Don't even think about reachin' me, I won't be home
Don't even think about stoppin' by, don't think of me at all
I did, what I had to do, if there was a reason, it was you...

Aah...don't even think about gettin' inside
Voices in me head...ooh, voices
I got scratches, all over my arms
One for each day, since I fell apart
I did...oh, what I had to do, if there was a reason, it was you

Footsteps in the hall, it was you, you...oh...
Pictures on my chest, it was you, it was you...

Hey...I did, what I had to do...oh, and if there was a reason
Oh, there wasn't no reason, no
And if, there's something you'd like to do
Just let me continue, to blame you

Footsteps in the hall, it was you, you...oh...
Pictures on my chest, it was you, you...oh...

Lyrics submitted by flinkaflenkaflrsk

Footsteps [Cassette] Lyrics as written by Stone C. Gossard Eddie Jerome Vedder

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Footsteps song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentI think the fact that the song is part of the Mamasan Trilogy and is about the killer waiting on death row has been pretty well covered. I don't buy the idea that it's also about some other girl, but I did want to add a little twist on the "footsteps in the hall" lyrics. I've always taken "footsteps in the hall" to refer to two different things, specifically two different sets of footsteps in two different halls.

    First, you have the immediate footsteps, that of the jailers coming to take the man to his death.

    But you also have him referring to the memory of his mother's footsteps in the hall, walking towards his room, long ago. Sometimes, if something bad happens, you don't just remember that experience; you remember the sequence of events that lead up to it, with the enormous ramifications each of those little events can end up having. And I think the sound of those footsteps might be the kind of thing, the kind of little meaningless detail, that for whatever weird reason someone in that position might remember. In fact, those footsteps, just before the terrible thing happened (in Alive), are really the last memory the guy might have of his mother, unsullied, as she was when he was young, compared to the perversion that was about to happen. Right before she entered his room was the last time things were as they should be.

    So in a way, there's a commonality there, between these two sets of footsteps. Both of them are a harbinger. The jailer's footsteps, in the present, are bringing physical death. But his mother's footsteps, from the past, brought a different kind of death - a kind of mental or emotional death.
    FatherCallahanon March 19, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentOkay.. this is what I think... I could be wrong in many ways, but this is how I intrperate it.... Okay, since this is part od a mamasan-triligy.. I'll try to explain what I get from it... The first song (Alive) was about his parents or something... and that pissed him off... I'm assuming that would be the mental damage that causes him to commit the murders in the second song (Once), he addmits he commits the murders and shows no remorse.. so I assume he went to jail for it.... The third song (Footsteps.. above) I think is about him being in prison... maybe on death row... He says they can't reach him, he won't be home i think meaning he's inprisioned and won't be getting out.. and he's saying don't stop by.. meaning he doesn't want people to visit.... And when he says the reason is you.. I think he's refering to his mother, which would fit the first song.... The scrathes on his arm... it could be one scrath for ever day he's been in prison... or self mutilation... I beleive the footsteps in the hall would be the prison gaurd, maybe coming to take him away to be exacuted. that would explain the name on his chest.. maybe that's a metaphore for how the exacute him... Then he changes the words in the 3rd verse to say "Just let me continue to blame you." again I think refering to him blaming his mother.... I'm not sure if my intrepriations are correct... but if you think I've missed something or am totally offcourse.. please tell me.. I'll come back to check for new posts... Again.. this is just what I think, I could be wrong, and I probably am.
    THEshibby6794on July 05, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPart 3 and final song of the mamasan-tirlogie first played as a whole in 1992 Zurich live.
    flinkaflenkaflrskon January 15, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe execution
    ChrisVedderon March 03, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think the comments regarding lost love brought on by him driving her away are right on. The song is about regret. I also, however, always had a picture in my head of this song taking place in a jail cell, as would fit with the trilogy, and the footsteps being the gaurds coming to take him to the execution. Also, the scratches all over the arms has the double meaning of both heroin use because she left, and counting the days that he has been in prison...
    Love this song, the words and the emotion conveyed are unreal.
    McCready did write the riff for this, as this same riff is on "Temple of the Dog" , the song "Times of Trouble", which has different lyrics, written by Cornell...
    sanpete29on May 28, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI honestly think the "scratches" are a refrence to self-mutilation.
    DeathRockBoyon July 03, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI read the actual meanings behind the song on another site (can't remember which) The trilogy is Alive (Act 1) Once (Act II) and Footsteps (Act II) Alive deals with Incest, his mother rapes him because he looked so much like his father, who died. 'Once' is him going crazy and killing hookers with shotguns and stuff, to kind of deal with all the shit he went through. And 'Footsteps'...well, he's been put on death row.
    chaotica0on January 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti know it's part of the mamasan-triology, but that isn't what i think of when i hear it.. i've never once thought of an execution. it makes me think about someone who would have done - and did do - anything for love, but the person just didn't understand. the footsteps in the hall is the lover leaving after finding out what happened. the singer is upset that their true love left them, and this song is the product of that hurt, and anger. i was just wondering if anyone thought the same as me..

    **--sidenote--** for anyone who's never heard this song live, it is absolutely AMAZING. i cried for the entire song, and still continue to cry everytime i think about it. it's sooo emotional.
    frailandbedazzledon May 07, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI actually wrote a my final paper in my Literary Criticism class on this song. The paper was 5 pages, but for a quick sum up, this is what I got from it:

    Obviously, this song is about guilt. "I did what I had to do." Third time through the singer changes it to, "Just let me continue to blame you." The girl didn't leave him. He drove her away. This song is written from a "hindsight" viewpoint. He knows he fucked up, but doesn't want to face it.

    This is one of my favorite songs of all time. Also, the statement above that McCready wrote this is false. Eddie wrote the guitar and lyrics for this song. It's pure Vedder, as if it's not obvious.

    Another thing I want feedback on is the "scratches." Anyone else tie this in with trackmarks from heroin use?

    Caeremoniaon May 25, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always thought the scratches referred to the subject slitting his wrists, i never thought of trackmarks, but that could be it too
    belli67on July 17, 2002   Link

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