“This Perfect World” by Freedy Johnston (1994)

8 02 2009

At the core of most popular music is the song.  It’s like the script for a movie.  If you don’t have a good song, well, you don’t have much to work with.  A lot of popular music has pretty mediocre songs, or downright stupid songs.  So I really appreciate people like Freedy Johnston.  Mr. Johnston is an amazing songwriter, and his music should be required reading (listening?) for any aspiring songwriters.

This is the title track from a truly superb album.  The topics and lyrics are simple, direct, and will break your heart if you open it up enough to listen.  Yet the music is very uplifting, deceiving the listener at first.

Take this track, which I think is about a dying father wanting to say goodbye to a daughter who hates him for something he’d done long ago.  Now, you have to understand that I was soaking up this album years before I even knew I would have my own daughter, so there’s nothing particularly applicable to our relationship.  Not so far, anyway.  But now that I am a father, this song takes on even more meaning for me.  It’s a stark warning to me to never, ever let anything damage our relationship.

“Now I’ve gone around it’s far too late
And these pills won’t even let me cry
No one knows you even when you’re gone
But I still deserve to say goodbye
No matter what I’ve done”


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6 responses

9 02 2009
Gracieallan

What a lucky little girl.

1 03 2010
Brian Doherty

For a period of time, I played drums with Freedy Johnston. Read my story with the band, see rare video, pics and more on my website.

10 06 2010
m4md

Thanks, Brian, I’ll check it out. What are you doing these days?

20 08 2010
ken kaniff

I thought the song was about a guy who kills his wife/girlfriend and hopes to say goodbye to his daughter before he is locked up/executed?

14 09 2010
m4md

Yeah, I think you’re right, which makes it tragically complex and emotional. It resonates with me, big time.

3 11 2011
chukichi

I just stumbled upon your blog while listening to Freedy Johnston; I am a parent of a son and daughter and I love this so much. I’ve not spoken to my family in over five years and they don’t know my kids; my grandmother passed away last year and I wasn’t even told. “I still deserve to say goodbye no matter what I’ve done” means so much more now.

I hope you come back to this blog, it’s a great idea and I love it!

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