Off He Goes

  • One, two, one, two, three, four...
    Know a man...his face seemed pulled and tense...
    Like he's riding on a motorbike in the strongest winds...
    So I approach with tact...suggest that he should relax...
    But he's always movin' much too fast...
    Said he'll see me on the flipside
    On this trip he's taken for a ride
    He's been takin' too much on...
    There he goes with his perfectly unkept clothes
    There he goes...
    He's yet to come back...but I've seen his picture...
    It doesn't look the same up on the racks...
    We go way back...
    I wonder 'bout his insides...
    It's like his thoughts are too big for his size...
    He's been taken...where, I don't know?
    Off he goes with his perfectly unkept hope...
    There he goes...
    And now I rub my eyes...for he has returned...
    Seems my preconceptions are what should have been burned...
    For he still smiles...and he's still strong...
    Nothing's changed, but the surrounding bullshit, that has grown...
    And now he's home, and we're laughing, like we always did...
    My same old, same old friend...
    Until a quarter-to-ten...
    I saw the strain creep in...
    He seems distracted and I know just what is gonna happen next...
    Before his first step...he is off again... Writer/s: Eddie Jerome Vedder
    Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 12

  • Man Of The Sea from California"Eddie Vedder said, "The song 'Off He Goes' is really about me being a s--t friend. I'll show up and everything's great and then all of the sudden I'm outta there."
    This is so much like me, as I've gotten older I feel uncomfortable around even the friends I've know for decades, even though I consider them and love them like brothers. I can't stick around for long when we are together for whatever reason, I can't explain it. Maybe because they're all married with kids and I'm not. Whatever the reason, I think my friends but more so their wives have seen the uncomfortable feeling I was feeling and would cry as I was leaving but were too polite to ask what was up.
    Oh well, life goes on.
  • Tiffany from TennesseeI played this song at my little brother’s funeral. He committed suicide. His whole life was a rollercoaster and he would do good for really long periods of time...but you never knew when things might get ugly for him. It is so sad. This song straight up represents my relationship with Jon. I miss him dearly.
  • Andy from MelbourneFor me it's about the selfishness but fun use of drugs. A solo ride.
  • 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.
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