Sleight of hand

prodacakeprodacake Posts: 319
Can really relate to this at the moment

Routine was the theme. He'd wake up wash and pour himself into uniform.
Something he hadn't imagined being.
As the merging traffic passed he found himself staring down at his own hands.
Not remembering the change. Not recalling the plan. Was it?

He was okay but wondering about wandering.
Was his age by consequence or was he moved by sleight of hand?

Mondays were made to fall. Lost on a road he knew by heart.
It was like a book he read in his sleep. Endlessly.
Sometimes he hid in the radio watching other pull into their homes.
While he was drifting.

On a line of his own. Off the line of the side. Bye the by.
As dirt turned to sand. As if moved by sleight of hand.

When he reached the shore of his clip on world he resurfaced to the norm.
Organized his few things. His coat and keys.
And he knew realizations would have to wait.
Till he had more time. More time.

A time to dream to himself. He waves goodbye to his self.
I'll see you on the other side.
Another man moved by slight of hand.
Post edited by Unknown User on

Comments

  • DOSWDOSW Posts: 2,014
    Wow... honestly I've never sat down and read the lyrics carefully to that song. I always thought the man actually changed at the end of the song and decided to go away and make the best of his life, but now that I look at it, it seems like he decided that it's just not possible.

    Wow.

    That's amazing... all of a sudden the song for me turned from a success story into a somber failed attempt at living. Depressing, but beautiful. I think so many people go through this... they want so much, but they just think it's impossible because they don't have enough time, money, etc. So they just give up - "wave goodbye to themselves" - and stick to their soul-sucking routine until they die.

    This has suddenly become one of PJ's best songs lyrically for me. Wow.
    It's a town full of losers and I'm pulling out of here to win
  • Dylan StoneDylan Stone Posts: 1,139
    Lost on a road he knew by heart
    It was like a book he read in his sleep. Endlessly....



    This is such an incredible song.
  • SBC03SBC03 Posts: 502
    one of my faves

    cant wait to hear it live!!!!!
    See this needle...a see my hand...
    Drop drop dropping it down...oh so gently...
    Well here it comes...I touch the plane...
    Turn me up...won't turn you away...
  • dcfaithfuldcfaithful Posts: 13,076
    this is easily one of my favorites.
    It's a Jeff Ament song too :). God, Jeff is the shit!

    I hope they play this one at Tampa :)
    7/2/06 - Denver, CO
    6/12/08 - Tampa, FL
    8/23/09 - Chicago, IL
    9/28/09 - Salt Lake City, UT (11 years too long!!!)
    9/03/11 - East Troy, WI - PJ20 - Night 1
    9/04/11 - East Troy, WI - PJ20 - Night 2
  • Saw it in Hartford last year :)
  • Not to make this thread any more morose, but I always thought he died at the end
    I love my female wife...
    we sit around and wonder exactly why our marriage should feel threatened by gay marriage
  • slightofjeffslightofjeff Posts: 7,652
    DOSW wrote:
    Wow... honestly I've never sat down and read the lyrics carefully to that song. I always thought the man actually changed at the end of the song and decided to go away and make the best of his life, but now that I look at it, it seems like he decided that it's just not possible.

    Wow.

    That's amazing... all of a sudden the song for me turned from a success story into a somber failed attempt at living. Depressing, but beautiful. I think so many people go through this... they want so much, but they just think it's impossible because they don't have enough time, money, etc. So they just give up - "wave goodbye to themselves" - and stick to their soul-sucking routine until they die.

    This has suddenly become one of PJ's best songs lyrically for me. Wow.

    You just had The Epiphany.

    Yes, this song is a sad song. It's a song about a guy who realizes his life isn't what he thought it would be ... and gets close to making a change ... but in the end says, "Fuck it." It's just too hard. He's comfortable in his rut, even if he hates it.

    This is a song I relate to every day of my life. Quietly, it has become my favorite Pearl Jam song.
    everybody wants the most they can possibly get
    for the least they could possibly do
  • slightofjeffslightofjeff Posts: 7,652
    Not to make this thread any more morose, but I always thought he died at the end

    Nah. He just goes back to his old, crappy life ... any new realizations would have to wait.
    everybody wants the most they can possibly get
    for the least they could possibly do
  • DOSWDOSW Posts: 2,014
    You just had The Epiphany.

    Yes, this song is a sad song. It's a song about a guy who realizes his life isn't what he thought it would be ... and gets close to making a change ... but in the end says, "Fuck it." It's just too hard. He's comfortable in his rut, even if he hates it.

    This is a song I relate to every day of my life. Quietly, it has become my favorite Pearl Jam song.

    I agree... just today since I first read this thread, the song has skyrocketed in my favorites list. The lyrics are just amazing... but so sad. I think the reality of it for so many people is what makes it pack such a punch... it's such a real-life problem. It's not about being angry at record labels or finding out your biological father isn't the man who you grew up with. It's a problem that the average joe goes through, sometimes without even knowing it. And this song exposes it for the tragedy that it really is: putting off really living for the comforting monotony of the daily routine.

    Reminds me of the lyric from Guaranteed: "Circles they grow and they swallow people whole..."

    I assume Ed wrote the lyrics and Jeff wrote the music... bravo Ed. Bravo.
    It's a town full of losers and I'm pulling out of here to win
  • slightofjeffslightofjeff Posts: 7,652
    DOSW wrote:
    I agree... just today since I first read this thread, the song has skyrocketed in my favorites list. The lyrics are just amazing... but so sad. I think the reality of it for so many people is what makes it pack such a punch... it's such a real-life problem. It's not about being angry at record labels or finding out your biological father isn't the man who you grew up with. It's a problem that the average joe goes through, sometimes without even knowing it. And this song exposes it for the tragedy that it really is: putting off really living for the comforting monotony of the daily routine.

    Reminds me of the lyric from Guaranteed: "Circles they grow and they swallow people whole..."

    I assume Ed wrote the lyrics and Jeff wrote the music... bravo Ed. Bravo.

    What I like the most about this song is that, compared to other Ed songs, the problem that the protagonist is facing isn't overly dramatic. Some would say it isn't even a problem at all.

    He's not contemplating suicide. He hasn't been physically or sexually abused. He's not just now finding out about his real father.

    It's about a guy who is basically OK ("but wondering about wandering) ... He just has this nagging voice inside him telling him that his life is a little off. And when that realization hits him, when he realizes he hasn't really been in control of his own life to this point (moved by sleight of hand) ... he just can't find it within himself to take the steps to make a change.

    It's a tragedy ... but it's a subtle tragedy. To me, it shows great growth in Ed's writing from his early work. It's easy to find the conflict and drama in the Jeremy story. It's much more difficult to find that in the story of a man who is basically OK ... just discontent.

    PS -- Noticed you mentioned "Guaranteed." To me, that would be a song the protagonist in "Sleigh of Hand" might write on the flip side ... after he actually DOES decide to do something about the monotony of his daily life.
    everybody wants the most they can possibly get
    for the least they could possibly do
  • PatrickBatemanPatrickBateman Posts: 2,243
    Saw it in Hartford last year :)
    I was happy to hear it there as well
    If a man speaks in a forest and there is no woman around to hear him, is he still wrong?
  • prodacakeprodacake Posts: 319
    What I like the most about this song is that, compared to other Ed songs, the problem that the protagonist is facing isn't overly dramatic. Some would say it isn't even a problem at all.

    He's not contemplating suicide. He hasn't been physically or sexually abused. He's not just now finding out about his real father.

    It's about a guy who is basically OK ("but wondering about wandering) ... He just has this nagging voice inside him telling him that his life is a little off. And when that realization hits him, when he realizes he hasn't really been in control of his own life to this point (moved by sleight of hand) ... he just can't find it within himself to take the steps to make a change.

    It's a tragedy ... but it's a subtle tragedy. To me, it shows great growth in Ed's writing from his early work. It's easy to find the conflict and drama in the Jeremy story. It's much more difficult to find that in the story of a man who is basically OK ... just discontent.

    PS -- Noticed you mentioned "Guaranteed." To me, that would be a song the protagonist in "Sleigh of Hand" might write on the flip side ... after he actually DOES decide to do something about the monotony of his daily life.


    Agree 100% thats why i said i can relate to it so much as i am getting older. Life aint quite what you thought it would be when you were younger and to me sleight of hand sums up how routine life can sometimes get
  • MichaelMcKevinMichaelMcKevin Posts: 1,161
    This song has grown on me a lot as I'm getting ready to be finished college and out in the real world soon. It means a lot.
    Camden I '06, Camden II '06, Bonnaroo '08, Camden I '08, Camden II '08, Philly Spectrum II/III/IV '09, MSG I '10, MSG II '10, Made In America '12, Wrigley '13, Brooklyn II '13, Philly I '13, Philly II '13, ...
  • dcfaithfuldcfaithful Posts: 13,076
    I love this song, and it keeps me inspired to keep working towards finishing school and getting the hell out of my shit-hole office job.
    7/2/06 - Denver, CO
    6/12/08 - Tampa, FL
    8/23/09 - Chicago, IL
    9/28/09 - Salt Lake City, UT (11 years too long!!!)
    9/03/11 - East Troy, WI - PJ20 - Night 1
    9/04/11 - East Troy, WI - PJ20 - Night 2
  • DiRtyFranK38DiRtyFranK38 Posts: 3,131
    in my top 3 favorite pj songs ever with in hiding and present tense.

    the music is absolutely BRILLIANT. i get chills every listen. the way it is recorded is so psychedelic and atmospheric. stunning. sounds like down on the upside era soundgarden. anyways, thats my favorite thing about binaural. the psychedelic and atmospheric sense to the music. it adds so much feel. for me, songs like this just take me to another world. i'd much rather take this over a straight ahead rocker. it shows such musicianship and creativity. lyrics are amazing as well, and when ed sings "i'll see you on the other siiiidee" i nearly piss myself. beautiful song.

    was super lucky to hear it hartford 06 .. ;)
    2006: Hartford
    2008: MSG 1, Hartford, Mansfield 2, Ed Solo NYC 1
    2009: London (O2), Philly 1, 2, 3, & 4
    2010: Hartford, Boston, MSG 1 & 2
    2011: Ed Solo Hartford
    2012: Philly (MIA Fest)
    2013: Worcester 2, Brooklyn 1 & 2, Hartford
  • SlavkoSlavko Posts: 19
    but he WILL change in the end, right?
    he just needs more time, it's not like he's given up on himself
    it reminds me of ''I'm open" when he decides to dream up a new self and then
    he's going to become that new...himself
    i believe that it is still a positive song or maybe i just want it to be...
    uh! I feel like that guy to often...

    thanks for this thread
    and thanks for the song...
  • slightofjeffslightofjeff Posts: 7,652
    Slavko wrote:
    but he WILL change in the end, right?
    he just needs more time, it's not like he's given up on himself
    it reminds me of ''I'm open" when he decides to dream up a new self and then
    he's going to become that new...himself
    i believe that it is still a positive song or maybe i just want it to be...
    uh! I feel like that guy to often...

    thanks for this thread
    and thanks for the song...

    The song is open-ended, in that regard. I've always read it as the "needing more time" angle being just another excuse for procrastinating. In my own interpretation of the song, the guy never quite gets it. He's just another man moved by sleight of hand.
    everybody wants the most they can possibly get
    for the least they could possibly do
  • SlavkoSlavko Posts: 19
    The song is open-ended, in that regard. I've always read it as the "needing more time" angle being just another excuse for procrastinating. In my own interpretation of the song, the guy never quite gets it. He's just another man moved by sleight of hand.

    yeah i guess you're right, it makes more sense unfortunately
    damn it...



    "but why let the sad song play?'' he says
    then stop making such beautiful sad songs!
  • Big ManBig Man Posts: 97
    when first reading the lyrics (which i do with every new album) I copied them into my diary and wrote under them: Oh mann, Eddy. This is german, but I think you can figure it out ;-)

    One of my favourite songs. Anyone can recommend a great version? I listen to the katovice 2000 alot but any tip would be appreciated..
  • BrezBrez Posts: 570
    Big Man wrote:
    when first reading the lyrics (which i do with every new album) I copied them into my diary and wrote under them: Oh mann, Eddy. This is german, but I think you can figure it out ;-)

    One of my favourite songs. Anyone can recommend a great version? I listen to the katovice 2000 alot but any tip would be appreciated..

    I really like the acoustic version from Mansfield '03.
    And before his first step... He's off again...
  • dimitrispearljamdimitrispearljam NINUNINOPROPosts: 135,642
    he was okay, but wondering about wandering...
    perfect song...one of the few i didnt lishen live,,waiting for the 2009 tour for this to happen,,,
    "...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.....”
  • iOnlyownMymindiOnlyownMymind Posts: 1,555
    This song really should have been played this year (like most Binaural songs).  One of the greats in the cannon, lyrically, musically. 
  • JammalamboJammalambo Posts: 1,075
    This song really should have been played this year (like most Binaural songs).  One of the greats in the cannon, lyrically, musically. 
    Dare I say, maybe the greatest composition PJ ever written.
    (waiting for 97% of this forum to disagree)
  • 23scidoo23scidoo Thessaloniki,GreecePosts: 11,768
    Pure gem..
    Athens 2006. Dusseldorf 2007. Berlin 2009. Venice 2010. Amsterdam 1 2012. Amsterdam 1+2 2014. Buenos Aires 2015.
    Prague Krakow Berlin 2018.
    EV, Taormina 1+2 2017.
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