(Top Modern Rock Songs Of All Time)
Song: "Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town"
Artist: Pearl Jam
Release Date: October, 1993
From The Album: Vs. (1993)
Quick Take: "Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town" is a song by the American rock band Pearl Jam. The song is the tenth track on the band's second studio album, Vs. (1993). Although credited to all members of Pearl Jam, it was primarily written by vocalist Eddie Vedder. The length of the song's title was a reaction by the band to the fact that most of its songs featured one-word titles. When discussing how he initially came up with "Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town", vocalist Eddie Vedder stated that "it was so quick." He elaborated further: We were recording the second record, and we stayed in this house in San Francisco, and I was outside the house in my own world and the little outhouse had a small room. I'm talking the size of a bathroom. I was able to fit a Shure Vocal Master, which is a 1960's PA, and two big towers of PA and a little amp and a 4 track. I slept in there too. I remember waking up one morning and playing pretty normal chords that sounded good, and I put on the vocal master to hear myself and it came out right quick. I don't even think I scribbled the lyrics down. It took 20 minutes. Stone was sitting outside reading the paper, and he was like "I really like that." So we recorded it that day. Vedder about "Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town": It's kind of about a lady, and she's getting on in years, and she's stuck in this small town. Small towns fascinate me: You either struggle like hell to get out, to some people want to stay 'cause then they're the big fish in the small pond, and then others just kind of get stuck there. So here she is working in this little place, and then an old flame comes in, and he's probably driving a nice car and looking kind of sharp—not a fancy car, but he's moved on. And then she sees him, and at first she doesn't even remember who he is, and then she realizes who it is. She's just too embarrassed to say 'hello.'