webb....
I've used hammers made out of wood
I have played games with pieces and rules
I've deciphered tricks at the bar
But now your gone
I haven't figured out why
I've come up with riddles
And jokes about war
I've figured out numbers and what there for
I've understood feelings
And I've understood words
But how could you be taken away

And wherever you've gone
And where ever we might go
It don't seem fair
Today just disappeared
Your lights reflected now
Reflected from a far
We were but stones
Your light made us stars

With heavy breath
Awakens regrets
Back pages and days alone the could've been spent
Together but we were miles apart
Every inch between becomes light years now
No time to be void
Or save up on life
Uh you've got to spend it all

And wherever you've gone
And where ever we might go
It don't seem fair
You seem to like it here
Your lights reflected now
Reflected from a far
We were but stones
Your light made us stars

And wherever you've gone
And wherever we might go
It don't seem fair
Today just disappeared
Your lights reflected now
Reflected from a far
We were but stones
Your light made us stars

Repeat till end


Lyrics submitted by Trent, edited by PumSeed

"Light Years" as written by Jimmy Webb

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Light Years song meanings
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36 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI think this is an obvious metaphor for the loss of fans due to their unability to grasp the ideal of the band. In some ways, they cravy the popularity they once had on certain levels. The song is disguised as the loss of a person, but hidden is their regret (as a whole) as not being completly understood.
    Hammers made out of wood: guitar
    games w/ pieces and rules: any number of songs
    #'s and what their for: hello, Animal
    think about it
    relsserbon July 02, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentEddie Vedder, Katowice 16/6/2000: "it's got a bunch of meanings, to me. And maybe you." I think the fact that it's so abstract means that Eddie didn't really know what it was about and that he just added words or lines with some connection (not necessarily a strong one) to how he was feeling. It sounds as if it could have been written over a week or something. I think Eddie wants people to come up with their own view of what it's about. The strongest message I get from it is that he's talking to people who jumped on the grunge bandwagon but don't listen to Pearl Jam any more, hence the title (his audience is light years away). He criticises them for being fickle (1st verse, because "now you're gone" with no logical explanation), yet he feels like he's missed out on something by doing so "awakened regrets.
    Back pages and days alone that could have been spent together". I see the line "we were but stones" as having a double meaning: 1) insignificant gravel 2) When the band 1st started, Stone wrote the majority of the music. The "light" of the the fans influenced the band. So they went from being stones to stars.
    Anyway, that's just my interpretation of one possible meaning. I'm sure there's plenty of others.
    Regos the Saneon April 14, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFirst off---how cool is this? THIS is in MY opinion what PJ is all about----us all interpretting the lyrics and music as we see fit. In the case of Light Years, however, I couldn't agree with Moody1 more. To me, its simply about dealing with the grief / loss of a loved one. Its a hard process to learn and actively perform.

    It seems as PJ has matured in their music and writing, grief / loss of loved ones is a topic that the band has explored A LOT! (aka Light Years, Other side, Love Boat Captain, Man of the Hour etc.) I love it. We all go thru it and I feel that these songs help because they ALL provide a semblance of hope. To me, in light years, the hope comes from the line "your light made US stars". I like the US because the person lamenting in the song isn't dead yet. It seems to foreshadow how we will all (Godwilling) be united again sometime, somehow, in an even BETTER place than what we have here----even though we SEEM TO LIKE IT HERE :) .

    Well done again, PJ on a truly classic song.

    One more thing.....i feel a great sister song to this one is Other side.....THAT song is written from the point of view of the person IN heaven longing for the person left behind on earth! Another great one!

    Down with all the haters! Binaural, Riot Act, Self-title = PJ gettin' better, better and better, man! ;) Pun intended :)
    pearljammin13on June 08, 2006   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning“We were but stones. Your light made us stars.”

    I just wanted to add a comment on this particular line. When you look at the night sky, not all of the twinkling things in it are stars. Some are just planets (stones) that are reflecting the Sun’s light. This idea is useful for several of the interpretations people mentioned. Maybe the fans are a sun and they’ve turned the band into “stars”. Or maybe the song is about loss; even though the person is very far away (physically or dead), their influence still lights up the singer like a planet in the night sky.
    clovuson January 07, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLight Years is about a very smart man. He is able to figure out all these great and complicated things yet he is unable to figure out why his love was taken away from him. Without his love this man is nothing. Together they are mearly stones but together they shine like stars. He regrets not spending more time with her when they were only seperated by miles because now they are seperated by light years.
    Matzy94on January 09, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is about loss, death and how once they were far apart, burt could still see each other, but now death has made the distance 'light years' there is a regret from not spending time together, and he is unable to figure out why this person was taken away so young.
    i can definatly relate to this song, it helped me through a recent berevement
    ladybugon January 22, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree Matzy94, this man can slove anything., but he can't figure out love, and he doesn't realize it till its gone.
    fishmarketon July 08, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is a lovely song.........enough said :)
    forumon September 24, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwho was this written by, if stone/jeff it could relate to Andy Wood....his light does shine from afar and has made them stars...think about it....i agree with the whole loss/grief/regret themes, but it could be about anyone, even still living but gone (but not forgotten), that is the appeal of PJ songs, they can be very personal lyrically.. I really dig this song.
    ed_satxon May 26, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"I figured out numbers and what they're for."
    I like this line.
    damaged_roseson May 27, 2004   Link

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