Friday, December 2, 2011

No. 916 – Faithful

Performer: Pearl Jam
Songwriters: Mike McCready, Eddie Vedder
Original Release: Yield
Year: 1998
Definitive Version: None

Some songs conjure specific memories; others recall a particular time. Sometimes the memories are significant; others they’re insignificant. This song definitely falls into the category of a single, insignificant moment.

I don’t know why it happens this way, but I can’t hear this song and not think of being at an outdoor shopping center near the Muirfield Golf Course past Dublin—Ohio, not Ireland. Debbie and I were going to one of Debbie’s friends for a dinner party in February 1998 the weekend after Pearl Jam released this album. Debbie and I stopped at the grocery store in this shopping center to pick up some wine (I had just begun to build my collection) and flowers to present as party favors. It was a typical slate-gray melty-snow Ohio February day, and the sky matched the stone décor of the shopping center.

To this day, I can’t tell you what we bought or even what we ate during dinner, other than homemade crème brulee for dessert. I remember the crème brulee only because Debbie’s friend was having trouble with the acetylene torch she bought that day specifically to caramelize the top.

But I can tell you with absolute certainty what we were listening to in the car on the drive to and from the dinner that day.

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