Van Halen – Jump | RIP Eddie Van Halen. Nobody can play a guitar like he can

It has been noted that David Lee Roth, the member of Van Halen who actually wrote the lyrics to “Jump”, has given different explanations concerning the song’s meaning. But as part of its official origin story he was inspired to pen it after watching a man threatening to kill himself, by jumping from a deadly height, on a TV news program. And in the first verse of the song in particular he seems to be taking on such a character, i.e. someone who has “seen the toughest around”.

But overall, the lyrics don’t come off as if they are about suicide per se. Rather said character seems to be addressing a female with a similar disposition. And in terms of relaying his aforementioned hardships, what he is basically telling her is that as bad as she thinks her life may be, he has seen worse. So then when he says that she “might as well jump”, honestly it reads as if he is encouraging her to take a leap of faith, if you will, towards edifying her life.

Some have interpreted this exhortation to be along the lines of the singer actually trying to convince this lady to get into a romantic relationship with him. Indeed one of the aforementioned alternate explanations Roth has given concerning this song’s meaning is that is that it is actually about a stripper. But on the surface at least, the lyrics themselves don’t appear to be about love at least. Rather it’s more like the well-traveled vocalist is trying to convince someone who thinks they have life really hard that it could be a lot worse, and his experiences are living proof of such. Thus he is apparently telling said individual that she needs to take a more-invigorated approach to life as opposed to giving up.

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