"The Heart of Life" as written by and John Mayer....
I hate to see you cry
Laying there in that position
There's things you need to hear
So turn off your tears and listen

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
No, it won't all go the way, it should
But I know the heart of life is good

You know it's nothing new
Bad news never had good timing
But then the circle of your friends
Will defend the silver lining

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
No, it won't all go the way, it should
But I know the heart of life is good

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
Fear is a friend who's misunderstood
But I know the heart of life is good

I know it's good

Lyrics submitted by blondechic1921, edited by Elephant18

"The Heart of Life" as written by John Clayton Mayer

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, REACH MUSIC PUBLISHING

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The Heart of Life song meanings
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  • +7
    General CommentFirst, I have to agree with Doomsquad. The song isn't JUST about breaking up with someone...it's about all aspects of life. And John himself said he wrote it after his grandmother died.

    Anyway, as much as I love this song, I've never been able to figure out the line, "Fear is a friend who's misunderstood."

    But today, for the first time, I finally got it. I was just thinking about fear, and how it drives my life, but in negative ways. And then I realized that fear is a motivator in positive ways too, because chances are, if you’re afraid of something, it's probably the exact same thing you should be doing. Fear means the chance of failure, the chance of failing, but if you never try you never know. And that's how fear is misunderstood- we take it to mean its warning us, we revel in it and let it blanket us. Instead, we should let it motivate us to do the things we're too scared to do, fear should allow us to take those chances we are afraid to take. Fear is a misunderstood friend.
    brittpinkieon September 22, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General CommentHonestly i really believe that this song is completely under rated. Its message is something that everyone should follow-life may throw you bad times and bad feelings, but underneath that is good intentions. You learn from all the bad times and the mistakes that you make so out of the bad comes the good. I just think more people should be optimistic like john is in this song.
    softmelody23on February 27, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentJohn Mayer writes amazing & touching music. The song applies to anyone in ANY situation.
    One doesn't always have to apply it to a break up.

    "Pain throws your heart to the ground.
    Love turns the whole thing around.
    Fear is a friend who's misunderstood.."

    Pain can come from fighting w/ a friend, losing a job, crashing your car... Love turning things around can be from making a new friend, being cheered up by current friends/loved ones, finding a new job you love, being excited w/ your car being replaced or restored...

    "Fear, a friend misunderstood." I don't feel ustaplayer has the whole analogy correct. It's not only about being afraid of death, life, love...

    Fear being your "friend" means, to acknowledge, when you feel fear, it can be your own self telling you to go after WHATEVER it is you're "fearing." Becuz the outcome can be huge & precious. Be it a job position you're "afraid" of applying for, a person you care for deeply, that you're "afraid" of falling in love with, "afraid" of moving to another state to pursue your dreams or career...etc..

    We usually fear things where the outcome will affect us tremendously (be it a positive or negative affect). But, usually the risk is worth it. Going after something big & actually getting it, can be an all consuming feeling of happiness. So Mayer is stating that "fear is your friend" who you shouldn't see & hide from, but face it, over come it, & use fear to your advantage. Take your fear as a challenge to overcome & better yourself, your strength, & risk getting something great (ie that new job, falling in love & having that gr8 relationship, accomplishing your dreams/career in another state & being happy & successful...etc).

    If things don't work out & you're feeling sad or unsuccessful, or alone, or a failure...etc... Things/Life WILL get better. You will feel happiness again. New opportunities will come, new friends you'll make, a new love you'll meet, another job offer will appear, new memories & life experiences you'll create... etc... The heart of life is good. Things will always get better & being alive is worth it all. Always keep going... The heart of life is good.
    pleasantnessNaoon March 29, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI see this song in two kind of ways..
    1. Love
    It could have been about a lover, that has no turned to a friend. A friend that he cares about very much and it hurts him when she hurts. And maybe she has found a new love but she is struggeling (could be about love or just life it self) but he ist still hurt that she is hurt. And he is telling her that everything will be ok. because in the end everything in life is good.


    Its just simply a really close friend who is struggeling w/life and love. And he is telling her that everything will be ok. just look at your friends who are there for you.
    deyruizon October 31, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbeautiful song with beautiful lyrics, its hard to get the true feeling across and not seem insincere or sappy, but i understand it.
    Hatendencyon August 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgreat song. its about breaking up with someone.

    "you know it's nothing new
    that news never had good timing"

    its a terrible feeling to break up with someone (most of the time) and there is never really a good time to do so.

    "pain throws your heart to the ground
    love turns the whole thing around"

    breaking up hurts real bad, but love from those who care about you, like family and freinds, will make you feel better.

    "but then the circle of your friends
    will defend the silver lining"

    your freinds will be there for you, to make you feel better.

    "heart of life is good"

    although the hear of life (love) can cause you pain, its still a good thing. Love is still a good thing, and will continue to be around you in good ways. (family,freinds, a new loved ones)
    Doriason August 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song can be about breaking up with someone, but it's more generic than that. To quote John, "It's like a great big Hallmark card for whatever occasion you need it to be." The gist of the song is that even though bad and painful things can and do happen, the basic core of life is good and love will get you through anything.
    whitefang2043on September 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhen I heard this song, I didn't think it was about breaking up at all. My interpretation has to do with the fact that I have an extremely pessimistic boyfriend, who's often finding things wrong with life and situations and possibilities for getting hurt and whatnot- but I'm always the optimistic one saying that you have to focus on the love in life, it's what makes that pain worth it and when you have friends around to remind you of the "silver lining" then the awful things don't seem so terrible
    liluxo104on September 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah I think it's about people. People let you down and hurt your feelings but at the core of everything, they are ultimately good because they have the ability to love. It's really easy to look at the world and just give up on the whole human race altogether, but John reminds us that love has the ability to fix it all.
    MarchingGrobaniteon September 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think it says

    you know it's nothing new
    *bad* news never had good timing
    but then the circle of your friends
    will defend the silver lining

    thats my favorite part. good friends do that for you.
    whenshesmileson September 17, 2006   Link

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