“Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town” by Pearl Jam (1993)

The longest title in the Pearl Jam catalog for sure, and quite possibly the mellowest song in PJ’s angry/grunge band stage, “Elderly Woman” is a staple of jukebox singalongs and is one of the venerable band’s most beloved tunes.

“Hearts and thoughts, they fade away” is a line that has always resonated heavily with me. In the song, the titular “elderly woman” has noticed an old flame who doesn’t recognize her anymore. As someone who was 17 when Vs. came out, the idea of so much time passing by that someone that you were close to wouldn’t even recognize you seemed foreign, almost inconceivable. A lot of miles on the odometer later, and that idea doesn’t seem so farfetched.

Eddie Vedder-what a singer, huh? The way he gradually builds to a crescendo from beginning to (almost) song’s end is masterful.


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