"Perfect" as written by Alanis Nadine Morissette and Glen Ballard....
Sometimes is never quite enough
If you're flawless, then you'll win my love
Don't forget to win first place
Don't forget to keep that smile on your face

Be a good boy
Try a little harder
You've got to measure up
And make me prouder

How long before you screw it up
How many times do I have to tell you to hurry up
With everything I do for you
The least you can do is keep quiet

Be a good girl
You've gotta try a little harder
That simply wasn't good enough
To make us proud

I'll live through you
I'll make you what I never was
If you're the best, then maybe so am I
Compared to him compared to her
I'm doing this for your own damn good
You'll make up for what I blew
What's the problem, why are you crying

Be a good boy
Push a little farther now
That wasn't fast enough
To make us happy
We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect


Lyrics submitted by Boonechic_21

"Perfect" as written by Alanis Nadine Morissette Glen Ballard

Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, THE BICYCLE MUSIC COMPANY

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Perfect song meanings
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  • +3
    Song MeaningThis is a really good song. A lot of people really need to hear it whether they are parents or children. Alanis is sort of being sarcastic in these lyrics. I remember hearing this song when I was 15 and thinking "Surely she can't be serious." My parents always made me feel like I was on top of the world. They have always been proud of me even though I was not perfect. The song is about parents who have unrealistic expectations for their children. You have to get that 4.0 every term. You have to get into this college. My great grandfather and his father before that went to this college. You have to win the state championship; I'm not having any losers in my family. Get out there and win! You have to get this part in the school play. You have to win the beauty pageant. I never won the beauty pageant when I was your age etc...There are a lot of parents who pull that kind of crap. You really see how ridiculous that type of parenting is when the song reaches the bridge. Some parents live through their children. It's a very small and selfish thing to do. That kind of pressure causes children psychological harm. They deserve better. They are entitled to better. Every parent needs to expect their kids to be the best that they can be, but no child is going to posess all of the qualities that those parents wanted for their children. A big part of love is acceptance. The message these kids get is "We love you just the way you are if you're perfect." A lot of times parents who raise their kids like that have an even more difficult time establishing relationships with them as adults. When those kids finally become their own people and move out they don't want anything to do with their parents. The parents can't figure out why. I had wonderful parents. This song just makes me appreciate my family more.
    Chase5on April 04, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is about parents who have really high expectations for their children and what they are really unconciously saying
    ChrissyTinaon January 19, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti really feel this song has touched anyone who has heard it at one point or another, cause everyone has had those feelings of not "beging good enough" or not "living up" to the expectations of yourself or other. she tells it how it is from the eyes of a child how much pressure is being placed on a kid. so when ya feel like shit and ya need to shed a tear, i recommend this one.
    Ava Adoreon April 14, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentwhen jagged little pill first came out i wasn't a smart person when it came to music. i just listened to "ironic" over and over again. when my music sense finally came to me i listened to the whole cd and this song made me cry. dammit, i cried. the lyrics are strong and the message is stimulating. sad song.
    brodyISmyIDOLon April 16, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's called "Little Leauge Syndrome". It's an actual disorder. When parents live vicariously through their children it can cause the child a mental disorder. It was this song that gave me the idea to write a play for Directing class on this topic.

    I mean, I'm close with my parents but I'm so glad the don't push me to "make up for what they blew."
    ACYon April 27, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentan honest song that made me cry. i can relate entirely to it.
    parents with all sorts of high expectations they put on you.... up until the point where your life isn't really yours anymore.
    one of my favourites of Alanis' writings.
    Poizunon May 24, 2006   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationJagged Little Pill came out when I was in high school. I was crazy about every track. Whenever I heard "Perfect" I would grouse to myself about my family, my parents, and their expectations.

    Just the other day I heard this song again, for the first time as a parent of a 6 yr old. I was just floored, humbled, it's so hard to NOT be the parents in this song.

    I'm going to listen to it often just to remind myself that our children's lives are for them, not as a continuation of our youth.
    Phadedjadedon March 29, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about parents who have really high expectations for their children and what they are really unconciously saying
    ChrissyTinaon January 19, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about parents who have really high expectations for their children and what they are really unconciously saying
    ChrissyTinaon January 19, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think everyone can, at some point in their life, realte to this song completely. Personally, my grandparents and parents are that way.. they expect me to be everything I'm not and want me to live their lives. What a great song
    *peace*
    BigEyedPhish103on May 07, 2002   Link

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