"Even Flow" as written by Stone C. Gossard and Eddie Jerome Vedder....
Freezin' rests his head on a pillow made of concrete again
Oh Feelin' maybe he'll see a little betters any days
Oh hand out faces that he sees come again ain't that familiar
Oh dark grin he can't help when he's happy he looks insane

Even flow
Thoughts arrive like butterflies
Oh he don't know
So he chases them away
Someday yet he'll begin his life again
Life again
Life again

Kneelin' looking through the paper though he doesn't know to read
Oh, prayin', now to something that has never showed him anything
Oh, feelin', understands the weather or that winters on its way, yeah
Oh, ceilings, few and far between all the legal halls of shame

Even flow
Thoughts arrive like butterflies
Oh, he don't know
So he chases them away

Someday yet he'll begin his life again
Whispering hands, carry him away
Him away, him away
Yeah!
Woo
Oh yeah yeah

Even flow
Thoughts arrive like butterflies
Oh, he don't know
So he chases them away

Someday yet he'll begin his life again
Whispering hands, carry him away
Him away, him away
Yeah!
Woo
Oh yeah yeah


Lyrics submitted by mike, edited by chriscmn

"Even Flow" as written by Stone Gossard Eddie Vedder

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

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Even Flow song meanings
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105 Comments

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  • +7
    General CommentIt's amazing how you can appreciate a song without even understanding the lyrics.. and when you do realize what the song is about... you can appreciate the song so much more.
    anna118kon April 13, 2002   Link
  • +7
    General CommentTBone732, i think the lyric are talking about how when people are homeless they don't always have the mental ability to cope with it, and so thoughts enter his head (they come out of nowhere and sort of float around - like butterflies) but he can't deal with them and doesn't understand them and so he "chases them" out of his head...there is an "even flow" of thoughts in and out of his head...thoughts enter his mind, and leave unchanged because of his inablity to cope. that is just my view...
    amunkeyon April 19, 2002   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI really think people are missing something fairly obvious here. If you know anything about Eddie Vedder, you know he had a really screwed up childhood. In fact Once, Breath (I believe), is a series of 3 songs he wrote about his childhood, before he was even in Pearl Jam. Ill take Alive for my example here since its very well known. His mother really did reveal to him somewhere around age 10 that his real father was dead, and the person he thought was his dad was in fact not. "Faces that he sees time again aint that familiar" The person he was raised to believe was his father is not, he knows the face, but it "aint that familiar". "Thoughts arrive like butterflies" to a child things are light and 'floaty' for lack of a better word at the moment. He has thoughts of a real father and a real childhood but he doesnt understand them so he ignores them, because hes never had that luxury. "Whispering hands gently lead him away", leading the child to believe that this is the way things are supposed to be. Leading him away from the dream of a real home. So in this way he IS homeless in a sense. Notice at the end hes saying mommy...mommy. Notice you never hear a PJ song where he talks about a father with any need or affection. This is just my take on it. I think maybe its him comparing his childhood to being alone and homeless. And always trying to to find an "Even Flow"
    bluboy31on November 16, 2007   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationI interpret this song to be an exploration into self-sabotage. It seems to me that chasing away the figurative "butterflies" of thoughts is equivocal to blocking out the inspirations that elevate your thinking process. It is an indistinct trait that many have, but I myself am guilty of.

    Instead of catching those butterflies, I often chase away moments of inspiration in the assumption that better "days" (thoughts) are ahead. Unless you occupy the upper crust of society then you have to deal with low expectation and drab settings that are apart of every day life.

    Resting on the "bed of concrete" is resting on your laurels in that you want to sleep away any creative influences whilst resting on the uncomfortable pillow of self-sabotage. If self-belief isn't instilled into you from a young age, then you may divert the "Even Flow" of thoughts that enter you head.

    Of course, I may be biased due to the intimiate interpretation I have with the song, but that is my 3 cents.
    OzymandiasVeidt1on April 08, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is about being homeless
    reverand_chrison December 15, 2001   Link
  • +2
    General Commentor maybe its all about donuts
    smily3t85on October 21, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"Even Flow" is about stream of consciousness and achieving a level of thought/thinking that's pure, Zen-like and almost completely from within--that is, free from the tyrannical influence of Western society's most common mind-control 'devices' (TV, politics, news media, advertising, i.e. any monolithic group mentality misguidedly accepted by individuals as infallible Truth) that most people in the 'civilized' world fall prey to every day thus never really realizing their full potential in life. People like the song's author meanwhile break free and write about it in songs like the one we're discussing.

    Homelessness is only the backdrop. It's not the main message.
    smegmaticon April 15, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIt goes hand and hand with the homeless idead but I think it may be about a heroin junkie. Even Flow means the heroin flowing into his veins and "butterflies" are what happens when he gets high.
    King of Some Islandon April 28, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commenthmm.. this song is probably about a homeless man.
    But who cares?. The song has an innovative tune, eddie's awesome voice backed by great guitar wizardry. I love this song for musical reasons :)
    langenfeldon October 20, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI cant stand people who just go on these comment boards and rip on eddie vedder and pearl jam for no real reason. Whats the point fellas? Pearl jam is one of the best and most popular rock backs now and their fan base is 10 times bigger than linkin park's will ever be.
    thekep1014on November 11, 2004   Link

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