"Dance of the Clairvoyants" as written by and Jeff Ament Eddie Vedder....
Confusing it is to commotion
What love is to our devotion
Imperceptibly big
Big as the ocean
And equally hard to control

So save your predictions
And burn your assumptions
Love is friction
Ripe for comfort
Endless equations
And tugging persuasions
Doors open up
To interpretation

Expecting perfection
Leaves a lot to ignore
When the past is the present
And the future's no more
When every tomorrow
Is the same as before

The looser things get
The tighter you become
The looser things get
Tighter

Not one man can be greater than the sun
That's not a negative thought
I'm positive, positive, positive

Falling down, not staying down
Coulda held me up, rather tear me down
Drown in the river

Expecting perfection
Leaves a lot to ignore
When the past is the present
And the future's no more
When every tomorrow
Is the same as before

Numbers keep falling off the calendar's floor
We're stuck in our boxes
Windows open no more
Could've lifted up the forget-me-nots
Not recalling what they're for
I'm in love with clairvoyants
'Cause they're out of this world

I know the girls wanna dance
Fall away their circumstance
I know the boys wanna grow
Their dicks, and fix and file things

I know the girls wanna dance
Clairvoyants in a trance
I know the boys wanna grow
Their dicks and fix and file things

Stand back when the spirit comes
Stand back when the spirit comes
Stand back when the spirit comes
Stand back
Stand back when the spirit comes

Stand back when the spirit comes
Stand back when the spirit comes
Stand back

Stand back when the spirit comes
Stand back when the spirit comes
Stand back when the spirit comes
Stand back
I know the girls wanna dance
Away their circumstance
I know the boys wanna grow
Their dicks and fix and file things
Drown in the river
Stand back when the spirit comes
Stand back when the spirit comes
Stand back when the spirit comes
Stand back

Stand back when the spirit comes
Stand back when the spirit comes
Stand back when the spirit comes
Stand back (Their dicks, and fix and file things)
Stand back when the spirit comes
Stand back when the spirit comes
Stand back when the spirit comes
(Drown in the river)


Lyrics submitted by ag19song

"Dance Of The Clairvoyants" as written by Jeff Ament Eddie Vedder

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Dance of the Clairvoyants song meanings
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  • +1
    Song MeaningA clairvoyant is basically someone who can see the future. And the idea which Pearl Jam seems to be speaking to on this track is that some people have a tendency to be future-oriented. Or stated differently, they perpetually operate under the disposition that tomorrow will be better than today. And whereas the singer is indeed “in love with clairvoyants”, he seems to be more smitten by their optimism than the reality of the situation.

    In fact a fit, popular idiom which “Dance of the Clairvoyants” can be said to be based on is ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’. Or as Pearl Jam states in the chorus, “the past is the present, and the future is no more”. That is rather than progressing into the future so to speak clairvoyants, like everyone else, tend to be stuck in the same routine. And apparently the word “dance”, as used within context of this song, symbolizes the desire to get over the past and rather experience some type of ideological future.

    So again whereas the vocalist may appreciate clairvoyants, he has also come to the understanding that their visions for the future are more based on the fantasies of an ideal life as opposed to the hard, discouraging realities which constitute everyday living.

    Expecting perfection
    Leaves a lot to ignore
    When the past is the present
    And the future's no more
    When every tomorrow
    Is the same as before
    EternalTearsOfSorrowon January 25, 2020   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPearl Jam never had their "left turn" moment. No Kid A. No Achtung Baby. They never seemed all the interested in surprising people. After the dizzying, irreplicable success of their first two albums, the band consciously downsized, leaving the zeitgeist behind for a fiercely loyal, if slightly smaller, fanbase.

    They've maintained that audience by delivering reliably written and engineered rock records. There's really not much difference between 1991's Ten 2013's Lightning Bolt stylistically or sonically. So when the gated, processed drums begin on Dance of the Clairvoyants, it feels like a departure for a band not known for them. But the innovation doesn't go much further.

    I like Eddie Vedder's stilted, jittery David Byrne impression in the second verse, and the lyrics feel like they're building to something. He sings about time loops and missing time, but the ribbon he ties at the end of the chorus, "I'm in Love with clairvoyants/cuz they're outta this world" is both imprecise and tossed off. The line comes off as cute, whereas his preceding lyrical windup was swimming in murkier and more interesting waters.

    The song is from the upcoming Gigaton album. While it's refreshing to hear a band push against their sonic guardrails, I hope they go even further into the unknown on their full-length. It would be nice to hear what a full left turn would sound like from a band that's been on the same course for almost three decades.
    BoseBose2001on January 29, 2020   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPearl Jam has just released their latest single, Dance of the Clairvoyants. This is the first single that has been released from their newest album Gigaton that will be out in March. Dance of the Clairvoyants is the first step in ending the almost seven year dry streak without an album being released. Gigaton will be their 11th album and this will essentially be the newest “decade” of albums for Pearl Jam.

    Before listening to Dance of the Clairvoyants, I had to look up the definition of the word, “Clairvoyants.” In a nutshell, it is almost a sixth sense where someone can see events or people who exist in the future. After learning that little tidbit, I knew this song was going to give me a joyride.

    My first impression of the Dance of the Clairvoyants song lyrics blew me away. The sound of the music also blew me away. It reminded me a bit of Tom Morello’s collaboration with Steve Aioki in How Long from 2018. To me this song means that, despite being able to ignore the past and live in the future, having a constant futuristic mindset becomes mundane and transforms into your present. Vedder finds the Clairvoyants positive and rosy worldview admirable, he feels that they are not realistic and are not understanding of how life works.

    Overall, I really enjoyed the song and I am excited for the full album to be released in March and for Pearl Jam’s Tour for 2020.
    ibedaveon January 25, 2020   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song title is reminiscent of a shamanic ceremony accompanying a life transition. Generally, the lyrics convey a sense that opportunity is fading, that we’ve lost, or are losing, what we once perceived as stability and have become confused, having lost purpose and meaning. Because of our confusion, we are restless. We are at a cultural crossroads of choosing fear or love, regressing under the lull of temporary comfort or growing in the fire of cultural catalysis. We are looking for easy answers and coming up empty. We are a culture under reckoning.

    Society is under such commotion that we are desperate to feel any sense of control, and we are stuck in a sort of fear-anxiety feedback loop whereby we feel the reigns of reality being tugged away by an undercurrent of existential dread.

    The narrator is acknowledging a sort of Machiavellian egotism fanned by the flames of the “temporarily-embarrassed” rich man. A man so caught up in potential glorification that he ignores those needing help.
    The narrator is picking himself up after taking stock of his unfortunate situation. He is describing acknowledging his negative circumstances as positive because that acknowledgment is the first step toward finding a remedy.

    The narrator is criticizing perfectionism because perfectionism has failed. “One day” is here, and we find ourselves looking around realizing our failures as humans, our failure to love and recognize ourselves in others. Our collective humanity is slipping away, and we have nothing to show for it. We are looking for meaning in supernatural phenomena because 2020 feels like a dark time of transition. It feels as if we are at a cultural dead end and that the only way out is full-scale re-enchantment. A clairvoyant is one who possesses otherworldly knowledge or abilities. The narrator is looking for something new and fresh and without the baggage of the day-to-day grind, reminiscent of Chris Cornell when he finds freedom in what “doesn’t remind” him of anything.

    The narrator also acknowledges the sacred feminine. Women can sometimes have a knack for making the best of their situations, whereas men may sometimes be more confrontational and barbaric.
    We find many expressions of dancing away circumstance today: addiction, denial, seeking.

    We are warned to “stand back when the spirit comes.” This indicates that the spirit has left, or at least we have become estranged to the vivifying force of spirit. Spirit is also traditionally represented as a feminine force. “Stand back when the spirit comes” implies that we have lost our way. We are devaluing the human experience by constantly commodifying it. We are looking for ways to monetize what was once a passion, and we are left passionless. This is reminiscent of St. Vincent asking “what’s the point of even sleeping? If I can’t show it, if you can’t see me.” We have become locked inside mazes of our own design and of our own desire. Stand back when the spirit comes.
    sphinxsnakeon January 25, 2020   Link
  • 0
    General Comment“Dance of the Clairvoyants” is so experimental and lyrically complicated, I almost couldn’t understand what the song was trying to say. After a few listens, though, I actually think this song has a lot of complex thought about love and humanity. The lyrics argue that love is “as big as the ocean, and equally hard to control.” To me, this suggests that love is an emotion that is extremely powerful, but in a way that often has more power over us than we do over it. Love is one of the biggest driving forces in our lives, but how much control do we actually have over it?

    There’s also a phrase that says “love is friction, ripe for comfort…endless equations, and tugging persuasions.” This lyric frames love in such an interesting and eccentric way. Most of us probably don’t think of “friction” or “equations” when we think of love. However, there’s definitely truth in this statement. Love is friction, because friction happens when two things collide and experience contact. Two people coming together isn’t always seamless; love can be messy. Love can also be calculated, like an equation. We want to present ourselves to the world as easy to love. At our core, we want to love and be loved. We make little decisions throughout our lives that we feel will bring us that love. Our desire to love and be loved pulls at our hearts, a “tugging persuasion” leading us to make decisions solely based on the pursuit of love.

    Another powerful lyric in the song comes in the chorus. Eddie Vedder sings “expecting perfection leaves a lot to ignore, when the past is the present and the future's no more.” I believe Pearl Jam meant this lyric as commentary on our society as a whole. When we expect perfection in our world, we are quickly disappointed, and often we collectively choose to ignore the issues. “When the past is the present,” or when the past mistakes of humanity are repeated over and over in the present, we can’t escape the problems that we’ve always had. The future seems destined to be a repetition of the same problems that we choose to ignore. I think Pearl Jam wrote this song as a way to convey humanity in all its complicated, messy, imperfect ways. “Dance of the Clairvoyants” is a complex, though-provoking song about humanity, with an 80’s vibe that’s an ode to both earlier music and modern pop.
    carrie34on January 25, 2020   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFrom their first album “Ten”, released in 1991, Pearl Jam have established themselves in the mainstream through a slew of different hits over the years. Fronted by talented vocalist Eddie Vedder, the group has long sought to capture a unique mix of Seattle grunge and conventional rock. Their recent 2020 album Gigaton, while somewhat of a departure for the band, has continued that legacy, and the single “Dance of the Clairvoyants” provides good context for the new direction the band is taking.

    The single begins with a simple drum loop and some backing bass, surely taking some inspiration from the electronic dance music that took the nation by storm a few years ago. The song then fills out with the unmistakable vocals of Vedder, complimented wholly by bright and funky guitar licks from guitarist Michael McCready. Also weaved throughout the tune are some radiant synthesizer lines that loom over the piece, giving it an air of mystery and intrigue, appropriately juxtaposed by Vedder’s lyrics. 



    The aforementioned lyrics beautifully captivate the idea of stagnation in the face of uncertainty. The lines “endless equations / and tugging persuasions / doors open up / to interpretation” are barked by Vedder, as he admits a love for clairvoyants and their certainty of what’s coming next. The chorus, too, continues to mesh against the driving groove of the instrumentation, suggesting that “every tomorrow is the same as before”, contributing to the central motif of failing to launch. 



    While the electronic drums and somewhat repetitive instrumentation suggest a new sound for the band, there’s comfort and nostalgia hidden in Vedder’s vocals, which really take center stage as the song goes on. Reaching the bridge towards the end, Vedder urges the listener to “stand back when the spirit comes”, satisfyingly wrapping up the message of giving over to inevitability in the face of repeated patterns. 



    Overall, this latest single from Pearl Jam illustrates the vitality of the band, and one can only hope that the rest of the album is as ambitious and revelatory as past releases.
    ybbobon January 25, 2020   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnticipating new material from an artiste is probably the most painstaking process fans go through with their Favorite. I think it’s the same for the artiste too. They want to be better. Sothey experiment, ideate and keep everyone expectant. That is exactly what Pearl Jam has done. First, they take their time in creating “Gigaton” – almost seven solid years. Then they set out by rolling out songs bit by bit. Even though it felt as if they were dragging for so long (totally worth it).

    On the 13th of January when Pearl Jam announced the release of their new album for March 2020, all expectations shot up. Delivering the lead single “Dance of the Clairvoyants” is a bold and smart move. The lyrics are just mystic. Its mystic is relatable and imaginable. The beat is fresh and different, not the usual rock rhythm. I suspect basic electronic undertones. On Twitter, Jeff Ament describes the single as a "perfect storm of experimentation and real collaboration". In fact, I think the album will be a new and thrilling experience for fans as much as it was for the artistes.

    For a 'Rock and Roll' Hall of Famer, Pearl Jam continues to live up to the expectation they have singlehandedly created. Since it's release on the 21st of January; 'Dance of the Clairvoyants' has received massive positive reactions. I believe that in addition to great market value, the song has come to stay.
    ChrisPOakon January 27, 2020   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe newest lead single off of PearlJam’s 11th studio album, Gigaton, Dance of the Clairvoyants seems to entice youth beyond any sense of time and leads them to give in to their instincts....of sex.

    How can music drive us to feel an emotion if we think too much? The lyrics address this paradox when they state,

    “Expecting perfection
    Leaves a lot to ignore
    When the past is the present
    And the future's no more
    When every tomorrow
    Is the same as before”

    But if there is no need to expect perfection, what is left? The song is called “Dance of the Clairvoyants” and at first pass, the listener might expect future tellers. But, the repetition of “Stand back when the spirit comes” seems to imply that the youth listening to the music has a sort of power to tap into a more essential way of living, free from the ills of the past and the pressures of the future and so deliciously seductive that they can escape this feeling that permeates making them feel that “...every tomorrow is the same as before”.

    So, the music plays, the girls give in to their baser nature to “dance” and “fall away from their circumstance” while the boys are just want to “grow their dicks”. In the end, Clairvoyants dancing is another way of saying that there is power in letting go and listening to music with your body and soul. Otherwise, “The looser things get/ The tighter you become”, a warning to let go once in a while and feel yourself.
    ReonataOon January 27, 2020   Link
  • 0
    General Comment“Dance of the Clairvoyants” hit me harder than I was ready for or expecting. A clairvoyant, meaning someone who can see the future, in this sense is clearly regarding someone who thinks​ they can know the future. I myself feel extremely guilty of trying to be a “clairvoyant,” always predicting my next move and feeling uncomfortable in the stillness of the present.

    There are multiple lyrics that stuck out to me in this song, the first being “so save your predictions and burn your assumptions.” The band is reminding us all that we’re all living on the same clock, and we can’t know the future of what any day could bring us; it all could change within an instant.

    There’s ​a lot​ to unpack in these lyrics; Pearl Jam writes verse after verse to drill and remind its listeners that living anywhere outside of the present is simply keeping us stuck in a perpetual moment in time, always wishing for something that we aren’t currently experiencing (“When the past is the present and the future's no more. When every tomorrow is the same as before.”

    I’ll end with this: this song made me think a lot about my own interpretation of life. It’s easy for us, with all the outside influence we experience daily, to constantly wish for tomorrow or the next day, just hoping and waiting things ​then​ will be enough. The verse “not one man can become greater than the sun” expressed this emotion fully. I interpreted it as “clairvoyants” (regular people, like me or you) are living in an imaginary utopia of feeling like they have any control whatsoever. The only thing that guarantees a new day is to see the sun rise again.
    bonjon January 27, 2020   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDance Of The Clairvoyants by Pearl Jam is the first single off of their upcoming album Gigaton. Dance Of The Clairvoyants was an interesting listen for me because of the new direction the band goes in. From the synths and repetitive drums to Eddie Vedder's dreamy vocals. It was a wakeup call that the band that released Ten all those years ago is, for better or for worse, gone. As sad as that may sound, the band's new direction may be refreshing.

    It starts off and is immediately reminiscent of the synth-pop band Hot Chip (not something you would expect from Pearl Jam.) From the opening lyrics, the assumed meaning of the song is established. Dreaming about a new future and change, as opposed to the past and present that is repetitive and dull (symbolizing their need to go in a new direction.) The choruses spell out the meaning of the song a lot better than the confusing lyrics that make up most of the song.

    A personal highlight of the song is when Vedder occasionally sings in his vintage guttural style, which I take as being little tidbits of the past Pearl Jam. As I've listened to the song on repeat it has grown on me. But it's grown in a way that makes me want to sway my head, and that symbolizes the band's new direction. Because the instrumentals don't make you want to jump up and down or mosh, but instead you want to sway your head. This may have seemed negative but I understand that Pearl Jam has grown tired of doing what they've been doing for 30 years now and I totally support this new direction and am excited to see how it goes.
    AngelXFlowerson January 27, 2020   Link

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