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What's Pearl Jam's song "Daughter" about?
September 27, 2005 11:37 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone know what Pearl Jam's "Daughter" song is about? I love their "Jeremy" song, and this one, too... but I can't parse the lyrics on "Daughter" for the life of me.
posted by silusGROK to Society & Culture (19 answers total)
 
If I remember right, it is about a little girl that is physically abused by her parent(s). "Violins" is also "violence."
posted by internal at 11:43 AM on September 27, 2005


I always thought it was about a girl with a learning disability.
posted by iconomy at 11:44 AM on September 27, 2005


"Don't call me daughter, not fair to me, the pictures left will remind me."

I think it was about a girl who got molested by her father? Could be way off and making that up, but it what I always think when I hear it.
posted by gus at 11:45 AM on September 27, 2005


I always thought it the unspoken subtext was incest -- the daughter's sexual assault at her father's hands.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 11:45 AM on September 27, 2005


A comment by Eddie Vedder here. Learning disability - check. Parental abuse - check.
posted by iconomy at 11:47 AM on September 27, 2005


I remember they always ended the song live with quotations from other songs, including "Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)" which fits with the iconomy theory.
posted by johngoren at 11:49 AM on September 27, 2005


Thanks!
posted by silusGROK at 11:49 AM on September 27, 2005


(Now what the hell is "Dissident" about?)
posted by johngoren at 11:53 AM on September 27, 2005


(Now what the hell is "Dissident" about?)

I always thought that one was pretty straightforward. A person (woman?) is harboring a political fugitive, and the song is about her guilt at giving him up to the authorities.

Every song on that album is about some sort of conflict, hence the title (Vs.).
posted by mkultra at 12:28 PM on September 27, 2005


(Now what the hell is "Dissident" about?)

I always took it at face value-- woman takes in fugitive political prisoner, shelters him, sells him out in the end. Rocking continues throughout.
posted by COBRA! at 12:28 PM on September 27, 2005


Whoa.
posted by COBRA! at 12:29 PM on September 27, 2005


Well put. But I always wondered if it's supposed to be a dystopian kind of thing, or in reference to some particular conflict he read about.
posted by johngoren at 12:34 PM on September 27, 2005


Songmeanings.net, your source for all song lyric interpretations, discussions, and debate.
posted by agropyron at 1:12 PM on September 27, 2005


< disclosure, big pj fan>

i was always thought it was a mis-puncuation.
"dont call me, daughter" as in dont talk to me
"not fit to" i am a horrible dad
"the pictures left will remind me" kinda self explanatory
posted by ShawnString at 1:30 PM on September 27, 2005


You go, ShawnString! I always thought that was a valid interpretation of the song.

The singer then becomes the father, ashamed of his behavior and unable to face the daughter that he wronged.

"Don't call me daughter."
or
"Don't call me, daughter."
posted by griffey at 2:22 PM on September 27, 2005


I always drew a parallel between Daughter and their track off of the Sweet Relief CD, "Crazy Mary". Both appeared to be about abused, learning disabled little girls.
posted by thanotopsis at 3:21 PM on September 27, 2005


Arrrr, don't call me daughterrrr!

/Late to the pirate party.
posted by emelenjr at 5:41 PM on September 27, 2005


This thread is a useful reminder that grunge (Nirvana, Pearl Jam) started out as much more compassionate and pro-outcast than the later stuff, which mistook the form for inward griping (Bush, Nickleback)
posted by johngoren at 8:21 PM on September 27, 2005


johngoren:

Nice observation. What happened to saying something, rather than just being angsty all the goddamned time?
posted by Mikey-San at 3:14 AM on September 28, 2005


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