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The (Often) Misheard Lyrics Of “Yellow Ledbetter”

Today (December 23) is Eddie Vedder’s birthday, and in honor of the Pearl Jam frontman, we’d like to explore one of the band’s most misunderstood songs, “Yellow Ledbetter.”

Let’s be honest: You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t have to Google the lyrics to this song. (And even a Google search yields multiple versions of the lyrics.) “Yellow Ledbetter” is so famously misheard that it’s spawned this ridiculous video.

MISHEARD LYRICS - Pearl Jam - Yellow Ledbetter

The quintessential misheard lyrics song! A true 90's classic, this may be one of those rare songs that NOBODY has ever really heard the true lyrics!!! It may even be a mystery to the band!


Clearly, this song isn't about a Bennigans.  So, what is it about? In actuality, “Yellow Ledbetter” is about someone who receives a letter notifying them a family member died in a war.

What also gets overlooked about “Yellow Ledbetter” is the fact that it was never officially released on a Pearl Jam studio LP; it was actually the B-side to “Jeremy.”

What doesn’t get overlooked, however, is that Vedder’s vocal style, which has aided the lore of “Yellow Ledbetter,” is also what makes him one of the most memorable frontmen ever. How memorable is he? When you’re spoofed on Saturday Night Live is a good sign.

Adam Sandler - Eddie Vedder Impression (Pearl Jam Twenty)

Uploaded by director's cat on 2012-04-21.


Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock blogger that loves the smell of old vinyl in the morning.