Given To Fly Lyrics - Pearl Jam

Review The Song (40)

He could’ve tuned in, tuned in
But he tuned out
A bad time, nothing could save him
Alone in a corridor, waiting, locked out
He got up outta there, ran for hundreds of miles
He made it to the ocean, had a smoke in a tree
The wind rose up, set him down on his knee

A wave came crashing like a fist to the jaw
Delivered him wings, "Hey, look at him now"
Arms wide open with the sea as his floor
Oh, power, oh

He's.. flying
High.. wide, oh

He floated back down 'cause he wanted to share
His key to the locks on the chains he saw everywhere
But first he was stripped and then he was stabbed
By faceless men, well, fuckers
He still stands

And he still gives his love, he just gives it away
The love he receives is the love that is saved
And sometimes is seen a strange spot in the sky
A human being that was given to fly

High.. flying
Oh, oh
High.. flying
Oh, oh
Oh, oh

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Good for goodness sake | Reviewer: Bas | 7/3/11

Why does being and doing good have to be based on something (Jezus or whatever) other than simply understanding that you get what you give.. wait no; that sounds too much like some Karma-crap, which is bullshit as well. No, what I mean is that if you want a better world, then YOU have to make it happen! And you will get used and abused on the way, but no one said it would be easy and no one promised or owes you anything. If you really want that better world, then you will have to build it (from scratch or from pre-existing philosophies)... The angel-imigarey is just a poetic thing, and I, as an atheist can appreciate it on that basis.

The song is NOT about Jesus, However... | Reviewer: Simon | 6/19/11

Matt, UK: you ignorant prick, Christians have nothing to do with the war in Iraq, the religion behind suicide bombers etc, is Muslim and that is only the extremists. Christians believe in peace, Jesus (christ) was probably the biggest hippy of his time which is why he was killed by hateful people who were not ready to change. Although this song is NOT about Jesus, every idea that a man has is derived from another source in some way. I think that although the song is more to do with the essence of freedom, it is certainly derived from the story of Jesus whether or not the artist intended it. After all, what earlier source is there of a man who gave up his life in the name of humanity and 'given to fly' as he rose up. I mean, even this illusively biblical language 'Given to fly' evokes something of a feeling of righteous passion, it's almost as though he wanted to capture the passion of those who believe in jesus christ and purge it of all /nonsensical mumbo jumbo/. It's no WONDER people think that he's talking about Jesus. In other words ultimately he did NOT INTEND for it to be ABOUT Jesus, but I'm sure the story effected him.

NOT A NICE MESSAGE | Reviewer: Anonymous | 3/31/11

I think this song has no hope message on it, it looks like, but it's not. The message I found on it its about a young man commiting suicide, and then as a punishment he has to be going through the world as an flying human being (an angel), submitted to the wishes of others, instead of resting form life as he wanted to.

I love you yanks | Reviewer: Matt, UK | 3/16/11

Jesus, you're brilliant aren't you? making things up as you go along. before you know it you'll be invading Iraq or somewhere......

Whoops! And thank's for bringing us along.

Anyway, here is....

EDDIE VEDDER'S Take on it:

[I imagined the song as] a 20-page cardboard (children's) book with a line on each page and a picture to go with it. It's a fable, that's all. The music almost gives you this feeling of flight, and I really love singing the part at the end, which is all about rising above anybody's comments about what you do and still giving your love away. You know? Not becoming bitter and reclusive, not condemning the whole world because of the actions of a few]

So it's about not being suppressed.




Given to Surf | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/2/10

For me, (and I never usually participate on these types of fotums but.....) I feel that this song is just so poignant and stirring in all aspects. And, I believe the message is as simple as this. A troubled young man finds an outlet for his misgivings and frustrations in the sea and surfing. He discovers that no matter what troubles him in his every day existance he has found an outlet that gives him strength and allows him to be powerful, to love and be loved no matter what other negatives prevail. It is not just a physical act but also a transcendental state of mind. Thereon, when he is confronted by the harshness of every day life, he knows he has an escape that deflects hate and enpowers him to be happy and love. He has been freed by surfing and the connection to the ocean. His own personal little reminder of his enlightenment is that spot in the sky (which is really in his own mind).

Given to Fly | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/18/10

Personally I feel this song is a masterpiece.It begins with a young man who has almost given up on life but choose's to live."Alone in a corridore,waiting...locked out",might have been in his mind not his body.So he choose's to break free and live,the chains are only a metaphor.I think Ed intented this song to have a duel meaning.Many of the lyric's "with the sea as his floor","he floated back down because he wanted to share this key to the locks he saw eveywhere","first he was stripped then he was stabbed","and he still gives his love,he just gives it away,the love he receives is the love that is saved" all sound like they are about Jesus.It can also be taken that it is about surfing,the emotional stuggle Ed went through as a teen(feeling alone and needing to break free).Also I have seen Ed pour his heart out on stage,yet get yelled at even spit on yet he still gives his love to his fan's,just gives it away.So the spot in the sky could signify Jesus or Eddie flying to another gig.Either way,I like the comparison

Listen carefully... | Reviewer: Father | 5/13/10

Not so many posts on this anymore... I asked Eddie yesterday and he said you're all a bunch of tools. Yes, the deep meaning is tool. Jeff actually gave him the lyrics on a napkin after a bender. Keep trying to figure all this out's funny.

Timothy Leary | Reviewer: Anonymous | 4/2/10

I personally think it's inspired by the difficult/challenging years of Timothy Leary's life...Here was this avant garde PhD psychologist exploring and pushing the boundaries of human experience and reality...but mired in the old, outdated paranoias of conservative america. His exploration with a then legal, and non-addictive drug (LSD) to test his theories were damned by fear-mongers like Nixxon and Liddy, and he was turned into a criminal...while all he wanted to do was free man from the chains that keep him from realizing his potential (eg. Leary's experiments with prisoners and recidivism rates etc.) . Leary collaborated with John Lennon and Yoko, promoting peace and love & continued true to his way of thinking until his the lyrics and it fits pretty nicely (not to mention the reference to tune in, turn on, and drop out, obviously).

The eternal truth | Reviewer: noname | 2/7/10

The eternal truth is reflected in this song - that you can never be fully given the answer, only an inroad is given. Be weary of any philosophical system or belief structure which claims to be the sole repository of any truth.

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------ 11/23/2014

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