Porch

Songfacts®:

  • One of the earliest Pearl Jam songs, lead singer Eddie Vedder wrote "Porch" on his way up from San Diego to meet the rest of the band for the first time. Beloved by the Pearl Jam faithful, it's one of their most popular live songs.
  • This is one of those Pearl Jam songs that is very much open to interpretation, as Eddie Vedder intended. It appears to be about a relationship of some kind that is at a breaking point:

    There ain't gonna be any middle any more
    And the cross I'm bearing home
    Ain't indicative of my place
  • This song became associated with Eddie Vedder's stance on abortion, as he wrote "Pro Choice" in his arm when Pearl Jam performed it on their MTV Unplugged concert in 1992. That same year, Vedder made a similar statement when the band performed it on Saturday Night Live. During that performance, he wore a T-shirt with a wire hanger on it and added these lyrics:

    A woman has every right to choose...
    Choose for herself


    It's not clear if the song itself deals with abortion.
  • Founding Pearl Jam member Jeff Ament recalled the recording of Ten to Uncut magazine March 2009: "We went to Michael Goldstone at Sony and said, We don't want to spend a lot of money making this record, we want to get out and play, do it the way were comfortable, doing it with somebody local."

    "There were two sessions at London Bridge in Seattle, probably of a day or two each, and after that we went in to record the record proper, because we had four or five new songs," he continued. "'Deep,' 'Jeremy' and 'Porch' were probably the last three."

    "I think we went in March or April [1991]. Ed had moved up here in November. It happened pretty quick. I remember there being a lot of snow on the ground, which is pretty rare for Seattle. We were stuck in the city, stuck in our basement." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    DeeTheWriter - Saint Petersburg, Russia Federation
  • This song has a long and pretty spectacular instrumental break, which Vedder would often use to explore his space. In those clips where you see him climbing the set (famously at Lollapalooza in 1992), jumping into the crowd, or hanging from something, it was often during this song.

Comments: 15

  • Old Man On The Mountain (new Hampshire) from 1993 Random entry on a (now) old song - but I reread these lyrics on Guitar Monster (Prob for the 2nd time in like 20 yrs). Only looked up for the Tabs, like a dozen songs a week - All I could think was "this song is about "Pro Choice"... Wasn't until I read all these comments that I was reminded about the marker on unplugged and various other times he made an obvious PChoice statement live during this song. I didn't read every comment but I was surprised I didn't see more people reference this piece :
    -All the bills go by, and
    -Initiatives are taken up
    -By the middle, there ain't gonna be any middle any more
    -And the cross I'm bearing home
    -Ain't indicative of my place, left the porch
    -Left the porch, oh oh oh *. *The mention of "Bills", "Initiatives", etc (ie Gov. Law/legislature) seems like an obvious reference. Initiatives "Taken up by the middle" as is in middle Rep/Dem, but moderates are typically the party minority and thus wishy washy on getting either side to move forward. *As far as the "cross bearing" not being "indicative of my place" - That sounded to me as an acceptance of his religion... (be it Ed's, or his fictional story character on TEN). That said, I also assumed leaving "the porch" was representative of having left his small town home and "porch" along with all of the 'religious right'/conservative type thinking that is the norm. 'Left the porch' matured and saw/experienced more of the world which was the catalyst for the characters strong feelings on the subject. Based on the rest of the songs (and general story) it would make sense, but this song seems far more a reflection of Eds personal experience than many of the others that generally seem like chunks and pieces of a larger fictional story, but still pure fiction. **** I wouldn't doubt if no one EVER read this comment on a 30 ye old song (btw, that's scary AF...) but since I've read hundreds and NEVER once added my two sense on a song in my 37 years.... Please, let me know your thoughts = ). Songs like this are timeless though, I could see my 11yo daughter looking this up after hearing it, or asking me what I thought like she has with Nirvana, TOOL and others.....
  • Ember Ash from Sw FloridaI'm fairly certain the term "strayed from the porch" means he once had a relationship &obviously he didn't appreciate her until she was gone. He's feeling like a douche for not giving her her proper due and he's missed his opportunity to solidify a foundation; she's done with it... She's "Strayed from the porch"
  • Da Capn from SeattleTo John for Chester, Va who commented "If Eddie's mom had aborted him we would have no Pearl Jam." Actually, back in the day before each show Eddie use to ask the audience "What's the one reason why I'm here?" to which the audience would reply "Heroin". Because of the heroin overdose death of Andrew Wood who was the lead singer of Mother Love Bone. Jeff and Stone were in the band with Andrew at the time. They disbanded after Andrews death and Jeff and Stone went on to form another band which called themselves Mookie Blaylock and eventually Pearl Jam.
  • John from Chester, VaIf Eddie's mom had aborted him we would have no Pearl Jam. Depressed teens that Pearl jam's music helped them push through would've committed suicide. Abortion is just plain illogical. A baby is not part of a woman's body, it is another human begin that deserves to live. If somebody isn't prepared to have a child then they need to not get pregnant in the first place.
  • Luke from Manchester, EnglandPorch is not an acronym for Pro Choice 1) an acronym is when all the letters are an initial... 2) it's PRO for pro not POR
  • Chris from Scranton, PaEasily one of the most underrated Pearl Jam songs. They should have released this as the single after "Jeremy" instead of "Oceans."
  • Dave from Cape Town, South AfricaPorch is an acronym for "Pro Choice". The song is about Eddie's child hood and that if a woman doesn't want a child she should rather have the child aborted than bring it into the world and then disown it like he was by his mom. A similar song about abortion is " wipping" on Vitology
  • Kyle from St. Louis, Moonly thing about the pro-choice thing is that in that performance as well as when they performed on saturday night live and several live shows I've been at, during the guitar solo Eddie starts saying "A woman has a right to choose" over and over so perhaps there is some pro-abortion message in the song, I don't see it if there is, but he does do that a lot during that song.
  • Jim from Glenolden, PaI think that Porch is about a fight with a Girlfriend, " could have heard your voice one last time" " would you hit me, would you hit me" and I think the fight is because he cheated on her. She left without notice or contact and the guy in the song wants to just have that one last time to win her over. "this could be the day, hod my hand lye beside me" and then the end where he comes to the realiazation that it is over " I know would not ever touch you, hold you, feel you ever, never again"
  • Anthony from Philadelphia, PaEddie writing "Pro-Choice" on his arm during the unplugged performance doesn't really have any meaning to the meaning of the song. The Pro-Choice was a reference to what went on during one of the commercial breaks. It the was a break just before they sang Jeremy, and he was going over some of the things he could say instead of "Seemed a harmless little f**k" because MTV didn't want him cursing. While still in commcercial he said to the audience, "I just want to say, you should be have a f**king abortion."
  • Stephen from Garnerville, NyThe version of "porch" on MTV unplugged is one of my favorites. From Where can I down load it
  • Jam from Somewhere, EnglandThe Pro-Choice thing was because they'd just played Jeremy and he wasn't allowed to say F**k, much like this website, and he started complaining about abortions after the song, then they did porch, so I doubt the pro-choice thing is to do with porch
  • Andy from Leeds, United StatesI think like Evenflow its about poverty in the US, the porch being the place where he/she sleeps...
  • Rahul from Mumbai, IndiaSomewhere I've also read that Eddie says that its a song about 'when you love someone tell her or him'.
  • Nick from Arlington Heights, IlEddie Vedder scrawled "Pro-Choice" on his arm in black magic marker during the MTV Unplugged performance of this song.
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