Whale Song

In keeping with the spirit of Yield, the microphone was handed to drummer Jack Irons, whose “Whale Song” didn’t make the album (and probably was never considered a contender, though the title can be seen on rehearsal lists in Single Video Theory) but was included on the third installment of the Surfrider Foundation‘s Music For Our Mother Ocean series, and ultimately appeared on Lost Dogs.  The song is slight in some respects, and even if Irons had remained in the band, “Whale Song” would never have inspired a poster campaign calling for its live debut, but it does contain its share of beauty, including lead guitars squeaking and swirling to mimic a humpback’s song, and the low, rumbling, Vedder-sung bridge.  Still, it’s easy and understandable to skip past Irons’s thin, half-spoken vocal delivery and painful rhymes.  His passion for whales and preservation of the earth’s oceans is admirable enough, though the attacks on mankind are broad, simple, and predictable.  Are Pearl Jam, Surfrider, and millions of men and women devoted to the environment not part of humanity as well?  Though, credit where it’s due, the idea that “They won’t fight back / I’m sure they know how / Beings that love / Are too proud”, is powerful and intriguing.

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~ by Michael on June 23, 2007.

5 Responses to “Whale Song”

  1. As a collector, I’m glad this song was included on Lost Dogs. I don’t really have an opinion on it though. I don’t skip it when it comes on the CD player, but I don’t think I’ve ever skipped right to it, either.

  2. I know that I had it before “Lost Dogs”. I must have bought the third volume of MOM for a dollar in a discount bin, though I don’t know where that is now.

  3. This is a great fuckin tune. Amazing e-bow work by Ed as usual. The is by far the best song without Vedder on vocals in my opinion. One of the few good inclusions on Lost Dogs.

  4. I really liked this song. It’s strangely hypnotic, the way the guitar just rhythmically plays over and over with the pretty out-there whale imitations. A beautiful song in its own right… shame the vocals suck. Far too primitive for a Pearl Jam song, their material normally requires a little more delving beneath the surface.

  5. hi

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