With Spring in full-bloom, I’ve had one of my favorite Pearl Jam songs “on repeat” in my mental playlist: “Thumbing My Way”. It’s a song of deep mourning and regret of lost love. Mr. Vedder is essentially describing a death, and he’s hoping for resurrection, for the springtime ahead…aren’t we all? Thankfully we don’t have to hitchhike to Heaven, although the imagery brings back some fond memories of Michael Landon, and there is some passivity implied. Still, Jesus is more like a special forces unit in a van with no windows going around grabbing people off the street. Just kidding!…I just couldn’t think of a more passive situation in light of the highway/passenger image.

Lyrics (I’ve highlighted my favorite lines):

I have not been home since you left long ago
I’m thumbing my way back to heaven

Counting steps,.. walking backwards on the road
I’m counting my way back to heaven

I can’t be free with what’s locked inside of me…
If there was a key, you took it in your hands.
There’s no wrong or right,… but I’m sure there’s good and bad
The questions linger overhead

No matter how cold the winter, there’s a springtime ahead
I’m thumbing my way back to heaven
I wish that I could hold you… wish that I had
Thinking ’bout heaven

I let go of a rope,… thinking that’s what held me back
And in time I’ve realized,… it’s now wrapped around my neck
I can’t see what’s next,… from this lonely overpass
Hang my head and count my steps, as another car goes past

All the rusted sign we ignore throughout our lives
Choosing the shiny ones instead
I turned my back,… now there’s no turning back

No matter how cold the winter,.. there’s a springtime ahead
I smile, but who am I kidding?

I’m just walking the miles,.. every once in a while I’ll get a ride
I’m thumbing my way back to heaven

Thumbing my way back to heaven
I’m thumbing my way back to heaven…