I have not been home since you left long ago
I'm thumbing my way back to heaven
Counting steps, walking backwards on the road
I'm counting my way back to heaven

I can't be free with what's locked inside of me
If there was a key, you took it in your hand
There's no wrong or right, but I'm sure there's good and bad
The questions linger overhead

No matter how cold the winter, there's a springtime ahead
I'm thumbing my way back to heaven
I wish that I could hold you
I wish that I had
Thinking 'bout heaven

I let go of a rope, thinking that's what held me back
And in time I've realized, it's now wrapped around my neck
I can't see what's next, from this lonely overpass
Hang my head and count my steps, as another car goes past

All the rusted signs we ignore throughout our lives
Choosing the shiny ones instead
I turned my back, now there's no turning back

No matter how cold the winter, there's a springtime ahead
I smile, but who am I kidding?
I'm just walking the mile, every once in a while I'll get a ride
I'm thumbing my way back to heaven

Thumbing my way back to heaven
I'm thumbing my way back to heaven

Lyrics submitted by Stephen_Flow, edited by afootprint

Thumbing My Way [Live] Lyrics as written by Eddie Vedder

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Thumbing My Way song meanings
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  • +1
    General Commentwhy has no one commented on this?! i think if this song had been written by john lennon it would be considered one of the greatest ever.
    Little_Baby_Nothingon June 08, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is so easy to play on guitar, it was the first song I ever learned how to play.... and it is so perfect.... it's about him trying to find happiness after beth left him.....I love this song.... anyone who says pearl jam can not write good music any more is off their gourd because they ahven't heard this song..
    N0 C0DE 79on December 15, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe lyrics printed above are incorrek, but the most important ones are accurate. This is about trying to get back to the heaven of a lost love's company, never knowing if you can get there again, but knowing that you need to try.

    To simply lock inside you what you feel, hoping that it will go away, is not an option. Nor does it do justice even to the memory of the one of whom you so recurringly think. You can never be free that way; you smile sometimes, but who are you kidding? Sometimes in our haste to be "true" and "honest," all we end up doing is lying to ourselves, and living a lie. Maybe it is because we foresaw the temporary "rust" of problems that would be encountered if we were to opt for the path urged by our hearts, and found it easier to choose the "shiny" facade of something outwardly more stable-looking -- but devoid of substance in reality.

    The song also illustrates so well the emptiness, aimlessness, and regret that take such strong hold in the aftermath of a loved one's departure. "I wish I could hold you, I wish that I had" kills me. It is not that you never held her, it is that perhaps if you had held on more forcefully, you would not now feel like a hitcher scruggling to get where you need to be.
    PRSon March 19, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song was written for Troy Bethel. Eddie Vedder sung it live at his funeral service in February of 2002.
    tenserockon June 09, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm in love with this song. I play it once and I end up playing it 5 times after. To me I think the song is about him trying to move on from his old lover that deep down inside he wishes he could be together with. Of course there is obvious signs that would say this song is about a death of a loved one. I do not disagree with that interpretation but I like mine better, hahaha....Can't wait to see this song live in concert June 26th!
    Tbone732on June 13, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat a beautiful song, how can one man posses so much talent! Eddie surely is a god! Its always hard to understands what songs are about, mainly because they mean so many different things to different people. To me this song is about trying to move on when other people are holding you back and you are holding yourself back, even though u know no matter how bad things are, they can always get better. And maybe we should pay more attention to the little, unimportant things in life, the "rusty signs" and not turn our backs on them. thank you eddie.
    whityon June 29, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's a bit of philosophy on life. Like we're just on our way back to heaven, just passing through life 'just walking the miles', not really enjoying it, just waiting for our death. That's not my philosophy but it sounds like that's what he's singing about
    Heineken Helenon December 15, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentawesome song...just a little boring if you ask me though..but it is beautiful!
    Jammer Of Pearlon January 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit's a nice, beautiful song that grows on you after repeated listening.
    i think ed is singing about his return home after some kind of event happened.
    it's a pretty good song
    metalhead18on May 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think when he says hes thumbung huis way back to heaven, hes saying hes trying to speed up his death.... like because thumbing my way means hitchiking and of course hes trying to make it to heaven....just a thought
    "no matter how cold the winter, there's a springtime ahead "---i love that, its so awesoem
    mikejohnston1989on June 01, 2005   Link

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