The Mamasan Trilogy

navehlnavehl Posts: 3
I'd appreciate some help from all you PJ veterans in understanding the lyrics of some parts of the Mamasan Trilogy (Alive/Once/Footsteps). I mean, I know what the arching story is, but I can't actually figure it out of the lyrics.
This is as much open to your personal interpretation as it is a inquiry into the original meaning. I'd like to hear them both.
I'll just shoot my questions now:

Alive:
-I've read in a few places that there's a similarity between the first verse and Ed's connection with his father... anybody care to enlighten me?
-The second verse: does the protagonist have sex with his mother or does he watch her have sex with others (not his father)? What does Ed refer to in "the look"?
-The whole "I'm still alive" thing: I understood it that the boy's Identity is so broken and unwhole because of the experiences described in the verses. Is it so? No? Maybe? Sometimes?

Once:
-OK, so he becomes a serial killer...huh? He relives it without pain - relives his sexual encounter with his mother through other women? then kills them? symbolically trying to kill his mother? Any line-by-line interpretation of this song would be extremely welcome...
-"sixteen gauge" is the weapon he keeps concealed, or something in his personality?
-what's the "indian summer" got to do with it?
-"You think I got my eyes closed but I've been lookin' at you the whole fuckin' time" what's that supposed to mean?

Footsteps:
-So the dysfunctional kid turned serial killer is sitting in death row. He blames his mother and refuses to take responsibility for his own actions, yes?
-"pictures on my chest" - means tattoos or what? any connection to the tragic tattooed man of "Black"?
-"Scratches all over my arms" - did he attempt suicide? Or does he sort of record his life on his body ("one for each day..." also the tattoos)?

...Wow that was long and looks like a school quiz or something... hopefully somebody'll provide some answers...please...anybody...
"Where's Mike McCready?
My god, he's been ate!"
Post edited by Unknown User on

Comments

  • JPS79JPS79 Posts: 148
    How cool is it that they busted these 3 songs out in a row at least twice now on the current tour, the 2nd Chicago show 5/17 and the San Fran show?
    Seems the more you make
    equals the loneliness you get
  • huffaluffahuffaluffa Posts: 38
    JPS79 wrote:
    How cool is it that they busted these 3 songs out in a row at least twice now on the current tour, the 2nd Chicago show 5/17 and the San Fran show?

    East Rutherford I as well.
  • JPS79JPS79 Posts: 148
    Thanks huff, I knew their was another but didn't feel like lookin through them all for some reason my computer gets slow when trying to access the set lists.
    Seems the more you make
    equals the loneliness you get
  • mrwalkerbmrwalkerb Posts: 1,015
    k as I understand it at least with Alive. the father dies and the son looks just like him when he grows up. that's what the line about the look is refering to it's not so much a look she gives him but the look that he has about him. this is why she sleeps with him because he looks so much like his father.

    for this part:
    Is something wrong, she said
    Well of course there is
    You're still alive, she said

    she's is questioning why the father had to die, not that she would rather the son have been the one to die but why did he die and leave such a reminder in the form of the son.

    again this is just what I think and by no means absolute so if you want to punch holes in my theory please do so I know what's going on.
    "I'm not suicidal, except when I drink. That's why we don't all drink at the same time, there'd be no-one alive to drive home..."
    Chris Cornell

    http://www.myspace.com/mrwalkerb
  • South of SeattleSouth of Seattle West SeattlePosts: 10,703
    JPS79 wrote:
    How cool is it that they busted these 3 songs out in a row at least twice now on the current tour, the 2nd Chicago show 5/17 and the San Fran show?

    add L.A. 2 to the list also
    NERDS!
  • DissidentmanDissidentman Posts: 15,376
    Once: Yes, he becomes a serial killer and preys on prostitutes. I think 16 gauge is just a reference to the actual gun he kills them with. I believe he does spawn a hatred for women due to the relationship he had with his mother, especially women who make advances towards him, like a prostitute would.

    I think this all takes place in the early fall, and it is still too hot for his liking. (Indian summer and I hate the heat)

    -"You think I got my eyes closed but I've been lookin' at you the whole fuckin' time"

    I think this is a flashback to what happens to him in "Alive". His mother is abusing him, and thinks he has his eyes squeezed shut to block it out, but he is really staring right at her as his hatred builds.

    Footsteps: I think you have it right on...
    My take about the "pictures on my chest" is family photos he keeps on a dresser in his childhood room...he's telling us who his abuser was, she is in that picture on his chest...
    "Scratches on his arms" - to me says he is a "cutter"; it psychologically eases pain for some people...

    But like Eddie says, it means whatever you think it means.
  • Love PJ.
    LOOOOOVE PJ....

    but some disturbing shit here. The dark side if you will....

    Alive. On VH1 he said the song changed meaning. Thank God.

    Remember an article in Rollingstone back when vs. came out. Ed talks about the meaning of the song. I remember reading it and going "WTF?????!!!!"

    "I can't remember anything to this very day
    'Cept the look, the look...
    Oh, you know where, now I can't see, I just stare..."

    Dude... he's staring at his mom's.... uhhh.... most feminine part.... and if I remember right from the interview, they did IT because he looked like the dad.

    YUCK MAN.

    Ed's a great lyricist, but when I'm listening to Ten and need a song about perserverence to fire me up... I'm going to skip ahead to Release.
    "What chance does Gotham have when the good people do nothing?"
  • from Rollingstone Oct 28 1993 http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/10560431/five_against_the_world

    "Everybody writes about it like it's a life-affirmation, thing -- I'm really glad about that," he says with a rueful laugh. "It's a great interpretation. But 'Alive' is... it's torture. Which is why it's fucked up for me. Why I should probably learn how to sing another way. It would be easier. It's... it's too much."

    Vedder continues: "The story of the song is that a mother is with a father and the father dies. It's an intense thing because the son looks just like the father. The son grows up to be the father, the person that she lost. His father's dead, and now this confusion, his mother, his love, how does he love her, how does she love him? In fact, the mother, even though she marries somebody else, there's no one she's ever loved more than the father. You know how it is, first loves and stuff. And the guy dies. How could you ever get him back? But the son. He looks exactly like him. It's uncanny. So she wants him. The son is oblivious to it all. He doesn't know what the fuck is going on. He's still dealing, he's still growing up. He's still dealing with love, he's still dealing with the death of his father. All he knows is 'I'm still alive' -- those three words, that's totally out of burden."

    Elvis' "Suspicious Minds" blasts on the jukebox as Vedder continues. "Now the second verse is 'Oh she walks slowly into a young man's room... I can remember to this very day... the look... the look.' And I don't say anything else. And because I'm saying, 'The look, the look' everyone thinks it goes with 'on her face.' It's not on her face. The look is between her legs. Where do you go with that? That's where you came from."

    "But I'm still alive. I'm the lover that's still alive. And the whole conversation about 'You're still alive, she said' And his doubts: 'Do I deserve to be? Is that the question?' Because he's fucked up forever! So now he doesn't know how to deal with it. So what does he do, he goes out killing people -- that was [the song] 'Once.' He becomes a serial killer. And 'Footsteps,' the final song of the trilogy [it was released as a U.K. B side to 'Jeremy'], that's when he gets executed. That's what happens. The Green River killer... and in San Diego, there was another prostitute killer down there. Somehow I related to that. I think that happens more than we know. It's a modern way of dealing with a bad life."

    Then he smiles as he says, "I'm just glad I became a songwriter."


    US TOO BROTHER!!!!!!!!! Sorry to pick on the one song that's a bit creepy. Good storytelling.
    "What chance does Gotham have when the good people do nothing?"
  • TenJamTenJam Posts: 97
    Love PJ.
    LOOOOOVE PJ....

    but some disturbing shit here. The dark side if you will....

    Alive. On VH1 he said the song changed meaning. Thank God.

    Remember an article in Rollingstone back when vs. came out. Ed talks about the meaning of the song. I remember reading it and going "WTF?????!!!!"

    "I can't remember anything to this very day
    'Cept the look, the look...
    Oh, you know where, now I can't see, I just stare..."

    Dude... he's staring at his mom's.... uhhh.... most feminine part.... and if I remember right from the interview, they did IT because he looked like the dad.

    YUCK MAN.

    Ed's a great lyricist, but when I'm listening to Ten and need a song about perserverence to fire me up... I'm going to skip ahead to Release.

    This is something that I really have to responce... I feel that many people think like this, but I disagree...
    I hope people could talk about this more in a serious way. I don't wanna fight or anything like that.
    Just wanna offer a different opinion...
    I remember reading it and going "WTF?????!!!!"
    Dude... he's staring at his mom's.... uhhh.... most feminine part.... and if I remember right from the interview, they did IT because he looked like the dad.

    YUCK MAN.
    Why do people react other peoples problems (especially so intime ones) like that? Does it help anybody?
    Does it help people who are afraid and/or scared to death to tell anyone about abuse they are experiencing or have experienced?

    And if people really think that "they did it"...? 'Cos it is always the adult one who abuses the child.
    I have sometimes seen comments where people say, "I wish I had been the son..."
    How ridiculous is that?

    Mamasan trilogy has (among many many PJ lyrics & music) helped me through my hardest years.
    Finally I have to say that I'm a female and I have been abused by my mother. Maybe that explains why I had to responce to this.

    Actually I have to thank you LeftThePorch315, that you made me do this post :)
  • JeanieJeanie Posts: 9,446
    TenJam wrote:
    This is something that I really have to responce... I feel that many people think like this, but I disagree...
    I hope people could talk about this more in a serious way. I don't wanna fight or anything like that.
    Just wanna offer a different opinion...



    Why do people react other peoples problems (especially so intime ones) like that? Does it help anybody?
    Does it help people who are afraid and/or scared to death to tell anyone about abuse they are experiencing or have experienced?

    And if people really think that "they did it"...? 'Cos it is always the adult one who abuses the child.
    I have sometimes seen comments where people say, "I wish I had been the son..."
    How ridiculous is that?

    Mamasan trilogy has (among many many PJ lyrics & music) helped me through my hardest years.
    Finally I have to say that I'm a female and I have been abused by my mother. Maybe that explains why I had to responce to this.

    Actually I have to thank you LeftThePorch315, that you made me do this post :)

    Wow that's a big secret you've spoken out loud there girl. Very brave of you for doing so. :) I think it's fantastic that you have cleverly turned to PJ's music for help and that you are writing and speaking your truth. I really wish you well with it all. These kinds of childhood experiences will be with you for all of your life but I think that you are doing all the right things to help yourself live well and that is the best thing to do if you can. :)
    NOPE!!!

    *~You're IT Bert!~*

    Hold on to the thread
    The currents will shift
  • TenJamTenJam Posts: 97
    Jeanie wrote:
    Wow that's a big secret you've spoken out loud there girl. Very brave of you for doing so. :) I think it's fantastic that you have cleverly turned to PJ's music for help and that you are writing and speaking your truth. I really wish you well with it all. These kinds of childhood experiences will be with you for all of your life but I think that you are doing all the right things to help yourself live well and that is the best thing to do if you can. :)

    In the pm I sent to you, I couldn't get any words out and seems that I'm out of words still... Thank you again :)
  • JeanieJeanie Posts: 9,446
    TenJam wrote:
    In the pm I sent to you, I couldn't get any words out and seems that I'm out of words still... Thank you again :)

    My pleasure. Anytime. Really. Anytime. :)
    NOPE!!!

    *~You're IT Bert!~*

    Hold on to the thread
    The currents will shift
  • pmack215pmack215 Posts: 49
    are there other trilogies or songs that go together besides mamasan?
    *Just 4 today, I am FREE*

    Skype: pmacklin
  • Stone IronsStone Irons Posts: 430
    I believe Ed said that "Man of the Hour" and "Come Back" are connected.
    Can't escape from the common rule...
    If you hate something, don't you do it too
  • PiCTuReKePTPiCTuReKePT Posts: 311
    they don't frequently play those 3 songsone after the other in the same show , right?
  • markymark550markymark550 Columbia, SCPosts: 4,321
    they don't frequently play those 3 songsone after the other in the same show , right?
    I believe there are only a handful of shows (maybe less) where they played the Mamasan trilogy in order. Off the top of my head, I know of only two shows even though there could be more.
  • I believe Ed said that "Man of the Hour" and "Come Back" are connected.


    if thats true, would Man of the Hour be from like the guy's point of view or like a narrator's and Come Back from the point of view of the loved one, or the one who loved the dude from Man of the Hour?
    www.myspace.com/saveyou23
  • Gary CarterGary Carter Shea Stadium Posts: 13,850
    I believe Ed said that "Man of the Hour" and "Come Back" are connected.
    listen to jersey one 06, ed tells the whole story. it was very cool to be there
    Ron: I just don't feel like going out tonight
    Sammi: Wanna just break up?


  • But like Eddie says, it means whatever you think it means.

    NOW THAT IS A STATEMENT. I like to interpret songs and make them mine, that is why some of them really mean a lot to all of us. When I listened to come back for the first time I thought: "Shit, I could have written this song!" because that is how I had been feeling about somebody for some time, it was really kind of scary!..The whole "planning out all that I d say to you", "The real possibility that I may meet you in my dreams, I go to sleep"...wow! And that is also what helps during a gig, you feel the song as if it belonged to you so you can "scream your lungs out"!
    Still, it's interesting to understand what he/they were thinking when writing a song!
    "Come on people now, smile on your brother and everybody get together, try to love one another right now!!!!"
    "You my friend, I will defend and if we change, well I love you anyway"
    "I know I was born and I know that I'll die, the in between is mine, I AM MINE"
  • ed is some crazy shit
    Oh he fills it up with the love of a girl...
  • I was looking this up to explain to a friend, this thread popped up, but I remember learning about it from a post way back which is this....

    http://www.fivehorizons.com/songs/dec99/index.shtml
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