Good Is Good by Sheryl Crow opens up with a guitar riff that is immediately a familiar feeling. The long chords are very distinguished. As the young folks may say, it is “a mood.”
Melancholy is the word that I would use to describe it. Melancholy can be used to describe the entire song, being that it is not necessarily pessimistic while at the same time it has an uplifting and self-reflective message.
Anxiety and depression are behavior patterns that are being openly discussed now more than ever. I’d venture to say that people with those conditions in their lives may relate to lyrics of this song. Like the part that says “If you could find a rock you’d crawl right under.” lol
Melancholy. I had to look up that word to be sure that I am using it correctly. I am mostly right. It is defined as “passive sadness” so, yes, there are melancholy themes in this song.
On this website and in my books, I try to give readers the idea that they have some control over how they feel and what they experience. The opening verse of Good is Good seems to be on that same vibe. Sheryl sings:
“Good is good and bad is bad,
But you don’t know which one you had.”
We’ve all been there. Appreciative for what you have but knowing it’s not exactly what you want it to be. Either that or taking something for granted.
Now this next part is something I talk about in my real world, with my real world friends and loved ones. Perhaps I should bring it more into my online world as well. The lyric goes:
“Love’s on your list of things to do
To bring your good luck back to you.”
And then there is the chorus, which speaks volumes:
“And every time you hear the rolling thunder,
You turn around before the lightning strikes…
My interpretation is that the rolling thunder is in your head. The thunder is hope. It’s those cautiously optimistic thoughts that say that maybe you can change, maybe you can follow your dreams. Maybe, things will work out well. But then, you turn around and tell yourself ‘no, it won’t work’ because your past experiences have ended up that way. or perhaps, you say no because you are afraid.
The next part of the chorus goes:
“And does it ever make you stop and wonder,
if all your good times pass you by.”
Newsflash: If you don’t walk toward the good times then they won’t have a chance of reaching you.
You hope, but then you take it back before it has a chance of coming into truth.
This is a beautiful song. For me, it is a “last call” song for happiness. Not in a bad way. But if you’re reached the point that you feel that love is all you have to turn to to bring your life into an up swing. So to speak – you’ve had bad luck and you don’t know what to do but practice self-love to turn it around.” Then you, melancholy person, have a little responsibility to turn your personal thoughts around.
If the thunder in your head – the hope in your mind- is there. And you turn your back on it before your hopes are realized, then what do you have left?
Anyway, I hope Sheryl Crow doesn’t mind my interpretation of this lovely song that she has written with a man named Jeff Trott. They did a commentary on this song on Tidal (an album called The History of Us) and Sheryl mentioned how the meaning of some lyrics change, shift or find new meaning over time – either from the listener or the singer.
As a music lover and lyrics, I try to be mindful of not internalizing things too much. In particular, the songs that are melancholy or downright sad or angry. I like them, but if I relate to it too much then I will willfully keep it at bay for the sake of my own happiness.
It would be accurate to say that I haven’t listened to this song, Good is Good, in years. This album was released in 2005 (!?) but for some reason, here at the very end of 2019, this song began to play in my head. Just the first two lines – “good is good and bad is bad. but you don’t know which one you had.”
So when I began to play it – a lot of meaning found its way into my experience. As I’ve said, I try not to internalize songs that make sad experiences sound catchy. But I think perhaps my subconscious began to play this song for me because I needed a reminder not to “turn around before the lightning strikes.”
I’m at a time in my life where I am comfortable being free to believe what I want to believe. The stronghold that held me back was the world that I was born into. The social and spiritual world that never served me. In my mind, if it worked for me, then I would have had happiness and success from it…. and anxiety and depression would not have plagued me like a curse.
The curse is broken, now, though. I have broken it because I no longer relate to the old belief system. Because of that, I am free to walk avenues that bring me closer to internal happiness and closer to God.
I don’t intend this to be about me. But, there is another lyric that I think truly embodies the mission and foundations of this website- Easy Light Sources. (It’s not just about vegan food reviews!) Check out this lyric and then I’ll end this content piece… although, I think I will add these lyrics to the bottom of the site page as a semi-permanent fixture.
“I don’t hold no mystery,
But I can show you how to turn the key.
Cause all I know is where I started
And that’s not where you want to be.”
Literally, I started this website because I wanted to help people like myself who have experienced depression and anxiety. As I lift myself out of it, I tell almost everything that helps me. Sometimes, it’s like these posts are written for my own well-being than for anyone else! But, that’s me showing you how to turn the key.
Thank you for reading.