The waiting drove me mad
You're finally here and I'm a mess
I take your entrance back

Can't let you roam inside my head
I don't want to take what you can give
I would rather starve than eat your bread
I would rather run but I can't walk
Guess I'll lay alone just like before

I'll take the varmint's path
Oh, and I must refuse your test
A-push me and I will resist
This behavior's not unique

I don't want to hear from those who know
They can buy but can't put on my clothes
I don't want to limp for them to walk
Never would have known of me before
I don't want to be held in your debt
I'll pay it off in blood let I be wed
I'm already cut up and half dead
I'll end up alone like I began

Everything has chains, absolutely nothing's changed
Take my hand, not my picture, spilled my tincture

I don't want to take what you can give
I would rather starve than eat your breast
All the things that others want for me
Can't buy what I want because it's free
Can't buy what I want because it's free
Can't be what you want because I

Why ain't it supposed to be just fun?
Oh, to live and die, let it be done
I figure I'll be damned
All alone like I began


Lyrics submitted by Ark, edited by hello78, PedroCosta, OliviaMueller

Corduroy Lyrics as written by David Abbruzzese, Eddie Vedder, Jeff Ament, Mike Mccready, Stone Gossard

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Corduroy song meanings
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85 Comments

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  • +5
    General Comment

    It's about the media. Yes, it's called Corduroy b/c he bought a cheap corduroy jacket and later it was advertised for a lot of money. It's about his feelings towards the media. "take my hand, not my picture" means to take HIM not "Pearl Jam's lead singer and rock star: EDDIE VEDDER!!" "spilled my tincture" a tincture is a color or shade used to distinguish metals from each other..he's saying he's not being seen as himself anymore..he's being seen in the mass of "rock stars". "I thought you were a friend, but I guess, I guess I hate you" when PJ first started out Eddie was known for being very friendly and respectful to reporters but once he realized that they were just in it to exploit him and make money..he ran away

    All5Horizons10on December 31, 2004   Link
  • +5
    General Comment

    Not to nit-pick, but its, "everything has CHAINS...absolutely nothing's changed."

    jdevils3on February 01, 2005   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    Obviously this is an anti-fame song. The 'you' Vedder constantly refers to is fame, not a person, not the media, etc. Look over the lyrics again and insert 'fame' whenever he says 'you'. He thought fame was his friend before he had it. And it is "Everything has changed, absolutley nothing's changed" I saw this quoted in a SPIN when Vitalogy came out and Vedder talked about that line. Obviously everything is different for him now that he is famous but he still feels like the pre-famous Eddie.

    jdmacpheon March 01, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    eddie vedder had a corduroy jacket he used to wear -- like in the jeremy video. The song title comes from one day when he saw a rip off of his jacket on sale in a store for a few hundred bucks. Hence "they can buy but can't put on my clothes"

    qubeon January 17, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    Although I do agree that songlyrics are some what open for interpretation, I do feel there are limits to that as well. Someone I used to know had made Better man the soundtrack to his relationship. Like; she couldn't find a better man than he was. Now knowing the meaning of the song or just reading the rest of the lyrics makes that seem a bit silly and I am trying to put it politely.

    It was interesting to read peoples thoughts on the lyrics for Corduroy. Some here saw a love song in it. In a way it is. But the object of his love isn't a person, it is music.

    Others mentioned it being about the fashion industry and how they made Grunge (whatever that is) into a fashionline. That is definetly one element in the song. It also gives the name for the song. Although there is one other element that helped with the name. Apparently there was a hospital serie on TV that had this Vedder look alike with a corduroy jacket on. The serie was also trying work the latest fashion (being grunge) into the serie.

    As a whole I'd say it is about Eddies disgust for the industry side of music. It's about the media and how they make him into something that he is not or doesn't want to be. It's about the fans that treat him as if he is some sort of messiah. It's about people that try to imitate. It's about peopel making money of the band and the fans.

    All in all it's about his disgust over how his love for music and making music is being corrupted and frustrated.

    He wantes it to be pure and the position he's being maneuvered in makes him feel like he's becoming something he dislikes.

    I feel Corduroy, Not for you, Satan's bed and Blood all touch on the same subject.

    Before starting Not for you 1994 Orpheum theater Ed said; This song is about people who have no taste, but they like us anyway.

    I feel the same could be said about Corduroy.

    jazzaloton January 13, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    hey, antwan ... guess what? i got a corduroy jacket for $6!!!!

    loveable loseron April 22, 2007   Link
  • +2
    Song Meaning

    I think this a love song. About an older lover whom he is trying to get rid of from his head

    The waiting drove me mad...you're finally here and I'm a mess I take your entrance back...can't let you roam inside my head

    wrathzombieon June 26, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Artsy- I think in the context of the song he means that the things that he wants: common courtesy, privacy, love, respect...are all things that cannot be bought with money...but the more money you have the less of those things you tend to get.

    Cant be what you want because Im free....

    that means that Eddie doesnt want to be your answer man or your dancing monkey because he is trying to live his own life.

    Your Parents might have wanted you to become a doctor, but you wanted to be a ballet dancer-- you cant be what they want because youre free!

    2 of the 3 times I saw them in concert they opened with this song!

    Bellyfull of Swanson January 15, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I get SOME parts of this song...i basically just like the tune of it..hey bellyful..Great explaining on some of the lyrics, i would LOVE to see these guys in concert like you! haha Awesome song.

    Jammer Of Pearlon January 23, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    why do peole always say things about the lyrics being wrong. they be what thay want them to be. sorry i thought id say that.

    this song has some amazing things in it and i think that it has something allot to do with something bad thats happening in the band. not to put pj down but i just think that

    i love JFon February 19, 2005   Link

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