"If It Makes You Happy" as written by Sheryl Crow and Jeffrey Trott....
I belong, a long way from here
I put on a poncho and played for mosquitoes
And drank 'till I was thirsty again
We went searching, through thrift store jungles

Found Geronimo's rifle, Marilyn's shampoo
And Benny Goodman's cursive pen
Well, okay, I made this up
I promise you I'd never give up

If it makes you happy
It can't be that bad
If it makes you happy
Then why the hell are you so sad?

Get down, real low down
You listen to Coltrane, derail your own train
Well, who hasn't been there before?

I come 'round, around the hard way
Bring you comics in bed
Scrape the mold off the bread
And serve you french toast again
Okay, I still get stoned
I'm not the kind of girl you'd take home

If it makes you happy
It can't be that bad
If it makes you happy
Then why the hell are you so sad?

If it makes you happy
It can't be that bad
If it makes you happy
Then why the hell are you so sad?

We've been far, far away from here
I put on a poncho and played for mosquitoes
And everywhere in between
Well, okay, we get along
So what if right now, everything's wrong?

If it makes you happy
It can't be that bad
If it makes you happy
Then why the hell are you so sad?

If it makes you happy
It can't be that bad
If it makes you happy
Then why the hell are you so sad?


Lyrics submitted by spliphstar

"If It Makes You Happy" as written by Jeffrey Trott Sheryl Crow

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., OLE MEDIA MANAGEMENT LP, RESERVOIR MEDIA MANAGEMENT INC

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If It Makes You Happy song meanings
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63 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentIf it makes you happy, it CAN be that bad, and that’s why you are so sad. That’s the reality of the situation. A lot of things make us happy, but they can be bad for us and knowing that but continuing doing them is what makes us sad. We know damn well they’re not good for us but we carry on because they make us feel good.
    That’s life – one big contradiction. Great song though. Haven’t got a clue what the rest of it means.
    voodochildon July 04, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentTo be honest, I'm not a fan of Sheryl's at all. I haven't heard this song either. I read the lyrics in a friends MSN name and was immediately drawn to it.

    The chorus made me think of drugs, possibly becuase i'm in the middle of an addiction myself. It's biased, but it fits.

    "I've been a long long way from here" meaning that she used to be clean, and happy, and she goes on to tell about the fun times of her life.

    "If it makes you happy
    It can't be that bad
    If it makes you happy
    Then why the hell are you so sad" Anybody who has suffered through addiction immediately relates to this. It brings you so high, and takes you so low, and you do think that how can something so great be so bad?

    "You get down, real low down" Self explanatory. I think what she says about the french toast again is wishful thinking about the possible good times ahead if the addiction was overcome.

    Then she says straight up she still get's stoned, and coudln't be brought home. Who's parents would be impressed with a drug addict?

    Then she goes back to the good memories and states "Well, o.k. we get along
    So what if right now everything's wrong?".

    I don't know, to me it just screams addiction. I could be completely wrong though. I'm looking forward to hearing the song.
    getupxkidon July 21, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song totally reminds me of this girl I am friends with. She dated this guy who was into bad stuff, but acted differently around his family. He would never bring her around to his home because she was considered bad. He refused to recognize their relationship and just totally used her. She was in love with him and he led her on for a long time. If it makes you happy, it can't be that bad. Right?
    lilac3397on June 16, 2004   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI really think the song is about addictions… addiction to drugs, addictions to another person… addiction to material things… addiction to food… anything… the person thinks these things/person is what will make them happy and they crave it, need it so much, because without it they think they’re not gonna be able to be happy, but the truth is that even when they have it they are miserable… so you just have to realize that what you think is gonna make your life better is just messing it up… and sometimes you have to just give up on what you want the most to be able to live your life really happy
    tutupron March 15, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is ACTUALLY about Sheryl's brother who was addicted to herion. The french toast part always reminds me of MY bro. When we were kids I couldn't cook anything else, so he would talk me into making him french toast. ha, ha...
    moeheadon July 17, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song.. reminds me of my ex boyfriend becaue he was coke addict and i would not say a thing because i guessed if it made him happy it wasnt thaaatt ba.. i even tried it myself (error!!) just because it made him happy... now i regret it..s tupid thinking... now im with a new guy.. sort of.. cause he doesnt want anything serious.. which sucks for me.. but if it makes him happy...
    Coldplay123on December 18, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this is a defensive reaction to the truth. She used a bunch of people including Kevin Gilbert to get where she got and then dissed them and took all the credit. When they took exception to being used she was saying....get over it...it happens in show biz all the time. She has continued with this shallow behavior behing the scenes...ask anyone in her bands...or in Tennessee or from the Johnny Cash tribute show.
    leenashvilleon March 23, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think this song is about an abusive relationship or an unhappy relationship, and the girl is trying to convince herself and others that she is happy in this unhealthy relationship. The first two verses before chorus are talking about all the things she made up to tell her friends, all the "stories" she supposedly had to share involving her and her boyfriend, but in reality none of that actually happened. They never really did any of the things she said she did but she was just trying to convince her friends that this was a great relationship and she was genuinely happy. I think the chorus is her talking to herself or her friends trying to knock sense into her. She's pretty depressed and yet she talks about how great her relationship is, but in reality it is making her feel worse. They are questioning why she is so sad if this relationship makes her so happy. The third verse (after chorus) is talking about how she is getting really depressed. She is trying to justify it by saying "everyone has been here before, I'll be better soon." She realizes since she stayed in this bad relationship she "derailed her own train", as in it is her fault. The fourth verse is either talking about how she does everything for this guy and he treats her like crap and doesn't do anything in return, or she has made everything right and then she went back to him again. By this I mean, she scraped the mold off the bread (broke up with him), again to try to make things better. However, she has to keep doing it again and again because she keeps running back to him. Hope that makes sense? She admits that she still does "bad" things like getting stoned and she really isn't the kind of person a guy would want to take home or to show his parents? Confused on that verse a bit.
    PinkInkon August 14, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is a message to her brother. This is a sister talking to her brother, Tryna get him out of his hole, but with the lyrics alone, her song as a message to him for the sole purpose of making him think about his direction in life. She starts out by comparing her life to his, which all good sisters do. Apparantley Sheryl would say anything to get her bro off the drug, that's why she says "okay I made it up..."so she embellishes her life, but by using simple metaphors, "thrift shop jungle, put on a poncho played for mosquitos, drank till I was thirsty again..." Basically saying she makes money to do some fun shopping, plays music at bars and drinks and has a wild fun time. Yeah, Sheryl gets stoned, but she's not on whatever her brother is on and she's making something of her life, and he's not. Her bro must say something like (and all us addicts do) "a drug is a drug is a drug." But truth be told, her getting stoned is no comparison to any other substance. Then comes the define sentence, "I'm not the kind of girl you'd take home." Where she's basically saying he could never get with a decent chick whose more level headed like herself. She also adds all the little things she does for him, it's subtle but it's all symbols;French toast, comics,... It's just her way of saying how she cares for him, but there's something she knows about her brother, and it's that If the drug makes you happy, then why does this song make you sad? That's the ultimate point of the song. She knows this song will get under his skin. She belongs a long way from him because can't handle his drug use, and he may be happy, but is he really?
    Jaycub86on July 05, 2015   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this could be about anything self destructive like drugs or an abusive relationship but is probably more about being a reluctant celebrity or married to Lance Armstrong. In the video she is encased in a diorama as part of an endangered species exhibit at a museum (of natural history?) and she's not happy about it even though it's xmas in there - so why isn't she happy? maybe because its impossible to get any privacy when you're on "exhibit" and scrutinized all the time for marrying Lance Armstrong. Maybe being a celebrity isn't as much fun as it looks. But why endangered species? probably cause of all the people killing themselves cause they're famous and married to liars like Kurt Cobain. She basically calls her fans Mosquitos - but I actually think Tom Petty wrote this song about all of that stuff but mostly was in love with Sheryl Crow and wanted her to acknowledge she wasn't happy with Lance and would be better off with him.
    louieglaser@gmail.comon January 13, 2016   Link

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