Pearl Jam were not immune from feeling royally bummed out on Thursday night (Sept. 8) during their show at Toronto’s Scotiabank Center. Like so many of their musical peers, the Seattle-bred band took a moment to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, whose death earlier in the day at age 96 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland unleashed waves of nostalgic love for the longest-reigning ruler in the nation’s history
“This is just a little one I’m gonna pull out from Paul McCartney,” singer Eddie Vedder told the crowd of “Her Majesty,” a McCartney-penned Beatles tune from 1969’s Abbey Road album. The ultra-brief finger-picked ditty — which lasts less than 30 seconds and was one of the first-ever “hidden tracks” on a rock album, sneaking out after the long fade of “The End” — features some cheeky lines in which Sir Paul mused about a mash-worthy monarch.
“Her Majesty is a pretty nice girl/ But she doesn’t have a lot to say/ Her Majesty is a pretty nice girl/ But she changes from day to day,” Vedder sang jauntily while strumming an acoustic guitar. “I wanna tell her that I love her a lot/ But I gotta get a belly full of wine/ Her Majesty is a pretty nice girl/ Someday I’m gonna make her mine, oh yeah/ Someday I’m gonna make her mine.”
The tribute then dove right into the Stone Gossard-penned PJ track “All Those Yesterdays” from 1998’s Yield, which asks the poignant question, “Don’t you think you’ve done enough?/ Oh don’t you think you’ve got enough well maybe/ You don’t think there’s time to stop/ There’s time enough for you to lay your head down tonight tonight.”
And while that song was clearly not monarchically motivated, the nods to rest, sleep, laying your head down and reminiscing about “all those yesterdays” certainly had resonance for the near-centenarian Queen who was served by 15 prime minsters and met 13 U.S. presidents during her unprecedentedly long reign.
Watch fan footage of PJ playing “Her Majesty” and the show’s setlist below.