Have a drink they're buying,
Bottom of, bottle of denial,

Big guy, big eye, watching me,
Have to wonder what it sees,
Progress, laced with, ramifications,
Freedom's big plunge.

Pull the innocent from a crowd,
Raise the sticks then bring 'em down ,
If they fail to obey,
If they fail to obey.

For every tool they lend us, a loss of independence.

I pledge to my grievance to the flag,
Cause you don't give blood, then take it back again,
We're deserving of much more.

Progress, taste it, invest-it-all,
Champagne breakfast for everyone.

Break the innocent when they're proud,
Raise the stakes, then bring 'em down,
If they fail to obey,
If they fail to obey.

Pledge my grievance to the flag,
Aw come on, don't give blood, then take it back again,
We're all deserving something more.

I want to breathe, part of the seen,
I want to taste, everyone I see,
I want to run, when I'm up high,
I want to run to the sea,
I only want life to be,
I just want to be,
I will feel alive as long as I am free.

Lyrics submitted by Trent

"Grievance" as written by Eddie Vedder

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Grievance song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThis was a Grammy-nominated song for Best Hard Rock Performance. Surprising nomination, because PJ weren't really a mainstream band anymore, but I'm glad it was nominated. PJ were almost forgotten(inexplicably) but they keep on making great music. Grievance is a great song, and I totally agree with Vedder on the technology thing.
    T-Crashon May 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe words of Eddie Vedder"

    "I think technology went wrong somewhere. It just went into the wrong direction. Instead of helping us and freeing us, it seems to enslave us. That's what I talk about in "Grievance," about the dangers and what a lot of people don't see or don't want to see. There's the line. For every tool they lend us a loss of independence and it's true. Everything happens so fast. The technology is supposed to make everything simple, easy. It tries to make us believe that it's some sort of freedom we have. Of course, it's easy and comfortable if you can do all your shopping via the internet, if you don't need to leave the house to do anything. But, on the other hand, what is going to happen? You lose touch with people. You don't meet new people except on the internet and whatever you do can be traced. They know everything about you; they know what you buy; they know which papers you read, how long you stay on a page and they look at your statistics and they're going to offer you the products they think you might buy – most of them you don't really need anyway. What is going to happen to individuality? "
    eigthon July 23, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNice quote, eigth. I agree wholeheartedly with Ed. It is definitely a song about a loss of independence in this country. "Progress. Taste it. Invest it all. Champagne breakfast for everyone." This is one of the best songs on Binaural and in concert. It just makes you want to...save the world or something.
    PJ_DMBon March 07, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentim kind of indifferent about this song, i love the band, and a lot of what vedder says here makes a lot of sense, but its kind of ironic, his complaining about internet shopping, especially when the bands web site has a store which had exclusive pre purchase rights of live albums
    toolucky1234on April 19, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentfor every tool they lend us a loss of independence
    Artsyon December 26, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHas anyone ever seen the John Carpenter film They Live? This song reminds me of that movie. It's a little different from Vedder's technology angle he's talking about here, but it work in the same context.
    KonamiCodeon April 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsuprising shortage of comments on this great song
    nic000on March 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentVedder says those lines, which he wrote, are not about the band. Rather, they're about governmental and corporate manipulation of the consumer. "I was talking about interest rates," he deadpans, letting out a throaty laugh. The Dow Jones and NASDAQ had crashed just days before. I decided to hold off on questioning the "champagne breakfast for everyone" line from "Grievance" as a comment on Pearl Jam's lavish rock-star lifestyle.

    ---You still use a typewriter instead of a computer to write your lyrics and from what you say, it seems as if you're vehemently anti-technology.... On the last track of the album one can hear you frustratingly hacking away on your typewriter. Rumor has it that you were suffering from a severe writer's block....
    STRANGELIFEon May 22, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about being swallowed up by the modern society that we love so much... think how great the internet and phones are, ease of communication, now think what would happen if, right this minute, every phone line in the world, and the internet, all went down.

    For every tool they lend us... loss of independance...
    Tig45on March 15, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with the anti-technology, anti-corporate comments on here. I'll add it's a response to the 1999 Seattle WTO protests.
    charlesgq0on October 28, 2017   Link

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