Black is not just a color, it’s a song, too. Pearl Jam’s Black is a song of a despairing man remembering the love he lost. The title captures the tone of the song accurately. It is the kind of song you listen to when you want to wallow in romantic anguish: you can feel your heart being squeezed until all the blood’s been drained. You know the lines are being ripped out of Vedder especially near the end when he cries out “But why, Why, Why can’t it be, Why can’t it be mine”. The song is one of the emotional cornerstones of Pearl Jam’s wildly successful debut album Ten. Pearl Jam never released the song into a single, believing it to be too personal, but it continues to enjoy steady replay and is one of the band’s more popular songs. Well it remains one of my favorite Pearl Jam songs, and coming from someone who worshipped Pearl Jam as a kid, that is saying a lot. Enjoy Black’s lyrics below.


Sheets of empty canvas
Untouched sheets of clay
Were laid spread out before me
As her body once did
All five horizons
Revolved around her soul
As the earth to the sun
Now the air I tasted and breathed
Has taken a turn
Ooh and all I taught her was everything
Ooh I know she gave me all that she wore
And now my bitter hands
Chafe beneath the clouds
Of what was everything
Oh the pictures have
All been washed in black
Tattooed everything
I take a walk outside
I’m surrounded by
Some kids at play
I can feel their laughter
So why do I sear
Oh, and twisted thoughts that spin
Round my head
I’m spinning
Oh, I’m spinning
How quick the sun can, drop away…
And now my bitter hands
Cradle broken glass
Of what was everything
All the pictures had
All been washed in black
Tattooed everything
All the love gone bad
Turned my world to black
Tattooed all I see
All that I am
All I’ll be…
Uh huh…uh huh…ooh…
I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life
I know you’ll be a sun
In somebody else’s sky
But why
Why can’t it be
Why can’t it be mine
(not sure?)
mm-hmm no yeah no
mm mmmm no nonono yeah yeah
we belong
we belong together
oooh ooh
we belong
we belong together
oh yeah


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: