“Just Breathe”

I dig this song.  Acoustic ballads are typically an easy relate anyway.  There’s very little clutter and by virtue of being a ballad, there is a message inside the bottle.  When looking into why Eddie Vedder wrote this song, he’s proven to be a bit vague.  I suspect that’s for good reason.  When writing songs and interpreting them, they can take time.  There may not be a singular reason for an inspiration.  A song may be the result of an incident, a feeling, or a series of events or happening that creates a void.  A song writer tends to fill the void perceived, and the music is the result.  This understanding is helpful when you dissect good music.  As an aside, there is precious little ‘good’ music out there being churned out.  A good portion is garbage, so be careful.  I’d submit most all pop music is forgettable junk, but that’s a post for another day.

I love music.  Absolutely love it!

I often try to apply a biblical premise to something even if and when one may not have been intended.  Why do that you ask?  It isn’t an attempt to make something alike in Christ which isn’t or shouldn’t be.  Instead, I try an apply it or embrace it in a Christian fashion.  Contained within the intro to the “Principia” Newton stated, “I feign no hypotheses.”  In essence he was saying, “I recognize I don’t know what I don’t know.  Instead, I’m offering an explanation as I understand it.”  I’m simply offering retrospect of a song as I understand it here for you to consider.  I make no claim whether I’m nuttier than a fruit cake and my subsequent conclusions and opinion.

I hope that makes sense.  But when it comes to art, music, and expression, not all of the media is intended for a narrow purpose.  Much is of course, and I’ll make no bones about that, but a good portion is left to you to decipher.  In cases like this, a song has a meaning for me and holds memory triggers for me.  Thus some music, as is the case with this rendition, resonates with a deep chord that is both familiar and heartfelt.  Let’s apply this notion to a song like this and examine how it fits us.

The lyrics present and instrumental sound push me into specific reflections of thought.  You listen, and read the lyrics.  Or maybe even read the lyrics first then listen with your eyes closed.  I’ll share below the lyrics…

Yes I understand

That every life must end
As we sit alone
I know someday we must go

Yeah 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
Let’s just breathe

Practised on our sins
Never gonna let me win
Under everything
Just another human being

I don’t want to hurt
There’s so much in this world
To make me believe

Stay with me
All I see

Did I say that I need you?
Did I say that I want you?
What if I did and I’m a fool you see
No one knows this more than me
‘Cause I come clean

I wonder everyday
As I look upon your face
Everything you gave
And nothing you would take
Nothing you would take
Everything you gave

Did I say that I need you?
Did I say that I want you?
What if I did and I’m a fool you see
No one knows this more than me
I come clean

Nothing you would take
Everything you gave
Hold me ’till I die
Meet you on the other side

Is this a song about a loved one?  Is this ballad about a person long since gone?  Are there references to the Afterlife, repentance, sin, sacrifice, and more?  Sure…  What about Jesus Christ?

I have to wonder if there aren’t some, if not plenty, of all that.  I think through these songs as if Eddie was speaking directly to me.  That’s the method in which they’re all to be consumed.  You need to keep that truth with you as it isn’t as self evident to many of us as it should be.  A song like this is a link between you and the person providing it.  What is done with the knowledge and understanding you glean is up to you.  For me?

I believe.  I know I’ll perish, as will everyone I’ve ever known.  Fortune has favored me thus far with a wife, children, family, and friends that are much loved.  I sin.  We’re flawed.  Pain hurts.  I have spoken words that were perfectly timed and sorely needed.  I have stood mute when the same obligations were present.  I can be witnessed as horribly short of Christian.  Feeling love makes me smile.  Examining sacrifice makes me weep.  I experience moments of rare lucidity and total honesty, other occasions far less.  Jesus died for sins.  I believe.

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

“Just Breathe” is basic for me.  Elementary if you will.  Primitive and necessary to the point of awe.  So I think about basic and elementary scripture in turn.  Something to ponder.

Be salt and light my friends.  😉



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