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Rate Given To Fly
5 Stars: One of the best 59%  59%  [ 13 ]
4 Stars: Really good 27%  27%  [ 6 ]
3 Stars: Average 5%  5%  [ 1 ]
2 Stars: Meh 9%  9%  [ 2 ]
1 Star: Terrible 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 22
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 Post subject: Song of the Moment: Given to Fly
PostPosted: Fri December 28, 2012 6:58 pm 
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Given To Fly

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 me now'
Arms wide open with the sea as his floor
Oh, power, oh
He's.. flying.....whole

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
He's flying
Oh, oh

Given To Fly is THE definitive pearl jam song from the post Vitalogy years, as important a part of their catalog as Alive, Even Flow, Corduroy, or Betterman. It's also one of the best songs from that period, arguably the best. It's certainly one of my all time favorites. I take Given to Fly to be one of Pearl Jam's "mission statement" songs. It is a declaration of musical principles. Given To Fly is about the power of music; its ability to help us escape, endure, transform, and transcend.

Given To Fly feels autobiographical to me, at least in part. Eddie certainly identifies with the subject of the song even if it is not actually him. He starts out lost and disaffected. There is something about the world that feels wrong, that denies him his place in it. He is alienated, and looking for something to belong to, to be a part of. But for now he is alone, written off as an outcast and outsider. I love the image of being trapped in a long empty hallway, all locked doors and isolation. So he leaves. There is no home for him here, and he has too much integrity to try and force it. He makes it to the ocean, a vast expanse of limitless possibilities. Looking out over the water he is overcome.

It is there he has something close to a religious experience, one I equate with the feeling that hearing the right song at the right time can provide. He is lifted up, weightless. The burdens that come from not fitting in or from living in a world without justice, without hope, are temporarily lifted. He is free. While he is out over the water, while the music is playing, life either makes sense or ceases to matter. There is only love and a profound connection to the rest of the world.

There is an allegory of the cave moment here (from Plato's Republic). In the allegory of the cave the philosopher, the person capable of understanding truth and achieving enlightenment, has to make the ultimate sacrifice. After freeing himself from the darkness and shadows of the cave, he has to go back down into it. He has an obligation to liberate others. The same thing is happening here. The subject is free, but freedom means little if it can't be shared with others. Isolation has never been the answer in Pearl Jam' music. So he has to go back to pass on what he's learned. There are those that won't want to hear the message, but the message isn't for them. The reward isn't found in money or prestige (the only motivation the faceless men understand), but in the shared experience of love and the hope and possibility that you can help others liberate themselves. It is obvious that the band is grateful they get the chance to give to others what was given to them--liberation through song.

This is why Pearl Jam continues to make music, and it is the basis of the underlying message of hope that runs through their catalog. The music is a way for us to connect with others, to be a part of something larger than ourselves, a source of strength that is an open secret. It's the feeling you have when you're singing along with 15,000 other people at a show. It's a private, intimate moment and a public celebration at the same time. I am not a religious person, but the most powerful live moments are a near religious experience for me. It's the closest I come to touching the divine.

That's the band's gift to us. The music is given for us to fly.



old thread archived here

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Given to Fly
PostPosted: Fri January 04, 2013 5:51 pm 
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This funny tune is 15 years old this weekend. I just put on Yield, was a while ago, and I still get that little nervous feeling when No Way is about to end. So much love.

I'll post this video to thank the artist who made it.



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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Given to Fly
PostPosted: Fri January 04, 2013 6:52 pm 
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It's almost always an unsatisfactory show if this isn't played.

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Given to Fly
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 4:50 am 
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If this isn't their best song, it's easily my favourite.. Everything about the studio version is just outstanding

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Given to Fly
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 4:52 am 
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This isn't even the best song on Yield. But it's a really really good song.


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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Given to Fly
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 6:06 am 
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It's a great song that I'm perfectly ok with not hearing at a show.


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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Given to Fly
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 6:15 am 
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Along with "Wishlist" and "Off He Goes," probably the worst sufferer from the band's infamous Need for Speed.


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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Given to Fly
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 6:21 am 
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Exactly.


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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Given to Fly
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 6:31 am 
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Sometimes when I hear a really fast version of "Given to Fly" or "Wishlist" I start feeling all jittery and nervous, like I just took some bad drugs and a bunch of strobe lights started going off or something.

If an epileptic Pearl Jam fan ever heard a version of "Given to Fly" from the 2006 Aussie tour, I bet he'd have a seizure.


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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Given to Fly
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 6:33 am 
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I always thought Corduroy suffered pretty badly from the need for speed.


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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Given to Fly
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 6:42 am 
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Whenever I listen to Yield (second most often), I skip GTF and Wishlist every time. GTF just doesnt fit the album for me, and Wishlist just blows. One of very very few PJ songs I'm completely burned out on.

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Given to Fly
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 6:44 am 
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cutuphalfdead wrote:
I always thought Corduroy suffered pretty badly from the need for speed.


It does, and so does "Even Flow." But I think the quieter, moodier numbers have more to lose--not just groove or pulse (which is what the rockers usually lose), but overall character. The studio "Given to Fly" is one of my favorite recordings in their whole catalog--just a beautiful production job, a perfect mix of serenity and grandiosity, neither of which is present in the sped-up version.


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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Given to Fly
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 12:36 pm 
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GTF is one of those songs I don't think suffers that much sped up. It definitely changes the feel of the song and if you're looking for the quiet contemplation obviously you're going to miss it, but there's so much charged excitement in the faster versions that I don't care. It's like taking that cool moment where Unthought Known starts to build and extending it out for 4 minutes.

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Given to Fly
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 2:51 pm 
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Kevin Davis wrote:
cutuphalfdead wrote:
I always thought Corduroy suffered pretty badly from the need for speed.


It does, and so does "Even Flow." But I think the quieter, moodier numbers have more to lose--not just groove or pulse (which is what the rockers usually lose), but overall character. The studio "Given to Fly" is one of my favorite recordings in their whole catalog--just a beautiful production job, a perfect mix of serenity and grandiosity, neither of which is present in the sped-up version.

Of course. I'm actually surprised by how much Corduroy being sped up bothers me.


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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Given to Fly
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 3:07 pm 
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cutuphalfdead wrote:
I always thought Corduroy suffered pretty badly from the need for speed.

But I've heard cool versions of Corduroy that are faster. I'm not sure I can say that about GTF.


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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Given to Fly
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 3:08 pm 
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Kevin Davis wrote:
Sometimes when I hear a really fast version of "Given to Fly" or "Wishlist" I start feeling all jittery and nervous, like I just took some bad drugs and a bunch of strobe lights started going off or something.

If an epileptic Pearl Jam fan ever heard a version of "Given to Fly" from the 2006 Aussie tour, I bet he'd have a seizure.

Or she!

Some girls like Pearl Jam, too. I swear they do!


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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Given to Fly
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 3:36 pm 
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live on 2 legs made me fall in love w/ this song


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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Given to Fly
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 7:12 pm 
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I love Jack's work on the studio version, as if someone said "hey Jack, make it sound like tumbling waves breaking onto the shore" and he actually managed to do it.


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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Given to Fly
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 7:15 pm 
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Birds in Hell wrote:
I love Jack's work on the studio version, as if someone said "hey Jack, make it sound like tumbling waves breaking onto the shore" and he actually managed to do it.

No kidding. Probably my favorite part of the song.


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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Given to Fly
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 7:22 pm 
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cutuphalfdead wrote:
It's a great song that I'm perfectly ok with not hearing at a show.



Same way for me, but has nothing to do with the song or their performance, ive just gotten it at most of my shows so im always hoping for something different. Though its never a dissapointment if i do get it, just as you said, im ok not getting it


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