Is Eddie Vedder’s ‘Brother the Cloud’ About Chris Cornell?

0

Eddie Vedder’s third solo album earthling arrives later this week (February 11). A few weeks ago, the Pearl Jam singer released the song “Brother the Cloud,” and its moving lyrics are about dealing with the loss, which begs the question: Was it written about Chris? Cornell?

Vedder and Cornell had a longtime friendship dating back to 1990 when the Soundgarden singer was working on an album called dog shrine, which was a tribute to his late friend Andrew Wood. Vedder traveled from San Diego to Seattle to audition for a new band that Wood’s Mother Love Bone bandmates were looking to start, as they were simultaneously working on the Temple album.

The two singers struck up a connection and Vedder was asked to sing on “Hunger Strike”, one of the most successful tracks on the record.

Temple of the Dog, “Hunger Strike”

Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, of course, became two of the most successful rock bands to emerge from Seattle in the 1990s, and Vedder and Cornell occasionally sang “Hunger Strike” live together in later decades. That is, until Cornell died by suicide in May 2017.

Vedder did not speak publicly about Cornell’s death for a long time. In fact, he didn’t really open up about it until an interview he did on The Howard Stern Show end of 2020.

“I must have been a bit in denial,” he admitted, noting that their bond wasn’t just rooted in music. “I was just terrified of where I would go if I allowed myself to feel what I needed to feel or what I instinctively wanted to feel or how badly I felt like I was going to leave.”

The lyrics could be about Cornell.

The rocker released the song ‘Brother the Cloud’ in January this year, and the lyrics seem to highlight his feelings about his friend’s death – the opening verse reads: “I had a brother / But now my brother is gone / Oh, I search the sky for a glimpse of his blue eyes / And there I find his image in the clouds” and the last lines repeat, “What are friends for?

Reddit pages were flooded with speculation that the song is about Cornell shortly after its release. “I feel like this is Eddie Vedder’s song for Chris Cornell, I miss him so much!” a user wrote.

Cornell had blue eyes, yes, but there’s a little more to the backstory than people realize.

Vedder endured another personal tragedy not long before.

In the same chat Vedder had with Howard Stern, he also explained that in 2016 his biological brother Chris died in a rock climbing accident in Africa.

“That one got me so depressed – and my brothers and my mum – I really didn’t know if I was going to make it,” the singer recalled.

It’s a fact that many on Reddit also point out, however, some listeners believe the song may be about the two losses.

“I think the part towards the end gives it away completely, like the other person said. I think about what Ed was saying when he wrote, ‘Put your arms around my brother my friend,‘ and the line before that too, he was talking to his brother and Chris,” a fan recognized.

Further evidence that the song was at least partly inspired by Vedder’s brother came from his wife Jill on Instagram. A photographer by the name of Danny Clinch, who knows Vedder, posted about the song on his page, and Jill Vedder commented, “Ed’s little brother Chris is so missed by our family.”

The pandemic has caused a lot of loss for many.

And, finally, in a new interview the Pearl Jam frontman did with Variety alongside producer Andrew Watt, a more general meaning was given to the song.

“We’re in a time of a lot of loss now — this pandemic and saying goodbye to people. A lot of things have changed the way they were. The people who were with you aren’t,” Watt said. “The song is a very honest demonstration of that ambivalence, anger, and sadness. The most important job I had was to shut up and make sure the microphone was on so I didn’t miss a thing.”

Ultimately, no one has given concrete confirmation that the song was written about Cornell, but there are plenty of reasons to believe that the late singer’s death had an influence on it. Read the full lyrics and listen to the song below.

Instagram – Dannybones64

Instagram – Dannybones64

Eddie Vedder, ‘Brother the Cloud’ Lyrics

I had a brother
But now my brother is gone
Oh, I’m looking in the sky for a glimpse of her blue eyes
And there I find his image in the clouds
If I could wish it, wish it away
I would bleed my knees and pray
If I could give all I have
To bring it back today
These are just dreams, sad as it may seem
I’m still wide awake
Oh, understand it wasn’t easy for my friend
No promise, even to yourself, can be kept
Enlarge the hole in my heart, rising river in the dark
Erodes the shore until our shores are far away
If I could wish it, wish it away
I would bleed my knees and pray
If I could give all I have
To bring it back today
‘Cause these are just dreams, sad as it may seem
They never go away
There is no previous benchmark for this level of pain, mmm
I can’t feign indifference, I can’t look away
The years go by, the pain I still hide
If I look closely, it’s just the outside
There is no previous benchmark for this level of pain
Even though I can hear her sing
If I could wish it, wish it away
I would bleed my knees and pray
If I could give all I have
To bring back yesterday
These are just dreams, sad as it may seem
They never go away
These are just dreams, sad as it may seem
I’m still wide awake
And I wouldn’t wish you
But if you ever leave this Earth before me, I highly doubt it.
Do for me, what I would do for you
Put your arms around, my friend
Put your arm around, my friend
Put your arm around, my brother, my friend
Say for me, for me, for me, fuck you
Kiss my ass
Kiss my ass
what are friends
What are friends, friends for?
What are friends, what are friends
What are friends for?

Eddie Vedder, “Brother the Cloud”

Top 66 Hard Rock and Metal Leaders of All Time

Check Out Loudwire’s Picks For The 66 Best Hard Rock + Metal Vocalists Of All Time

Share.

About Author

Comments are closed.