Yes I understand
That every life must end
As we sit alone
I know someday we must go

Oh, I'm a lucky man
To count on both hands
The ones I love
Some folks just have one
Yeah, others they got none

Stay with me
Let's just breathe

Practiced on our sins
Never gonna let me win
Under everything
Just another human being

Yeah, I don't want to hurt
There's so much in this world
To make me bleed

Stay with me
You're all I see

Did I say that I need you?
Did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn't, I'm a fool you see
No one knows this more than me
As I come clean

I wonder everyday
As I look upon your face
Everything you gave
And nothing you would take
Nothing you would take
Everything you gave

Did I say that I need you?
Oh, did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn't, I'm a fool you see
No one knows this more than me
As I come clean

Nothing you would take
Everything you gave
Hold me 'til I die
Meet you on the other side

Lyrics submitted by Hrd2Imagin, edited by rojasduran, bpalmatier

Just Breathe Lyrics as written by Eddie Vedder

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Just Breathe song meanings
Add Your Thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +17
    General CommentA true work of many different interpretations that work. The song meams so much to me and I'd like to share my story about that.

    I've been married 25 years, but my marraige hit a rocky place due to her addictions. We seperated in August, but it didn't last long. We do love each other and she tried to "come clean" and save her life with me and our daughter. She was back home with us in December she would sing this song and tell me it was her song.... to me. I read the lyrics and certainly felt her genuine love for me and how it made sense from her perspective as someone trying to recover from addition and save her family. the end of December she suffered a massive stroke. She was down for 3-4 hours before I found her. We tought she would die. After 8 days, she was off the ventiator but struggling to maintain a good breathing pattern. She would take labored breathes and then just stop breating for several seconds. I would hold her hand and tell her to breathe. Tears were streaming down my face and then it hit me....... This was now also my her. Just Breathe.....stay with me.....see you on the other side.

    That night I got into my car in the hospital parking lot and this song staring playing as soon as I hit the gas. Not kidding....Amazing, huh?

    My wife was given a "grim" prognosis by her brain surgeon. He told me I should consider hospice when the time is right. But she is now in nuero rehab and improving every day. It's day 46 since the stroke....and she is starting to say some words, she is alert and is going thru physical rehab. She can use one arm and her memory and personality seem intact. We have a long road full of uncertainty ahead.

    This song has provided comfort to me and I will never forget it. Yeah- I can even see the God angle to the song. My wife has overcome huge odds to get where she is. We are not church going people, but the power of faith is within me. Something much bigger than love is guiding us and it's beautiful. I don't think Eddie and the boys are trying to make any specific points here. That's the beuaty their poetry....It's written is such a way that the message becomes you see fit. No hidden agendas, but rather their gift to you to help you sort out your life. I thank them for it.
    Enotexaon February 14, 2010   Link
  • +8
    My InterpretationOk, here is what I think "Just Breathe" is about. I was very good friends with guitarist Johnny Ramone who died of prostate cancer in 2004. I was at some of the concerts when the Ramones opened for Pearl Jam in 1995 in New Orleans and San Diego and saw the friendship between Eddie and John start and blossom. I have hung out with Eddie (one of the nicest people you will EVER meet) several times in the late 90's, the last was at Johnny Ramone's 50th Birthday Party in Los Angeles in 1998. Johnny used to tell me that Eddie Vedder was his best friend and that they spoke on the phone every day. Eddie used to fly to LA often to stay with Johnny at his house there. They were the best of friends. When Johnny died it was horrible for me and I'm sure it was horrible for all his friends. Prostate cancer is such a sad way for someone to die.

    I was watching Saturday Night Live a few years ago when Pearl Jam was on, and they performed this song. I turned to my wife and said "This song is about Johnny." I think it is about Eddie and Johnny sitting there in Johnny's living room, knowing Johnny is going to die, and Eddie saying we don't have to talk, let's just breathe together while you can.

    To go into more detail about the lyrics, here's how I think they fit.
    "Yes I understand that every life must end" Eddie knows John is going to pass away.
    "As we sit alone I know someday we must go" They are sitting in Johnny's living room contemplating his passing.
    "Oh I'm a lucky man to count on both hands the ones I love" Johnny and Eddie were best friends, but this friendship did not start until 1995. He is telling John he is lucky to have him as a friend, AND telling himself that although he is being robbed of decades of friendship with Johnny, he needs to be thankful for the time he has had.
    "Never gonna let me win" Johnny was very competitive and he and Eddie used to play games together, like a baseball board game. Spending a lot of time with Johnny I know he loved to play games AND win at them.
    "Under everything just another human being" Johnny could have a tough exterior and got some bad coverage in the press for being a dictator in the band. The truth is that Johnny Ramone was one of the nicest human beings I have ever known, and he was never anything but completely kind to me. Eddie is saying, under the celebrity or the rough exterior, John is just another human being suffering as humans do. It is hard for me to think of John as anything but an Immortal, but he was not.
    "Did I say that I need you?" Johnny did not always express his feelings, but Eddie did, with hugs and kind gestures among other things. Sometimes it was hard for me to tell Johnny that I cared about him, that's something that guys don't usually do. They show it in actions. Eddie is saying that he wants to say it, and if he doesn't then he is missing the opportunity.
    "Everything you gave and nothing you would take" Johnny was a very giving person to his friends. He gave me many gifts over the years. Eddie is very generous too. But I think this refers to the friendship and the advice that Johnny gave to Eddie. Johnny was a VERY wise person who always knew what to do. He gave me great advice over the years, and I know that Eddie asked his advice on several subjects, like whether to release that "Last Kiss" song. The rest of Pearl Jam didn't want to release it, but Eddie did. Johnny told him to force the issue and release it. John was giving of his time and wisdom to Eddie, but maybe didn't want Eddie to give him expensive gifts in return. I think John was like a father figure to Eddie, which was double imporant because of Eddie's childhood.
    "Meet you on the other side" Eddie is saying goodbye to his best friend.

    Now I have no second source to back up my interpretation. It is just my interpretation knowing Eddie's friendship with Johnny Ramone, the way Eddie is and Johnny was, and the timing of Johnny's death.
    RLJon December 14, 2012   Link
  • +5
    General CommentWhy do people find it necessary to pull religion into this song? Seriously?

    I read another comment where a poster on this forum compared this song to a Ben Harper song called 'Picture in a Frame'. OK --- I have listened to countless interviews with Ben Harper where he emphatically states that he does not believe in religion --- THAT IF ANYTHING --- he writes about the power of believing in something -- that something could be anything ... yet bible-thumpers everywhere are ready to call him their own.

    Here's a thought -- instead of putting blind faith into a religion --why not put that faith into yourself -- it's far more productive.

    Now -- I was baptized Catholic yet I haven't followed that 'religion' (and I use the term loosely) in over 25 years. Know why? The Catholic Church is good at three things and three things only ---deceit, intimidation and guilt --that's it.

    Here's another thought --- where's the almighty God when his soldiers, his communicators ...are raping little boys and stealing their innocence. Oh wait -- God only gives you what you can handle right? And, as we all know, innocent children can obviously handle that kind of abuse.

    Look forward to the day that we finally put this little ' fairy tale' to bed and begin living our lives for ourselves .....

    CapeBretonerinOttawaon December 25, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think the chorus could be:

    Did I say that I need you?
    Did I say that I want you?
    Lord, if I didn't, I'm a fool, you see
    No one knows this more than me
    As I come clean I...
    exiledoddsoon September 20, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentFirst of all, beautiful song. Nearly brought me to tears thinking of life in general.
    I honestly hadn't considered a religious reference before but it makes perfect sense. Eddie now has some much to lose that he didnt before. Sure, he's always had music but now he has a family.

    Especially after doing the work he did for Into the Wild, I think he may have a different outlook on life. And he's not ashamed to thank God for it.

    -And please Romanza, the song analyzation on this site is used to give listeners new insight so please don't be bashing on others' views. Whether you agree or not.
    Guaranteed89on October 02, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI just think it's about losing his dog : )
    pepper59on November 27, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI feel as though this song is about death, whether it be death or the 'death' of a relationship.
    It reminds me of my grandma, who is currently on her death bed, she can't breathe all that well, "Stay with me...Let's just breathe..."
    But this song has helped me understand that "every life must end" and "I'm a lucky man, to count on both hands the ones I love, Some folks just have one, yeah, others, they've got none" - I have an extremely loving family and I appreciate it so much.
    It also feels as though they describe my granny perfecly with the line "Nothing you would take, Everything you gave..." - it's my gran all over.
    The line that got me was the last 2 lines "Hold me til I die, Meet you on the other side..." - I know she will look out for me when she passes, and i know that I will see her later in life..

    Love you Granny
    jessjaneon October 18, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis issue about whether ed has "gone religious," and is talking mostly about god in this song, is extremely important. It would be devastating, in my mind, to see his art become subjugated by religion. That would radically change the song's meaning. But that's not what's going on: if you look at the lyrics, "just breathe," clearly only humans breathe -- not gods. So, the song must be speaking to, about, directed toward a lover, a person, with whom ed can breathe. Breathe is the centerpiece for this song, and God does NOT breathe.

    This is not Christian rock. It's about people. The other side could mean seeing someone, anyone, in the afterlife....and there are all kinds of religions, by the way, that espouse that.
    pearljammer76on November 21, 2009   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationThis song is about a man on his death bed telling his wife how deeply in love with her he is and always has been. Every time I hear this song I cry. It reminds me how much I love my wife, my children and my grand children.
    Richmixon December 19, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI heard this song for the first time a few days ago.Ive never been a Pearl Jam fan, so I had to do some research on who sang this beautiful song.This song brought back a lot of memories for me, not to long ago.
    I am recently divorced. My ex husband was a drug addict. No one one knows how it is for a devoted wife to be by her husbands side if you hadnt been there like myself. I feel the song is about addiction.How a man has an addiction, and he has so much to lose.He has everything in front of him, and he just wants to come clean so bad so he doesnt lose everything...especially his beautiful wife.In this song, I also sense some type of spirituality, in which I feel all Addicts at one point come to cling to when he or she hits rock bottom. In my story, till this day my husband still wishes I didnt leave.He wishes I would have stayed by his side. He is alone now, has lost everything.He now realizes that he didnt appreciate me or what he had in his life...he was drowned in his addiction. Anyhow, I think this song is inspirational for those goin through a similar situation like my own. Thats all...
    vlopez88on February 21, 2010   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top