Patrick from Mission Viejo, CaAs with many PJ songs it is easy to internalize the lyrics For me this song is about me as I tried to maintain relationships with high school friends as I carved out my career in the Navy. As I was stationed close to.where my school-age buddies went to college I would come in and out of their lives, struggling to preserve my adolescent innocence with adult responsibilities and duty to country. to me this song is a great description of a man caught between the irresponsibility of childhood and the stability of adulthood, which is where I found myself when this song solidified its permanence on my life.
Mark from Chino, CaI wanna share my feelings about this song. My brother Greg was in a very serious car accident about 3 years ago. He was 26 at the time, married to his wife for 4 years. She was 3 months pregnant at the time of his accident. The day of his accident I didn't think he was going to make it. You could look right through him. He was in a coma for about 6 months. He was on a machine to keep him breathing ,couldn't eat,drink,talk etc. then one day he just woke up! He had returned to us. everything about this song reminds me about his journey. It's as if Eddie wrote it about my brother and his journey. Thank you Eddie for this song. My brother still smiles and he's still strong. Now he's home and we're laughing like we've always done.
Denis Martinho from São Paulo, BrazilMr. Vedder never knew me and I´m sorry for the comments left behind, but this song is clearly about myself. rs
Chipdog from Milford-on-sea, United KingdomThis song is about Neil Young according to his website...
Stuart from North Jersey, NjWith all respect to the previous posters, I think that the song is clearly- as suggested by the songfacts above- a song written by Vedder in the 3rd person about himself. It is him grieving about not being as significant of a person in the lives of those people he considers valuable friends. The most telling lyric of the song, in my opinion, is "And now I rub my eyes, for he has returned....nothing's changed but the surrounding bull**** that has grown" The burdens of superstardom and constantly touring are things that Vedder has always struggled to contend with, and this song demonstrates his dissatisfaction with having accumulated so many friends, yet lacking the necessary time to dedicate to all his friendships. Although the tone of the song seems somber, it also shows resolve in that Vedder has come to grips with this lifestyle.
Brent from Hazard, KyEd may have said it was about him, but it is clearly about a friend who he lost contact with, because of their struggles with addiction. That person goes off to rehab and comes back the friend he used to know, but before he can work the first of his 12 steps he is gone again.
Mike from Off He Goes, NyTo me, its about leaving home and starting a new life. We always come back home: To whats remembered, to whats safe, to whats expected. Then we realize everything has changed and we are different people then we "were". It is TOUGH to see friends come and go, but "Off He Goes" is a testiment to the pain and joy that comes with friendship over time.
Brett from Sydney, AustraliaIt my favourite song. About a truckdriver who goes on long journeys I reckon.
Veddie Edder from Seattle (coincidence)Hell of a song, one of the ones that really got me into this band.