Just Breathe Meaning: Understanding the Power of Deep Breathing

The meaning behind Pearl Jam’s song “Just Breathe” has been discussed among fans since its release in 2009. The song’s lyrics are simple yet powerful, with a message that resonates with many listeners.

Eddie Vedder’s expressive vocals and the gentle acoustic guitar accompaniment make this song a timeless classic. Some fans believe that the song is about love and relationships, whereas others interpret the song as a message of hope and resilience.

Regardless of the interpretation, the song’s message of taking a moment to breathe and appreciate life’s simple pleasures is one that many can relate to. We look at it in-depth in the following sections.

Origin of ‘Just Breathe’

Pearl Jam

origin of just breathe

The song was released on their 2009 album ‘Backspacer,’ which was produced by Brendan O’Brien. The album was well-received by fans and critics, and ‘Just Breathe’ quickly became one of its most popular tracks.

Eddie Vedder

The song was written by Pearl Jam’s lead vocalist, Eddie Vedder. In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Vedder explained that the song was inspired by a chord progression he heard while working on the soundtrack for the film ‘Into the Wild’.

The first chord of the song is taken from an instrumental piece called ‘Tuolumne,’ which Vedder wrote for the film.

Vedder has said that the lyrics of ‘Just Breathe’ were inspired by his experiences as a father. The song is a love song that encourages listeners to appreciate the present moment and to take the time to slow down and breathe.

The song’s chorus, which repeats the phrase “just breathe,” is a reminder to focus on the present and to let go of worries about the future or regrets about the past.

Lyrics Interpretation

The lyrics of “Just Breathe” by Pearl Jam are open to interpretation, but many fans believe that the song is a love song that deals with mortality, loss, and emotions. Here are other themes consistent with the music:

Love and Relationships

The song’s lyrics suggest a deep connection between two people in love. The line

“Stay with me, let’s just breathe”

implies a desire to be close to the other person and to take things slowly. The lyrics also suggest that the singer is grateful for the love that he has found, saying

“Oh, I’m a lucky man to count on both hands the ones I love.”

Mortality and Loss

“Just Breathe” also deals with the theme of mortality and the inevitability of death. The line

“Yes, I understand that every life must end”

acknowledges the fact that death is a part of life. The song also touches on the idea of loss, with the line

“Under everything, just another human being,”

suggesting that we are all vulnerable to loss and grief.

Emotions and Vulnerability

We also see emotions and vulnerability in the lyrics. The line

“Did I say that I need you? Did I say that I want you? Oh, if I didn’t, I’m a fool you see”

suggests that the singer is willing to be vulnerable and open about his feelings. The song also touches on the idea of forgiveness, with the line

“No one knows this more than me, as I come clean.”

Musical Composition

Guitar and Chorus

just breathe musical composition

“Just Breathe” features a simple and soothing guitar riff played by the band’s lead guitarist, Mike McCready. The guitar riff sets the tone for the song and provides a relaxing and calming atmosphere.

The chorus of the song is also simple. It consists of the lyrics,

“Oh, I’m a lucky man, to count on both hands, the ones I love.”

The chorus is repeated throughout the song and reminds us to appreciate the people in our lives.

Bridge and Backspacer

The bridge comes with a change in tempo and a shift in the lyrics.

The lyrics in the bridge are more introspective and deal with the topic of mortality. The bridge serves as a reminder to live in the present and appreciate our time with our loved ones.

“Just Breathe” is a testament to Pearl Jam’s songwriting abilities and ability to create music that resonates with people.

Cover Versions

Several artists have covered “Just Breathe,” each bringing their interpretation to the song. Here are a few notable cover versions:

Willie Nelson’s Interpretation

Country legend Willie Nelson recorded a cover of “Just Breathe” with his son Lukas Nelson for his 2012 album, Heroes. The father-son duo put a country twist on the song, with Willie’s signature twang and Lukas’ guitar skills shining through.

Their version is slower and more stripped down than the original but still maintains the emotional depth of the lyrics. It’s a beautiful rendition that showcases the timeless quality of the song.

Jennifer Warnes’ Version

Singer Jennifer Warnes also recorded a cover of “Just Breathe” for her 2018 album, Another Time, Another Place. Her version is more orchestral, with strings and piano accompanying her vocals.

The arrangement is lush and cinematic, adding a sense of grandeur to the song. Warnes’ voice is soulful and expressive, and she brings a different kind of vulnerability to the lyrics. It’s a lovely interpretation that highlights the universality of the song’s message.

Impact and Reception

Billboard Hot 100

just breathe impact and recognition

“Just Breathe” by Pearl Jam was not a commercial success on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song did not make it to the chart, but it was well-received by fans and critics alike. The song’s introspective nature and emotional lyrics resonated with many listeners, and it became a popular choice for weddings and other special occasions.

Into the Wild Soundtrack

“Just Breathe’s” inclusion in the “Into the Wild” soundtrack helped to increase its exposure and popularity.

The movie, directed by Sean Penn, was based on the true story of Christopher McCandless, a young man who gave up his possessions and set out on a journey to find himself in the wilderness of Alaska.

The movie’s themes of self-discovery and the search for meaning in life resonated with many people, and the soundtrack, which features several songs by Eddie Vedder, became a popular choice for fans of the movie.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who wrote the song Just Breathe?

“Just Breathe” is a song by the American rock band Pearl Jam. It was written by the band’s vocalist Eddie Vedder. The song was released in 2009 as part of the band’s ninth studio album titled “Backspacer.”

What is the meaning behind the lyrics of Just Breathe by Pearl Jam?

The song is a love ballad that speaks about the importance of cherishing the moments we have with our loved ones. The lyrics encourage us to take a step back, slow down, and appreciate the present moment. The lines “Oh, I’m a lucky man to count on both hands the ones I love” and “Hold me till I die, meet you on the other side” express the depth of love and connection that the singer shares with his partner.

What is the significance of the song Just Breathe?

The song has been widely acclaimed for its emotional depth and the way it captures the essence of love and loss. It has been featured in various movies, TV shows, and commercials and has become one of Pearl Jam’s most popular and beloved songs.

What is the movie that features the song Just Breathe by Pearl Jam?

The song has been featured in the 2011 movie “We Bought a Zoo,” which starred Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson. The movie tells the story of a family who buys a zoo and tries to rebuild it.

What is the origin of the phrase ‘just breathe’?

The phrase ‘just breathe’ is often used as a reminder to take a moment and relax when feeling overwhelmed or stressed. The origin of the phrase is not clear, but it has been used in various contexts, including meditation, yoga, and sports.

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