"Jeremy" (1992)

"Jeremy" is the sixth song on Pearl Jam's debut album Ten. "Jeremy" was released in 1992 as the third single from Ten and it's considered world wide as one of the most significant songs of the band. It's lyrics were written by Eddie Vedder and music written by Jeff Ament, a song with simple lyrics but heavy and violent meaning that still drives millions of fans into an enthusiastic but sad chorus.


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Jeremy Wade Delle: Feb 10, 1975 - Jan 8, 1991

Tumulo jeremy wade delle

Jeremy W. Delle's grave

"Jeremy" is based on a real life event involving Jeremy Wade Delle, a 15-year- old boy who commited suicide in front of the teacher and his classmates on January 8, 1991. The boy, who was considered a quiet but not violent student, shot himself in the mouth with a .357 Smith & Wesson Magnum. The incident in his school, Richardson High School, was reported on newspaper and Eddie read it. Immediately, he wrote the lyrics to the song, but not as a solemnization of the boy's death, but as a tribute for someone that could have chosen to live and to strike life with his victory over the will of giving up, but couldn't do it. See the following for detailed additional information on Jeremy Wade Delle:


Based on Delle's story, "Jeremy" is a song whose protagonist is a character present on Jeremy's life, this one being described as a shy, introvert and victim of family neglect. The boy's manifestations can be considered as standard at a certain point, until the limit he unleashed an act of revolt, just like a violent and victorious drawing about a landscape or striking back at a bully (after several episodes of abuse), who would be the protagonist.

The protagonist who is portrayed by Vedder's voice also describes Jeremy's parents, people who didn't give attention to their own child and he had to build his own reality, no matter the prices. By the way, the narrator is also someone who usually disrespected Jeremy's behavior until the point the boy punched him on the face leaving him astonished. There's a metaphor of the way the protagonist's jaw was open and at the moment he heard, scared, about a new, the only evidence, yet hidden, of Jeremy's suicide on the song.

The main chorus is a strong and repetitive line (Jeremy spoken in class today) that leaves the clear impression that Jeremy was so shy and introvert that his attitude of talking on class was a surprise. Even the protagonist used to bully Jeremy, in the song he mourns the death of the boy, indicating it was a traumatic experience after knowing of the suicide.


"And this next song was written about the pre-Columbine, right up north of here, something that I witnessed, then also something I read about in the paper from the texas, but eh... It got turned into one story and it's called, well..."

- Eddie Vedder (San Diego Sports Arena, October 25th 2000)

Music & LyricsEdit

Pearl Jam - Jeremy

Pearl Jam - Jeremy

At home
Drawing pictures
Of mountain tops
With him on top
Lemon yellow sun
Arms raised in a V

Dead lay in pools of maroon below
Daddy didn't give attention
Oh, to the fact that mommy didn't care
King Jeremy the wicked
Oh, ruled his world

Jeremy spoke in class today
Jeremy spoke in class today
Clearly I remember
Pickin' on the boy

Seemed a harmless little fuck
But we unleashed a lion
Gnashed his teeth

And bit the recessed lady's breast
How could I forget
He hit me with a surprise left
My jaw left hurting

Dropped wide open
Just like the day
Like the day I heard
Daddy didn't give affection

And the boy was something mommy wouldn't wear
King Jeremy the wicked
Ruled his world
Jeremy spoke in class today
Jeremy spoke in class today
Jeremy spoke in class today

Try to forget this,
Try to erase this,
From the blackboard

Jeremy spoke in class today
Jeremy spoke in class today
Jeremy spoke in
spoke in
Jeremy spoke in
spoke in
Jeremy spoke in class today