Album: Vs. (1994)
Charted: 14


  • Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder: "In 'Dissident,' I'm actually talking about a woman who takes in someone who's being sought after by the authorities for political reasons. He's on the run, and she offers him a refuge. But she just can't handle the responsibility. She turns him in, then she has to live with the guilt and the realization that she's betrayed the one thing that gave her life meaning. It made her life difficult. It made her life hell, but it gave her a reason to be. But she couldn't hold on. She folded. That's the tragedy of the song." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Martin - Rostock, Germany

Comments: 9

  • Wayne from Crockett, TxTo Matt from NJ, Yeah, like Yellow Ledbetter?! Come on dude, if Eddie's known for anything, it's his constant changing and slurring of words in his songs. Great tune for sure though.
  • Bill from Pierce , IdAwsome, powerful tune. PJ really flex their muscles on this one.
  • Kermsit from Plainfield, IlI like it how he screams that eddie vedder nasal/screaming when he sings ESCAPE THESE...OH! DISSIDENT!!!
  • Kirk from King George, VaMy favorite PJ song. The riff at the beginning I'll listen to over and over.
  • Wayne from Crockett, TxOne of the best all-time rock songs. Great guitar, changes in tempo, solid lyrics with meaning. Awesome stuff.
  • Ben from Cincinnati, Ohone of PJ's best. eddie vedder is one of the best songwriters ever. at www.digitaldreamdoor.com he wuz rated #13 on best lyricists of 100.
  • Hermie from Oak Forest, IlDamn cool song like the others
  • Eric from Mentor, OhThis song is awesome! I love the riff at the beginning just the whole emotion behind the lyrics. One of Pearl Jam's best.
  • Matt from E. Hanover, NjOne of the many reasons as to why Pearl Jam is such a great band is because for the most part their lyrics are clear, and they tell stories. But what makes them so amazing is that their stories always have an underlined meaning, and i think that the meaning of this song is regret, because the woman let go of the one thing in her life that actually gave it a meaning.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum

Dave Pirner of Soul AsylumSongwriter Interviews

Dave explains how the video appropriated the meaning of "Runaway Train," and what he thought of getting parodied by Weird Al.

Joe Ely

Joe ElySongwriter Interviews

The renown Texas songwriter has been at it for 40 years, with tales to tell about The Flatlanders and The Clash - that's Joe's Tex-Mex on "Should I Stay or Should I Go?"

Richie Wise (Kiss producer, Dust)

Richie Wise (Kiss producer, Dust)Songwriter Interviews

Richie talks about producing the first two Kiss albums, recording "Brother Louie," and the newfound appreciation of his rock band, Dust.

Christmas Songs

Christmas SongsFact or Fiction

Rudolf, Bob Dylan and the Singing Dogs all show up in this Fact or Fiction for seasonal favorites.

Band Names

Band NamesFact or Fiction

Was "Pearl" Eddie Vedder's grandmother, and did she really make a hallucinogenic jam? Did Journey have a contest to name the group? And what does KISS stand for anyway?

Jesus Christ Superstar: Ted Neeley Tells the Inside Story

Jesus Christ Superstar: Ted Neeley Tells the Inside StorySong Writing

The in-depth discussion about the making of Jesus Christ Superstar with Ted Neeley, who played Jesus in the 1973 film.