Sirens

evsgjammevsgjamm Posts: 1,789
To me, Sirens is very literal in the lyrics. Losing a loved one tragically while they are in your arms breathing their final breaths while an ambulance is heard coming closer and closer to take your loved one away. "Another man's arms" is referring to the big man upstairs. beautifully written, Ed.
Vancouver '03, Paramount Theatre '05, Saskatoon '05, Calgary '05, Edmonton '05, Saskatoon '11, Calgary '11, Calgary '13

2010 WATCH IT GO TO FIRE!!
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Comments

  • Wow, somewhere between my 1st and 400000th listen of this song I've become quite into it. I don't usually get into ballads as much as I used to, but this song is just hitting me like a ton of bricks. Love. It all boils down to love. I cannot get enough of it. By the time Eddie gets to "Before you were here..." I am 100% emotionally invested. [7]
  • evsgjamm wrote:
    To me, Sirens is very literal in the lyrics. Losing a loved one tragically while they are in your arms breathing their final breaths while an ambulance is heard coming closer and closer to take your loved one away. "Another man's arms" is referring to the big man upstairs. beautifully written, Ed.

    I don't know if it's about that so much as it's about the FEAR of that. This is, at its core, a song about fear and the affect love has on that fear.

    It's about how, throughout the course of every day, there are a 1,000 different ways for life as we know it to change dramatically or irrevocably: The brakes on my wife's car can give out; my kid could be diagnosed with a terminal illness; my house could burn down; I could lose my job ... and on and on and on.

    Everytime you hear an emergency siren, somebody's life has just been dramatically altered. And one day, the siren could be coming for you, metaphorically if not literally.

    This is a song about dealing with that reality. It's about how to live life while recognizing how laughably fragile life is. Everything you know and hold dear is hanging by a thread and can come unraveled at any time, so how do we deal with that?
    everybody wants the most they can possibly get
    for the least they could possibly do
  • rollingsrollings unknownPosts: 6,702
    it's a fragile thing and I love it like all beautiful
    A horse once heard Stone Gossard playing guitar on the other side of a wall. And that, my friends, is where giraffes came from.
  • dimitrispearljamdimitrispearljam NINUNINOPROPosts: 133,897
    rollings wrote:
    it's a fragile thing and I love it like all beautiful
    :)
    "...Dimitri...He talks to me...'.."The Ghost of Greece..".
    "..That's One Happy Fuckin Ghost.."
    “..That came up on the Pillow Case...This is for the Greek, With Our Apologies.....”
  • evsgjamm wrote:
    To me, Sirens is very literal in the lyrics. Losing a loved one tragically while they are in your arms breathing their final breaths while an ambulance is heard coming closer and closer to take your loved one away. "Another man's arms" is referring to the big man upstairs. beautifully written, Ed.

    So it's a last kiss sequel?
  • I love the song, but how about this theory: could it be the man's view in the song Dissident?

    Stay with me here. Dissident tells the third person story of a woman who takes in the man on the run, can't handle it, and turns him over to the authorities.

    Sirens tells the story from the man's perspective - he feels safe with her (while she is nursing him there, over a night...) and he falls in love, not wanting to lose her. He is in fear each time he hears a siren, and he understands that this fleeting love might soon go away. If his new found love finds herself in the arms of another man while he is in custody for whatever wrong he has perpetrated on society, he will understand.

    Discuss.
    "Hear my name...take a good look...this could be the day..."
  • freshymadfreshymad Posts: 54
    edited September 2013
    ... and then there are the mythological sirens. I was emotionally invested after the first two lines! "Hear the sirens," is tender and poignant as Ed's voice sounds like both a city siren and one of a seductive siren. On repeat already!! I'm gonna completely lose it when I hear this live. I think he's singing to his daughter and wife. But it's only a child's face that can erase all fear. I remember that feeling so well. My child is a man now, and my daughter a woman, so those moments are gone forever.

    A lot of highly evolved elitist (circus so profound) aging-but-in-denial punk WMA fans are gonna be irritated and it will be funny ironic if such a vulnerable song makes them give up their cookies in anger. Us female fans will love it -- love the song, the irony, and the guts it took the band to release this as a second single and risk popular appeal. Everyone can relate to this song -- oh the horror!!!!
    Post edited by freshymad on
  • rustneversleepsrustneversleeps DowntownPosts: 1,604
    its a fragile thing, this life we lead...if i think too much i can get overwhelmed by the grace by which we live our lives with death over our shoulders... fucking beautiful
    {1996} Columbia, MD 9/24 - NYC 9/28 {1998} Camden, NJ 8/28-8/29 {2000} Jones Beach, NY 8/25 - Camden, NJ 9/1-9/2 {2003} West Palm Beach, FL 4/11 - Phila, PA 4/28 - Buffalo, NY 5/2 - State College, PA 5/3 - Camden, NJ 7/5-7/6 - NYC 7/9 {2004} Reading, PA 10/1 {2005} George, WA 9/1 - Vancouver, BC 9/2 - Atlantic City, NJ 9/30 - Phila, PA 10/3 {2006} NYC 5/5 - Boston, MA 5/25 - Camden, NJ 5/27-5/28 - East Rutherford, NJ 6/1-6/3 - Las Vegas, NV 7/6 {2007} Chicago, IL 8/5 {2008} Manchester, TN 6/14 - Virginia Beach, VA 6/17 - Camden, NJ 6/19-6/20 - Washington, DC 6/22 {2009} Phila, PA 10/27-10/30-10/31 {2012} Phila, PA 9/2 {2013} Chicago, IL 7/19 - Brooklyn, NY 10/19 - Phila, PA 10/21-10/22 - Hartford, CT 10/25 - Baltimore, MD 10/27 - Seattle, WA 12/6 {2014} Lincoln, NE 10/9 - Austin, TX 10/12 - Detroit, MI 10/16 - Moline, IL 10/17 - Denver, CO 10/22 - Mountain View, CA 10/25 {2015} NYC 9/26 {2016} Greenville, SC 4/16 - Hampton, VA 4/18 - Phila, PA 4/28-4/29 - NYC 5/1-5/2 - Telluride, CO 7/9 - Boston, MA 8/5 - Chicago, IL 8/20-8/22 {2017} RRHOF Brooklyn, NY 4/7

    <--EV--> {2008} NYC 8/5 {2009} Albany, NY 6/9 {2015} Rosemont, IL 5/14 {2017} Dana Point, CA 9/9

    <--TOTD--> Phila 11/4-11/5 - Seattle 11/20-11/21
  • law21 wrote:
    its a fragile thing, this life we lead...if i think too much i can get overwhelmed by the grace by which we live our lives with death over our shoulders... fucking beautiful
    Fucking beautiful alright. Each time listen I get something more. Fucking beautiful!
  • prismprism Posts: 2,434
    last saturday the day before she passed my best friend was in a coma, i held her hand and more or less told her 'not to worry, her daughter and son were okay...and they're going to be alright.' her nurse came in a min. or so later just before shift change, and said "her heart rate hasn't been this low all day"

    on wednesday i saw a bit on tv and my first thought was "oh, i bet Deb will like this" so i reached for the phone, that's when it really hit me...she's gone. so i spent a couple hours curled in a ball bawling my eyes out.

    not long after i'd quit sobbing i went to my computer, decided to check out the sirens vid...the timing was surreal... it definitely brought more cathartic tears...

    though the song may be more about letting go of fear in favor of appreciating life with a spouse/partner while we still can ....i think parts can apply to close friends and alleviating fears too

    altho she wasn't a PJ fan I've no words how much it means to me to hear; the fear goes away...
    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
    angels share laughter
    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
  • evsgjamm wrote:
    To me, Sirens is very literal in the lyrics. Losing a loved one tragically while they are in your arms breathing their final breaths while an ambulance is heard coming closer and closer to take your loved one away. "Another man's arms" is referring to the big man upstairs. beautifully written, Ed.

    I do not think that this song is as literal as you might think. I think that SlightofJeff makes a good point re. Sirens and that it is not about someone directly dying (IMO at least) but more the sense, or even stronger, the "revelation" of mortality when you are with a loved one. There is even another symbol attached to it and that is Homer's Sirens, the greek myth (Homer's Odyssee); the beuatiful women that call you, seduce you with your beauty and drown you in the end. This myth, in essence, also speaks about the fragility of love and mortality. So I think there is much more to this song...
    prism wrote:
    last saturday the day before she passed my best friend was in a coma, i held her hand and more or less told her 'not to worry, her daughter and son were okay...and they're going to be alright.' her nurse came in a min. or so later just before shift change, and said "her heart rate hasn't been this low all day"

    on wednesday i saw a bit on tv and my first thought was "oh, i bet Deb will like this" so i reached for the phone, that's when it really hit me...she's gone. so i spent a couple hours curled in a ball bawling my eyes out.

    not long after i'd quit sobbing i went to my computer, decided to check out the sirens vid...the timing was surreal... it definitely brought more cathartic tears...

    though the song may be more about letting go of fear in favor of appreciating life with a spouse/partner while we still can ....i think parts can apply to close friends and alleviating fears too

    altho she wasn't a PJ fan I've no words how much it means to me to hear; the fear goes away...

    I truly feel sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you...
  • dimitrispearljamdimitrispearljam NINUNINOPROPosts: 133,897
    prism wrote:
    last saturday the day before she passed my best friend was in a coma, i held her hand and more or less told her 'not to worry, her daughter and son were okay...and they're going to be alright.' her nurse came in a min. or so later just before shift change, and said "her heart rate hasn't been this low all day"

    on wednesday i saw a bit on tv and my first thought was "oh, i bet Deb will like this" so i reached for the phone, that's when it really hit me...she's gone. so i spent a couple hours curled in a ball bawling my eyes out.

    not long after i'd quit sobbing i went to my computer, decided to check out the sirens vid...the timing was surreal... it definitely brought more cathartic tears...

    though the song may be more about letting go of fear in favor of appreciating life with a spouse/partner while we still can ....i think parts can apply to close friends and alleviating fears too

    altho she wasn't a PJ fan I've no words how much it means to me to hear; the fear goes away...
    im so sorry...
    "...Dimitri...He talks to me...'.."The Ghost of Greece..".
    "..That's One Happy Fuckin Ghost.."
    “..That came up on the Pillow Case...This is for the Greek, With Our Apologies.....”
  • prism wrote:
    though the song may be more about letting go of fear in favor of appreciating life with a spouse/partner while we still can ....

    This is exactly what I got from the song. And yes, extends to anyone we love. I think you nailed it.

    After hearing it for the first time, I cried. I wanted nothing more than to fall into the arms of my husband and grab my baby girls and just lay in a family hug ball. Seriously. I think alot about mortality at my age (45) and how realistically, I've lived at least 1/2 of my life already, and if I'm lucky I'll see another 45. My husband sees this song from the perspective of our protector, how he knows he has to guard us from the perils and dangers of the outside world. He knows there's things he can't control, and that it could all change in an instant.
    2003 Dallas
    2013 Wrigley
    2013 Dallas
    2013 Oklahoma City
    2013 Seattle

    How I choose to feel is how I am.
    There's just one word I still believe...and it's LOVE.
    "Take care of one another..." -EV
  • evsgjamm wrote:
    This is, at its core, a song about fear and the affect love has on that fear.

    It's about how, throughout the course of every day, there are a 1,000 different ways for life as we know it to change dramatically or irrevocably: The brakes on my wife's car can give out; my kid could be diagnosed with a terminal illness; my house could burn down; I could lose my job ... and on and on and on.

    Everytime you hear an emergency siren, somebody's life has just been dramatically altered. And one day, the siren could be coming for you, metaphorically if not literally.

    This is a song about dealing with that reality. It's about how to live life while recognizing how laughably fragile life is. Everything you know and hold dear is hanging by a thread and can come unraveled at any time, so how do we deal with that?
    [/quote]

    This is an incredibly insightful depiction, .. I see entirely what you are describing, these are the perfect words. thank you. so many beautiful words on this thread.

    After the first 2 listens, where I wasn't quite sure what to think of it, it really --really, got under my skin... it expands in your mind and lingers.. I have been completely obsessed with much of Pearl Jam's catalogue, and I don't think I have ever been so obsessed with any one song as I am with Sirens. For almost a week straight now, I haven't been able to enjoy much of anything else musically, because nothing else is giving me the high this song does. When not trying to place the song with specific categories and labels, you just hear the total beauty of it. My god, this is what it feels like to hear a PJ song for the first time again.
    “Some people need music to survive…need music to get things out. Music, I felt, saved my life. I had absolutely nothing else besides music. For me, it’s much more religious…”

    "Run away my son. See it all. Oh see the world."
  • prism wrote:
    last saturday the day before she passed my best friend was in a coma, i held her hand and more or less told her 'not to worry, her daughter and son were okay...and they're going to be alright.' her nurse came in a min. or so later just before shift change, and said "her heart rate hasn't been this low all day"

    on wednesday i saw a bit on tv and my first thought was "oh, i bet Deb will like this" so i reached for the phone, that's when it really hit me...she's gone. so i spent a couple hours curled in a ball bawling my eyes out.

    not long after i'd quit sobbing i went to my computer, decided to check out the sirens vid...the timing was surreal... it definitely brought more cathartic tears...

    though the song may be more about letting go of fear in favor of appreciating life with a spouse/partner while we still can ....i think parts can apply to close friends and alleviating fears too

    altho she wasn't a PJ fan I've no words how much it means to me to hear; the fear goes away...

    I am so sorry for your loss. and so glad pearl jam has found you, so powerfully, in this time of pain.
    “Some people need music to survive…need music to get things out. Music, I felt, saved my life. I had absolutely nothing else besides music. For me, it’s much more religious…”

    "Run away my son. See it all. Oh see the world."
  • For almost a week straight now, I haven't been able to enjoy much of anything else musically, because nothing else is giving me the high this song does. When not trying to place the song with specific categories and labels, you just hear the total beauty of it. My god, this is what it feels like to hear a PJ song for the first time again.

    I feel the exact same way. Wow. You nailed it for me.
    2003 Dallas
    2013 Wrigley
    2013 Dallas
    2013 Oklahoma City
    2013 Seattle

    How I choose to feel is how I am.
    There's just one word I still believe...and it's LOVE.
    "Take care of one another..." -EV
  • vickisomoyavickisomoya Sarasota, FloridaPosts: 174
    What a great thread to read for a song that needs to be talked about. Thank you all so much.

    There is a saying in my teaching profession that goes "The place you come from will be felt."

    I think this explains the impact of this song. Everything (words, music, voice) comes together in such a way that resonates with something very deeply that we all as humans feel (well maybe animals feel it too but without the self-perception of it) and experience. ALL of us regardless of gender, race, religion, etc. have to come to grips with the fact that we will die. And because we still aren't fully sure about what happens after that, its scary.

    Eddie's line "The fear goes away" is about the power of love in the here and now, but also love in the eternal. Its so appropriate that the first time we hear this line in the song is the absolute moment that Mike picks up the electric!! That's the power of the whole song for me. We all feel and believe (or want to believe) that love never dies. Love is what we are and it will NEVER die... and when you feel this and know this, it's just amazingly mind-blowingly beautiful. And they were able to capture and convey this feeling in one song. Well that's PJ for you.

    I think this is huge because we need to BE REMINDED of this more... and treat each other knowing that all the bullshit differences we have are nothing. We are bigger than all of that. We need to start acting that way.
    This is why this band is so important to all of us, its fans, but to all humans. The world needs reminding. VS
    Be it no concern
    Point of no return
    Go forward in reverse
    This I will recall
    Every time I fall

    Bridge School 2010
    EV Solo Portland 2011
    Missoula, MT 2012
    Wrigley 2013
    Worcester 2, Brooklyn 1, Baltimore 2013
    St. Paul, Milwaukee, Denver 2014
  • vickisomoyavickisomoya Sarasota, FloridaPosts: 174
    ..."I dance in laughter with the ever-after..." !!!

    Thank you Ed and Thank you Pearl Jam for reminding me everyday.

    LOVE
    Be it no concern
    Point of no return
    Go forward in reverse
    This I will recall
    Every time I fall

    Bridge School 2010
    EV Solo Portland 2011
    Missoula, MT 2012
    Wrigley 2013
    Worcester 2, Brooklyn 1, Baltimore 2013
    St. Paul, Milwaukee, Denver 2014
  • Beautiful music, exciting letter in the voice of Eddie... Just PERFECT !!!!!!!!!!!
    :D
    2013 Buenos Aires - Argentina
    2011 São Paulo - Brasil
  • Last-12-ExitLast-12-Exit Charleston, SCPosts: 8,661
    I don't hear grace in the line ....overwhelmed by the ?grace? by which we live......

    has grace been confirmed anywhere?
    Jealousy is ugly.
    Elistist Fucking Asshole.

    Mine is mine and yours won't take its place.

    Noblesville 8-17-98
    Jacksonville 11-25-12 EV
    Charlotte 10-30-13
  • PJinILPJinIL satan's bedPosts: 333
    I don't hear grace in the line ....overwhelmed by the ?grace? by which we live......

    has grace been confirmed anywhere?

    I don't know that anyone could positively confirm it but Ed :) however put in context with the surrounding lines it sure seems to be a solid fit. The way the phrase as a whole gets broken up makes it odd to hear. He says "over" and then there's a big pause, like a new line or thought is starting.

    Over.......
    whelmed by the grace by which we live our lives with death over our shoulders.

    Don't know if that helps, and I'm not saying it's the absolute answer, but that is how I hear it.
    It's amazing what you hear when you take time to listen.
  • Last-12-ExitLast-12-Exit Charleston, SCPosts: 8,661
    PJinIL wrote:
    I don't hear grace in the line ....overwhelmed by the ?grace? by which we live......

    has grace been confirmed anywhere?

    I don't know that anyone could positively confirm it but Ed :) however put in context with the surrounding lines it sure seems to be a solid fit. The way the phrase as a whole gets broken up makes it odd to hear. He says "over" and then there's a big pause, like a new line or thought is starting.

    Over.......
    whelmed by the grace by which we live our lives with death over our shoulders.

    Don't know if that helps, and I'm not saying it's the absolute answer, but that is how I hear it.
    I think he says graves the first time, then grace the second. Graves makes sense to me as well.
    Jealousy is ugly.
    Elistist Fucking Asshole.

    Mine is mine and yours won't take its place.

    Noblesville 8-17-98
    Jacksonville 11-25-12 EV
    Charlotte 10-30-13
  • slightofjeffslightofjeff Posts: 7,642
    I thought graves on first listen but after a couple weeks, I'm convinced it's grace, through and through. Graves doesn't really make all that much sense there, to be honest.
    everybody wants the most they can possibly get
    for the least they could possibly do
  • esgamesgam Los AngelesPosts: 49
    This is what I imagine Eddie saying in an interview: "One night...couldn't sleep. Jill's sleeping next to me. I laid there, eyes open, for hours. There was a sound that kept piercing the night - sirens. After about the third or fourth time, I'm really contemplating the fragility of life. It's fascinating how things that you once took for granted or that didn't even register, say when you're in you're 20's, become so profound as you age. Especially if you're lucky enough to love and be loved. I mean the fragility of life REALLY hit me. I looked over at Jill and felt so content, complete, at peace...then suddenly I'm paralyzed with fear, imagining life without her. Knowing that one day for her or me, that would be the case. I almost woke her. I wanted to tell her how she's become my core. How thinking about her and our love makes me tear up--in a good way. But instead I just pulled her close and held on. Eventually falling asleep. Just hold on. Yeah. Hah. When I woke up, Jill was gone. Probably off with the girls. Another day closer to the end. I grabbed my notebook and a pencil. Sirens was born."

    Life = A sexually transmitted terminal disease. (Read that recently and thought, "Oh how true.")
  • evsgjamm wrote:
    To me, Sirens is very literal in the lyrics. Losing a loved one tragically while they are in your arms breathing their final breaths while an ambulance is heard coming closer and closer to take your loved one away. "Another man's arms" is referring to the big man upstairs. beautifully written, Ed.

    I didn't get that from the lyrics at all. For me it was more about the love between a two people and the ups and downs that relationships naturally have.
  • esgam wrote:
    This is what I imagine Eddie saying in an interview: "One night...couldn't sleep. Jill's sleeping next to me. I laid there, eyes open, for hours. There was a sound that kept piercing the night - sirens. After about the third or fourth time, I'm really contemplating the fragility of life. It's fascinating how things that you once took for granted or that didn't even register, say when you're in you're 20's, become so profound as you age. Especially if you're lucky enough to love and be loved. I mean the fragility of life REALLY hit me. I looked over at Jill and felt so content, complete, at peace...then suddenly I'm paralyzed with fear, imagining life without her. Knowing that one day for her or me, that would be the case. I almost woke her. I wanted to tell her how she's become my core. How thinking about her and our love makes me tear up--in a good way. But instead I just pulled her close and held on. Eventually falling asleep. Just hold on. Yeah. Hah. When I woke up, Jill was gone. Probably off with the girls. Another day closer to the end. I grabbed my notebook and a pencil. Sirens was born."

    Life = A sexually transmitted terminal disease. (Read that recently and thought, "Oh how true.")

    Yes! This is sorta what I was thinking but maybe not to the detail that you put into it LOL
  • dimitrispearljamdimitrispearljam NINUNINOPROPosts: 133,897
    What a great thread to read for a song that needs to be talked about. Thank you all so much.

    There is a saying in my teaching profession that goes "The place you come from will be felt."

    I think this explains the impact of this song. Everything (words, music, voice) comes together in such a way that resonates with something very deeply that we all as humans feel (well maybe animals feel it too but without the self-perception of it) and experience. ALL of us regardless of gender, race, religion, etc. have to come to grips with the fact that we will die. And because we still aren't fully sure about what happens after that, its scary.

    Eddie's line "The fear goes away" is about the power of love in the here and now, but also love in the eternal. Its so appropriate that the first time we hear this line in the song is the absolute moment that Mike picks up the electric!! That's the power of the whole song for me. We all feel and believe (or want to believe) that love never dies. Love is what we are and it will NEVER die... and when you feel this and know this, it's just amazingly mind-blowingly beautiful. And they were able to capture and convey this feeling in one song. Well that's PJ for you.

    I think this is huge because we need to BE REMINDED of this more... and treat each other knowing that all the bullshit differences we have are nothing. We are bigger than all of that. We need to start acting that way.
    This is why this band is so important to all of us, its fans, but to all humans. The world needs reminding. VS
    lovely!!
    "...Dimitri...He talks to me...'.."The Ghost of Greece..".
    "..That's One Happy Fuckin Ghost.."
    “..That came up on the Pillow Case...This is for the Greek, With Our Apologies.....”
  • I just want to say thank you. This song has been perfectly timed for me. I have had quite a week and I love Sirens. On Sunday night, I called an ambulance for a friend of mine, she's only 50. She had a prolific nosebleed, I can't quite explain what this means until I say Quentin Tarantino movie set.. She went to hospital. I had known that she wasn't well but not as unwell as things transpired. I found out on Monday that the nosebleed was a symptom of internal bleeding. Her liver and kidneys had failed and she was bleeding internally. My actions meant that she didn't bleed out at home and her 8 year old son wasn't scarred by waking up to a dead mother in a pile of blood. She knew that she was loved enough for someone to step in. But unfortunately around 02:00 GMT she had three heat attacks and went to a better place. I did all that i could, but it was too late. But at least. As my friends have so very kindly pointed out today, I made a difference to two people's lives that may not have been what I would have hoped for. But Sirens has helped me through it, in a kind of upside down way. So cheers boys. You've helped me through a very tricky day and i love you for it. xx
  • Is this a sequel to Force of Nature?
    tru_m4n: NUKES! HOLY **** I GOT NUKES
    Stalin: d00d gimmie some plz
    tru_m4n: no way i only got like a couple
    Stalin: omg dont be gay gimmie nuculer secrets
    T0J0: wtf is nukes?
    T0J0: holy sh1tholysh!thoylshti!!!111
    *T0J0 has been eliminated.*

    http://db.etree.org/PearlJamaholic
  • Pulling out of my driveway at 5:45 am, the moon was set directly in front of me. At that moment I thought wow my eyes have never taken in such a beautiful moment, it was so bright, and perfectly round. Everything around me just stopped for that moment, and through my speakers came, It's a fragile thing, this life we lead, if I think to much, I can't get over, when by the grace by which we live our lifes, with death over our shoulders, want you to know that should I go, I always loved you, held you high above too, I studied your face, fear goes away.

    Such beautiful lyrics, as you get older, you become aware of time.
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