I had always thought that Eddie Vedder wrote this song - a classic for modern times about our obsession with the material world, with poignant lyrics and a haunting melody - but it turns out it was written by guy called Jerry Hannan. I only found out when I covered it and credited it to Vedder, only to be corrected by my fans. I don't know how he and Eddie crossed paths, but Vedder made it famous when he covered it for the soundtrack for the film Into the wild.
Here's Hannan's version below... I think they use the same backing track. Strange.