Jeremy spoke in class today
Clearly I remember, pickin’ on the boy / Seemed a harmless little f*ck
Ooh, but we unleashed a lion / Gnashed his teeth and bit the recess lady’s breast
How can I forget?
Jeremy Delle was a 15-year old kid in Richardson, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. He showed up late to class one day and the teacher told him to go get a note from the office. When he came back he stood in front of his classmates, put a .357 magnum in his mouth, and pulled the trigger.
This is why Eddie Vedder wrote the lyrics to Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy,” from the album Ten, which released August 27, 1991. Jeremy ended his life on January 8, 1991. Vedder read a newspaper article about this horrific event, and almost immediately wrote the song.
After years of watching the (edited) version of the music video, I assumed that “Jeremy” stood in front of the class and shot (some of) his classmates. A while back I started thinking about how prominent school shootings have become in the U.S. since around 1997. Then I wondered why Pearl Jam would have released such a song some 6 years earlier. Clearly it wasn’t exactly about a school shooting, per se, but I really don’t think there’s much difference.
As I get more into this (horrendous) subject, I’m quickly reminded of such terrible events as the gunman on the clock tower at the University of Texas, who shot and killed 14 people in 1966. But it seems like with the Paducah, KY (1997); Jonesboro, AR (1998) and Littleton, CO (1999) shootings, it has taken on a whole different level of evil. One where student kills student.
Love, hate or whatever you feel about Marilyn Manson, I think he nailed it when he said the following. Michael Moore was interviewing him for his film, Bowling For Columbine, and he asked Manson what he would say to the kids of Columbine. He answered:
“I wouldn’t say a single word to them. I would listen to what they have to say, and that’s what no one did.”