Pearl Jam - Even Flow - Meaning of the song
The song is particularly the description made by third view from a homeless man who deals with every kind of handicaps. Surviving cold and madness, the protagonist expects for someday getting out of the streets, no matter if praying or just wishing this day would come, but the convenience of being sometimes helped on the streets delay the will force of getting a new life. A strong critic is present on the song leading the listener to realize that the help homeless people need is beyond change, that will only keep them on the streets.
The band had the music for this song before Eddie Vedder joined. The first instrumental demo was recorded in August 1990 with Michael McCready, Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament and Matt Cameron (Cameron was with Soundgarden at the time, but agreed to play on this demo). Vedder joined the band in October and wrote the lyrics about a homeless person who is neglected by society. "Even Flow" was one of 10 songs they recorded the first week he flew in to Seattle to record with his new band.
Drummer Matt Cameron explained:
"When I was in Soundgarden and we were making Badmotorfinger, Eddie brought up the mixes to Ten and I distinctly remember hearing the chorus for "Even Flow" and thinking that's HUGE. So hooky, it's got a really rad Zeppelin huge rock feel to it. Although we've played it a couple of thousand times since I've been in the group I think that's the quintessential Pearl Jam song. Even though it gets played out, the nuts and bolts of that song are just amazing. Oceans is also a fantastic song. Super fun to play."
Even Flow - Lyrics
Freezing Rests his head on a pillow made of concrete, again Oh, feeling Maybe he'll see a little better, set of days, ooh yeah Oh, hand out Faces that he sees time again ain't that familiar, oh yeah Oh, dark grin He can't help, when he's happy he looks insane, hm yeah Even flow, thoughts arrive like butterflies Oh, he don't know, so he chases them away Oh, someday yet, he'll begin his life again Life again, life again Kneeling Looking through the paper though he doesn't know to read, oh yeah Oh, praying Now to something that has never showed him anything Oh, feeling Understands the weather of the winters on its way Oh, ceilings Few and far between all the legal halls of shame, hey Even flow, thoughts arrive like butterflies Oh, he don't know, so he chases them away Oh, someday yet, he'll begin his life again ...Ah, whispering hands, gently lead him away Him away, him away Yeah! Woo, ah yeah... fuck it up Hey man, you got a dollar? Come on, just some spare change, man, I know you got Well, God bless you, man, God bless you Even flow, thoughts arrive like butterflies Oh, he don't know, so he chases them away Oh, someday yet, he'll begin his life again Oh, whispering hands, gently lead him away Him away, him away... yeah! Woo, ah yeah