I'm the Ocean

Neil Young, “I’m the Ocean” (1995). We all know the little grunger children of the 90s were educated by Neil Young (whose one of many monikers is the “Godfather of Grunge”) and that Rust Never Sleeps (side B) was basically grunge avant la lettre. Thus, when Young went to Seattle in 1995 to record with Pearl Jam it was no surprise that the result, Mirror Ball, was one of Young’s most magnificent achievements that transcends his traditional fans, the x-geners, and on through today’s starved listeners of rock-and-roll. For many, the masterpiece of this LP’s sublime intersection was “I’m the Ocean,” a kind of anthem to the imbrication of the banal and the marvelous in life in (more-or-less) four chords, onwards and onwards, to the ocean. No chorus, no bridge (fuck bridges!)….on and on and on, like the road, like life…(Jack Irons beautifully beating the living shit out of the kit)….(Jeff Ament’s bass and Stone Gossard’s and Mike McCready’s guitars)…on and on….(pay attention to the lyrics!… “I’m the ocean, I’m the ocean.” We include the studio version as well as a live performance from Prague in 1995: Check out Irons’ drumming and McCready’s driving guitar. These boys are seamless.

I'm an accident
I was driving way too fast
Couldn't stop though
So I let the moment last
I'm for rollin'
I'm for tossin' in my sleep
It's not guilt though
It's not the company I keep
People my age
They don't do the things I do
They go somewhere
While I run away with you
I got my friends
And I got my children too
I got her love
She's got my love too
I can't hear you
But I feel the things you say
I can't see you
But I see what's in my way
Now I'm floatin'
Cause I'm not tied to the ground
Words I've spoken
Seem to leave a hollow sound
On the long plain
See the rider in the night
See the chieftain
See the braves in cool moonlight
Who will love them
When they take another life
Who will hold them
When they tremble for the knife
Voicemail numbers
On an old computer screen
Rows of lovers
Parked forever in a dream
Screaming sirens
Echoing across the bay
To the old boats
From the city far away
Homeless heroes
Walk the streets of their hometown
Rows of zeroes
On a field that's turning brown
They play baseball
They play football under lights
They play card games
And we watch them every night
Need distraction
Need romance and candlelight
Need random violence
Need entertainment tonight
Need the evidence
Want the testimony of
Expert witnesses
On the brutal crimes of love
I was too tired
To see the news when I got home
Pulled the curtain
Fell into bed alone
Started dreaming
Saw the rider once again
In the doorway
Where she stood and watched for him
Watched for him
I'm not present
I'm a drug that makes you dream
I'm an aerostar
I'm a cutlass supreme
In the wrong lane
Trying to turn against the flow
I'm the ocean
I'm the giant undertow
I'm the ocean
I'm the ocean
I'm the giant undertow
I'm the ocean
I'm the giant undertow
I'm the ocean
I'm the ocean
I'm the ocean
I'm the ocean
I'm the ocean
I'm the ocean