"That I Would Be Good" as written by Alanis Nadine Morissette and Glen Ballard....
That I would be good even if I did nothing
That I would be good even if I got the thumbs down
That I would be good if I got and stayed sick
That I would be good even if I gained ten pounds

That I would be fine even if I went bankrupt
That I would be good if I lost my hair and my youth
That I would be great if I was no longer queen
That I would be grand if I was not all knowing

That I would be loved even when I numb myself
That I would be good even when I am overwhelmed
That I would be loved even when I was fuming
That I would be good even if I was clingy

That I would be good even if I lost sanity
That I would be good
Whether with or without you


Lyrics submitted by aur0ra, edited by Regicake

"That I Would Be Good" as written by Alanis Nadine Morissette, Glen Ballard

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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That I Would Be Good song meanings
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  • +3
    My Interpretation"That I would be good" is an incomplete sentence. To me, the key missing words here are "I wish"...
    I *wish* that I would be good.
    To me the song is not optimistic at all, it is about having painfully low self-esteem.
    If only I could be good, if only I could be loved and accepted despite these flaws I cannot overcome.
    I wish "that I would be loved, even when"......
    It seems to me that the first verse is aimed at her parents/mother, addressing their/her high expectations of her.
    The second verse seems addressed to the public, from the point of view of being famous.
    The third and fourth perhaps to a combination of people: family, friends, public, her lover, and also to herself.

    I feel she has probably suffered abuse in her life, and an eating disorder, but I don't know that...just speculation, from listening to her songs.

    This song really resonates with me, it touches a nerve. This is the only song I know that makes me break down in tears every time that I hear it.
    sakurablossomon July 07, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is such a beautiful song, and I just listen to it over and over, longing for someone to love me to this extent. It makes me cry everytime I hear it.
    *Bhreagh*on May 21, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song emanates the emotions from a person who has been in love with someone but that person has conditions regarding his love for her. She is in pain because she longs for someone to return her love. She has the best intentions -i.e. she will do her best to keep in shape, act mature, be responible, however she knows she will have moments of temporarly insanity in her life. She craves security in knowing that her beloved won't run for the hills and reject her if she gets sick and needs to rely on him to help her. If she gains weight, he'll still be proud to be by her side, even workout with her if that will help her. She seeks positive support from him and she, in return will nurture his temporary weaknesses and love him more for it. We all fear rejection and crave security.
    meowoofon January 15, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis song i think is talking about having intrinsic worth, rather than just some instrumental value, that she is valuable even if she is not skinny, and loses her hair
    bluefloweron April 05, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI always thought it was about a girl who lost someone she loved... and the person made her so confident and strong that now, even though they're not physically together anymore (whether with or without you), she's still strong 'cause he made her strong... :)
    babyfabyon September 02, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commentmunch 49937 is not human. You need a heart to understand this song...
    therealmeon September 03, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI went through a bout of depression a couple of years ago and I would listen to this song over and over because it totally and completely described how I was feeling...its a great song and when I listen to it now, it gives me the sense thatI will be ok, regardless of any external factors in my life - good song!
    WishYouWereHereon October 14, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI just love the flute solo at the end, beautiful!
    Ghostlighton September 25, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think she's wishing that she knew how to love herself enough to let go of people who hurt her, and the ways she hurts herself. She's trying to let go of the paranoid cycle of self hatred that so many people, women especially find themselves trapped in.
    firstloveon June 25, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhen I read the lyrics I'm reminded of the old testament (though I'm not particularly religious). It says that, after creating the world, God said it was "good". That feeling that something is innately good (there is nothing that a person can do or not to that would stop them from being worth loving and appreciating) is thought by some to be the very essence of mature love. It is that attitude of unconditional love for herself that she seems to be longing for in this song. The song seems to speak to all the things that she tells herself that she has to be and has to have in order to be worth loving. To me, this song is more about her wishing that she really loved herself, instead of it being about her longing for someone else to love her... Great song! India taught her well.
    adamcohen81on March 28, 2007   Link

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