"Release" as written by Stone C. Gossard, Jeffrey Allen Ament, Eddie Jerome Vedder, Mike Mccready and Dave Krusen....
I see the world
Feel the chill
Which way to go
Windowsill

I see the words
On a rocking horse of time
I see the birds in the rain

Oh dear dad
Can you see me now
I am myself
Like you somehow

I'll ride the wave
Where it takes me
I'll hold the pain
Release it

Oh dear dad
Can you see me now
I am myself
Like you somehow

I'll wait up in the dark
For you to speak to me
I'll open up
Release me
Release me
Release me
Release me


Lyrics submitted by mike, edited by ShariAllyn, gaelicyoda, tod556, iKanhelp

"Release" as written by Eddie Vedder Dave Krusen

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Release song meanings
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51 Comments

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  • +6
    General Commentanother song related to eddie's troubled history with his father and step father (he grew up hating his dad, only to find out in his teens that what he thought was his father was actually his step dad, and his real dad had died). about talking to his real father beyond the grave, asking for some sort of approval and release
    qubeon January 17, 2002   Link
  • +4
    General Commentthis song spoke to me too. my father died 3 years ago...and i still cant listen to this song without breaking down...i used to sit in my bed at night ..waiting for him i guess...its very hard losing your father......amazing song..
    dimitrion June 15, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"Oh, dear dad, can you see me now
    I am myself, like you somehow"
    For those of us, like Eddie, who never got to know their biological fathers but who inherited many of their traits, this line is very poignant.
    PoetLion01on August 27, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentPJ20 explains this song amazingly, they wrote the song and eddie just started singing about his dad, same way he go into the band, by just making up lyrics to amazing music. this song pumps me up in so many ways great shit by a great band
    lhprop60on November 17, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is about being released from stress/tension/dispair, or anything like that. it's begging the strains of tension to release you. i know what it means to Eddie, and that's really cool, but that's what the song means to me when i hear it. by the way, one of the best finales to one of the best records ever. 10/10
    In-My-Treeon June 12, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentsome refrences of the song are about god (wait up in the dark for you to speak to me),(I Am myself like you somehow)
    stevo85on March 06, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI have a question: when the song ends, what are all of those weird noises? They start off the song Once too.
    T-Crashon April 05, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentmy father was an asshole. ignored my sister and i and then died. as the machine head song says, there was no closure for us. i take "which way to go...windowsill" to be contemplation of suicide. "release me" makes me think of a longing for closure.

    of course, some screwball will claim that these things actually refer to ephemeral spices on a rack in the back room of a dimly-lit san antonio suburban basement...
    despondenton July 09, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThis song as most people have pointed out is about Eddie Vedder's relationship had, or perhaps more accurately, about the relationship he *wished* he had with his father.

    This is a theme that crops up in a few Perl Jam songs, but this one in my opinion is the most moving - and definitely one of my favourite songs of all time.

    In the song 'Alive' off the Ten album for example, he sings: "While you were sitting home alone at age 13, you're real daddy was dying... sorry you didn't meet him". This song to me, is almost a follow-on from that. If "Alive" was a conversation he had with someone else during the day, then "Release" is a conversation he had with himself while lying in bed that night.

    The reason the lyrics of this song are so moving, to my mind, is because they touch on some of the most deep-seated feelings and needs people have, but that people rarely talk about openly. And he articulates them in such a way that you can't help but feel your heart strings being pulled.... the need to understand where we come from - not geographically, but the make up of our characters - and the first step along that road is looking at *who* we come from. Something he will never fully be able to do.

    There is a tangible (audible, I suppose) sense of loss that Eddie feels for having missed out on having this connection with his father - in this song, he is almost mourning the relationship he never had.

    The second and third verses in particular get me every time:

    =================================
    Oh, dear dad, can you see this now
    I am myself, like you somehow
    I'll ride the wave where it takes me
    I'll hold the pain release me
    =================================

    ---Interpretation---

    In the first line, he's wondering if his father can see him, but I suspect underneath what he's really asking is: if his father was still alive, would he be proud of the man his son had grown up to be. The second line shows he's trying to figure out which traits he's inherited from his father, and that he's sad that he doesn't know. In the last two lines, I think "wave" is a wave of emotions associated with loss - sadness, grief, pain - and that he'd rather experience these emotions and be able to think about his father than forget about him altogether and avoid them, which would be the easy way out.

    =================================
    Oh, dear dad, can you see this now
    I am myself, like you somehow
    I'll wait up in the dark for you to speak to me
    I'll open up release me, release me, release me, release me
    =================================

    ---Interpretation---

    The opening two lines are repeated from the previous verse.
    "I'll wait up in the dark for you to speak to me" - this line is the most poignant and melancholy in the whole song for me. The listener can really feel how desperate he is to have a connection with his father - to get some kind of explanation or comfort from him as to why they never got to be together. Just heart-breaking. On the last line, and in contrast to the last line of the previous verse, I think he realizes that he can't go through life this way, and that he needs to achieve some kind of closure. It's almost like "open up" here means that he's going to give back these feelings of loss to his father - wherever he is - so that he can move on.

    An absolute masterpiece.

    (P.S. The "oooooh"'s between the first and second verses always struck me as being almost like a meditation chant. Try closing your eyes, relax your mind and humming along to them... really relaxing and personally put me in frame of mind that helped me appreciate the lyrics more.)
    gaelicyodaon May 07, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Commento man.. i don't know exactly what eddie means by this -- i know he had many problems with both the father figures in his life but if i could say one thing to eddie i would tell him how much this song has helped me the last couple months.. my father just died -- and when it says "i will ride the wave where it takes me" --that just strikes me.. my dad taught me how to surf when i was younger and he told me that life was like the waves.. it carries you along and sometimes you are in control and sometimes the wave is but you just need to let yourself keep going.. this song means so much to me.. i would never been able to get through with without this song! THANKS EDDIE!!! <3 crissy
    StinaGurlon May 11, 2002   Link

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