Watched from the window with a red mosquito...
I was not allowed to leave the room...
I saw the sun go down and now it's comin' up...
Somewhere in the time between...
I was bitten...must have been the devil...
He was just payin' me...
A little visit a reminding me of his presence...
Lettin' me know...he's a waitin' for me...
Red man's your neighbor call it behavior...
While you're climbing up slippery hills...
Two steps ahead of him, punctures in your neck...
Hoverin' just above your bed... (2x)
I was bitten...must have been the devil...
He was just paying me...
A little visit, reminding me of his presence...
And lettin' me know...he's a-waitin'...he's a-waitin'...
Up there...yeah...
If I had known then what I now know... (4x)

Lyrics submitted by Trent

"Red Mosquito" as written by Jack Irons Eddie Vedder

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Red Mosquito song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentThe food poisoning incident and the literal mosquito eddie was annoyed by are good explanations, but I think we're neglecting one crucial line in the song: "Red man's your neighbor . . ." Back before political correctness, Native Americans were considered to be "red" in color, eg. Redskins. I think "Red Mosquito" is about the White American Male opinion of American Indians and how they feel pestered by this group of people they bought out years ago. The white man has put the indian on reservations and tried to keep him quiet, but he is still constantly reminded of whose country this really is. This "White Man's Guilt" theme is also evident on "w.m.a." and "do the evolution". You have to remember how intelligent (and liberal) eddie is and take that into account -- this can't just be a song about a stomach virus.
    realBenFlinton December 16, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAbout life's little reminders. A stub in the toe, a pulled muscle, a mosquito bite; while we may try to stay two steps ahead of our adversaries (the Devil is quite an adversary, isn't he), they will catch up with us at some point on our journey. The last line "If I had known then what I know now" refers to the little lessons we learn from our setbacks, we learn because we have experienced.
    spiralofdivinityon September 14, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is really ironic going along with the themes of the rest of No Code. As opposed to the buddhist-ish ideas of Present Tense and such, this song is about regret.

    To me, anyway, this could mean No Code tells a story? maybe? i haven't really thought this through all the way. The proscess to enlightenment maybe?

    What does everyone else think
    hobarton September 27, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPiros001's picking up on the two similar lines in "Red Mosquito" and "I'm Open" are every clever..... Clearly there is a correlation between the two and it surely reflects the experimental nature of No Code.....

    This song is about Eddie's food poisoning incident... eddie was forced off stage at a show in front of about 60,000 people in a free concert because of his food poisoning... Neil Young Filled in for him for 4 whole hours but it was this incident that cast Ed and Pearl Jam as unappreciative of their fans.... and therefore probably forged the experimentation of No Code.... Thank God for that little Red Mosquito.....
    N0 C0DE 79on May 11, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI totally agree spenser_d. I think Eddie is saying while "red men" were needed they were treated as freinds but thereafter as if overnight were stabbed in the back and eventually the people will be held responsible.
    bluetubon July 13, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenteddie got sick from food poisining and missed a concert. he was in bed for a full 24 hrs (saw the sun go down, now its coming up) and was semi-hallucinating. he imagined his illness to be brought on by the devil in the form of a red mosuito as a reminder that death will eventually come.
    qubeon January 17, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGODDAMN i love the gutiar in this song!
    lookn_2b_inspiredon September 18, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe live version of this song is awesome
    ShoeyFighteron March 17, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think Eddie was dabbing with Heroin throughout much of' No code'. bitten by a red mosquito could be the itchy track marks left from heroin injection. and the all to familier sigh of a junkie leads off the song "If I had known then what I know now".
    Gforce38on April 19, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGforce38,

    Eddie has mentioned that the lyrics came to him while he was sick and bedridden; a pesky mosquito kept entering the room he was in, threatning him with its stinger.

    Eddie's drug of choice appears to be the bottle of crimson wonder, not Heroin's poppy powder of doom.

    Also, given the uplifting nature of many of No Code's songs (in contrast to the first three PJ records), I doubt that Eddie was dabbling in heroin during the No Code sessions.
    spiralofdivinityon April 22, 2004   Link

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