This aggressive rocker finds Eddie Vedder reflecting on what he considers to be the hypocrisy surrounding religion. The singer is questioning why it is still considered bad manners to condemn faith groups when such disgraceful actions such as the child sex abuse scandals are occurring.
"I've got an unfortunate feelin' I've been beating down I feel I don't believe And now the truth is coming out What they've taken is more than a vow They've taken your innocence And then they throw them on a burning fire All along they're sayin' Mind your manners."
Vedder told The Sun. "I hate the whole, 'Our way or the highway.' And then it becomes hypocritical when you see so many of the things which have come out of those organizations – like the abuse of children and then its cover up. I have never seen such a dastardly abuse of hypocrisy."
Pearl Jam's contempt for religion was previously expressed on the Yield track "Faithfull" where Vedder sings, "M.Y.T.H is belief in the game. Controls that keep us in a box of fear."
Pearl Jam played the song live for the first time on July 16, 2013 at Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario.
Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready wanted the track to feel like the Dead Kennedys. However, as his background is more metal than punk, he relied on bassist Jeff Ament's input to achieve what he was aiming for in the song. "It's my attempt to try to make a really hard edge-type Dead Kennedys-sounding song," said McCready. "In terms of town I was thinking 'East Bay Ray' and 'California Uber Alles.' I wanted that kind of aggression and that kind of feel in that song, so I came up with the lyrics 'Mind Your Manners.' Jeff [Ament] brought in a lot of his real punk rock kind of bass ideas of starting and stopping…the kind of school he comes from is that; I came from more of the metal thing but always wanted to dive into the punk side." (For more on the Dead Kennedys - see our interview with their former frontman Jello Biafra.)
The video for the song was directed by photographer and film director Danny Clinch (The Black Keys' "Little Black Submarines.") It features the band performing in front of a screen filled with partially animated scenes of violence and mass devastation.