"Yellow Ledbetter" is the name of a song released in 1992 by the band Pearl Jam.
It was the second song written by lead singer Eddie Vedder and guitarist Mike McCready. They really wanted to include it on their debut album "Ten," but the studio, so reasons unknown, decided not to include it. Instead, in the summer of 1992, it was released as the B-side to the single "Jeremy." However, people liked the song, which eventually made its way to the radio and peaked at #21. Not bad for what the studio considered a "throw-away" song.
The name of the song comes from two places. First, the "Ledbetter" part was named for Eddie's childhood friend from Chicago, Tim Ledbetter. The "yellow" part came from the meaning of the song - about a friend of Eddie's in Seattle who received a "yellow letter" informing him that his brother died during the Gulf War.
While the single's lyrics were "I don't know whether I'm the boxer or the bag," the actual original lyrics are "I don't know whether my brother will be coming home in a box or a bag." It is the latter, original lyrics that Pearl Jam uses in live shows now.