I heard about a man to whom I may be related. He's leatherman.
Died a long time ago in the 1880's. Leatherman. Leatherman.
Covered with leather but it wasn't tight. Underneath a moon in the woods at night.
Making the rounds ten miles a day. Once a month they'd spot him and here's what they'd say.

"Here he comes. He's a man of the land. He's leatherman
Smile on his face. Axe in his pack.
He's leatherman. Leatherman. Leatherman."

Comes out of the caves once a day to be fed.
He wasn't known to stay much but, "Thanks for the bread."

So, modern day I walk my way with my jacket faded just like a man of leather whom I may be related.
Rolled cigarette for which he'd ask for a light.
Appear to be an animal. Yet, so polite.
Making the rounds ten miles a day. Once a month they'd spot him and here's what they'd say

"Here he comes he's a man of the land. He's leatherman
Smile on his face. Axe in his hand.
He's leatherman. Leatherman. Leatherman."

Leatherman. Leatherman.
Shake his hand. He's leatherman. Bake some bread. He's leatherman.
Shame he's dead. I saw his bed.
It's all that's left of leatherman. Leatherman.
Give me some skin Leatherman.

Lyrics submitted by Trent

Leatherman song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentThis song is a true story...have you heard the story of the Leatherman? If not...go here...hudsonvalleyruins.org/yasinsac/briarcliff/…
    Stephen_Flowon October 10, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA clickable link to the Leatherman Story hudsonvalleyruins.org/yasinsac/briarcliff/…
    Stephen_Flowon October 10, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think it's about Vedder's Indian relatives, because he has indian blood in him...
    Realon November 26, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is part of the mamasan trilogy
    PJamfan90on December 29, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti don't think it is part of the trilogy, that's alive, once and footsteps, isn't it?
    vedderloveron May 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYes, this song is not a part of the Mamasan Trilogy.

    Mamasan Trilogy:

    Alive, boy looks like his biological father and his mother molests him.

    Once, after being molested, it screws the boy up and he grows up and turns into a serial killer.

    Footsteps, man is on death row.

    I have heard someone mention the "Man Trilogy" (Betterman, leatherman, nothingman) although I don't think there is any sort of connection. Possibly. But I know that betterman was written about his stepfather and mother.
    Topchrison February 04, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentas mentioned, this isnt part of the mamason trilogy at all. that is alive, once, and footsteps. nor does it have anything to do with vedder's indian relatives - the link posted by 'Stephen Flow' explains to story pretty well

    as for the man trilogy, it would be pretty abstract for leatherman to have any link to the other two. perhaps nothingman is the sequel to betterman - the aftermath? betterman isnt just about vedder's mother and stepfather, although that may have been a personal inspiration for writing it. in a more general sense, it was about abusive relationships, and how it can be harder to end them than people think.

    so if betterman is about a woman trying to break free of an abusive relationship, nothingman could be the males perspective of the aftermath.

    She loved him, yeah...
    She don't want to leave this way
    She needs him, yeah
    That's why she'll be back again

    --> about a woman summoning the courage to ditch an abusive boyfriend/husband

    and then, the whole theme of nothingman is one of loss, lamenting how he 'caught a bolt of lightning, cursed the day he let it go'. she is the bolt of lightning, someone so wonderful he couldnt believe it, and he screwed it up.

    later on in nothingman: 'one just escapes, one's left inside the well' - the well is their relationship, she has escaped from it in a literal sense but he is stuck in the past. he knows he doesnt deserve another chance and that he screwed up, but loves her.

    and at the end: 'could've been something; nothingman' - he has lost all he loved

    so yes, i think nothingman is a sequel, of sorts, to betterman. leatherman is unrelated
    Lost Dogon November 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentits what stephen flow said its about i know for a fact
    spoonman7on April 22, 2008   Link
  • -1
    General Commentisn't part of the trilogy. why did pj make a yeild b side. its probs the best song from th yeild era in my opinion, but thats my opinion
    reecefon June 04, 2006   Link
  • -1
    General CommentThis is one of about 6 good Pearl Jam songs.
    Supah Dudeon November 11, 2007   Link

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