About the song

If you are a fan of Willie Nelson, you might be familiar with his cover of Pearl Jam’s song “Just Breathe”. But do you know the story behind this beautiful rendition? In this blog post, we will explore the history and meaning of this song, and how Willie Nelson made it his own.

“Just Breathe” was originally written and recorded by Eddie Vedder, the lead singer of Pearl Jam, for their 2009 album Backspacer. The song is a reflection on life, death, love and gratitude. Vedder said he was inspired by his wife and children, and by a song called “Tuolumne” by Michael Brook, which he used as the instrumental basis for “Just Breathe”. He also said he wanted to write a song that his kids could sing along to.

The song became one of Pearl Jam’s most popular and acclaimed songs, reaching number five on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart and earning a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. It was also featured in several movies and TV shows, such as Into the Wild, One Tree Hill, Grey’s Anatomy and The Blacklist.

In 2012, Willie Nelson released his version of “Just Breathe” as part of his album Heroes, which featured collaborations with various artists, including his son Lukas Nelson. Willie Nelson said he heard the song on the radio and loved it instantly. He said he related to the lyrics and felt they expressed his own feelings about life and mortality. He also said he admired Vedder’s voice and wanted to sing with him.

Willie Nelson’s cover of “Just Breathe” is a stripped-down acoustic version, with only guitar and harmonica accompanying his distinctive vocals. He sings the song as a duet with Lukas Nelson, who also plays guitar. The father-son harmony adds a layer of emotion and intimacy to the song, making it sound like a personal conversation between them. The video for the song features footage of Willie Nelson and Lukas Nelson performing live at Farm Aid 2013, as well as scenes of their family life on the road.

Willie Nelson’s cover of “Just Breathe” received positive reviews from critics and fans alike. It was praised for its simplicity, sincerity and soulfulness. It also reached number 35 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, making it Willie Nelson’s first top 40 hit since 2004.

“Just Breathe” is a song that speaks to the heart of anyone who has ever loved and lost, or who has ever faced their own mortality. It is a song that reminds us to appreciate the present moment and cherish the relationships we have with our loved ones. It is a song that Willie Nelson made his own, by adding his unique voice and perspective to it.