Even Flow (6:19)

Cover of Ten

From Ten and 611 other releases

“Even Flow” is a song by the American rock band Pearl Jam. Featuring lyrics written by vocalist Eddie Vedder and music written by guitarist Stone Gossard, “Even Flow” was released in 1992 as the second single from the band’s debut album, Ten (1991). The song peaked at number three on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The song was included on Pearl Jam’s 2004 greatest hits album, rearviewmirror (Greatest Hits 1991–2003). A remixed version of the song was included on the 2009 Ten reissue.

“Even Flow” features a funky riff by Gossard. The vocal line that appears in the main verse begins with a very prominent tritone interval. The song was performed in open D tuning.

McCready on the song:

That’s me pretending to be Stevie Ray Vaughan, and a feeble attempt at that. Stone (Gossard, Pearl Jam guitarist) wrote the riff and song; I think it’s a D tuning. I just followed him in a regular pattern. I tried to steal everything I know from Stevie Ray Vaughan and put it into that song. A blatant rip-off. A tribute rip-off, if you will!

The stark lyrics by Vedder for “Even Flow” describe the experience of being a homeless man. The subject sleeps “on a pillow made of concrete” and panhandles passersby for spare change. In addition to being illiterate, he may also be mentally ill, as he “looks insane” when he smiles and struggles to keep coherent thoughts (“Even flow, thoughts arrive like butterflies/Oh, he don’t know, so he chases them away”).


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Freezin' rests his head on a pillow made of concrete again
Oh Feelin' maybe he'll see a little betters any days
Oh hand out faces that he sees come again ain't that familiar
Oh dark grin he can't help when he's happy he looks insane

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics


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