"A Mind With A Heart Of Its Own" as written by Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne....
I remember her standing in the tall grass and cattails
Away from the windows at the end of the day
Watch the men from the landing
With tall hats and coat-tails
She'd never look different
But something would change

A mind, with a heart of its own
A mind, with a heart of its own
Yeah a mind with a heart of its own

Well the man out to end us had a hurricane business
He'd raise them from babies all by himself
But his teen-age accountant had become surrounded
He drank up the party and everyone left

A mind, with a heart of its own
A mind, with a heart of its own
Yeah a mind with a heart of its own

Well I been to Brooker and I been to Micanopy
I been to St. Louis too, I been all around the world
I've been over to your house
And you've been over sometimes to my house
I've slept in your tree house
My middle name is Earl

A mind, with a heart of its own
A mind, with a heart of its own
Yeah a mind with a heart of its own

A mind, with a heart of its own
A mind, with a heart of its own
Yeah a mind with a heart of its own


Lyrics submitted by oofus

"A Mind with a Heart of Its Own" as written by Tom Petty Jeff Lynne

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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A Mind With A Heart Of Its Own song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI was thinking that the line before my middle name is Earl is I slept in your tree house. That reminds of childhood times sleeping in a friend's tree house and sharing silly little secrets about each other like one's middle name.
    cabinessence67on August 21, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't know if there really is a meaning to this song. It seems like just a lot of miscellaneous things tossed together. For some reason I really like the line "My middle name is Earl." It doesn't seem to fit very well with the rest of the lyrics around it, and it always surprises me a little bit when I hear it (even though I know it's coming).

    Oh yeah, and the story behind the title is that Tom Petty heard somebody say, "My heart has a mind of its own," and then got to thinking about that being the other way around.
    Nick the Bastardon July 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's talking about how crazy of a thing love is. And the part "my middle name is earl" is just awesome.
    TomPettyon April 04, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHis middle name really is Earl, by the way.
    DJacques75on July 05, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about day-dreaming or imagining things being different than they are, and how you can have emotions in your fantasy life that have no real connection to your real life
    PaleolithNickon July 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIn Conversations With Tom Petty he says that he made the last verse up on the spot in the studio, because the song wasn't long enough. He thinks it fits in well with the other verses but I don't think so at all. (Not that I mind.)
    treefrogdemonon September 13, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song is purposely cryptic, so I doubt anyone but Tom Petty really knows what it's about. I wonder if this is a series of memories from childhood. The first part starts out with the memory of a girl, or a woman, who wouldn't look different to him, though other things would change. Memories are like that. Was it his mom? An old girlfriend?

    The next part talks about a man who makes hurricanes. I was thinking he could either be a bartender making drinks, or someone who liked to fight. According to Tom Petty's bio on Wikipedia, his father was abusive and not supportive of Petty's musical aspirations. Teenagers aren't generally accountants, so it seems like it would mean something else. Was Petty the teenage accountant? What was he counting? Does "surrounded" mean famous or consumed with other cares? Did the man drink up the party, or was it the teenager?

    The last part seems like maybe he is talking to someone about old times. A best friend from childhood? He's been to Brooker and Micanopy, which are tiny towns outside of Gainsville, FL where he grew up. Then he expands to St. Louis, and then the world. He started small and expanded. Then he brings it back to what seem like memories of spending time with a friend from childhood.

    It would be cool to hear Tom Petty explain the real thoughts behind the song. Artists usually don't admit that their nonsensical songs have meaning, but I think this one does. I think it is snippets of memory that, without context, seem disjointed and strange.
    russmc3on September 04, 2016   Link

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