Sailing on my every step. Inching off of the earth.
Is magnified by the things I've done.
The thing that I've become.

Every lift of my hand. Coffee cup up, and back.
Is magnified by the things I've done. The things I've seen. the things I've caused.

I'm a dead man walking.

The hammer that I once brung down now hovers over me.
Cast a shadow across, onto me.

The hallways are all mocking me.
What I've become they're all mocking me.

I'm a dead man walking. A dead man walking. A dead man walking.
I'm a dead man walking. Dead man walking. Dead man walking.

Lyrics submitted by Trent

"Dead Man [Previously Unreleased Track]" as written by Eddie Vedder

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Dead Man song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentGood song. Did Pearl Jam write it?
    i-griegaon June 17, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah, eddie wrote it for the dead man walking soundtrack. tim robbins, the director and a friend of eddies, wanted to use it as the title track of the film, but for marketability reasons he had to go with bruce springsteens dead man walking, also written for the soundtrack
    PJ10on June 19, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"...It's a seniority thing!"... That was Robbins' "excuse".
    EddieVedderon March 15, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti didn't see the movie, but from my perspective it seems like a person who is going to die to whom every remaining action in life is magnified to something huge because there is so little time left.
    sirpsycho85on January 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdoes anyone know what a deadman walking is?
    petyon April 08, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenta deadman walking is a man who has commited a crime, in the past or still does. not some one who is certain to die.
    petyon April 08, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a wonderful song,... Eddie's voice is showcased brilliantly with this song especially when he sinks wayyyyy low on the verse: "The hammer that I once brung down now hovers over me."

    He goes so deep....

    In the liner notes for Lost Dogs Stone Gossard said:
    "We recorded this song during the New Orleans recording session for No Code. How this song didn't make it on the Dead Man Walking soundtrack ( or for that matter our record ) we will never know for sure, but I am very proud to have it finally get it's spot. I think these are some of my favorite Ed lyrics of all time, although at the timeI think I thought with some seriousness ( not alot but some ) it should say "Dead Man Walking..... around" because of the way the last syllable would fall across the beat. Maybe one of my worst ideas ever. Sometimes I look back and cringe. This song should have never been a B-side."
    N0 C0DE 79on May 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyay, l just recently fully learned this song , l can play it at best quality as well........great song
    ryugoon September 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song gives me the chills. to me, it's about a man who's commited a crime, and how it follows him through every single day. the reference to the coffee cup is fantastic, not being able to do the most simple things without having something constantly in your mind.
    that_sullen_girlon April 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentpety, i'm not sure if you still need an answer one year on, but 'dead man walking' is what is traditionally (in films at least) shouted as a condemned man walks from his cell to execution.

    and just quickly on the film, does anyone else see how it could be interpreted as pro-capital punishment? without the threat of death hanging over him and ultimately becoming reality the sean penn character would have remained an unrepentant, nazi racist sack of crap.

    just a thought.
    karma suturedon April 27, 2006   Link

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