In this paper I will evaluate two songs that deal with depression and discuss their similarities and differences. The songs under evaluation are the early nineties hit Jeremy by Pearl Jam and the recent hit Adams Song by Blink 182.
Jeremy, written by lead singer Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jams debut album, Ten, was a controversial song released in 1992. The song is about a boy named Jeremy who commits suicide one day in school. I have heard this song many times, but I never knew that it was about a real kid, Jeremy Delle, from Richardson, Texas. He was asked to obtain an attendance slip for missing the previous class, but when he returned he was carrying a shotgun and shot himself in front of his English class. This song also inspired a Seattle, Washington, teenager to take one of his classes hostage and kill his teacher and two classmates. In his trial he used the song as his defense but was still found guilty. Unfortunately this young man also had a history of depression in his family. Shortly after this tragedy, the music video for Jeremy was taken off the air because of its gruesomely detailed reenactment of Jeremy Delles suicide.
At home, drawing pictures of mountain tops, with him on top Lemon yellow sun, arms raised in a V The dead lay in pools of maroon below
The first stanza describes a morbid drawing that Jeremy is creating. This could be a setup for the listener to understand that Jeremy is depressed and is thinking of death. More accurately, the drawing is of Jeremy standing on top of a mountain with his arms outstretched toward the sun. At the base of the mountain is a pool of blood and dead people. The sun could symbolize the brightness and peace after death. Maybe Jeremy thought that d...
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...he hall Please tell mom this is not her fault
The next stanza describes the world after his death as one that continues to function as it did before. This encourages his thoughts of suicide because it makes his life seem so insignificant and that everyone will be fine without him. He also talks about how his room will be boarded up and no one will ever go into his room. All of his good memories will be lost and people will only remember his faults.
I think it is very interesting that these two artists chose to handle this delicate topic by describing real events and memories. This approach makes both songs personal, believable, and easy for people to relate. Both songs follow the same pattern as well: a long period of feeling depressed followed by an act of suicide as a last resort to stop the continual pain.
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