Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 154
Mon. June 11, 2012

“Just Breathe”
Pearl Jam
2009 & 2011

“♫ I’m a lucky
man to count on
both hands the ones
I love/ some folks
just have one, yeah
others they got
none/ stay with
me, oh let’s just
[…] ♫”

We’re in Santa Barbara, following Eddie Vedder’s advice to “Just Breathe” the coastal air. I love the way the air is so much cleaner and fresher by the beach. “Just Breathe” is the perfect song on the eve of our two year Wedding anniversary. “Breathe” is the probably the most personal and poignant song Eddie has ever composed as the lead singer of Pearl Jam.

Eddie himself called “Just Breathe—” “as close to a love song as we’ve ever gotten.”

Those fans of Eddie’s Into the Wild will recognize the initial chords of the majestic song that is “Just Breathe.”

Vedder explained the evolution of “Just Breathe” when he said—”[Just Breathe] uses the first chord from an instrumental called “Tuolumne.” There was a lyric or something that hit me, and I picked up the guitar and played that chord. I thought, well, I’ll just go with it and make something different out of it. It was a shorter song, and then I wrote a bridge to it while the other guys were working on something else.”

Eddie went on and further discussed the simple meaning of “Just Breathe” when he said—
“’Just stop, and be together. Don’t talk now, just breathe and feel each other’s presence – now that the kids are in bed.'”

“Just Breathe” is just touching number and one that Pearl Jam magnificently performed on Saturday Night Live. I prefer the live SNL version of “Just Breathe—” Eddie’s voice sounds more intimate as if he’s whispering—singing advice just in your ears. You can find this live rendition of “Just Breathe” on Pearl Jam’s 20 CD.

Thank You Eddie Vedder for reigniting my admiration for Pearl Jam. Backspacer’s “Just Breathe” is the lyrical ying to Ten’s “Black” yang. You can hear the growth in Vedder as a songwriter, the way the strings carry Eddie’s positive message of affection—so imaginative and momentous. Breathe in one of my new favorite Pearl Jam songs. “Just Breathe” is Eddie Vedder inviting us to inhale the scent of true love with a tender sound that’s one of the most impressive love songs in the whole Pearl Jam canon.