She's a good girl, loves her mama
Loves Jesus and America, too
She's a good girl, crazy 'bout Elvis
Loves horses and her boyfriend, too

It's a long day livin' in Reseda
There's a freeway runnin' through the yard
And I'm a bad boy, 'cause I don't even miss her
I'm a bad boy for breakin' her heart

And I'm free, I'm free fallin'

All the vampires walkin' through the valley
Move west down Ventura Blvd.
And all the bad boys are standing in the shadows
And the good girls are home with broken hearts

And I'm free, I'm free fallin'

I wanna glide down over Mulholland
I wanna write her name in the sky
I wanna free fall out into nothin'
Gonna leave this world for awhile

And I'm free, I'm free fallin'

Lyrics submitted by oofus

Free Fallin' song meanings
Add Your Thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +21
    Song MeaningA beautiful song. It makes many allusions to Californian landmarks and culture, which are often confused as figurative statements by people not from California. If you understand the allusions, the verses have very simple meaning.

    The meaning of the chorus changes in the context of the verse that precedes it, starting rough and celebratory and growing darker and bittersweet as the character is explored.

    Verse 1 - Setting - A wonderful girl
    Verse 2 - Action - A bad boy has a short fling with her, leaves on the highway
    Chorus - Meaning - This bad boy loves his freedom and independence
    Verse 3 - Setting - Bad boys exploit girls and then leave break their hearts.
    Chorus - Meaning - Bad boys' freedom is at the expense of the women they hurt
    Verse 4 - Action - A bad boy realizes as he drives out of LA that he felt something for her
    Chorus - Meaning - The bottom falls out as one bad boy realizes that in pursuing the ideal of freedom, he sacrifices meaningful connection

    Reseda was a family-oriented suburb of LA when the song was written
    Freeways in LA cut right through residential areas in some places
    West down Venture leads out of the suburbs
    Mulholland is a district of LA and a highway that leads west

    Figurative Language:
    Bad boys are vampires because they exploit women for sex, money, or experiences and then leave them hurt

    Meaning of final verse:
    The lines "I wanna free fall out into nothin' / Gonna leave this world for awhile" express escapism. His lifestyle is idealized as the pursuit of freedom and superficial experience, which he realizes through his fling with the good girl lacks meaningful connection. This realization hurts him, and these lines reveal the true face of his lifestyle: an escapist's addiction, an ephemeral place of loneliness and worthless experiences. But he lacks the courage to return to her (I'm gonna leave this world) and decides to continue his pursuit of freedom (fall out into nothing).

    The final chorus is a bittersweet reaffirmation of his freedom, now that he realizes it isn't the high ideal he had thought it was.
    MafiaPuppeton May 07, 2012   Link
  • +6
    General Commenti think this might be one of the most misapplied songs ever. it seems to me that he is saying that he is glad that he broke up with his girl although she did nothing wrong. i don`t think most people seem to get that when they listen to this song. i see it as bittersweet at best, but many seem to see it as a song about real freedom and independents.
    ramtharon May 01, 2002   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI love Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and this is one of thier best songs, but I think it might be the oppisite of what every one has been saying. I think maybe he was a bad boy, and tried to pretend he didn't care about his good girl girl friend. And maybe he did break up with her or cared more about the bad boys then her. But as the song progresses I think he's falling for her, I believe it is a love song, about today's world. It sounds like he belongs to a gang possibly, "the vampires" are his gang. And I think he sees what happens to all the other girls who were dumped by the gang memebers and now he feels bad for breaking up with his girl. Because by the end, he professes his love for her, "I wanna write ypour name in the sky" I take that as the biggest thing a guy can do for his girl, show her and everyone how much you care for her by writing the name in the sky everyone will see it. That's just my theory, I don't think there is a right answer songs are made for people to interrupt and as stated before most of the TP & HB's song are about drugs.
    Woodsy2569on March 13, 2003   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI have a tape of an interview with tom about how this song was written and it explains how a roadie bought tom a keyboard that tom didnt really want and the roadie told tom that if he wrote one song with it, that it would pay for itself. tom played the 5 opening chords to Jeff Lynne one night. Jeff told him to sing something while repeating the same chords over and over. "Just to make Jeff smile I sang 'She's a good girl, loves her mama' and from there I wrote the first and second verses completely spontaneously." It shows that there really can b any meaning to the song...the lyrics came completely spontaneously, they may have no real meaning its just what came out. Also, Axl Rose once asked Tom how he came up with the line about vampires and Tom replied..."When I'm driving, sometimes I see these shadowy-looking people just off the sidewalks, around the post office. I always thought of them as vampires for some reason." I think people just over analyze lyrics sometimes. Alot of times, an artist just writes whatever is in his head, whether it makes sense, has a hidden meaning or whatever. I agree with scooter44, take the song however u want to.
    shed27on June 25, 2003   Link
  • +5
    Song MeaningI think of this song as an Ode to Los Angeles with Impressions about a Girl. "Reseda", "The Valley", "Ventura Blvd", "Mulholland" are all LAX locations.

    Specifically, on the "glide down" and "Free falling" . . . if you take off from Burbank, you will likely climb over the Hollywood Hills (where Mulholland Drive is). Believe it or not, the pilots will cut the throttle so as to not disturb the residents and you will, literally, glide down over Mulholland.

    I think the narrator is leaving her and has metaphorically combined the image with his leaving LA.
    dumpsteron April 13, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentBad Boys don't have girlfriends. He might be trying to fit in with the bad boys, so he broke her heart. There is a side of him that wishes to be a bad boy, but a side that really wants someone to love, and to be a good boy. The bad boy is free, but the good boy is free fallin'
    ZeeQuickon July 19, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentYou guys are taking this way too seriously. Don't insult people just because they have liked a song for a long time and don't know what it means. People can like songs because of the SOUND, you know, not just because they've totally analyzed the hidden meanings.
    WillyWiluhpson October 03, 2004   Link
  • +3
    Song MeaningTo understand this song without help you will need to have lived in Southern California and have fallen in love. For everyone else here is what the song means.

    She is a good girl. She lives in a boring part of town (trust me I lived in Reseda, every day felt like a long day) When the 101 freeway was built they took just the land they needed. In some spots the freeway is on pillars 30’ above the ground and runs right over a yard or even part of a house.

    Any slight against a young (good) girl is breaking her heart. She is mad at him for spending his time doing something other than visiting with her. You can almost hear her complain “Didn’t you even miss me?” “Don’t you know you’re breaking my heart?”

    Ventura Blvd is in the middle of a city. There is no reason for a kid to be hanging around there during the day. But there were a lot of clubs on Ventura Blvd and at night the place would be littered with kids. Like Vampires they come out at night. You park your car at your favorite club and then start working your way downhill (Which is West) hitting all the other clubs. At the end of the night the person who is most sober walks uphill all the way back to the car (Trust me it is a long walk) and drives back to pick everyone else up and take them to in-and-out burger or home.

    At the top of Mulholland you can see a big chunk of the city. The city is (or was) far enough away that there is a lot of darkness between you and the tiny twinkling lights. He is not screaming “I’m free” he is screaming “I’m free falling” He is happy. He is falling in love with the girl. More and more of his thoughts are about her and despite the danger of suffering a broken heart he cannot stop himself and does not want to stop himself from falling in love with her. (This is the kind of girl you should marry)
    Tdrewon May 04, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentEver since I first found this website, I've been trying to put ino words what I think Free Fallin' means. But, now I think I have an idea. And I believe you can only truly understand what this song means when there's a real major crisis going on in your life. A loss of a loved one. A divorce/breakup. Or maybe a very bad argument with a close friend. But what the words seem to say to me, is that he had a great girl, and there was absolutely nothing wrong with her, but for some reason he just had to break it off. After he lost her I think she might have done something, either started going out with another guy, or killed herself, and now that she's out of his reach, with no way of getting her back he realizes how much he does love her, even though at first he didn't even miss her. I think that's why he feels like he's in free fall. That's kind of how you feel when somehting like that happens. It really feels like you've left the world because it's all you can think about, and things in this world don't really matter anymore. That's why he wants to write her name in the sky, he wants to do anything he can to get the girl he loves back.
    bono_212on June 13, 2005   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationTo me, it is about an hillbilly artist and a bourgeois valley girl.
    He loves her, but splits up with her, because he inevitably can't deal with her social background. So he self betrays himself by pretending to be a “bad-boy”.
    driventotearson October 04, 2017   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top